Jeramey Jannene

Wisconsin Ave. Will Sport Honorary Name For Robert Cocroft

Cocroft spent his career first in the military, then helping others once they left.

By - Jul 29th, 2022 03:07 pm
3400 W. Wisconsin Ave. Photo taken July 29, 2002 by Jeramey Jannene.

3400 W. Wisconsin Ave. Photo taken July 29, 2022 by Jeramey Jannene.

A portion of W. Wisconsin Ave. will soon have a second name.

From N. 27th St. to N. 35th St., green street signs will soon be joined by a blue sign proclaiming the arterial street is honorarily named for the late U.S. Army Brigadier General Robert Cocroft, a leader on veterans’ issues. Cocroft served as the president and CEO of The Center for Veterans Issues for more than 14 years. Prior to that, he was the deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs from 1994 to 2002. He served 40 years in the military, including Vietnam-era deployments to South Korea and Panama, and the Army Reserve before retiring in 2006.

The retired brigadier general passed away in 2018 at the age of 71.

Why Wisconsin Avenue? Under Cocroft, The Center for Veterans Issues partnered with Cardinal Capital Management on the development of Veterans Manor, a 52-unit affordable apartment building at 3430 W. Wisconsin Ave. targeted at military veterans. The building opened in 2011. A similar facility was developed in Green Bay.

After opening the two Veterans Manor developments, The Center for Veterans Issues renovated a building at 3400 W. Wisconsin Ave. for its offices. The building was posthumously named for Cocroft. In addition to scattered site veterans’ housing, the organization also serves as the property manager for the redevelopment of Old Main at the Soldiers Home complex.

Cocroft was a graduate of Milwaukee Public SchoolsNorth Division High School. His family moved to Milwaukee from Mississippi in 1947 as part of the Great Migration. He attended UW-Oshkosh on a football scholarship but was drafted into the military.

The nomination was made by Richard Rodgers and Mike Beal, both members of the National Association for Black Veterans. Beal is the regional director. Cocroft was a founding member.

“I happen to have known General Cocroft very well. He was a very fine gentleman and did great work with veterans,” said area Alderman Robert Bauman when the Public Works Committee considered the proposal on July 20.

The Common Council unanimously endorsed the measure, with all 12 members signing on as sponsors.

The cost to add the new signs, estimated at $1,200, will be paid by Rodgers and Beal according to a Department of Public Works report.

Veterans Manor

The Center for Veterans Issues

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Related Legislation: File 211933

Categories: Transportation

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