Fort McCoy was established in 1909. This information highlights some of the installation's history over the past century.
75 Years Ago — July 26, 1946
The famous 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat team, which included the McCoy-trained 100th Infantry battalion, composed entirely of Nisei troops, was reviewed July 15, 1946, by President Harry S. Truman and awarded the Presidential Unit citation in addition to their numerous other citations.
The Combat team, which compiled a great war record and returned to the United States with nearly three years of overseas service, won 350 Silver Star medals, 823 Bronze Stars, and 3,600 Purple Hearts during its combat duty, which too, the unit from Noth Africa through Italy and into the Rhineland.
There was never a case of AWOL in the ranks of the 442nd — unless you want to count the two men of the 100th battalion who deserted hospital cots without permission to rejoin the outfit in the field.
The 100th Battalion trained at Camp McCoy in the summer and fall of 1942 and went overseas as a separate unit, joining the 442nd Combat team in Italy.
Possessing a brilliant battalion record, the 100th received a citation from the War Department for the outstanding performance of the unit.
60 Years Ago — July 7, 1961
The weekend was going to be a busy one for active Army personnel at Camp McCoy, with some 10,000 outgoing troops, and almost 13,000 incoming troops to be processed.
Troop strength reached a peak for the year of more than 13,000 on post. Trains, buses, and military convoys brought in a variety of units representing both the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.
50 Years Ago — July 23, 1971
The people of Monroe County, Wis., were closer to the solution for any possible community problems due to the efforts of the 407th Civil Affairs Group from Fort Snelling, St. Paul, Minn., which underwent its annual training at Camp McCoy.
Three general areas of improvement were worked on by selected members of the 407th in conjunction with Monroe County officials: legal, environment, and transportation. For two weeks, the selected reservists divided into three groups.
The first group was a legal section, made up of six reservists who reviewed, advised and helped in the rewriting of the county codes of Monroe County.
The second group was a transportation section. This section consisted of 17 members who set up information points throughout the county at areas of heavy travel. At these points, motorists were asked a series of questions, points were set up off the road, and motorists stopped at their own volition.
The final and perhaps most important section was that of the environment. This section consisted of approximately 40 men. These reservists split up into four-man groups, which covered nine areas within the county.
The main points of interest for these groups was quality of rural housing and the overall condition of waste disposal in the county.
Since this was the first attempt of any kind in the military to work together in this manner with the civilian community to help them cope with their problems, the results of the two weeks were of great concern to the military as well as to the civilian community.
The 407th's actions were an important step to better military-civilian relations.
35 Years Ago — July 7, 1986
A new anti-smoking policy that took place July 7 banned smoking in all Army-occupied areas except those specifically designated for smokers.
Provisions under the Army regulation 1-8, “Smoking in Department of the Army Occupied Buildings and Facilities,” applied to all vehicles, aircraft, offices, buildings and facilities over which the Army had control.
Space assigned to the Department of the Army by the General Services Administration was also included.
Army officials expected to enhance readiness through the policy by establishing the standard of a smoke-free environment. The senior leadership hoped to cause a mind shift within the Army to think that "smoking is the exception, not the rule."
(Article prepared from The Real McCoy and Triad archives.)