Fort McCoy News Aug. 25, 2017

88th Regional Support Command

celebrates centennial anniversary

BY ZACHARY MOTT
88th Regional Support Command

1917 was a good year. It was the year the 88th Division, along with more than 60 other Army divisions, came into existence to assist American allies and join the fight in World War I.

The 88th Regional Support Command Blue Devil Color Guard

renders honors during a ceremony at the 88th RSC Headquarters at Fort McCoy, Wis., on August 19, in honor of the beginning of the 88th Division in 1917.
The 88th Regional Support Command Blue Devil Color Guard renders
honors during a ceremony in honor of its centennial anniversary Aug.
19 at the 88th RSC Headquarters at Fort McCoy.
Photo by Catherine
Lowrey

The 88th Division was first established Aug. 5, 1917, at Camp Dodge, Iowa. After a century of serving in World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the war on terrorism, the "Cloverleaf" division carries on its legacy today as the 88th Regional Support Command (RSC). Now, 100 years after it began, the 88th celebrated its centennial anniversary Aug. 19 with a ceremony at the 88th RSC headquarters at Fort McCoy, Wis.

"That history of persistence, perseverance, and excellence lives on in the 88th today as we prepare the most lethal Army Reserve in the history of the nation to deter our adversaries," said Maj. Gen. Patrick Reinert, commanding general of the 88th RSC.

One hundred years has earned the 88th a long list of accomplishments. From battlefield honors dating back to World War I to four Army Community of Excellence awards in the last eight years, the 88th continues to be one of the premier Army Reserve organizations.

Also included in the proud history of the 88th are Medal of Honor recipients Capt. Robert E. Roeder and 2nd Lt. Charles W. Shea, both from the 350th Infantry Regiment. The medals were both earned during World War II.

Bruce Abbott, World War II veteran, and Spc. Maxwell Rooney, youngest Soldier of the 88th, conduct a cake-cutting ceremony after a ceremony Aug. 19 at the 88th RSC Headquarters.
Bruce Abbott, World War II veteran, and Spc. Maxwell Rooney, youngest
Soldier of the 88th, conduct a cake-cutting ceremony after a ceremony
Aug. 19 at the 88th RSC Headquarters.
Photo by Catherine Lowrey

"The name, mission and location of the 88th has changed many times over the course of a century; however, the spirit of the Blue Devils is still just as strong as it was when Camp Dodge was bustling with young Doughboys," Reinert said.

In addition to the 88th Division, other notable events from 1917 include:

• In February 1917, the Zimmerman Telegram, a telegram from German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmerman to the German minister of Mexico, was intercepted and deciphered. The message offered U.S. territory to Mexico if it joined Germany's side in World War I.

• On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany and enters World War I with the Declaration of War.

• In May 1917, the Selective Service Act passed, which required all males between the ages of 21 and 30 to register their names for possible enrollment into the military.

• The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 81st, 82nd, 88th and 99th divisions were established in 1917 as part of the U.S. military buildup following the Declaration of War on April 6, 1917.