Located on around 60,000 acres in Wisconsin, Fort McCoy was created in 1909 as an Army training center. In the beginning the area was known as Camp Emory Upton and Camp Robinson. The name was shortened to Fort McCoy in 1926. In the 1930s, another 45,000 acres of land was added to the Army installation. Units from across the United States used the Army base for training during World War 2. It was also used briefly as a POW camp for prisoners of war. After WW2 it was deactivated for a while, but it came back to life during the Korean War until it was again deactivated in 1953.
Updated: February 14, 2015
Fort McCoy is a US Army installation in the state of Wisconsin and located several miles from the cities of Tomah and Sparta Wisconsin. It is the only Army installation in the state and North-Central region. The nearest prominent Army bases are Fort LeonardWood, MO and Fort Knox, KY, which are a distance of 618 miles and 589 miles respectively.
The nearby cities of Sparta and Tomah have a 5.5% unemployment rate; in comparison, the state of Wisconsin’s average unemployment rate is 6%. Furthermore, the average annual income for Sparta households is around $40K and for Tomah it is around $38K. The average age for residents of Sparta is 37 and for Tomah it is 38.
Ft. McCoy is a Total Force Training Center, and its primary mission is to support military personnel and their teams through readiness training. The installation has 60K acres with the majority of the land used for training. In addition, Ft. McCoy is a Secondary Mobilization Force Generation Installation and therefore has the equipment and resources to provide support for unexpected operations and emergencies.
Fort McCoy is named after Major General Robert Bruce McCoy who had a 31-year career with the Army and fought in several conflicts including the Spanish-American War and World War I. Major McCoy, born in Kenosha, WI, was a prominent figure in the community serving as a lawyer and a judge. He believed that the Army needed continuous training to prepare for future conflicts and was the first to suggest the formation of the military base in its present-day location. With his purchase of land, along with government intervention, the Army obtained the location to train soldiers and store munitions. After years of multiple uses under different designations, the installation became Camp McCoy in 1926 and designated as Fort McCoy in 1974.
Fort McCoy is a community filled with soldiers, Army civilians and contractors. The most recent statistics shows the installation population consists of 1,383 civilians, 424 military personnel and 636 contractors. Besides the massive amount of land set aside for training, Ft. McCoy is also home to a number of battalions and detachment that include the 11th Military Intelligence Battalion / 100th Division, the 426th Regiment and the 871st Engineering Detachment.
In addition, the installation has a number of Army Community Service (ACS) programs that assist the military community with issues like financial planning and relocation services. Furthermore, the Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) organization provides recreational outlets and family support programs. Child and Youth School Services, summer camp, paintball, laser tag and skiing are examples of programs that assist working parents and increase quality of life for those within the military community.
Fort McCoy is a major training installation for today’s soldiers. As the only one in the North-Central region, it provides the areas military retirees an opportunity to take full advantage of the benefits they have earned and strengthens the economy of the area. Fort McCoy is an asset to the state of Wisconsin.