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 June 25, 2010

Observance

McCoy celebrates 235th Army Birthday with community events

By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Soldiers and members of the Fort McCoy community gathered June 11 at Constitution Park to help celebrate the U.S. Army’s 235th birthday.

PHOTO: 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
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 Company.

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 Strong.”

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.
 

PHOTO: 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
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, hard work.

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 spiritual strength.

PHOTO: 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
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 heart.

“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 service.”

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 car-wash events.

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 implied.

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