|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.
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
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
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
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
“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.