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NEWS | May 15, 2023

Assistant chief of Army Reserve visits Fort McCoy Garrison

By Courtesy Story Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office

Assistant Chief of Army Reserve Stephen D. Austin visited Fort McCoy on May 10 as part of an official visit to U.S. Army Garrison-Fort McCoy.

According to his biography, “Austin was selected for the Senior Executive Service in June 2007. He became the Assistant Chief of Army Reserve (ACAR) on Oct. 4, 2015. He serves as the primary advisor to the Chief of Army Reserve within Headquarters, Department of the Army.

“He represents the Army Reserve in the formulation and synchronization of policy and strategy at the national, departmental, and service levels,” the biography states. “He provides oversight to the Chief of Army Reserve’s staff and directs the development of policy, resourcing, and plans for generating, sustaining, and integrating Army Reserve force capabilities in support of the nation.”

Austin’s first stop on his visit was to Fort McCoy Garrison Headquarters where he met with Garrison Commander Col. Stephen Messenger, Garrison Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Chad Maynard, and garrison directorate leaders and special staff.

Messenger described to Austin some of the installation’s recent successes with inspections and process improvements. Those areas were also briefed by Eric Haschke with Resource Management Office, Jamie Gular with the Directorate of Human Resources, and Fort McCoy Food Program Manager Andy Pisney with the Fort McCoy Logistics Readiness Center. Haschke, Gular, and Pisney all also received a special coin for excellence from Austin.

The briefing was followed with a tour of several areas of Fort McCoy, including areas of new construction, training areas, and the Fort McCoy Commemorative Area that is a unique area for historical preservation of Army artifacts. Austin also visited the Sparta-Fort McCoy Airport and the South Post Housing area, which was voted #1 in the Army for customer satisfaction in 2022.

Austin’s visit then included a luncheon at McCoy’s Community Center where he met with more people from the Fort McCoy team while also learning more about Fort McCoy’s mission and team.

Austin then traveled to training sites where Soldiers with units associated with the 300th Military Police Brigade were training in the Spartan Warrior IV Exercise at Fort McCoy. There he met with Soldiers completing the training that continues through mid-May.

The last part of the visit then took Austin to see the Fort McCoy Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Academy. There, the commandant, Command Sgt. Maj. Deanna L. Czarnecki, took Austin through the complex to show him more on how they train Army Reserve Soldiers in the Basic Leader Course and the Battle Staff NCO Course. The academy trains hundreds of Soldiers each year.

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.”

This wasn’t the first time Austin had visited Fort McCoy, but it had been several years since his last visit and much had changed since then, he said during the opening briefing. He also said he appreciated everyone taking the time to support his visit.

Also, according to his biography at, prior to assuming this position, he was the Chief Financial Officer and Director, Resource Management and Materiel for the Army Reserve.

“In this position he had fiduciary responsibility including Comptroller, Budget, Financial Management, and Program Development,” the biography states. “He oversaw the Chief of the Army Reserve Title 10 responsibilities for three appropriations: Reserve Personnel Army, Operation and Maintenance Army Reserve, and Military Construction Army Reserve, affecting more than 198,000 Soldiers in 1,500 units and more than 1,000 facilities. As the director of materiel, he oversaw all equipping, supply, property accountability, and logistics support for all units and Soldiers in the Army Reserve.”

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.