Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff
to the nation, the theme of the Fort McCoy Centennial Commemoration
June 13, was the motivation when the installation was established 100
years ago, said the grandson of the installation’s founder.
Douglas D. McCoy Jr. speaks at
the Centennial Commemoration Ceremony honoring Fort McCoy’s
100th anniversary. (Photo
by Allan Harding)
D. McCoy Jr., a retired Air Force colonel and a speaker at the event,
said the same spirit is evident in the personnel training and working
at the installation today.
McCoy family was well represented at the event and included McCoy’s
90-plus-year-old mother, the daughter-in-law of the installation’s
founder, Maj. Gen. Robert Bruce McCoy.
who was born after his grandfather died, shared the history of his
grandfather and also reminisced about his own experiences at Camp
McCoy and Fort McCoy, which included one of his first jobs of setting
up pins at a bowling alley at Camp McCoy.
proud spirit of public service (both in the military and in civilian
life) continues in his extended family," said Douglas McCoy.
"(General McCoy) would be proud of the military training
dedicated to ensure troop readiness. He would be proud of those who
served, (those in) public service and those of you serving now. He
would really celebrate the way you have taken his dream and made it
bigger and better."
said his grandfather’s public service, included being a county judge
and the mayor of Sparta.
a judge, my grandfather had a reputation for fairness and the
evenhanded application of the law," McCoy said.
grandfather served in the military during the Spanish American War,
the police action in Mexico and World War I. McCoy said one of the
forces behind his grandfather’s drive to support military training
was he saw young men die needlessly because of poor training and a
lack of medical treatment during his service.
never wanted that to happen again," McCoy said. "(With his
service my grandfather) saw war as a constant inevitability and the
need to better prepare men for it."
Members of the 484th U.S. Army
Reserve Brass Quintet play at the Fort McCoy Centennial
(Photo by Allan Harding)
grandfather, who attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was an
excellent baseball player who played several positions and was good
enough to attract an offer to play for a New York professional team.
He turned the offer down, however, to return to Monroe County and
dedicate his life to public service. He was more interested in
improving his community and its people than in his personal gain,
wanted to make a difference," Douglas McCoy said. "He was a
public servant of the highest order."
grandfather suffered a number of hardships during his life.
wife died at the age of 41 in a car accident and left him with seven
children. He suffered from a mustard gas attack in World War I and
never fully recovered, which McCoy said he believed helped lead to his
grand-father’s early death at the age of 58 in 1926.
Fournier, the deputy to the garrison commander, who served as the
master of ceremonies for the event, said the theme for the
commemoration was chosen because it embodies what Fort McCoy is really
100 years, the installation has been "dedicated to providing our
servicemembers and their families the very best support
possible," he said. "It isn’t just the ranges, the
training areas and facilities alone that define an installation. But
rather it is the spirit, and the commitment to service embodied in
this installation’s community that makes Fort McCoy such a special
at Fort McCoy that commitment of service to our nation began with the
vision of our founder, Major General McCoy, and has continued forward
through the succeeding years," he said. "That commitment to
service and excellence has become our hallmark, and it is the standard
against which we measure ourselves."
introduced Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, who served as the keynote
speaker, and said the senator has dedicated much of his life to public
The Fort McCoy Centennial Celebration honoring
Robert Bruce McCoy as the founder and the installation's 100 year birthday as an Army
Installation took place on June 13 at the Commemorative Area. Seen here
playing the bagpipes for the ceremony is Doug Weidenbach, La
(Photo by Allan
Harding) (An Extra to The Real McCoy Online)
as well as the rest of the Wisconsin Congressional delegation, has
been very supportive of Fort McCoy and the training it provides to
military personnel who accomplish the country’s mission. Feingold
played a key role in helping Fort McCoy secure $31 million to improve
its facilities and another $14 million for housing as part of the
recently passed federal stimulus bill, Fournier said.
am so impressed by every aspect of this excellent installation,"
Feingold said. "(General McCoy) saw the potential of this place
to train men."
support of this installation is not only deserved, it is long overdue,
he added. It provides state-of-the-art training to all servicemembers
who train here, including Wisconsin servicemembers.
David E. Chesser, garrison commander, and Maj. Gen. James R. Sholar,
senior commander, spoke about what the milestone means to Fort McCoy.
we celebrate the installation’s centennial anniversary, it is
important to reflect upon and honor the inspiring legacy, with which
we have been entrusted," Chesser said. "With that in mind, I
personally want to thank Colonel Douglas McCoy and members of the
McCoy family for joining us in this celebration."
McCoy is a thriving installation today because of the visionary
leadership and dedicated efforts of Maj. Gen. McCoy more than 100
years ago, he said. The installation’s efforts to provide the best
training and quality of life have always been its cornerstone.
installation serves as a crown jewel of Army Reserve training, he
April, the installation received $45 million in stimulus money to
upgrade installation facilities, as well as funding to build up to 23
homes on the installation, and he thanked Feingold and Rep. Ron Kind,
who also spoke at the event, for their efforts on behalf of Fort
McCoy. In addition, the installation has a number of ongoing projects
such as new facilities to support the Child, Youth, School and
Services program to help support the troops.
also been extremely busy delivering the Army Family Covenant, our
commitment to provide Soldiers and their Families a quality of life
commensurate with their service," he said.
said the history of Fort McCoy is the history of the Army.
Rep. Ron Kind, Sen. Russ
Feingold, Maj. Gen. James R. Sholar, Col. David E. Chesser and
Douglas D. McCoy Jr. cut a cake commemorating Fort McCoy’s
centennial and the Army’s birthday. (Photo
by Allan Harding)
is active, pulsating and robust in wartime, and quiet, somber and
waiting until called on again during peacetime.
though the country doesn’t face an enemy as it did on D-Day, 65
years ago, it still faces tremendous challenges, he said.
terrorism, extremists and ideologies will continue to threaten the
nation’s safety and freedom, he said. Americans will pay a great
toll unless they are willing and prepared to defend their interests.
meet the strategic demands of this nation, we have seen an
ever-increasing role of reserve-component forces since September (11)
2001," Sholar said. "As we have seen our reserve-component
forces of all services be included in the fight in the overseas
conflict, this is a significant shift in their historic role as a
strategic reserve. And this requires changes in the way we think about
equipping, training and employing our reserve forces."
McCoy is the acknowledged leader in implementing the new Army Reserve
training strategies, he said.
all the things going on at Fort McCoy, including training, new
missions and new facilities, the installation’s future has never
been brighter, he said. "We will carry out the vision and mission
of General McCoy as he laid it out 100 years ago."
G. Boland, the civilian aide to the secretary of the Army, read a
statement from Secretary of the Army Pete Geren congratulating Fort
McCoy on its 100th anniversary.
a past commander of Fort McCoy, reminisced about his service in the
National Guard at Fort McCoy, beginning as a lowly private in the 32nd
Brigade, also known as the Red Arrows. Other members of the 32nd
Old-Timers were in attendance and were recognized and honored.
commanders Roy L. Higgins and Wilbert W. "Bill" Sorenson,
and Command Sgt. Maj. Albert Davidson also were in attendance and were
second vision of Fort McCoy came in the late 1980s (under
Sorenson)," Boland said. "The Installation Master Plan was
put into place to help modernize (the installation) and take the fort
into the next century."
highlights of the day, included the cutting of a ceremonial cake, the
musical support of the 484th Army Reserve Brass quintet, and the
playing of "Amazing Grace" by Douglas Weidenbach on
bagpipes. Barb Hegenbarth of Sparta sang the national anthem and
"God Bless America."
ceremony was held near the Veterans Memorial Plaza in the