FORT CARSON, Colo. — Eighty years after it began printing Sept. 10, 1942, The Fort Carson Mountaineer's final issue was printed Nov. 11, 2022.
The Mountaineer never missed publication in its 80-year history. Through all wars since World War II, two blizzards that closed Fort Carson for several days in 1997 and 1998 and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mountaineer hit newsstands every week.
“After a career with the Air Force, I landed a job on the staff of the Fort Carson newspaper, The Mountaineer, where I served for 18 years,” said Nel Lampe, a longtime staff writer. “While learning to speak Army, I was covering events, interviewing Soldiers, taking notes and learning about places that might be of interest to Soldiers and Families that could be published in the ‘Get Out’ section of the newspaper. I’m saddened to learn that the Mountaineer will no longer be available to the Fort Carson community. Fare thee well, Mountaineer.”
The newspaper began printing just eight months after then Camp Carson opened in January 1942 and was printed by the Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph. The contract to print the newspaper changed hands several times in its long run.
Mountaineer staff and contributing Soldiers from deployed units reported on every major conflict within the newspaper’s pages.
“The newspaper documented Fort Carson’s history in real time through war, deployments and major installation changes for 80 years,” said Susan C. Galentine Sustainability specialist/Facility Management Program and a former Mountaineer staff writer. “In a sense, the newspaper served as a time capsule, capturing events impacting the Fort Carson community through several generations of Soldiers and their Families.”
Additionally, the newspaper had extensive coverage of a fire that that caused massive damage to Camp Carson in January 1950. One Soldier died the day of the fire, and an additional seven Soldiers and one teenager died later from burns they suffered while fighting the fire. Many street names on Fort Carson are named in their honor.
“The Mountaineer newspaper’s coverage was always balanced, whether it was news and feature stories representing Soldiers, Family members, civilians and retirees,” Galentine said. “The newspaper provided a valuable, sought-after way to get the information the community needed. It will be missed.”
The newspaper staff wrote about a wide variety of dignitaries and celebrities who visited Fort Carson, including former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Colin Powell and former presidents George W. Bush and Richard Nixon.
The newspaper also carried extensive coverage of the annual Ivy Week competition and Fourth of July Freedom Fest. Performers at these events included Josh Turner, Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band, Morgan Wallen and the Eli Young Band.
“I am a bit sad to see the Mountaineer production cease,” Alyshia N. Lana, Outreach Program and Garrison Gifts & Donations coordinator, Army Community Service said. “It’s been such a fun way to save pieces of history. It’s always exciting to see photos of your comrades, friends and family members interacting through the installation’s operations and activities.”
The Mountaineer won dozens of Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware journalism awards through the years, and in 2017, the Mountaineer online won second place at Installation Management Command, first place at U.S. Army and second placeat Department of Defense levels. The Mountaineer online, which was on the same contract as the printed edition, will also cease production.
“The Mountaineer has provided an exceptional and additional way for the Fort Carson community to stay informed of current events on and around the installation,” said Lana. “I think it’s important to keep a wide array of publishing communications styles available. Though many of today’s young adults prefer digital applications to get their news stories from, there is still a good amount of people who enjoy reading a newspaper over a morning cup of coffee.”
The Mountaineer will be moving to an online publication and renamed ‘The Mountain Post’. To visit The Mountain Post, go to https://home.army.mil/carson/index.php.
Editor’s note: All of us here at the Mountaineer would like to thank our loyal readers for joining us in our 80 years of history.