Fort McCoy News Dec. 8, 2017

News Notes

Hours limited at Gate 20 through Jan. 15

Per the Fort McCoy Police Department, Gate 20 will reduce hours of operations.

Following is a list of dates and times of the reduced hours and/or closures:

• Nov. 27 - Dec. 15: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Dec. 16 - Jan. 1, 2018: Closed.

• Jan. 2-15: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Jan. 16: Back to full 24-hour operations.

E-Gates are available for those personnel who have authorized access. Any personnel who would require access after hours to Gate 20 for special mission requirements that can't be met using the Main Gate and/or E-Gates should contact the Police Department.

For more information, call 608-388-2266.

Holiday gifts sought for local veterans

The Green Tree chapter of the American Society of Military Comptrollers is seeking donations for its annual "Wrappin' Rappin'" gift drive for veterans.

The chapter seeking donations of new items for more than 300 inpatient and outpatient veterans served through the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Suggested gift ideas include coffee, MP3 players, word search or crossword puzzle books, patriotic items, gift cards to area stores, small kitchen appliances, cleaning supplies, bedding, dish sets, or other small household goods.

The foundation asks that no used household items be donated for the holiday gift program.

Fort McCoy community members can drop off donated items with Bonnie Hilt at building 1913 by Dec. 12.

Anyone is welcome to help wrap gifts at 11 a.m. Dec. 15 in building 1913.

Scholarships for Military Children accepting applications Dec. 15

The Fisher House Foundation's Scholarships for Military Children program will begin accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year Dec. 15.

Now entering its 18th year, the program was created to recognize the "contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and to celebrate the role of the commissary in the military family community," according to militaryscholar.org.

At least one scholarship worth $2,000 will be awarded at every commissary location where qualified applications are received. Additional recipients will be selected on a prorated basis, so more scholarships will be awarded at those stores with larger numbers of applicants. A total of 700 scholarship grants will be awarded this year.

To qualify, applicants must be a dependent, unmarried child younger than 21 — or 23, if enrolled as a full-time student at a college or university — of a service member on active duty, a Reserve or Guard member, retiree, survivor of a military member who died while on active duty, or survivor of a retiree.

Applicants should ensure that they and their sponsors are enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database and have a military ID card. The applicant must attend or plan to attend an accredited college or university, full time, in the fall of 2018 or be enrolled in studies designed to transfer to a four-year program. The application will be available when the program opens at www.militaryscholar.org.

Applications must be hand-delivered or shipped to the commissary where the applicant's Family normally shops. Applications cannot be emailed or faxed.

For more information, visit www.militaryscholar.org.

Combined Federal Campaign closes drive Jan. 12

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is seeking donations and closes Jan. 12, 2018.

The CFC is a workplace charity campaign that helps raise millions of dollars each year. The CFC is the only authorized workplace fund drive in the federal workforce and has been in operation since 1961.

CFC campaigns are delineated geographically along county lines with Fort McCoy being located in "Zone 015 Midwestern."

All forms and approved charities are now listed online. To donate, visit https://midwesterncfc.org/.

Soldiers sought for drill sergeant slots

Positions are available to Reserve Soldiers who would like to become drill sergeants.

Special-duty assignment pay, bonuses, and extra active duty are available to those who complete training.

Soldiers must be E-5 to E-7 or E-4 promotable to E-5. Soldiers must also meet height and weight standards and pass their Army Physical Fitness Tests. Either 12B or 12-series military occupational specialties are preferred, but Soldiers can be reclassed to 12B.

People cannot have medical profiles. They also must have all ones in their Military Physical Profile Serial System. Completion of the Noncommissioned Officer Education System is preferred but not necessary.

Drill sergeant school is nine weeks long, and all Soldiers will be trained so they can teach basic trainees along with advanced individual training. Drill sergeants will drill at Fort McCoy on their drill weekends.

For more information, contact Joseph Wilson at 815-289-0860 or joseph.a.wilson111.mil@mail.mil or 1st Sgt. Mary Tysdal at 608-388-0587, 608-343-9622, or mary.l.tysdal.civ@mail.mil.

Commissary gift cards available year-round

The Defense Commissary Agency offers gift cards to those looking to give service members or their Families gifts for the holidays.

While the gift cards are only usable by military members, retirees, and dependent Family members, they can be purchased by anyone through www.commissaries.com.

Gift cards are also available at the Fort McCoy Commissary, building 1537. For more information, call 608-388-3542.

More commissary brands hit store shelves

The next wave of commissary store brands, including cheese, rice and dry beans, foam and plastic plates, shelf stable juices, water enhancers and powdered soft drinks, paper towels, and bath tissue, have arrived at stateside commissaries.

The Defense Commissary Agency and its private label supplier, SpartanNash, continue to work on expanding these low-cost, national brand equivalents for patrons, said Chris Burns, DeCA's executive director of business transformation.
Over the next three to four years, DeCA is gradually rolling out commissary store brands to increase its private label inventory to about 3,000 to 4,000 items.

Store brand products, also known as private label, are offered by retailers under their own, in-house brand or under a brand developed by their suppliers. Retailers are able to do this by working directly with suppliers.

Varieties of commissary brand products will differ from store to store depending on store size and location.

For more information on DeCA's commissary brand program, visit https://commissaries.com/customer-service/faqs-listing?field_faq_categories_target_id[0]=625.

Exchange sales hit record high on Black Friday weekend

On the heels of the launch of the Veterans online shopping benefit, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service saw record sales over the Black Friday weekend. From Friday through Sunday, sales of more than $32 million signified a 93 percent increase from a year ago.

According to Adobe Analytics, which measures transactions at the largest 100 U.S. web retailers, Black Friday and Thanksgiving online sales were up 17.9 percent industrywide. During this same period, the Exchange saw onlinesales increase 116 percent.
Veterans can verify their eligibility to immediately begin shopping online by visiting shopmyexchange.com/veterans.

As seen over Black Friday weekend, veterans shopping online is paying dividends in the form of a stronger Exchange benefit as offerings improve and increased demand generates additional funds critical military quality-of-life programs, including school lunches for children overseas, child development centers, fitness centers, youth programs on Army garrisons, Air Force Outdoor Recreation programs, and more.

For information on the Fort McCoy Exchange, call 608-388-4343.

Post welcomes new employees

New employees started working in several post organizations in November.

Welcome to the following new employees:

• Ryan Ahrendt — Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.

• James Kearns and Thomas McGuire — Directorate of Public Works.

Next issue of The Real McCoy

The next issue of The Real McCoy will be published Jan. 12, 2018. The deadline for submissions to be considered for publication in the Jan. 12 issue is noon Jan. 3.

For more information, call 608-388-4128.