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NEWS | July 28, 2022

Fort McCoy NCO Academy welcomes new commandant

By Staff Sgt. Isaac Pickard Fort McCoy Noncommissioned Officer Academy

Command Sgt. Maj. Deanna L. Czarnecki became the 14th commandant of the Fort McCoy Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) on July 14 during a special change-of-commandant ceremony at the academy.

The 83rd United States Army Reserve Readiness Training Center Commander, Col. Joseph L. Thomas, presided over the ceremony.

Czarnecki took over responsibility as commandant from Command Sgt. Maj. Shane E. Larson. Larson was thanked for his dedication, leadership, and 24 years of service to the nation.

According to what was read about Larson’s accomplishments during his time at the academy, “Larson propelled the academy to a myriad of success.”

Similarly, when discussing Czarnecki, it was stated the new commandant will “continue greatness for the Thunderbolt Team.”

Czarnecki is the second female commandant of the Fort McCoy NCO Academy — Command Sgt. Maj. Nancy Simmons was the first female commandant from 1991 to 1993.

According to her biography, Czarnecki is a Wisconsin native, and she enlisted in the Army Reserve as a 71L (clerk/typist) on Feb. 15, 1996, as a split-option trainee. She attended basic combat training at Fort Jackson, S.C., the summer of 1996 and returned for advanced individual training the summer of 1997. Czarnecki spent her reserve time in various administrative roles with an engineer battalion, a health services brigade, and a combat support hospital prior to her selection to the Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) program in 2003.

As an AGR Soldier, Czarnecki held various human resources positions at the battalion, brigade, and division levels, to include a deployment to Afghanistan with the 372nd Engineer Brigade as the G1 noncommissioned officer in charge, her biography states. Czarnecki served as career manager and branch chief of the AGR Sergeant Major/Command Sergeant Major Branch while assigned to Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Ky., prior to attending the Sergeants Major Academy.

Upon academy graduation, she served two years at the 352nd Civil Affairs Command as the G1 sergeant major followed by the G3 sergeant major and acting command sergeant major. Czarnecki most recently worked as the enlisted policy division sergeant major and reserve policy integrator for the Deputy Chief of Staff, G1, Directorate of Military Personnel Management at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., the biography states. Czarnecki holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Cardinal Stritch University in Wisconsin and a master of arts in leadership studies from the University of Texas at El Paso. She is a graduate of the U.S. Army Sergeant Major Academy Class 67.

Czarnecki’s awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal four oak leaf clusters, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two bronze stars, Good Conduct Medal (six awards), Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (with Silver hourglass and M device), Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, and Army Superior Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster. She was awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Medal in 2017, the bronze Horatio Gates Medal in 2016 and the bronze deFleury in 2010. Czarnecki earned the Gold German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge in 2017.

The Fort McCoy NCO Academy’s mission is to “train and develop adaptive, agile, disciplined, fit, and professional leaders who are ready to ‘Lead the Way’ in any environment.” The academy’s vision is to be “the Army’s premier NCO Academy with the best people experiencing the finest quality of life in the military.”

The academy trains hundreds of Soldiers each year in the Basic Leader Course and the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course. Learn more about the academy by visiting

Learn more about Fort McCoy online at, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.” Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set “Fort McCoy” or another installation as your preferred base.