Gary Benjamin '70
President and COO, Champion, Inc.
Iron Mountain, MI
LSSU Business, Economics, and Legal Studies Distinguished Alumni '07
Former LSSU Board Trustee
A bugler starts the day at Fort Brady, with the Jail House (aka East
Hall) in the background.
Daily life at Fort Brady began at sunrise and ended at sunset. Each morning
at sunrise a soldier would play his bugle into a large metal megaphone, projecting
the strains of Reveille across the fort grounds. Buglers were stationed in
front of the post guardhouse, known today as East Hall.
Meals were served in the cafeteria located between the infantry barracks.
Throughout the day troopers could have hot meals served at the snack bar,
an underground restaurant located in the basement of Brady Hall, which was
then used as barracks for officers.
Snowshoe troopers in training.
After a hot breakfast soldiers broke down into companies to begin their
Colonel Nash and the snowshoe troopers trained every day for European warfare,
often in weather conditions ranging from zero to sixteen degrees below zero.
The snowshoe troopers traveled several miles each day through the dense temperate
forest of the Upper Peninsula with weapons and military equipment strapped
to their backs. The troopers were camouflaged in white long underwear shirts
and dark brown pants, used to blend in with the snow. Instead of helmets
troopers wore thick, wool ski masks which exposed only eyes and lips.
Ski troopers prepare to depart, with Brady Hall in the background.
Ski troopers traveled cross country on skis with their weapons strapped
to their backs. The troopers wore white tops and green camouflaged pants.
During extremely cold weather exercises ski troopers wore long wool coats
with a weapons belt around their waists. These weapons belts contained ammunition,
first aid kits, and green bandages used for tending wounds.
The police battalions marched on the fort grounds and patrolled the area
surrounding the Sault Locks. When the battalions were not marching they engaged
in target practice. The left image below shows the battalions marching, with
the horse stable (Fletcher Center), fort library (small white building to
left of horse stable) and the maintenance buildings in the background. The
right image shows the police battalion preparing to fire their weapons at
a public display at the fort, circa winter 1941. The police battalion was
assigned to the Fort in the Summer of 1941 and was dismissed in the Spring