[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                   October 24, 2008

New garrison deputy commander 
begins tour of duty at McCoy

Fort McCoy has welcomed a new Garrison Deputy Commander to the Command Group.

Lt. Col. Annie Jackson brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. She has served in a variety of assignments in the Signal Corps, including various leadership positions throughout both the active and reserve components. In the 99-year history of Fort McCoy, Jackson is the first female and first African American to ever hold this position. This makes Jackson a trailblazer in many respects, and she is determined to set a positive example for others serving in the military.

Photo: Garrison Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Annie Jackson

"One of my primary goals as garrison deputy commander will be fostering a more customer-oriented work force," said Jackson, who has been in her position at Fort McCoy for about one month. "I want to sustain a positive and professional relationship with tenant organizations as well as customer units by understanding their requirements and expectations in order to better support current and future missions. I also want to assist the garrison commander in providing a secure environment and good quality of life to all Soldiers and their families serving here."

Jackson, an Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) Soldier, comes to Fort McCoy after a four-and-one-half year tour as Chief of Operations for the 335th Signal Command (Theater) at East Point, Ga. She plans to apply her unique experiences and knowledge attained during 20 years of service as an active-duty, Troop Program Unit and AGR Soldier to help support the training mission at Fort McCoy.

Jackson brings comprehensive knowledge and an understanding of the mobilization process from cradle to grave. Having served on the U.S. Army Forces Command G-6 (assistant chief of staff, command, control, communications, and computer operations) staff, Jackson was responsible for identifying and sourcing signal assets to fulfill U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) requirements. Her responsibilities as the Chief of Operations required her to take on and manage not only signal assets but chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear assets as well. Not only sourcing, alerting, mobilizing and deploying assets in support of the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR) but supporting the homeland as well. 

Having served in the CENTCOM AOR, Jackson understands the challenges reservists face.

"Iíve been intricately involved in every aspect of the Army mobilization and deployment processes, and I understand what our servicemembers are going through," Jackson said. "AGR, active-duty, reserve component ó thereís not a delineation in-theater. Itís one team, one fight."

Jackson also has served as an observer/controller during lanes training so she knows what it takes to have successful training to prepare for the mission ahead.

Fort McCoy has some excellent ranges, facilities and training areas to accomplish the necessary training. Upon seeing the installationís training facilities, Jackson said they were far beyond what she believed they would be.

The urban assault courses are very well organized and help Soldiers train for their upcoming missions. "Iím really impressed at what Iíve seen here," Jackson said. "It makes a difference in providing Soldiers realistic training."

Jackson said she was honored and excited to be chosen the first female, African-American Soldier to be garrison deputy commander.

"Itís truly a ground-breaking (assignment) and one of the most challenging and rewarding positions Iíve ever held," she said. "I hope to set the stage for a lot of other women to follow me."

"My primary focus is taking care of Soldiers and their families," she said. "I want to assure the Soldiers that I am committed to providing a safe and quality environment for them and their families."

"I also am looking forward to the opportunity to work together with the local communities that do so much to help support Fort McCoy" Jackson said.

Jackson can be reached at (608) 388-3405.


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