|By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
and members of the Fort McCoy community gathered June 11 at Constitution
Park to help celebrate the U.S. Army’s 235th birthday.
Maj. Gen. Glenn J. Lesniak (left)
and Staff Sgt. Curtis Johnson cut a ceremonial cake at
Constitution Park held to observe the Army’s 235th birthday
during the Army Birthday event at Fort McCoy.
Photo by Rob Schuette
A luncheon and ceremonial cake-cutting event capped a busy day that
included a 5K Commander’s Challenge Run, a free drive-through breakfast
and free car washes and bowling courtesy of the Fort McCoy Family and
Morale, Welfare and Recreation Directorate.
Maj. Gen. Glenn J. Lesniak, commanding general of the 88th Regional
Support Command and Fort McCoy’s Senior Commander, and Staff Sgt. Curtis
Johnson of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison,
cut a ceremonial birthday cake. Johnson works with the Soldier Readiness
Center Finance Section. The ceremonial cakes were provided by the
garrison Religious Support Office and the Fort McCoy Recruiting Command
Lesniak, who has been in the Army for most of the years that the
installation has been known as Fort McCoy, said the reason he is still
serving is the people, including the ones who braved a momentary
downpour and gusty winds to participate in the luncheon events.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with Soldiers, civilians and Army Families
throughout my Army career culminating here at Fort McCoy,” he said.
“Thanks for your service to the country and all you do to keep Army
Ten rifle companies formed the Army in 1775, he said. Within days,
finance, adjutant general, corps of engineers and quartermaster fields
were added. These four fields, fittingly, form the core of the U.S. Army
Reserve, Lesniak said.
Garrison Commander Col. David E.
Chesser (background) finishes strong during the 5K Commander’s
Challenge Run during Fort McCoy Army Birthday events June 11.
Photo by Pam Budda
What the Army has accomplished since 2001 is outstanding, and the
success of the Army helps form the strength of the nation, Lesniak said.
“Being Army Strong goes beyond just physical and mental preparedness,”
he said. “It encompasses an indomitable spirit, high ethical and moral
values. Not only are these desirable in individuals, but they are
desirable in a nation.”
Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser said that although
Fort McCoy has existed for only 101 of the Army’s 235 years, the
installation has contributed significantly to the defense of the nation
by underpinning the readiness of the force.
McCoy has served as a power-projection platform to help prepare troops
for war since World War I.
“Today, we are the busiest mobilization training center in the country,”
Chesser said. “Additionally, we are recognized as the installation of
choice for Army Reserve forces and many National Guard units.”
Everyone in the Fort McCoy community plays a role in the installation’s
mission. Chesser personally thanked everyone in the Fort McCoy work
force for their professionalism, commitment to Army values and plain,
The U.S. Army remains the best-manned, best-trained and best-equipped
Army in the world, he said. The Army Values give Soldiers an inner and
Members of the Fort McCoy
community enjoy a drive-through breakfast as part of the Army
Birthday observance in the Fort McCoy community.
Photo by Liz Weaver
“The unchanging Army Values give us the strength of character not
only to stand up to tyrants but to bend down and help the oppressed, the
poor, the weak, the sick and the hungry to fight their oppressors and to
rebuild their countries.”
These values tie everyone together as an Army, and a Family, Chesser
said, and are found in the Families, in the communities and in the
“The Family is our legacy of strength,” he said. “You are a member of
the Army Family here at Fort McCoy and I thank you for your dedicated
A total of 165 people signed up for the Commander’s Challenge Run and 38
finished ahead of Chesser, earning a free T-shirt. Brisk business also
was reported during the drive-through breakfast and the bowling and
Sponsors of the day’s events were: Case Construction, Culver’s,
Logistics Health Incorporated, Mathy Construction, Reinhart Food
Service, Alliant Energy, American Family Insurance, CenturyLink,
EconoLodge, Enterprise Car Rental, GEICO Insurance, Harter’s Quick
Clean-up, Oshkosh Defense, Chippewa Water, St. Joseph Equipment and TCI
Architects, Engineers, and Contractor. No federal endorsement is