Fort McCoy News Aug. 11, 2017

New commandant takes charge at NCO Academy

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Command Sgt. Maj. Gary L. Goodrich became the new commandant of Fort McCoy's Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Academy on July 28 during a change of commandancy ceremony at the academy.

Goodrich took over the position from Command Sgt. Maj. Steven D. Dryer, who served as the commandant for the past three years. Presiding over the ceremony was Col. Kathleen J. Porter, commander of the 83rd U.S. Army Reserve Readiness Training Center.

Dozens of academy students and staff as well as Fort McCoy community members observed an academy-led color guard present the colors, and watched the unit flag of leadership be passed to Goodrich, and hear from Porter, Dryer, and Goodrich on the academy's accomplishments under Dryer.

Col. Kathleen J. Porter, commander of the 83rd U.S. Army Reserve Readiness Training Center, passes the flag of leadership to Command Sgt. Maj. Gary L. Goodrich during a ceremony July 28 at the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Fort McCoy.
Col. Kathleen J. Porter, commander of the 83rd U.S. Army Reserve
Readiness Training Center, passes the flag of leadership to Command Sgt.
Maj. Gary L. Goodrich during a ceremony July 28 at the Staff Sgt. Todd R.
Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Fort McCoy.



Command Sgt. Maj. Gary L. Goodrich returns a salute by the color guard, led by 1st Sgt. Leah Mariano, at the end of the ceremony.
Command Sgt. Maj. Gary L. Goodrich returns a salute by the color guard,
led by 1st Sgt. Leah Mariano, at the end of the ceremony.

The commandant of the academy is responsible for the training, morale, health, and welfare of students and academy staff, Porter said. During Dryer's tenure as commandant, that included thousands students who attended academy courses.
Porter said Dryer did very well as the academy's commandant.

"Command Sgt. Maj. Dryer takes pride in his academy," Porter said, "which recently received an accreditation score of 99.3. That's a phenomenal job, Steve. You and your team did an outstanding job. It doesn't get any better than that."

Porter also highlighted the growth of partnerships that Dryer established with local communities and organizations, as well as many other accomplishments.

"Thank you for your dedication and commitment to this great Army and this great nation," Porter said to Dryer.
Dryer was appreciative of the work of the academy team during his tenure.

"I'd like to thank all the great NCOs here at my academy," Dryer said. "It has truly been a blessing and an honor."

Porter also welcomed Goodrich and his Family.

"(Command Sgt. Maj.) Goodrich comes to us with a great depth of experience," Porter said. "A very talented leader, we are very fortunate to have you on our team. … I look forward to more great things from the NCO Academy at Fort McCoy."

In accepting his new role, Goodrich said he will work to continue the foundation of success established by his predecessor and the academy team.

"I'm completely honored, humbled, and excited to be selected to command the Fort McCoy NCO Academy," Goodrich said.

"Command Sgt. Maj. Dryer — huge shoes to fill. … After reviewing the recent accreditation score of 99.3, it is clear you and your team absolutely just crushed it.

"Through interacting with the staff and cadre here, I can clearly see why the Fort McCoy academy is recognized across the Army Reserve as a premier NCO academy," Goodrich said. "The staff and cadre here are some of the finest NCOs I've seen in the United States Army.

"My focus as the commandant of the NCO Academy is to ensure we provide the best training for future leaders of our great nation's Army to lead and be prepared to defend our nation when necessary," he said.

The academy was activated at Fort McCoy in 1988. It was dedicated and named after Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell, an Army Reserve Soldier from Menomonee Falls, Wis., who was killed while serving in Iraq in 2004.

The academy is one of the largest tenant organizations at Fort McCoy providing institutional training with more than 1,800 students attending annually for the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course and the Basic Leader Course. The academy's mission is to train and develop agile and adaptive warrior leaders and Soldiers in full-spectrum operations.

For more information about the academy, call 608-388-5378.