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Jun 2, 2010
By Rob McIlvaine

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Army News Service, June 2, 2010) -- With family, friends and Army leaders gathered near a plaque bearing his likeness, the MWR Academy which was established in 1987 was officially named the Maj. Gen. Robert M. Joyce Family and MWR Academy on May 27.

"This is the facility and that is the man who made all of this possible," said Maj. Gen. Reuben Jones as he pointed out a large photograph of Joyce. Though Joyce succumbed to cancer Oct. 11, 2008, his vision continues to grow.

"But I know that beside every great Soldier stands a great family who, in each of your own ways, helped him to think this vision through to fruition," said Jones, FMWRC commanding general to Joyce's Family and friends who came from Florida, Ohio and Hawaii to honor the memory of their patriarch.

"General Jones, when you listed all the things my father did, I was amazed," Brian Joyce, a former Soldier, said. "To me, my dad seemed to care more about who had changed the radio station in the car and when he could take us on a Saturday outing to Hechinger's."

"But he really got excited when he came home one day and announced, 'we're about to have a Burger King on base.' This was not significant to me until I was a Soldier. I remember the old days when there was only the PX cafeteria, but to have a juicy double cheeseburger with fries...that's when I understood my father's excitement," Joyce added.

Today, Maj. Gen. Joyce's vision has become a full-fledged brick and mortar institution of professional learning and career development. The Maj. Gen. Robert M. Joyce Family and MWR Academy, about to move to its new home at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, next year in accordance with base realignment and closure law, includes numerous subject matter experts in various areas of FMWRC activities.

Nearly 100 courses are offered at the academy through online or instructor-led formats.

Currently, 39 courses have received college credit recommendations from the American Council on Education, and graduates are increasingly transferring them to colleges and universities to receive college credits.

Since the academy's inception, more than 28,400 Family and MWR employees have been trained in various Family and MWR program areas and at various levels.

(Rob McIlvaine serves with FMWRC public affairs)