Military Fellows




LtCol Jason Eckberg (USAF) (617) 258-9440
LTC(P) Stephen E. Gabavics (USA) (617) 253-8724
CDR John A. Krisciunas (USN) (617) 258-7363
LTC Jeff McCoy (USA) (617) 258-9440
LtCol Joel Schmidt (USMC) (617) 258-7363
military fellows 2015-16

Standing (l-r) Jeff McCoy, Jason Eckberg; Seated (l-r) John Krisciunas, Joel Schmidt, Steve Gabavics.

Lieutenant Colonel Jason Eckberg, United States Air Force
Lt Col Jason Eckberg received his commission from the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Carnegie Mellon University in May 1997.  He served as a RC-135 electronic warfare officer, instructor/evaluator electronic warfare officer and combat crew commander at the 55th Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Lt Col Eckberg has operational experience in the Pacific and European Theaters as well as operational tours in the United States Central Command Area of Operations. In addition to aircrew and operational experience, Lt Col Eckberg completed flight and electronic warfare test and evaluation tours, and commanded Big Safari’s 645th Aeronautical Systems Squadron in Greenville, TX, executing flight, engineering, product assurance, contract monitoring, security, and logistics operations for the Big Safari Program Office. His last assignment before arriving at MIT was as the Chief of Advanced Technologies Branch, Electronic Warfare Division, Operational Capabilities and Requirements Directorate, Headquarters United States Air Force at the Pentagon, Washington, DC.

Lt Col Eckberg is a Master Navigator with over 2,000 flying hours in multiple aircraft.

Lieutenant Colonel (P) Stephen E. Gabavics, United States Army
Lieutenant Colonel (Promotable) Stephen E. Gabavics received his Army Commission from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1994 and entered active duty in January 1995. He holds a Bachelor of Science in History and Political Science and a Masters of Arts in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. His military education includes: Military Police Officer Basic Course; Infantry Officers Advanced Course; Combined Arms Services and Staff School; Command and General Staff College; and Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JCWS) JPME-II.

LTC(P) Gabavics recent assignments include: Battalion S3, 709th Military Police Battalion; Grafenwohr, Germany; Chief, G35 Plans and Exercises, US Army Alaska, Fort Richardson; Battalion Commander, 793d Military Police Battalion, Ft Richardson, AK; Commander, Task Force SPARTANS, Gardez, Afghanistan; and he currently serves as the Deputy J2X and Chief of Biometrics and Forensics, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) NATO, Belgium. Operational deployments include SFOR, Bosnia-Herzegovina; KFOR, Kosovo; Operation Iraqi Freedom; and Operation Enduring Freedom IX-X and XII-XIII, Afghanistan.

Commander John A. Krisciunas, United States Navy
Commander John A. Krisciunas is a 1996 graduate of the Washington State University/University of Idaho NROTC program where he earned and his commission.

His initial sea assignments were in USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD 6). His billets included Electrical Officer, Engineering Auxiliaries Officer, and Combat Information Center Officer where he deployed to the 5th and 7th Fleets. Following his division officer tours, he was selected early for Department Head  in 2000. He served two tours aboard USS CARNEY (DDG 64) as Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer where he deployed to the 5th and 6th Fleets.

Upon completion of his Department Head tours in 2004, he attended the U.S. Naval War College where he graduated in 2005 and earned his Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. His following duty was at the U.S. NORTHERN COMMAND, Washington DC detachment, as an Operational Planner. During his Joint tour he was selected for Early Command and subsequently commanded two mine-sweepers: USS CHIEF (MCM 14) and USS ARDENT (MCM 12) forward deployed in the 5th Fleet. Following his command tours, he reported to the CNO’s staff (N86/N96) as a requirements officer managing weapon systems programs for the Fleet.

In 2010 he was selected to serve as Military/Legislative Aide to a U.S. Congressman overseeing his Armed Services Committee portfolio. In 2012 he reported as Executive Officer in USS FORREST SHERMAN (DDG 98) and deployed to the 6th Fleet.  He subsequently assumed command of FORREST SHERMAN in January of 2013.

Lieutenant Colonel Jeff McCoy, United States Army
LTC Jeff McCoy attended the University of Colorado in Boulder where he graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a BA in Political Science. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant of Armor in 1995. LTC McCoy also holds a Masters of Military Science from the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS).

LTC McCoy served as a Tank Platoon Leader in 4th Squadron 7th Cavalry Regiment Camp Garryowen, Korea. Subsequently, he served as a Scout Platoon Leader, Support Platoon Leader, and Squadron Maintenance Officer in 3rd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment Fort Polk, Louisiana that included a deployment to Bosnia and Herzegovina in support of SFOR 1&2 in 1998.

After attending the Armor Officer’s Captain’s Career Course; LTC McCoy was assigned to 3rd Infantry Division at FT Stewart Georgia as the Assistant Operations Officer, 3rd Squadron 7th Cavalry Regiment that included his second deployment to Bosnia in support of SFOR 9. Upon redeployment, LTC McCoy assumed command of C Troop, 3rd Squadron 7th Cavalry Regiment and lead the troop in the initial ground invasion and stabilization of Iraq in 2003. Upon return, LTC McCoy served as the Assistant Professor of Military Science at Colorado State University Fort Collins, Colorado until his attendance of the Intermediate Level Education (ILE) and SAMS programs at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Following graduation, he was assigned to ISAF HQs in Kabul Afghanistan as a planner on the CJ5 staff and was the principal staff officer to COMISAF for planning the surge of U.S. Forces into Afghanistan in 2008 and 2009. After his return from Afghanistan, LTC McCoy was assigned as the Operations Officer to 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and then later as the 2nd Squadron Executive Officer. As the Executive Officer, he deployed with 2nd Squadron to FOB Delta, Wasit Provence Iraq in August 2010 in support of Operation New Dawn. Subsequently he served as the Executive Officer to the Commanding General of III Corps at Fort Hood until his selection as the Battalion Commander of 3-81 Armor Battalion at Fort Benning Georgia from 2012 to 2014.

Following battalion command, LTC McCoy deployed to Israel where he served as the Deputy Director of Training, Education, and Leader Development for the United States Security Coordinator in Jerusalem until his selection as a US Army War College Fellow at MIT.

LTC McCoy is a graduate of the Airborne Course, the Armor Officer Basic and Career Courses, Scout Platoon Leaders Course, ILE and SAMS. His awards and honors include the Silver Star Medal, Bronze Star Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Distinguished Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Award), Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), and Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award).

Lieutenant Colonel Joel Schmidt, United States Marine Corps
Lieutenant Colonel Schmidt enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1991 and served in multiple infantry billets from rifleman to infantry platoon sergeant. While enlisted he served at Marine Barracks, 8th & I, and with 6th Marines and 2d Battalion, 8th Marines (2/8). He participated in multiple combined arms exercises, deployments for training, and a various exercises and operations to include deployment with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

He was commissioned through the Enlisted Commissioning Program in 1997. Upon completion of The Basic School and Infantry Officers Course, he reported to the 2d Marine Division where he served as a platoon commander, company executive officer, and company commander in 2d Battalion, 6th Marines (2/6). In January 2000, he reported to School of Infantry where he served as company executive officer, company commander, and battalion operations officer with Marine Combat Training Battalion.

In July 2003, he attended Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS). Following school, he served at Officer Candidate School from May to August 2004. In August 2004, he reported to 2d Battalion, 2d Marines (2/2) where he served as company commander for two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In July 2007, following his tour with 2/2, he served as Inspector / Instructor, Weapons Company and Headquarters and Services Company, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines (1/25). In July 2009, he attended the School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW). Following school, he reported to Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) where he served as plans officer. In 2011-2012, he served with Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan. Upon his return from Afghanistan, he served as the current operations officer for MARSOC.

In December 2013, he was entrusted to serve as Commanding Officer, 2d Battalion, 2d Marines until July 2015. While serving with 2/2, the battalion deployed as the Ground Combat Element (GCE) in support of Special Purpose MAGTF-Crisis Response-Africa and as Black Sea Rotational Force. Additionally, the battalion served as the GCE for Exercise Cold Response 2014 in Norway and Exercise Eager Lion 2015 in Jordan.

Lieutenant Colonel Schmidt is currently assigned as fellow in the security studies program at MIT. He holds masters degrees in business and military studies.