Fort McCoy News February 9, 2018

This month in Fort McCoy history

75 years ago — Feb. 6, 1943

Ten nurses among 28 new officers in camp — Col. George M. MacMullin, post commander, announced the arrival of 28 officers to augment Camp McCoy's officer personnel. The group included 10 nurses. Among the others, four were assigned to Post Supply, one to Post Engineer, two to Post Personnel, two to Military Police, three to Post Operations, and six to Post Medical Division.

72 Years Ago — Feb. 8, 1946

Post donates $2,020 — Camp McCoy contributed $2,020.94 to the national March of Dimes fund as a result of the post campaign for aid to the infantile paralysis victims.

Soldiers with the 355th Chemical Smoke Generator Company complete training with generators in February 1952 at then-Camp McCoy.
Soldiers with the 355th Chemical Smoke Generator Company complete
training with generators in February 1952 at then-Camp McCoy.
Photo by
Maurice A. Van Coillie

The separatees, permanent military, and civilian personnel of the post were commended for their part in making the drive a success here by Brig. Gen. John K. Rice, commanding general. The camp contribution represented an average donation of 35 cents from each of the 5,779 people working on post.

30 Years Ago — Feb. 26, 1988

Field Bakers Platoon — Members of the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) Field Bakers Platoon give new meaning to the term "early risers." The 13-man platoon was up at the crack of dawn and, by the rime the rooster crowed, had the first of the day's 330 loaves of bread rising in the pans.

The platoon, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., was among the first to arrive at Fort McCoy for Operation Alpine Warrior-88, and is responsible for providing freshly baked bread for the 4th MEB.

The operation was headquartered in a tent, which had to be heated about 3:30 every morning because otherwise, the cold weather made it too cool inside for dough to rise properly.

Baking began at 5 a.m. sharp and continued on an hourly schedule until 3 p.m. each day. The field bakers had their jobs honed to a precise art, and everything was done by the clock. From the time the ingredients went into the mixer until the loaves were placed on the cooling racks, it took exactly two hours.

The weight of each loaf was precisely prescribed, too. Cutters sliced pieces of dough that weighed exactly 1 pound, 14.5 ounces before baking. That weight was determined by the weight of one batch of dough — 108 pounds, which became 54 loaves.
When the baking was completed, the loaves were wrapped in plastic and shipped off to 4th MEB mess halls to be consumed the next day.

20 Years Ago — Feb. 13, 1998

Color Guard supports Clinton visit — With less than 24 hours notice, six members of the. Army Reserve Readiness Training Center at Fort McCoy' provided color guard support for President Bill Clinton's Jan. 28 visit to La Crosse, Wis.

Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen Crocker, the sergeant of the guard, said it was a scramble to put the group together for Clinton's appearance and address in La Crosse, but the group didn't hesitate to seize the opportunity. Fort McCoy does not have a regular color guard. Several of the six members had never been part of a color guard before. The NCO Academy provided last-minute help with web belts to hold their needed gear.

The group had only about one hour of practice on site to mesh their skills as a team. The following day, Installation Commander Col. Roy L. Higgins presented members of the group with an Installation Commander's Certificate of Appreciation and a Commander's Coin.

10 Years Ago — Feb. 22, 2008

McCoy forward operating bases undergo improvements to increase capabilities — The Fort McCoy Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) are undergoing changes to improve the mobilization training environment capabilities.

FOBs have increased overall capacity with the installation of additional tents and have the ability to support more than 1,000 Soldiers or two battalion-sized units at each site. The mobilizing Soldiers' quality of life on the FOBs should improve as well with the addition of new bunk beds, foot and wall lockers, showers, sewer systems, and concrete bunkers. The addition of bunk beds has decreased the number of Soldiers housed per tent from 16 to 12. Plus, all sleeping tents will have new heating or cooling units installed.