Fort McCoy, Wis., was established in 1909. Here is a look back at some installation history from February 2023 and back.
105 Years Ago
Feb. 14, 1918 — From the Baraboo Weekly News
COLONEL WAS NOT A VICTIM OF U-BOAT: Definite information that Col. Robert McCoy of Sparta was not on board the sunken Tuscania, despite announcement to the effect Thursday, was received at La Crosse Friday by relatives. A letter from Colonel McCoy, written at Camp Merritt, N.J., on Feb. 4 said that he and his two sons, Lt. Bruce and Sgt. Robert McCoy, had been delayed at the camp.
105 Years Ago
Feb. 27, 1918 — From the La Crosse Tribune and Leader Press
SERVICE FLAG NEARS COMPLETION: Banner With l09 Stars to Hang on Main Street of Sparta — The municipal service flag which is being made for the city of Sparta (Wis.), under the direction of Mrs. F.P. Stiles, wife of Mayor Stiles, will soon be completed and ready to be raised in a few days. It will be hung over the main street of the city. The flag now contains 109 stars for the boys who have gone to war from the city of Sparta.
(Note: Among the names for the stars being represented were Robert Bruce McCoy, the namesake for which Fort McCoy in named after, and his sons Bruce McCoy, Robert McCoy, and Malcolm McCoy who died in 1917.)
77 Years Ago
Feb. 19, 1946 — From The La Crosse Tribune
COLONEL SIGNS HIS LAST ORDERS: Authorizes Release From Army Service — Lt. Col. John F. McCoy, Pittsburg, signed his last order as Camp McCoy adjutant this week when he authorized his own orders for separation.
McCoy, who received a promotion on separation, served as post adjutant for nearly 44 months. He came to this post as a captain in June 1942 and immediately took over as adjutant in the Old Camp. He has since served under Col. George M. MacMullin, former post commander, and Brig. Gen. John K. Rice, commanding general.
McCoy spent the last years of his more than 27 years of active Army service at the camp portrayed as “The most wonderful camp in the country.” He said: “I've seen it grow up. I saw it built; watched the 76th and 2nd Divisions train here and leave, and I've witnessed its separation activities. It's a wonderful place.”
Relieved from active duty status Friday, McCoy will spend his 100-day terminal leave travelling and vacationing. He states that he has no definite plan for the future other than rest and relaxation.
A buck sergeant in the last war, McCoy served with the 41st and 2nd Divisions overseas. Reenlisting after a short span as a civilian, he rejoined the 2nd Division in permanent headquarters as a staff sergeant. He spent nine years with his old unit before moving to Washington, D.C., to serve as secretary of the commandant for the War College from 1928 to 1934.
As a master sergeant he was assigned to the University of Illinois ROTC unit as the head of the detachment, where he was stationed until 1942 when he was commissioned and assigned to McCoy.
20 Years Ago
Feb. 17, 2003 — From the Wisconsin State Journal (Writer: Richard W. Jaeger)
A BOOMLET FOR THE FORT MCCOY AREA: Callup of reservists means more jobs on post and a shot in the arm for the economies of nearby towns — Plenty of jobs are available this winter as troop mobilization activities increase in the face of a possible war against Iraq, officials at Fort McCoy say.
The reason for the employment surge is the arrival of nearly 4,000 National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers who are being mobilized for assignment either overseas or elsewhere in the states to fill in for military units being sent to the Middle East. Fort McCoy, about 125 miles northwest of Madison, is one of 15 military bases across the country being used to mobilize troops who have been activated by President Bush in preparation for war and in the fight against terrorism.
“We don’t usually have this kind of activity on post until summer when Guard and Reserve units arrive for their annual training,” said Linda Fournier, Fort McCoy's public affairs officer. But with the 50 units now on the post, there is the need for more people working in food service, maintenance, and general support work, she said.
Last year, a normal training year, Fort McCoy poured about $155.54 million into the local economy, most of it in the $81.2 million payroll for 1,620 civilian employees and 398 military personnel stationed at the post. An additional $73.9 million went into operating costs — utilities, building repairs, and contracted goods and services, including food, fuel, and supplies.
The post also returned $332,361 to the local government in property taxes for family housing and payments for land-use agreements along with school district impact aid, Fournier said. While the neighboring communities of Tomah and Sparta feel the economic impact of the post during annual training times, they are now reaping the benefits of the mobilization activities.
“It is great. Our motels have been full for weeks, and we are now starting to worry about their availability for the upcoming tourist season up here,” said Jamie Schultz, executive assistant of the Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce.
5 Years Ago
February 2018 — From The Real McCoy Archives
COLD STEEL, CSTX, OTHER TRAINING EVENTS ARE INCREASING OPERATIONS TEMPO AT 'TOTAL FORCE TRAINING CENTER': Training in 2018 has already been at a high pace at Fort McCoy during January and February, and the schedule shows it’s going to continue to be busy.
During January and into early February, more than 1,200 Marines were at Fort McCoy for their Ullr Shield cold-weather training exercise.
The Marines, all from units with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., trained at areas all over post, such as the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility (CACTF), Improved Tactical Training Base Freedom, numerous live-fire ranges, and more.
Coming up, the Fort McCoy range complex will see further extensive use, especially live-fire ranges, for the Operation Cold Steel (OCS) II exercise, which began in mid-February.
According to exercise planners, OCS II operations at Fort McCoy for 2018 will be under Task Force Triad. The task force, hosted by the 416th Theater Engineer Command, will conduct training at the installation through May 26 and more than 3,000 Soldiers are expected to attend the mounted crew-served weapons qualification training.
“Training and range use for (Cold Steel) will be similar to last year,” said Training Coordination Branch Chief Craig Meeusen with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security. “For this training, Ranges 2, 18, 26, and 34 will be mainly used.”
Beginning in March, the 78th Training Division will hold a Combat Support Training Exercise, or CSTX.
CSTX is a Combat Support Training Program (CSTP) exercise, which is a large-scale training event where units experience tactical training scenarios specifically designed to replicate real-world missions, according to the Army Reserve. CSTP exercises “prepare America’s Army Reserve units to be combat-ready by immersing them in realistic scenarios where they train as they would fight.”
“This CSTX is one of three being held at Fort McCoy this year,” Meeusen said. “We are also having a CSTX in June and August.”
The March CSTX, which is scheduled to cover the entire month, includes involvement with the Army’s Medical Readiness Training Command and with personnel and facilities at the Regional Training Site-Medical at Fort McCoy. “We expect approximately 3,000 (service members) to participate in the March CSTX,” Meeusen said.
Thousands of service members from many units are also scheduled to come to Fort McCoy in February and March for battle-drill and extended-combat training. These include infantry, psychological operations, engineer, medical, and combat-support units.
For institutional training, hundreds more service members are scheduled to train with garrison and tenant organizations at the installation, including with the 13th Battalion, 100th Regiment; Regional Training Site-Maintenance, Medical Simulation Training Center, Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy, and Wisconsin Military Academy and in courses like the Cold-Weather Operations Course.
To support the training this year, especially during the exercises, Fort McCoy staff members have a lot to do. For example, on the food-support side, the Logistics Readiness Center (LRC) Supply and Services Division and its Subsistence Supply Management Office (SSMO) provide food, ice, and more for training troops, said Fort McCoy Food Service Manager Andy Pisney.
For the Ullr Shield exercise, Fort McCoy food service personnel provided 878 modules of unitized group rations (UGRs) that equals 43,900 meals; 2,409 cases (28,908 meals) of cold-weather meals; 14 cases of kosher meals, ready to eat (MREs); and rations enhancements of fruit, salad, cereal, etc., worth more than $60,000.
For the March CSTX, food-service support will include the distribution of 2,279 modules (113,950 meals) of UGRs, 5,280 cases (63,360 meals) of MREs, and $70,000 of rations enhancements, Pisney said.
“For Cold Steel, we will open up Dining Facility (building) 2674, and it will provide two hot meals daily to them,” Pisney said. “They will eat breakfast and dinner meals in the dining facility and eat an MRE lunch. The dining facility staff will also (prepare) 240 meals (daily) for four different ranges for each breakfast and dinner meal. For those in the cantonment area for the March CSTX, they will also eat breakfast and dinner meals in building 2674.”
Other training at the installation coming up will be Army Reserve training for Soldiers in the public affairs career field, Meeusen said.
Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.” Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.
The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services nearly every year since 1984.
Learn more about Fort McCoy online at https://home.army.mil/mccoy, on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System at https://www.dvidshub.net/fmpao, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”
Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set “Fort McCoy” or another installation as your preferred base.
(Article compiled by the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office.)