Fort McCoy News Jan. 22, 2016

News Notes

Voting Assistance Office offers help during election season

The Fort McCoy Voting Assistance Office, located in the Directorate of Human Resources, building 2187, offers resources to help both civilians and military members prepare for elections.

Available resources include the 2015-16 Voting Assistance Guide for service members, their Families, and overseas citizens. The office also can assist with the Federal Post Card Application Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request, Standard Form 76, and the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot Instructions, Standard Form 186. A limited number of printed copies is available at building 2187. Materials for Wisconsin-voter eligibility are also available at the office.

Voters who intend to cast absentee ballots should submit their requests at least 90 days before the election. The length of time an application is valid varies by state, so absentee voters should check with the state they plan to vote in for this information and any other rules or regulations.

Service members and their Family members who have questions about their legal state voting residences can call the Installation Legal Office, building 1644, at telephone 608-388-2165.

For more information about federal voting procedures or to print voting forms, go online to For information about voting in Wisconsin, go online to

For more information, contact Installation Voting Assistance Officer Trudy Ward at 608-388-4222 or Assistant Installation Voting Assistance Officer Ronald Weiss at 608-388-4851 or by email at


Tax-preparation service offered for active-duty personnel, Families

The Fort McCoy Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Center will provide tax-preparation services for active-duty military personnel and their Families, to include e-filing both federal and state tax returns, during the 2016 tax season.

VITA offers free federal and state income-tax preparation and e-filing.

Prior to their appointments, VITA customers should gather needed documents, such as Social Security cards, tax-withholding statements (W-2s), interest or dividends statements (1099s), property taxes paid, rent certificates, records for itemized deductions, and all other pertinent tax documents.

The Fort McCoy VITA Center will begin scheduling appointments for income-tax assistance Jan. 25.

Appointments are required and can be made in person at building 1644 or by calling (608) 388-4117.

Many other organizations in the community also offer free tax-return assistance for military retirees and reservists. The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center, for example, will offer a VITA program for qualified veterans.

For VITA programs outside the post, guidelines generally offer free services to income-tax payers with adjusted gross incomes of approximately $54,000 or less in 2015.

For more information about federal tax information, go online to


Classes to be offered on Defense Travel System

Two classes on the Defense Travel System (DTS) are scheduled at Fort McCoy.

The first class, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27, will cover the DTS approval process and travel policy. The class explains the steps required to approve DTS documents.

Prior completion of the DTS temporary-duty (TDY) documents class is highly recommended. The class is for reviewing or approving officials. Register by Monday, Jan. 25, at 3 p.m.

A two-day class explaining how to create TDY authorizations and vouchers for active-duty, civilian, and Reserve travelers will be offered from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 10-11. The class also provides hands-on experience in creating authorizations and vouchers using the DTS training database.

Beginner and intermediate DTS users are welcome. Registration is required by Friday, Feb. 5, at 3 p.m. The class is open to military members and Department of Defense civilians.

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service lead DTS administrator will conduct all classes in building 50, room DL3.
Class sizes are limited. To register, email your name, unit, class, and phone number to For details, call 608-388-6299.


Blood drive planned Jan. 28 at McCoy's

The American Red Cross will host a blood drive Thursday, Jan. 28, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at McCoy's Community Center, building 1571.

Donors can make appointments in advance or preview eligibility requirements by calling 800-733-2767 or going online to Walk-ins are welcome.


Winter Extravaganza set for Jan. 30

Whitetail Ridge Ski Area's annual Winter Extravaganza event is set for Saturday, Jan. 30, with special events from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The ski and tubing hill is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Activities include a snow-pile dig, slalom race, children's obstacle course, rail-jam competition, big-air competition, hot-dog-eating contest, and more. Door prizes will be given away from noon to 3 p.m. The annual event is open to the public. Lift tickets are on special for $20 and tubing passes for $8. A lunch special will be available for $5.

For more information, call 608-388-3517/4498.


Phil 5k challenge set for Feb. 2-4

The Phil 5k Treadmill Challenge is Feb. 2-4 at Rumpel Fitness Center, building 1122.

The event is a three-day challenge. Participants will run 5 kilometers on a treadmill each day and must improve their times each day. The participant with the fastest time on the third day will receive a prize.

There is no fee, and preregistration is not required. The event is open to Rumpel Fitness Center patrons. For more information, call 608-388-2290.


Valentine card workshop set for Feb. 6

Army Community Service is hosting a Family card-making workshop Saturday, Feb. 6.

The workshop is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Families may reserve up to three hours at the workshop. All materials are supplied, and class sizes are limited. Registration is required by Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Army Community Service events are open to military members, retirees, civilian workforce, Family members, and registered Fort McCoy volunteers. To register or for more information, call 608-388-6507.


Substance-abuse-awareness class set for Feb. 9, 11 at ACS

Army Community Service (ACS), building 2111, is offering classes on substance abuse Tuesday, Feb. 9, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 11, from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

The classes focus on dealing with substance abuse in the workplace, which can affect the safety, morale, and productivity of an organization. Registration is required for both classes by Tuesday, Feb. 2.

The event is open to military members, retirees, civilian workforce, Family members, and registered Fort McCoy volunteers.
Supervisors are encouraged to attend. For more information, call ACS at 608-388-3505.


African-American History Month observance set for Feb. 11

The observance for African-American History Month is set for Thursday, Feb. 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at McCoy's Community Center, building 1571.

The guest speaker is Lt. Col. Richard T. Cranford, an instructor in the Department of Army Tactics at the Fort Gordon, Ga., satellite campus of the Command and General Staff Officer Course.

The 2016 theme is "Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African-American Memory." The presentation starts at noon. Attendees should get lunch on their own beforehand.

For more information about Fort McCoy observances, contact the Equal Opportunity adviser at 608-630-6078.


Scholarships for Military Children deadline set for Feb. 12

The Defense Commissary Agency's Scholarships for Military Children program is accepting applications through Friday, Feb. 12, for the 2016-2017 school year.

Scholarships are open to children of active-duty, Reserve, or Guard service members; retirees; survivors of military members who died on active duty; or survivors of retirees. Applicants must be dependent, unmarried children who are younger than 23 and enrolled or will be enrolled as full-time students at a college or university.

Applications must be mailed or submitted in person to the commissary where the applicant's Family normally shops. A total of 700 scholarships, each worth $2,000, will be awarded.

For more information, students or sponsors can visit They can also call Scholarship Managers at 856-616-9311 or email


Cardboard-sled contest scheduled for Feb. 12

A do-it-yourself cardboard-sled contest is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area.
Participants will build their own sleds using cardboard and duct tape.

No metal frames are allowed. Prizes will be awarded to the fastest sled, most-creative sled, and the ugly duckling in two divisions: on-site and off-site builds.

Duct tape and cardboard will be provided on site. Registration is required by 6 p.m. Feb. 12. Registration forms can be picked up and returned to Whitetail Ridge Ski Area, Pine View Campground, or Rumpel Fitness Center during normal business hours.

There is no fee. The event is open to the public. For more information, call 608-388-4498/3517.


Chili Taste-Off set for Feb. 13

A Chili Taste-Off will be held Saturday, Feb. 13, at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area from noon to 1 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Contestants must be registered by 11 a.m. Prizes include a two-night cabin stay at Pine View Campground.

For more information, call 608-388-4498/3517.


Aqua Antics event planned Feb. 17 at fitness center

Aqua Antics is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 17, from 4:30-5:15 p.m. at Rumpel Fitness Center, building 1122.

The event is a 45-minute aquatic workout party. It will feature contests for the craziest swim cap and most creative swimsuit. There is no fee, and preregistration is not required. The event is open to Rumpel Fitness Center patrons.

For more information, call 608-388-2290.


'It's All About Us Day' scheduled for Feb. 20 at ACS

Army Community Service's "It's All About Us Day" is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at building 2161.

The event is open to girls and women 12 years and older; anyone younger than 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Activities will be offered, including sewing, canvas art, yoga, scrapbooking, nail art, rubber stamping, knitting, and crocheting.

Participants can learn new skills or bring their own projects. Workspace will be provided, as will sandwiches, coffee, tea, and water. Participants may bring their own snacks or something to share with the group.

Registration is required by Monday, Feb. 8. The event is open to military members, retirees, civilian workforce, Family members, and registered Fort McCoy volunteers. For more information, call ACS at 608-388-3505.


Sports Triathlon competition scheduled for Feb. 22-24

A Sports Triathlon is planned for Feb. 22-24 at Rumpel Fitness Center, building 1122.

The event is a three-day challenge. Day one features a 5-kilometer treadmill run/walk. Day two features a 22-mile indoor bike ride. Day three's competition is a basketball free-throw contest. Prizes will be awarded to the top male and female participants.

There is no fee, and preregistration is not required. The event is open to Rumpel Fitness Center patrons.

For more information, call 608-388-2290.


Space available at RV Storage Center

Space is available to store recreational vehicles (RVs) at Fort McCoy.

Two sizes are available: 12 feet by 25 feet and 12 feet by 35 feet. All storage lots are located on Fort McCoy in secure, fenced areas.

Call Pine View Campground at 608-388-3517 or 800-531-4703 for prices or to reserve space.