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December 09, 2011

News

Garrison Headquarters, Headquarters Company a go-to organization

Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Garrison Headquarters and Headquarters Companies (HHC), generally, are recognized as organizations that provide administrative support to the Soldiers they serve. Fort McCoy’s HHC, U.S. Army Garrison (USAG), provides services far beyond that narrow realm.

Maj. Tom Akerlund, the outgoing HHC, USAG commander, said the organization is moving into a new phase of support and service as its administrative support of troops involved with mobilization winds down. There are plenty of support opportunities that are keeping the staff busy, Akerlund said.
PHOTO: 1st Sgt. Justin Maloney of HHC, USAG, Fort McCoy, presents a Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Professional Development Program course to company NCOs. Photo by Rob Schuette
1st Sgt. Justin Maloney of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort McCoy, presents a Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Professional Development Program course to company NCOs. Both officers and NCOs in the company attend training to sharpen and maintain Soldier skills.

HHC, USAG staff members usually are front and center in support of garrison events and provide support and share expertise with all members of the garrison, including civilians, and other personnel in the Fort McCoy community, as necessary, Akerlund said.

“We serve as the garrison commander’s ‘arms,’ and if there’s a special mission, we are ready,” Akerlund said. “We also serve as a spokesman for Soldiers, such as for Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) events.”

HHC, USAG, Fort McCoy’s recent move to building 104 puts it closer to two of the major organizations that have Soldiers it supports — the Garrison Command Group and the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security. The organization also supports Soldiers in the Religious Support Office and the Installation Legal Office.

Capt. Matthew Wright, the HHC, USAG executive officer, said the staff handles a variety of administrative tasks, including scheduling Army Warrior Training, professional-development courses and coordinating Army tasks, such as leave and passes, travel orders, awards, personnel evaluations, weapons qualification, the Army Physical Fitness Test, and monitoring Army height and weight compliance standards. Administrative support also includes in- and outprocessing and sponsorship assignments, etc.

“We have supported events such as the Army Reserve Best Warrior competition,” he said. “We provide a good liaison between the installation and the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) to make it an annual success.”

HHC, USAG 1st Sgt. Justin Maloney said the organization also supports a number of ceremonial events at Fort McCoy, such as hail-and-farewells and change-of-command ceremonies. These include the HHC, USAG ceremony set for Dec. 16, the upcoming garrison change-of-command ceremony, and others. Maloney said HHC, USAG has a large inventory of flags, etc., to support these events and also works closely with the Command Group administrative staff to ensure event success.
“If you need something done, we know who controls it,” Maloney said.

Maloney said the organization has developed good relationships with their counterparts in such organizations as the 88th Regional Support Command, the 181st Infantry Brigade, Regional Training Site-Maintenance, Regional Training Center-Central and others to help provide necessary services and support.

Akerlund also shared his special skills in adjutant general (personnel) matters, while Maloney brought additional skills in logistics to the command.

Akerlund provided training support to the entire garrison work force supervisory staff, including civilians, to meet the transitioning needs when the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was repealed, while Maloney helped personnel input material into the Digital Training Management System, which he has used since 2007.

Because the mobilization mission is coming to an end, HHC, USAG also will support Soldiers arriving at Fort McCoy with their unit’s equipment, he said.

Soldiers also support community-building events on and off the post.

Wright said HHC, USAG Soldiers have supported many on-post MWR events, such as the recent Halloween Run and activities, which included a reverse trick-or-treat across the post. Staff members from the HHC, USAG also supported many events outside the gates, including softball games between Fort McCoy and Angelini’s of Sparta, the Tomah Veterans Memorial Dedication event, Veterans Day speeches to local schools, and a Hometown Heroes event with the Directorate of Emergency Services, among others.

“The events support the Army Community Covenant and meet the strategic objectives of Fort McCoy and the Installation Management Command,” Akerlund said. “It’s a great way to develop camaraderie between Fort McCoy and (the surrounding) communities.”

“The events help you learn about the communities while having fun at the same time,” Wright added.

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