This Month in Fort McCoy History — May 2023

Fort McCoy, Wis., was established in 1909. Here is a look back at some installation history from May 2023 and back.

80 Years Ago — May 1943
FROM THE MAY 29, 1943, EDITION OF THE REAL MCCOY: General Aurand Praises McCoy Training Center, Pleads for More WAACs — Expansion of the Sixth Service Command Training school and the conservation of soldier-manpower, highlighted the reason for the visit this week to Camp McCoy of Major. General H.S. Aurand, Commanding General of the Sixth Service Command, and Brig. Gen. J.C. Drain, chairman of the War Department Manpower Board.

The two visiting generals were the guests at Colonel George M. MacMullin, Post Commander.

Plans, outlined to interviewers by General Aurand call for a large number of WAACs; replacing general service men with limited service men; using a larger number of civilians, especially women. By a careful pursuit of this manpower-saving program in all of the nation’s army camps, Gen. Drain explained that “several divisions of combat troops may be saved.”

Arriving here Sunday evening the two generals worked late into the early Monday morning hours studying the reports accumulated by a “visiting team” of officers, who for several days with Colonel MacMullin’s staff officers, made severe cuts into the soldier personnel of the station complement.

Lauds Colonel MacMullin — General Aurand said he was “well pleased” with the results of Limited Service School here, commending Colonel MacMullin and Lt. Col. W. L. Krigbaum, the school’s director, for the “wonderful showing,” adding that it was because of these results that he established the Sixth Service Command Training Center at McCoy.

Exclusive of the Limited Service School, five other schools have begun operations here for
the newly commissioned officers and newly inducted men. A sixth he said would start quickly for newly enlisted nurses. The schools are divided into 14 sections for specialized training.

New Cook School — The training schools established recently are the cook’s branch of the cooks and bakers school, which was moved here from Fort Sheridan; an “on-the-job” training program for newly commissioned second lieutenants to be assigned to area camps; a staff school for non-commissioned officers, and a special battalion for training enlisted men in fields
where there is a shortage of specialists.

The Limited Service School is to continue because limited service men again are being accepted,
General Aurand said.

Need More WAACs — Expansion of the training program will result in an addition of about 60 officers and 300 men to the school’s staff, he said. General Aurand paid a glowing tribute to all the WAACs of the Sixth Service Command, explaining that there were now about 1,500 in the area and that 2,500 could be “placed” immediately.

All post commanders, he said, were enthusiastic in their praise of the work already performed
by these auxiliaries.

80 Years Ago — May 1943
FROM THE MAY 29, 1943, EDITION OF THE REAL MCCOY: Scouts Visit Camp McCoy,
Plant 20,000 Trees Here — Boy Scouts of the Gateway Council Area honored the armed forces with the planting of more than 20,000 ‘trees at Camp McCoy Saturday.

Arriving Friday afternoon, the Scouts approximately 50, set up their own tents at Camp McCoy
Park along Highway 16, near the Tomah entrance to the Old Camp McCoy and did their own. cooking.

Col. George M. MacMulin, post commander; Lt. Col Horace I. Rogers, post director of Internal Security; Lt. Mary Roberts, commanding officer of the WAACs; Lt. Bertha Kuschill, WAAC mess and supply officer; and Lt. Bernard Reineck, of the Public Relations Division; addressed the scouts at a campfire meeting.

Planting of the trees was done near Highway 16 within sight of Camp McCoy Park. Scouts who
took part were from Troops 70, 81, 29, and 85 of Sparta; Troops 72 and 104 of Tomah; Troop 88
of Kendall; and Troop 45 of Warrens.

50 Years Ago — May 1973
FROM THE MAY 24, 1973, EDITION OF THE REAL MCCOY: 50,000 trees planted — As a part of the Fish and Wildlife Management program 50,000 2-year-old Norway Pines are being planted at three separate selected locations on the South Post. Planting began the 23rd of April and were completed the 18th of May.

Purpose is to achieve better land use by growing forest products, providing shelter for wildlife, assisting erosion control. and adding esthetic beauty to the areas. Intrinsic values also are achieved by providing good clean ground water, helping to purify the air and the resulting noise
buff er created by the Norway Pine. About 85 or 95 percent of the trees planted are expected to develop into a productive stand of pine.

50 Years Ago — May 1973
FROM THE MAY 24, 1973, EDITION OF THE REAL MCCOY: First fish — Captain Thompson entered the first fish in Camp McCoy’s fishing contest last Saturday, May 19.

His entry was a largemouth bass weighing 5 lbs., 1 oz., its length was 20 7/8 inches. He caught the fish on West Sandy Lake using a black artificial nightcrawler.

20 Years Ago — May 2003
FROM THE MAY 23, 2003, EDITION OF THE REAL MCCOY NEWSPAPER: Live-Fire Training Facility opens at McCoy — Responding to future large-scale emergencies will take a partnership among multiple agencies, such as the one that helped build the new Live-Fire Training Facility at Fort McCoy, said Bruce Park.

The facility, located at the Sparta-Fort McCoy Airport, offers training in smoke-and-ventilation
firefighting and search-and-rescue techniques. Park, the director of the Army Fire and Emergency Services, assistant chief of the Army Staff for Installation Management, said the partnership between Fort McCoy and the Western Wisconsin Technical College (WWTC) is a good example of the cooperation needed to be successful in today’s emergency environment, which includes the potential of terrorist attacks and use of weapons of mass destruction. Park
was one of a number of dignitaries attending the May 15 dedication of the facility at Fort McCoy.

“Fort McCoy was not high on the list to get money for a facility like this,” Park said. “But (Fire Department Chief Terry Gough) didn’t wait for headquarters to get them the money. He took the initiative and thought out of the box to get the facility built.”

Fort McCoy Installation Commander Col. Michael R. Staszak said planning for the facility began in 2000when he talked about training with Gough as part of his review of all training possibilities at Fort McCoy. The installation didn’t have the capability to train military firefighters in an urban, tower-type situation, he said.

5 Years Ago — May 2018
Thousands of visitors attend Fort McCoy’s 2018 Armed Forces Day Open House — An estimated 4,000 people or more attended the 2018 Fort McCoy Armed Forces Day Open House on May 19.

Partly cloudy skies and moderate temperatures allowed for more visitors to the open house than 2017, which saw heavy rain and cooler temperatures.

The open house was held on the grounds of Fort McCoy’s historic Commemorative Area, which includes World War II-era buildings, the Equipment Park, and Veterans Memorial Plaza. It also covered areas inside and outside of building 905.

Activities were available for people of all ages, and those activities highlighted more than history, said Public Affairs Specialist Theresa Fitzgerald with the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office. People lined up for camouflage face painting, personalized ID tags, an interactive-marksmanship gallery, and military-vehicle and fire-truck displays. They also saw the latest Army medical equipment in use, filled sandbags to build a mock defensive position, and more.

Vehicle displays appeared to be some of the most popular stops by visitors, and Fort McCoy staff members conducted numerous installation bus tours, of which more than 400 visitors took advantage.

“The installation bus tours are always popular, and they were again this year,” Fitzgerald said.

Also included, and new to 2018, was a display from the Monroe County Local History Room of Sparta, Wis., and after-action review trailers from the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security that showed Army videos and footage of training conducted at Fort McCoy.

Visitor Rich Christensen of Illinois said he enjoyed the event once again.
“It was a great day,” Christensen said. “Thank you for the displays! We have been going there for the last six years, and it never gets old.”

Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.” Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.

The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services nearly every year since 1984.

Learn more about Fort McCoy online at, on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System at, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”

Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set “Fort McCoy” or another installation as your preferred base.

(Article prepared by the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office.)

Date Taken: 05.23.2023
Date Posted: 05.23.2023 16:31
Story ID: 445359
Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US 

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