FORT BENNING, Ga. (Oct. 24, 2018) - U.S. Army Garrison Fort Benning's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR) hosted an Oktoberfest Oct. 19 through 21 at Uchee Creek Campground in the Alabama part of the garrison.
The event officially began when Maj. Gen. Gary M. Brito, Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning Commander, Brig. Gen. David A. Lesperance, U.S. Army Armor School commandant, Lt. Col. Alexander Sauer, German army liaison, Col. Clinton W. Cox, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Benning commander, and Brian Anderson, president and CEO of the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce, tapped the ceremonial keg in the festival tent.
Cox opened the ceremony by thanking everyone who made the event happen and thanking the members of the community for joining the Army on such an auspicious day - the Fort Benning's 100th anniversary.
"We are grateful that you came out and joined us tonight, and we are grateful for that partnership," said Cox of the Fort Benning-Columbus partnership. "One hundred years ago today, Camp Benning was established off of Macon Road, and then we moved down to what we now know as Fort Benning, Georgia."
Fort Benning's annual Oktoberfest celebration was the final event of a centennial celebration that included a physical training run in the morning and the ribbon-cutting of an educational replication of the historic training trenches on post.
President Woodrow Wilson declared war against Germany and the other Central Powers April 4, 1917. A committee of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce went to Washington to have a military training camp placed at Columbus. Though that effort did not seem fruitful for the "Encampment Committee" when they returned to Columbus in 1918, Columbus was chosen as a prospective site for the Infantry School of Arms. Infantry School staff and Soldiers from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, arrived Oct. 1, an 84-acre farm on Macon Road was chosen as the site, a detachment arrived Oct. 7, and the new site was named Camp Benning Oct. 19, 1918.
Festivalgoers at the Oktoberfest lined up to get a steinful of beer served by members of the Fort Benning leadership. Outside the fest tent, food and refreshment were served at stands and trucks run by the DFMWR, private organizations and local businesses. A local news station performed a broadcast from the festival. A Ferris wheel and other Family-oriented attractions were also open to the public.
To learn more about other Fort Benning DFMWR events and activities or to learn more about the Fort Benning Centennial, visit the "Related Links" section on this page.