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November 11, 2011

News Notes


PHOTO: Fort McCoy employees talk with a BlueCross BlueShield representative at a Health Benefits Fair. Photo by Geneve N. Mankel
Fort McCoy employees talk with a BlueCross BlueShield representative at a Health Benefits Fair held Oct. 27 at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Geneve N. Mankel)

FEHB benefits fair
The Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Open Season is from Nov. 14-Dec. 12.
Open Season allows federal employees to ensure they have the right health, dental or vision insurance coverage for themselves and their Families. It is also time to consider the money that can be saved on out-of-pocket medical and dependent care expenses for 2012.
FEHB enrollment or changes must be made online at the Army Benefits Center-Civilian (ABC-C) website at https://www.abc.army.mil.
Personnel also can speak to a counselor by calling ABC-C at 877-276-9287.
At Fort McCoy, personnel with FEHB questions or concerns can contact the Fort McCoy Civilian Personnel Advisory Center at 608-388-2722.
Information about health, dental and vision programs can be viewed at the Office of Personnel Management website at http://www.opm.gov/insure.

Acts of Kindness activity under way through December   [ back to top ]
Family Focus Acts of Kindness is under way through Dec. 31. Families in the Fort McCoy Family Focus program can visit the Army Community Service (ACS) Center, building 2111, to receive a Recipes for Kindness idea book and record sheets.

Families will record their acts of kindness for any 15 days in November and 15 days in December. All record sheets must be returned to ACS by Jan. 13.

Family Focus points will be awarded.

For more information or to register in the Family Focus program, call ACS at 608-388-3505.


Soldier Show accepting applications for talent, technicians for 2012 tour  [ back to top ]

Applications for the U.S. Army Soldier Show are being accepted through Jan. 18, 2012 for performers (vocalists, dancers, musicians and specialty acts) and technicians (lighting, audio, video, costuming and stage).

Auditions are open to all Soldiers with sufficient time in service remaining.

Reserve and National Guard Soldiers must be activated for the duration of the tour.

Candidates are selected based on their musical talent and their ability to represent the Army in appearance, level of physical fitness, and military bearing.

The top candidates will go to Fort Belvoir, Va., for a six-day live audition/evaluation process and narrowed down until the final cast is selected.

For more information or to submit an application visit www.armymwr.com/recleisure/entertainment/soldiershow/audition_info.aspx.  


Holiday mailing deadlines for overseas post offices approaching quickly  [ back to top ]

The United States Postal Service and Military Postal Service Agency have released deadlines to ensure packages arrive to Military and State Department post offices overseas by Dec. 25.

Deadlines to ensure arrival by Dec. 25 are Nov. 12 for parcel post mail; Nov. 26 for space-available mail; Dec. 3 for parcel airlift mail; Dec. 10 for priority mail and first-class mail, letters and cards; and Dec. 17 for express mail military service.

The Military Postal Service Agency highly encourages customers to mail packages before, but no later than on, the dates for the specific mail category to avoid unplanned transportation delays.

For more information on mailing deadlines and restrictions, e-mail the Military Postal Service at: MPSA-TR@conus.army.mil.
For general mailing information, visit the agency’s website at http://hqdainet.army.mil/mpsa/.

At Fort McCoy visit the Contract Postal Office or Shipping Center, building 1649, or call 608-269-6969.


Turkey Trot 5K run/walk set for Nov. 14  [ back to top ]
A Turkey Trot 5K run/walk will be held Monday, Nov. 14 at 11:30 a.m. at the Rumpel Fitness Center, building 1122.

The event is free and open to all Fort McCoy employees. Register at the fitness center by 10:30 a.m. the day of the race. A two-night stay at Pine View Campground will be awarded to the first-place male and female participants.

For more information, call 608-388-2290.


Community Activity Center offers indoor activities during fall, winter  [ back to top ]
The Community Activity Center, building 2000, offers ongoing activities in November and December. All events begin at 6:30 p.m.

Single-elimination 501 dart tournaments will be held Nov. 16 and 30. A prize for the top player will be awarded.

Poker league games will be held Nov. 17 and Dec. 1, 8 and 15. There is no buy-in to play.

The league uses Texas Hold ’em rules. A prize will be awarded to the top player each night. League participants will earn extra chips for the league tournaments.

Single-elimination pingpong tournaments are being held Nov. 23 and Dec. 2, 9 and 16. Participants must win two out of three games to advance to the next round.

A prize will be awarded to the top player each night.

Bingo night is Dec. 17. Prizes will be awarded to multiple winners.

For more information, call 608-388-3213.


Sportsman’s Range to close for season, open by group reservation  [ back to top ]

Fort McCoy’s Sportsman’s Range will close for the season at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18. The range will be open only for group reservations during the winter season. The range is expected to resume normal operating hours in early April 2012.

Range hours through Nov. 18 are Mon. and Thurs.-Fri., 3-4:30 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The range may close early based on the manager’s discretion.

For more information, call 608-388-3517. 


Combined Federal Campaign continues through Nov. 23  [ back to top ]
The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) at Fort McCoy is under way until Wednesday, Nov. 23.

The CFC provides federal employees and servicemembers the opportunity to donate to a pre-screened charitable organization.

Campaign brochures and pledge cards are available through CFC representatives.

For more information, call the Fort McCoy CFC chairperson, Nilda Windom, at 608-388-4842 or e-mail Nilda.windom.civ@mail.mil.


Lunch & Learn classes offered in November on South Post  [ back to top ]
The Army Family Team Building program offers Brown Bag Lunch & Learn classes in at the South Post Community Center, building 6158. The classes are held Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

The classes are Family Financial Readiness Nov. 16, Meeting Management Nov. 30, Delegation Skills for Leaders Dec. 7 and Coaching and Mentoring Dec. 14.

Register no later than the Friday prior to each class by calling Army Community Service at 608-388-3505. Attendees must provide their own lunch.


USA Staffing briefings to be held Nov. 29-30  [ back to top ]

Briefings about USA Staffing, the new Department of Defense hiring process and tool for recruitment, will be presented Tuesday, Nov. 29 and Wednesday, Nov. 30 at building 905 at Fort McCoy.

The Civilian Personnel Advisory Center at Fort McCoy will provide briefings at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. both days. The briefings are open to federal civilian employees. Attendees can attend the briefing that best fits their schedule.

Attendance is voluntary, but all federal civilian employees are highly encouraged to attend to learn about the new system. 


Christmas Tree Lighting set for Dec. 1 at McCoy’s  [ back to top ]

Fort McCoy’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will be held Thursday, Dec. 1 at 4:30 p.m. at McCoy’s, building 1571.

The event will include entertainment, free cookies and hot chocolate, Santa’s Gift Shop, activities for kids and pictures with Santa.

For more information, call 608-388-7400. 


New Woodshop usage rates, fees in effect Dec. 1  [ back to top ]
The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Woodshop, building 1133, will have new shop usage rates and planer fees beginning Dec. 1.

The woodshop usage fee is $3 per hour. A monthly punch card also is available for $25. The planer fees are $10 for the first 30 minutes and $2 each additional 30 minutes.

The Woodshop is open Tuesday through Thursday from 6-9 p.m.

Available equipment includes hand tools, portable hand power tools, table saw, jointer, table router, planer, band saw, radial arm saw, panel saw, drum and disk sanders, drill press, and miter saw.

For more information, call 608-388-6588.


Education Center aligned with 88th Regional Support Command  [ back to top ]
The Fort McCoy Education and Learning Center, building 50, now is aligned under the 88th Regional Support Command (RSC). None of its services have changed.

Mary Miller, the center’s Education Services Specialist (ESS), said the facility was aligned first with the Army Reserve Readiness Training Center, then the 84th Training Command (Leadership Readiness), and currently is realigned under the 88th RSC by U.S. Army Reserve Command G1.

The Education and Learning Center still serves servicemembers and Family members in the Fort McCoy community and surrounding area. The center also serves Reserve Soldiers under the Army Reserve Medical Command (MEDCOM), 807th Medical, and 3rd MEDCOM.

Miller said the center has a testing coordinator who will help prospective students complete Army Personnel Tests, DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Test) tests, and proctor college exams. The Education and Learning Center has two full-time ESS’s to counsel military personnel on colleges, the G.I. Bill, and tuition assistance programs for higher education. Miller is located in the building 50 office, and Dale Spannbauer is located in the Education Services, G1 in building 60.

Viterbo University of La Crosse, Wis., currently is offering undergraduate-level college courses in the facility, which are open to both military and civilian personnel. Ten computers are available for use by eligible personnel.

The facility is open from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays.

For more information, call 608-388-7311.


GNC opens at Fort McCoy’s Exchange  [ back to top ]
A GNC store has opened at the Exchange complex, building 1538, at Fort McCoy. The store is open Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sat. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., to authorized patrons only.

GNC is a specialty retailer of nutritional products including vitamin, mineral, herbal and other supplements and sports nutrition, diet and energy products. The Fort McCoy GNC offers on-post discount prices on all of its products.

For more information, call GNC at 608-269-1115.


1,000 Pound Club program offered at fitness center  [ back to top ]
The 1,000 Pound Club at the Rumpel Fitness Center, building 1122, is an ongoing program for eligible patrons.

Successful lifters will earn a 1000-pound T-shirt. Lifters will participate at their own risk.

To schedule an appointment visit the fitness center. For more information, call 608-388-2290.



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