Here are the Archived entries for 3 2017

AER campaign begins on Fort Leonard Wood Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 March 2017
From left; Maj. Gen. Kent Savre, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general; Command Sgt. Maj. Roy Ward, former MSCoE and FLW command sergeant major; Col. Tracy Lanier, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Larry Orvis, USAG FLW, make the installationís first contributions to AER March 8 at Pershing Community Center.
Story and photo by Derek Gean
Assistant editor
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Fort Leonard Wood’s 2017 Army Emergency Relief Campaign is officially underway.

This year’s campaign kicked off March 8 with a breakfast featuring retired Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth Preston as keynote speaker.

According to Chuck Matthews, AER relief officer, the goal of the campaign, scheduled to run through June 15, is $125,000.

“We can do it, we’ve done it before and I am sure we will have a successful campaign this year,” Matthews said.

Maj. Gen. Kent Savre, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, highlighted many of the benefits of AER before introducing Preston.

“We are certainly fortunate in the United States Army to have Army Emergency Relief to very quickly help out our Soldiers and Families as they deal with tough financial times,” Savre said. “Nobody really supports that effort more than we do here at Fort Leonard Wood. Last year we raised (more than) $100,000 and not only did we support countless Soldiers and Family members and other team players here at Fort Leonard Wood, but we gave out 60 scholarships as well to military Families to help with their education.”

Preston, who served as sergeant major of the Army for seven years, said mission readiness is the key for the Army, and programs such as AER help Soldiers with the pressures at home.

“When you look at the Army, we are a people-centric organization. People are the Army. That is something we take very serious. The Army has been very good about taking care of itself. Army Emergency Relief has always been one of those programs created by the Army for the Army to do exactly that,” said Preston, who retired in 2011.

Preston said Soldiers often fear asking for help from AER because of a perceived stigma that goes along with asking for assistance. They often look to other sources for relief such as payday loans and pawn shops, he added.

“I worry about the things that go on out there and where Soldiers go to seek help,” Preston said. He encouraged Soldiers to consider AER before seeking out high-interest lenders and encouraged Soldiers to support the program.

“We can all be very proud that Soldiers are taking care of Soldiers,” Preston said.

AER began in 1942 and is the Army’s emergency financial assistance organization. Since its beginning, the program has provided more than $1.7 billion to Soldiers and their Families in the forms of loans, grants and scholarships. The program helps aid with emergency situations such as car repairs, rent, emergency travel, utilities and food.

According to Matthews, in 2016 Fort Leonard Wood provided $583,753 in emergency assistance and afforded scholarships of $145,995.

Program donations are solicited from active-duty Soldiers and retired Soldiers but anyone can donate. Active-duty and retired Soldiers can contribute by allotment, and others can donate directly. Matthews said AER will be presenting information to Soldiers in the coming weeks.

For more information or to donate, visit or contact Matthews at 573.596.0131, ext. 60212.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 March 2017 )
Organizers: Transition summit Ďbig successí Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 March 2017
Story and photo by Derek Gean
Assistant editor
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More than 600 transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses are better prepared for their post-military careers thanks to programs provided through this year’s Fort Leonard Wood Transition Summit.

In its third year, the Hiring Our Heroes sponsored event helped connect employers of every size and industry with potential employees through a series of town-hall style panel discussions, networking receptions and employment workshops, said Alfredia Williams, Transition Services specialist.
Hundreds of transitioning service members, veterans and their spouses took part in the Hiring Our Heroes Hiring Fair concluding Fort Leonard Woodís third Transition Summit March 8 at Nutter Field House. More than 600 people took part in the two-day event.

The program concluded with a Hiring Our Heroes Hiring Fair March 8 at Nutter Field House.

Fort Leonard Wood’s Transition Summit was another successful event, Williams said.  

“(The) Transition Summit (was a) great way to connect transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses to employers, jobs, and higher education opportunities, which also provides a means for job seekers to potentially interview for multiple jobs all at one location,” Williams said.

The event featured interactive panel events, facilitated discussions focused on improving competitive employment for service members, veterans, and military spouses in addition to a networking reception for employers and job seekers.  

Day one featured  industry sector briefings designed to help Soldiers participating in the Army’s Transition Assistance Program complete a survey to determine which industry they would like to work in after transitioning from  military service.

“These industry briefs provided the job seekers a better understanding of careers that fit their military skillset,” Williams said.

Participants also had the opportunity to participate in a networking reception at Pershing Community Center and were also able to take part in different career-related workshops.

Zackery Williams, who is transitioning from the Army in 13 months, said he particularly benefited from a workshop about LinkedIn, a networking-based social network.

“It was great,” Williams said. “It really helped me learn how to reach out and network with other people.”

The summit culminated with a hiring fair including 80 employers, eight veterans service organizations and 17 higher education institutions representing a wide variety of career paths, including trucking, health care, law enforcement, retail sales, human resources, teaching, agriculture and government.  

Williams said the summit is just one example of the Army’s Soldier for Life — Transition Assistance Program partnering with outside organizations to support transitioning Soldiers and their Families.

“Even after they leave active duty, our talented veterans and their Families will continue to serve our nation by being a part of the strong communities by bringing the values, skills and attributes they developed during their military service to the  civilian job market,” Williams said.

For more information on the SFL-TAP, call 573.596.0131, ext. 60175. Transitioning service members and veterans can also find employment opportunities at
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 March 2017 )
Exchange participating in student program Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 March 2017
AAFES News Service

In recognition of military students who excel, the Exchange is rewarding high-achieving scholars in 1st through 12th grades, who maintain a B average or better, with a coupon book filled with free offers and discounts as part of the You Made the Grade Program.

“The Exchange appreciates the strength and resiliency of all military children,” said David Swenson, general manager of the Fort Leonard Wood Exchange.

“To excel academically while dealing with frequent moves, deployments and parents’ long working hours is a significant achievement. That’s why the Exchange has rewarded military students for 17 years running with the You Made the Grade Program.”

The You Made the Grade booklet includes coupons for free food at various Exchange facilities.

Students, including those who are home schooled, can receive a coupon booklet by presenting a valid military I.D. and proof of an overall B average at the Exchange customer service area. Eligible participants can pick up one booklet for each qualifying report card.

For more information, contact the Exchange at 573.329.2200.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 March 2017 )
Try to stretch your soul Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 March 2017
By Chaplain (Capt.) Keith Ferrell
Special to GUIDON

Noted author and storyteller, R. Lee Sharpe, once told the following story:

“One spring day … my father called me to go with him to Trussell’s blacksmith shop. He had left a rake and a hoe to be repaired. Father started to pay, but Mr. Trussell refused to take it.

‘No,’ he said, ‘there’s no charge for that little job.’

But father insisted that he take payment.

‘If I live to be a thousand years,’ said Sharpe, ‘I’ll never forget that old blacksmith’s reply.’

‘Sid,’ he said to my father, ‘can’t you let an old man do something now and then — just to stretch his soul?’ It’s the old law. The giver receives more than the receiver gets. One who stretches his soul into deeds of love and kindness, unfailingly reaps a just reward.”

The story reminds us of the teaching of Christ in Matthew 25:35-40. He says: “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? And when did we see you a stranger, and invite you in, or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’  The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to me.’”  

In the turbulent world we live in today, filled with protests, riots and division, maybe we should all be reminded to ‘stretch our souls’ on occasion and reach out  in love to find a place  of compassion and  compromise.  

If not, we can find ourselves defending a cause over defense of our fellow neighbor. Let us who are blessed reach out in love instead of division and hate for we may be “entertaining angels unaware.”  Blessings.

(Editor’s note: Ferrell is the 43rd Adjutant General Battalion chaplain.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 March 2017 )
MEDDAC tops in hoops Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
Donald Walls holds up the championship trophy as MEDDAC players and coach Doug Spitalny, right, celebrate their overtime win of the 2017 Commanderís Cup Basketball Tournament.

Unit guts out Commander’s Cup basketball overtime win

Story and photos by Matt Decker
Assistant editor
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Armond Patterson, MEDDAC, left, jumps to block a layup attempt by Donald Page, 43rd AG Bn. in the first half of the Commanderís Cup Basketball Tournament championship game.
The Medical Department Activity bounced back time and again to win the 2017 Commander’s Cup Basketball Tournament championship game, earning a 39-34 victory over the 43rd Adjutant General Battalion in overtime March 8 at Davidson Fitness Center.

“This is very special,” MEDDAC coach Doug Spitalny said moments after the game. “I’ve been playing and coaching for eight years on this team. This is the first time we’ve reached the championship in my time here, and the first time we’ve won it.”

The 43rd AG Bn. jumped out to an early lead, with Julius Johnson dominating under the basket, and Chris Coalter, Kendrick Fox and Cecil Hoskins each scoring from outside the three-point curve.

MEDDAC fought its way back, with Bruce Mayo, Armond Patterson, Donald Walls and Brandon Stanley all scoring over the final six minutes to tie the game 17-17 at halftime.

During the second half, successive three-point shots by Mayo helped give MEDDAC the edge. But with mere seconds on the clock, a key three-point shot by Fox tied the score at 30-30, sending the game into overtime.

Darius Sherman, MEDDAC, attempts a layup in the second half of the Commanderís Cup Basketball Tournament championship game.
Walls sank a three-pointer for MEDDAC to start the three-minute overtime period. Patterson secured the MEDDAC victory, extending a three-point lead to five points by making two key free throws with less than 24 seconds remaining in the game.

Free-throws proved an important factor for MEDDAC, which ended the game with a 66-percent shooting percentage from the charity stripe.

“Considering the talent (the 43rd AG Bn.) had, I think we really got lucky,” Spitalny said. “If we wouldn’t have made our free throws, it would have been a different game.”

MEDDAC had faced bigger, stronger teams all season long, including the semifinal on March 7, when they defeated the previously unbeaten 3rd Chemical Brigade team, 42-36.

“We just changed up our defense” against the 3rd Chem. Bde. players, Spitalny said. “They killed us during the regular season playing man-to-man, because they are so athletic. We just tried to take the athleticism away from them by going to a zone, and it really stymied them.”

The 43rd AG Bn. reached the championship after defeating the 50th Engineer Company, 46-36, March 7.

Col. Tracy Lanier, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood, presents the 2017 Recreation League Trophy to the Rookies during pre-game ceremonies for the Commanderís Cup Basketball Tournament March 7 at Davidson Fitness Center. The Rookies went undefeated and earned the Rec League basketball title for the second consecutive year.
43rd AG Bn. coach Ronald Bostick said reaching the championship game, “wasn’t hard at all.”

“We have a good group of guys. Once you start leading a good group in a good direction, everything else follows,” Bostick said before the game.

Prior to the championship, the 50th Engr. Co. defeated the 3rd Chem. Bde., 38-36, to take third place in this year’s tournament. The was a rematch of last year’s tournament championship contest, which the engineers had lost to 3rd Chem. Bde.

“This wasn’t the game we wanted to play — we wanted to play for the championship — but we came out here, got it done and got that third place game,” said Brittany Burton, 50th Engr. Co. coach. “Coming out of last year’s championship game, I lost a lot of guys. This was a new team, and we started out slow. But as the season progressed, they found their cohesion, worked together, and they came a long way. Next year, we’re going to go all the way.”

Col. Tracy Lanier, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood, presented MEDDAC with the championship trophy.

Earlier March 8, during pre-game ceremonies, Lanier presented the 2017 Recreation League Trophy to the Rookies. The Rookies went undefeated and earned the Rec League basketball title for the second consecutive year.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 30 March 2017 )
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