Fort McCoy News June 24, 2016

Installation celebrates Army's 241st birthday

BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

The Fort McCoy community celebrated the U.S. Army's 241st birthday with events throughout the day June 10.

More than 200 people lined up and finished the Commander's 5K Run Challenge at the Rumpel Fitness Center.

Members of the 484th Army Band of Milwaukee play a song selection during the picnic.
Members of the 484th Army Band of Milwaukee play a song selection
during the Army Birthday Luncheon and Picnic at Constitution Park
June 10.
Photo by Scott T. Sturkol


Fort McCoy community members received a free drive-thru breakfast at McCoy’s Community Center.
Fort McCoy community members received a free drive-thru breakfast at
McCoy's Community Center.
Photo by Liz Weaver


Runners line up for the Commander’s 5K Run, which was part of Fort McCoy’s observance of the Army birthday June 10.
Runners line up for the Commander's 5K Run, which was part of Fort
McCoy's observance of the Army birthday June 10.
Photo by Jobi Spolum


Fort McCoy community members are served a free lunch during the Army Birthday Luncheon and Picnic at Constitution Park June 10.
Fort McCoy community members are served a free lunch during the
Army Birthday Luncheon and Picnic.
Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

At McCoy's Community Center, people were treated to a free drive-thru breakfast that featured doughnuts, bagels, coffee, and milk as well as free T-shirts emblazoned with "Happy 241st Birthday." McCoy's also offered four hours of free bowling and bowling shoe rental to the post community.

At Constitution Park, pulled pork and chicken sandwiches along with many side dishes were served at the Army Birthday Luncheon and Picnic, which was open to everyone. For entertainment, the 484th Army Band of Milwaukee played several songs during the picnic.

Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (DFMWR) Director Patric McGuane welcomed the picnic-goers at Constitution Park. "It's a pleasure to have you here today to celebrate the 241st birthday of the United States Army. … It takes a lot of people to do this — it's a fantastic event," he said.

Garrison Deputy Commander Lt. Col. James A. Parkinson also addressed the celebration attendees.

"As we mark this milestone for the 241st time, our Soldiers continue to serve as the foundation of the Army as they have since its inception creating the nation's principal land force; serving as the foundation of the joint force; and (being) ready to fight tonight wherever, whenever the nation needs us," Parkinson said.

Parkinson said the Army's birthday often gets less attention because it falls on the same day as Flag Day (June 14). The U.S. Army was founded June 14, 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized enlistment of riflemen with the New England army to serve for one year.

"During the last 241 years, the Army and its Soldiers have served with distinction and honor throughout our nation's struggles, fighting and defending our freedom in wars and conflicts from the Revolutionary (War) to the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," Parkinson said.

Parkinson also discussed the importance of gender integration into the Army and the other armed forces in the past year, which shows the Army is always improving. He shared the message Secretary of Defense Ash Carter sent to personnel throughout the Department of Defense in 2015.

"Gender integration is another step toward recognizing that the Army must employ the gifts of all of our Soldiers as far as their abilities will take them," Parkinson said.

Graphic Designer Sarah Weidenfeld assisted with the preparation and completion of DFMWR's work for the birthday celebration. She said she enjoyed being part of the team that put the events together.

"It was great to see the hundreds of people participate in all of our events for the Army birthday," Weidenfeld said. "Our (DFMWR) team really stepped up to provide the best-possible event for our community to enjoy. We always want our customers to know we work hard to make these events special, and I think this was another fine example of a great community event."

Event sponsors included A.L.M. Charities, USAA, R.I.A. Federal Credit Union, Buffalo Wild Wings, Gundersen Health System, Alliant Energy, Pizza Hut, and Wiebke Trading Company (no federal endorsement implied).

For more information about DFMWR events, call 608-388-7400 or go online to www.mccoy.armymwr.com.