Here are the Archived entries for 4 2017

Warrior Banquets honor tradition Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Co. B, 3rd Bn. 10th Inf. Reg. Soldiers and their Families raise a toast to the Army during a Warrior Banquet April 5 at Pershing Community Center. Warrior Banquets have their roots in traditional Unit Regimental Messes, where rank was put aside to focus on camaraderie and celebration.
Story and photos by Derek Gean
Assistant editor
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Fort Leonard Wood Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation is providing opportunities for new Soldiers, their leaders and Families to celebrate all-things Army right after graduation.

Several companies of new Soldiers participate in FMWR Warrior Banquets during their Family or graduation days. Harking back to the days of Unit Regimental Messes, Soldiers gather to share a celebratory meal with drill sergeants and commanders.

“This is the way many units celebrate on their Family days,” said Lois Matos, Pershing Community Center catering manager. “Sometimes they start off with breakfast, a lunch or sometimes end with dinner. This is when they release the Soldiers to go spend the day with their Families.”

According to Megan O’Donoghue, Services and Support Division director, the banquets provide Soldiers and their Families and early opportunity to meet with other Soldiers and Families and participate in some of the Army’s “most revered traditions.”

On April 5, Company B, 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, participated in their first Warrior Banquet. Hundreds of Soldiers and Family members filled Pershing Community Center to celebrate their recent graduation. The event featured fellowship, promotions, toasts to the country, the president, the Army, fellow Soldiers and the fallen.

Matos said while most banquets follow the same basic format, each company may do it differently.

“Some do them a little more formal, some a little more casual,” she said noting that the 3-10 Soldiers were wearing their Army Service Uniform.
A Soldier is served dinner at the Warrior Banquet food line April 5.

Pvts. Dearis Chaney and Kienen Loe, both from Company B, attended the April 5 event with their Families.

“I hope to gain more knowledge about military traditions today,” said Chaney, an Erie, Pennsylvania native.

Loe, a Spokane, Washington native agreed, but said he was also looking forward to sharing the traditions of the day with his Family.

“This is like an intermission (from training to) Family day and a celebration of getting done with basic training,” Loe said.

April Haddad, a Navy veteran and mother of Pfc. Allison Haddad, said she was excited to participate in the banquet and be exposed to military traditions once again.

“I am enjoying celebrating with my daughter today,” said Haddad, a Frisco, Texas native.

Matos said the catering office at Pershing Community Center welcomes other organizations to inquire about starting their own Warrior Banquet tradition.

For more information, contact Matos at 573.329.2455 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 10 May 2017 )
Area business leaders tour Fort Leonard Wood Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Story and photo by Marti Yoshida
Public Affairs Office

“You are at the first stop for civilians who raise their right hand to join the United States Army,” the first sergeant called out from the 43rd Adjutant General Battalion. “This is where you get your hair cut, shots, and meet your first inspirational leader — your drill sergeant.”

The busload of people began asking the first sergeant questions about the requirements to join the Army and what it takes to make it as a Soldier.

Their group leader was 1st Sgt. Antonio Leonvega, and the unit was a platoon-sized element of community leaders who were on a behind-the-scenes tour of military combat training at Fort Leonard Wood April 20.

The annual tour provides business professionals from across the region with an opportunity to visit the 62,000-acre post.
Jim Holloway, 43rd Adjutant General Battalion, reception operations chief, leads a community tour of the reception battalion April 20.

“Today we had a great turnout of business, community and university leaders,” said Steve Ehrhardt, president of the Fort Leonard Wood — Mid Missouri chapter of the AUSA. “About half of today’s 28 participants had not been on the tour before. The testament that the other half had been on the tour before means that these tours are good and mean something.”

“There is so much to see out here on Fort Leonard Wood. It’s great to get out and see our installation,” Ehrhardt added.

The tour included a morning briefing by the garrison command and highlights of initial military training, advanced individual training and joint services training.

Col. Tracy Lanier, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Larry Orvis, garrison command sergeant major, participated in the events of the day.

Lanier fielded questions about the future of the force, construction, technology, creating a sustainable workforce and assisting Soldiers with their transition to civilian life following the military.

 “I’m glad everyone had the opportunity to come out today,” Lanier said. “We look forward to conducting engagements like this.”

“We are one community and we rely on each other, so taking time out for this tour and networking is very important to us,” Lanier added.

Tour attendees stopped for lunch at a dining facility and the tour concluded at the Engagement Skills Training center, giving leaders an opportunity to try their hand at simulated weapons training. According to James Nutt, EST supervisor, 121,348 people fired an estimated 9.1 million simulated rounds at the EST in fiscal year 2016, saving the government more than $18 million.

Travin Shelton, an adviser with the Small Business Development Center on the campus of Missouri S&T in Rolla, said he enjoyed the EST the most and mainly wanted to take the tour to see what Fort Leonard Wood has to offer.

“I’m from Dixon, Missouri and so I’ve grown up with Fort Leonard Wood being a huge part of my life,” Shelton said. “Fort Leonard Wood and everything that goes along with it is highly pivotal to what we do as business leaders.”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 10 May 2017 )
Military Saves pledges exceed post record Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 April 2017
By Derek Gean
Assistant editor
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The financial futures of Fort Leonard Wood Soldiers are looking brighter than ever as the installation set a record for participants in the 2017 Military Saves Campaign.

This year, 5,324 service members on the installation took the Saver’s Pledge, said Tammy Fink, Army Community Service personal financial readiness specialist.

“We increased our pledges by 61 percent and took 26 percent of total Army pledges,” Fink said.

Under Fink’s leadership, the program has seen a steady increase of participation in the last two years. The installation had set a record in 2016 for the top number of pledges with 3,302 service members taking the pledge.
ACS staff filled a chart displaying the number of Military Saves pledges received. Courtesy photo

Soldiers, both stationed at Fort Leonard Wood and training here, were given the opportunity to take part in the annual campaign that encourages service members to pledge to take charge of their finances and work to build a savings account. Military Saves falls under the umbrella of the larger America Saves Week.

Fink said she made it a goal to work to increase this year’s pledges to more than 5,000 and her efforts paid off.

“To do that, I had to recruit more folks to help,” Fink said.  “The entire staff at ACS pitched in to organize and prepare the Savers Packages (financial literature). More than 5,000 packages were necessary. “

With the assistance of the ACS, along with the partnership of local financial institutions and unit action officers, Fort Leonard Wood surpassed the goal.

The Military Saves Program helps empower service members to improve their savings habits. Participants are not tracked, but the program helps provide resources and incentives to make saving money easier.

“We must pave the road to financial success and starting small and thinking big is key,” Fink said, noting that “Start Small, Think Big” is the Military Saves Campaign motto.

Although the campaign has ended, Fink said it’s always a good idea to start saving. She suggests starting an emergency fund of $1,000, creating a reserve fund with one to six months’ expenses and contributing to retirement as a start.

Dan Furlano, ACS director, said the program is important to Soldiers’ financial futures.

“The strategic value of this initiative is that early savings is a leading indicator of financial literacy,” Furlano said.

The ACS Financial Readiness Program offers counseling, classes and resources to make saving easier. Program specialists can even help Families create a budget and find ways to save more money.

Shinae Young, Financial Readiness Program manager, said financial readiness is the key component of mission readiness. “I encourage Soldiers and Families to take advantage of the program as a preventative measure rather than a corrective measure.”

For more information, contact Fink at 573.596.0131, ext. 60212 or visit

Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 May 2017 )
God knows the depths of your life Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 April 2017
By Chaplain (Capt.) Luis Anda
Special to GUIDON

During my time in the Navy, I had the privilege to serve on the Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV-1), Mystic.

In the movie, “Hunt for Red October,” a model of the Mystic is portrayed as a glorified taxi, when crew from the USS Dallas go onboard the Soviet submarine.

The DSRV’s purpose is to rescue the crew of a sunken submarine, and can go to depths of 5,000 feet, where the pressure is approximately 2,236.52 psi. At that pressure, the ocean can crush the strongest metals.

The metal of the DSRV, is a type of steel-alloy that protects the crew from these catastrophic ocean depths. These pressures can crush a person, not to mention the sheer utter cold-darkness at those depths, where only certain fish live. Man has to create what God naturally provides at those depths to his creation, in order to overcome the depths of the ocean: a submersible.

The pressures of life can have a crushing feeling upon a person at times and portray a sense of cold-darkness. Sometimes, the depths where life can take us makes a person feel as if he/she is about to implode from external pressures. As the DSRV’s hull protected its crew from the depths of the ocean, God can protect you from the depths of life, pressures of life, and from cold and utter darkness.

In Romans 13:12 it says, “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light,” (ESV).   

Notice, Paul says here to put on the “armor of light,” or in verse 14 of Romans, “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Just as the crew had to figuratively put on the DSRV in order to protect themselves from the elements of the ocean, you and I need to put on the Lord Jesus to protect us from the elements of life.

The “Armor of Light” can help and heal you from the pressures, burdens, and cold-darkness of life that can come to us all. There is no depth too deep for God, see Psalm 139.

(Editor’s note: Anda is the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital chaplain.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 10 May 2017 )
Fort Leonard Wood cancels Earth Day celebration Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Road closures, flooding cancel event

Special to GUIDON
Due to road closures caused by flooding across Missouri and more forecasted rain, Fort Leonard Wood’s Earth Day celebration scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday in Nutter Field House is cancelled.

The household E-Cycling event remains scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday in the Nutter Field House parking lot.
Visitors can bring home electronics, including computers, printers, televisions, audio equipment, cell phones, microwaves, household batteries and other electronics to be recycled. Participation is free.
No government or business electronics will be taken, and large appliances, refrigerators and car batteries will not be accepted. For more information, visit or call 573.5965.0131, ext. 64359.
Note: The original story promoting the event is below:

Second annual Earth Day Fair, Celebration

Clean Water Casey, the unofficial mascot and promoter of the Earth Day Fair and Celebration, will bring several of his friends to meet with children of all ages.
By Matt Decker

Assistant editor
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Fort Leonard Wood will hold its second annual Earth Day Fair and Celebration from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 5 at Nutter Field House. The free event, which is open to the public, is presented by the post’s Public Affairs Office in conjunction with the Directorate of Public Works and the Environmental Branch.

“Our objective is to provide environmental education and advocacy to the Fort Leonard Wood community,” said Andrea Smith, who, along with fellow Public Affairs specialist and self-described “co-conspirator” Ryan Thompson, is coordinating the event.

Following the success of last year’s inaugural fair, this year’s celebration promises visitors even more fun combined with a renewed focus on learning, according to Thompson. The theme of this year’s event is “Environmental Education and Advocacy: A Hope for the Future.”

“This year, we really wanted to focus more on the educational aspect of the event — teaching more about sustainability,” Thompson said. “Last year, we had a lot more giveaways and games, and made it kind of a fun fair. This year, we really wanted to focus on the educational part. A lot of what DPW Environmental did last year, they’re going to supplement with more of an educational base and create more of a learning atmosphere.”

There will still be plenty of fun, with dozens of activities, displays, games and more offered by agencies both on post and from outside the gate — including a visit by some special feathered friends.

Dustin Moss, Directorate of Public Works, Environmental Division, Natural Resources Branch, helps participants take part in their rod-and-reel casting game during the 2016 Earth Day Fair.
“One of the things we want to highlight is the Raptor Rehab Project,” Smith said, adding that the project is part of the University of Missouri Extension program. “They are going to bring in some birds of prey. We don’t know which species they will bring yet, but we’re looking forward to their visit.”

Some of the popular activities at last year’s event will be back this year, Thompson said, including the Environmental Branch’s indoor fishing game and the “Stormwater Wheel of Fun,” which gives attendees a chance to win prizes based on their knowledge of stormwater management.

Visitors can learn about Missouri and its geology from several sources, including a demonstration by officials from Onondaga Cave State Park.

“They’ll be talking about cave ecology, as well as what you can do at the state park,” Thompson said.

Another returning activity is designed to promote the planting of new trees with a giveaway of redbud seedlings.

“That worked out well last year, but this year will be even better, because the Licking Nursery, which provided the red buds last year, will be here,” Thompson said. “They’re going to not only hand out the red buds but also have some information on the care of the red buds. So, folks won’t just receive a bare-root stem this time.”

Outside Nutter Field House, visitors can take advantage of a Household E-Cycling station.

“The Fort Leonard Wood community can dispose of old computers, batteries, used electronics and things like that,” Smith said. “It’s free of charge.”

Other participants and activities include:

— A groundwater display by the U.S. Geological Survey;

Courtesy illustration
— The Missouri Department of Conservation;

— Fort Leonard Wood Game Wardens;

— The Mark Twain National Forest;

— Presentations on bats and other wildlife;

— A presentation on herb planting;

— Missouri’s cultural  resources;

— Area meteorologists with talks about weather;

— Demonstrations with live animals, including spiders, snakes and more.

Some special guests will be on hand for younger visitors, led by the event’s unofficial mascot and promoter, Clean Water Casey.

“Smokey Bear will be back for the kids, and we’ll have some other critters there, as well, such as Sparky the Firedog and McGruff the Crime Dog,” Thompson said.

The biggest share of the celebration’s audience is elementary students, with hundreds expected to attend throughout the day. Still, Thompson noted that the event is open to everyone.

“The event is open to the public, so grab your kids, if you’re off, bring them in and enjoy learning about the environment and the important role it plays in all our lives.”
Last Updated ( Friday, 05 May 2017 )
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