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NEWS | April 27, 2023

Fort McCoy holds special birthday celebration for Army Reserve’s 115th birthday

By Scott Sturkol Fort McCoy

Fort McCoy Garrison, 88th Readiness Division, and other community members gathered April 21 at McCoy’s Community Center for an early celebration of the Army Reserve’s 115th birthday.

The Army Reserve’s birthday was officially observed on April 23 — harkening back to April 23, 1908. The Army Reserve website at described why observing the birthday and the history of the Army Reserve is so important.

“Since the activation of the Medical Reserve 115 years ago, the United States has mobilized more than one million Army Reserve Soldiers in defense of the nation,” the website states. “On any given day, more than 20,000 Citizen Soldiers are assigned across the Department of Defense or mobilized in support of Combatant Commands around the globe. Thousands more participate in overseas deployment training or annual joint exercises that strengthen our alliances and partnerships around the world.”

At the Fort McCoy observance of the birthday at McCoy’s Community Center, dozens of community members were treated to music, food, a cake-cutting ceremony with Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Stephen Messenger and the oldest and youngest Soldier present, and special remarks by Messenger.

“I do want to say I am truly grateful to the men and women who sacrificed their weekends, their families, their lives, and their careers to be a part of the Army Reserve,” Messenger said. “We serve the greatest military that has ever been on the face of the Earth. … And it could not be possible without people who volunteer to spend their weekends in summer drilling and practicing to be a part of that. … Happy birthday Army Reserve.”

The Fort McCoy Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFWMR) organized the event to honor the Army Reserve, which has a major daily presence at Fort McCoy.

“We were glad to have this opportunity to celebrate the Army Reserve,” said DFMWR Director Patric McGuane at the beginning of the event. “Thank you to all who came to celebrate with us.”

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.