Fort McCoy Garrison Soldiers dedicate installation's new flagpole
Garrison Soldiers at Fort McCoy, Wis., salute during a dedication ceremony for the new installation flagpole.

Soldiers from the Fort McCoy U.S. Army Garrison dedicated the new flagpole to members of the installation work force during a ceremony July 8 in front of garrison headquarters.

The new flagpole was installed in April to replace the old one, which was damaged in a lightning storm last year.

Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette Jr., said a ceremony to dedicate the flagpole previously had been discussed, and he decided to plan and execute it as a Year of the NCO event. The U.S. Army is celebrating The Year of the NCO throughout 2009.

The ceremony was held at 6 a.m. to observe Reveille, the traditional military time to raise the U.S. flag for the day.

"It was appropriate to have the enlisted Soldiers of the garrison raise the flag for the first time because they are the ones in charge of doing it at any installation," Bissonette said.

Bissonette said he was pleased to be part of the ceremony, which was the first official event he attended after assuming his new role June 26.

Being new to the garrison, he said he was very pleased to see members of the garrison out at 5:15 a.m. rehearsing the ceremony to ensure it would go well.

"It was great to see the NCOs doing the job they should be doing," Bissonette said. "They were teaching, coaching and mentoring the Soldiers."

The Soldiers involved in the ceremony received a command sergeant major coin.

Personnel from the Directorate of Emergency Services and the Wisconsin Military Academy (WMA) also supported the ceremony.

The WMA provided an artillery piece that was used to shoot two blank rounds in support of the occasion.

Eventually, a plaque will be placed at the flagpole that reads, "Dedicated to Soldiers and civilians who sustain, support and defend this nation on the centennial anniversary of this installation (Fort McCoy)," Bissonette said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16