With the advent of warmer weather and more people being outside,
everyone in the Fort McCoy community is encouraged to be proactive in
employing good safety practices.
Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette Jr., Fort McCoy garrison command
sergeant major, said motorists need to be aware that more Soldiers and
civilians will be out on installation streets and other areas doing
physical training to stay fit and meet physical fitness requirements.
In an effort to ensure their safety, motorists should observe all speed
limits, including traveling at 10 mph when passing Soldiers in formation
or people running on a roadway. The formation of Soldiers or pedestrians
has the right of way.
Likewise, everyone conducting physical fitness should wear reflective
material during periods of decreased visibility, walk or run facing
oncoming traffic, and can't wear headphones or earbuds on or near
roadways. Headphones cannot be used by people walking, running, jogging,
bicycling, skating, etc., within 50 feet of roadways.
“Motorists need to have their full attention on driving and not on using
their cell phones or texting while their vehicles are moving,”
Bissonette said. “That is happening far too often. Both are prohibited
on federal property, including Fort McCoy, (and offenders will be cited
Drivers also must ensure they have all the safety measures in place,
like buckling seat belts and adjusting mirrors before driving. This
ensures their attention is on the matter at hand and reduces the risk of
Drivers also must do their best to avoid encounters with such animals as
deer or turkey, which regularly cross Fort McCoy roads. They key to
successfully passing a wild animal standing in plain view of the roadway
is to slow down as soon as you see the animal in case it decides to run
out while you are passing it and turn on hazard lights to warn other
Personnel driving and riding in tactical vehicles must wear the proper
clothing/safety equipment at all times, including in the cantonment area
on hard surface roads. All drivers must wear either a Kevlar Helmet, a
Combat Vehicle Crewmember Helmet or a DOT Approved helmet with chin
strap, Bissonette said.
Proper backing procedures should be followed by everyone; ground guides
are required when backing up tactical or larger vehicles.
Rendering the proper courtesy and respect to the American flag is also
required on all military installations and it should not be a safety
concern for anyone to do that.
Bissonette said the two main daily events at Fort McCoy are Reveille, at
6 a.m., and Retreat, at 5 p.m.
“Although we don’t have the cannon firing, the two events are marked by
the playing of (the appropriate) music,” Bissonette said. “When you hear
the music, you are required to take appropriate actions.”
Military, civilians and visitors who are outside during these times are
required to stop what they are doing, including exiting from vehicles,
face the flag or music, and render proper respect such as saluting or
placing their hand over their heart.
Motorists should park their vehicles in a safe area, whenever possible,
such as on the side of the road. No vehicle traffic should move on the
installation anywhere except for emergency vehicles during these times.
Everyone at Fort McCoy has a role in keeping the installation safe,
Bissonette said. If someone sees a motorist or pedestrian committing an
unsafe act they can, if feasible, bring the consequence of the action
directly to the attention of the offender and provide on-the-spot
corrective action. Or they can note the license plate or activity/person
and report it to the Fort McCoy Police Department at 608-388-2266, he
For more information about safety or traffic topics at Fort McCoy, visit
click on “Visiting Fort McCoy,” or the online version of the Fort McCoy
Area Guide at
or call Bissonette at 608-388-3605.