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NEWS | June 21, 2023

Army Reserve’s 389th Engineer Company supports troop projects at Fort McCoy

By Scott Sturkol Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office

The Army Reserve’s Iowa-based 389th Engineer Company returned to Fort McCoy in June to complete more work on troop projects at the installation.

In 2022, Soldiers with the 389th completed work on many projects — the biggest being the installation of metal siding on numerous buildings at Tactical Training Base Courage on South Post at Fort McCoy.

In 2023, the company completed several new projects. On the Fort McCoy cantonment area, the 389th Soldiers removed and poured a new section of sidewalk near a walking bridge. At Logistical Support Area Liberty, the company installed a 400-amp breaker along with the supporting electrical lines. And at the Fort McCoy Central Receiving Shipping Point (CRSP) parking lot, company Soldiers worked with Fort McCoy personnel to install new energy efficient light poles throughout the parking lot.

The 389th Company Commander, 1st Lt. Kelly Merritt, said the unit was busy.

“It's a lot of hands-on work that we haven’t really been able to experience here before over on McCoy,” Merritt said about the 2023 projects.

She said her unit’s Soldiers were very motivated complete projects on post and get the hands-on training. “It helps them progress to the next level of training,” Merritt said.

Merritt also said the work has helped her build in her own skills as an engineering officer.

“I haven't really had many experiences with electrical and concrete, so being out here with them is really helping me learn all the different parts of being an engineer,” Merritt said.

Staff Sgt. Tyler Goodman, also with the 389th, discussed the work his company completed at the CRSP parking lot.

“Our company was tasked with assisting in setting in 28 light poles for the CRSP Yard, which has not had very good lighting for years from what I hear, so it's good training for our Soldiers to get their hands on something that they’ve probably never experienced before,” Goodman said.

Goodman also explained more about the troop project work his unit completed at LSA Liberty.

“We also got power out at Liberty for some new buildings that are being put up,” Goodman said. “We had to carefully excavate around them to set new wire for them. It was in compacted gravel that’s been driven on for years by tactical vehicles, so we had to pick-ax it out by hand which took three days to do so. To be honest, it's very impressive with our Soldiers’ ability to overcome the challenges in that project and make it happen. I think, honestly, we did it in the same amount of time as if we were taking a piece of heavy equipment because we had to go around all those hazardous wires.”

Fort McCoy Troop Projects Coordinator Larry Morrow with the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works said he was happy to see all the work get done by the 389th. He also said the continuing support he receives to improve Fort McCoy through troop projects is always appreciated.

“If we didn’t have these projects, many of these engineer troops wouldn’t get the training they need, and the installation wouldn’t benefit from the work they do to improve Fort McCoy training ranges and quality-of-life programs,” he said.

Goodman said he was happy to see the 389th Soldiers achieve some skills development through the work as well.

“I’m just grateful for the opportunity to be able to do it and teach these Soldiers some new skills,” Goodman said. “It wouldn’t be possible without (Fort McCoy) DPW’s help and guidance with this endeavor, so we very much appreciate it.”

Among the many career fields in a unit like the 389th are Soldiers who are carpentry and masonry specialists.

According to the Army job description for this military occupational specialty of 12W, a carpentry and masonry specialist, has the skills needed to handle a variety of carpentry and masonry duties building important structures for the Army using hand and power tools, lumber, concrete, stones, and bricks. They also help combat engineers build structures to respond to rough terrain and environmental hazards. Learn more by visiting

Learn more about the Army Reserve by visiting

Fort McCoy was established in 1909 and its 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.