Here are the Archived entries for 6 2017

New Soldiers bring years of experience Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 June 2017
Story and photos by Stephen Standifird
Managing editor
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After nearly nine years in the Marine Corps, Wayne King ended his enlistment with the intent to use Veterans Administration benefits to attend flight school.

When Sean Henninger left the Army, he joined the ranks of private contracting companies for overseas operations.
Soldiers in training with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, use teamwork to navigate an obstacle on the confidence course.

Both King and Henninger didn’t find exactly what they were looking for out of life after the military. That’s why both signed up for another attempt at the military as part of Company A, 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment.

The 32 prior-service trainees of Co. A. are going through a modified basic training cycle as part of the Army’s Fiscal Year 2017 End Strength Increase.

The cycle, a 6-week course, still requires the trainees to pass the same general requirements as the regular BCT companies, just in an abbreviated timeline based on their having prior experience with the military, said Capt. Dustin Dobbins, operations officer at 2nd Bn., 10th Inf. Reg. All prior service Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, as well as Soldiers and Marines with more than a three-year break in service, are required to attend this course.

Dobbins added their battalion is the only one in the Army conducting this training.
Sgt. Wayne King navigates the slide-for-life obstacle on the confidence course.

Sgt. 1st Class Gabriel Heglie, Co. A senior drill sergeant, said this course is “night and day different” than the regular BCT cycles because of the reduced number of trainees and the focus is more on leadership.

“(We are) focusing more on leadership than the basic tasks because all of these Soldiers have been in the military and a lot of them have been in leadership positions,” he said.

As an infantry noncommissioned officer before getting out of the Army in 2012, Henninger is more focused on what being back in the military can do for him and his Family. He said his goal is to complete his follow-on training as a combat medic, apply for flight medic school and eventually commission as an Army nurse.

“I didn’t have the same goals when I was a 19-year-old kid in the Army,” he said. “Now, I’m trying to set up a career to set myself and my Family up for the long run.”

King tells a similar story. While he was able to use his benefits to complete helicopter pilot training, King is now just waiting to complete a warrant officer flight training package, which is something he couldn’t have done during his first enlistment.

“This is definitely a career mindset,” King said. “I have a Family to support.”
Soldiers in training with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, navigate an obstacle on the confidence course.

Pfc. Michael Williams, a former Navy logistics specialist, said the civilian life wasn’t what he expected when he first got out of the military in 2014. After working multiple jobs, he found himself unemployed and needing a job.

“I feel like this is one of the best ways to guarantee I will have a career,” he said.

Williams added, the transition from the Navy to the Army was not what he expected.

“Even though I am physically fit, this is tough for me,” he said. “(This is) way harder than Navy boot camp.”

Heglie said this group of Soldiers has proven they want to be here by giving it their all every single day.

“I think all of them are future leaders in the Army,” he said.  

To date, Fort Leonard Wood has received 94 Soldiers for the Prior Service Basic Combat Training, according to Lt. Col. Seth Graves, 43rd Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) commander.

Thirty-two of them will graduate with Company A at 9 a.m. Friday in Baker Theater.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 June 2017 )
Veterans spend day at FLW for annual reunion Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 June 2017
Story and photo by Stephen Standifird
Managing editor
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A dozen veterans who served with Company B, 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment during the Vietnam War and their Families toured the Engineer Museum in the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex Friday as part of their annual reunion.

The Soldiers, who all served at Landing Zone Professional, a temporary Army base northwest of Chu Lai, Vietnam, between May 1969 and March 1970, try to get together for a reunion once a year, said Donna Mason, who assisted her husband, Don, with coordinating the visit.

This is an event done annually for the past 15 years, said John Brown, who was a medic with Co. B in  Vietnam.
Troy Morgan, Engineer Museum director, leads the Company B, 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment veterans and their Families on a tour of the Engineer Museum.

“It is about getting together to talk old times and to keep in touch,” he said. “Mainly, it’s about camaraderie.”

Frank Heet, a sergeant with Co. B, agreed.

“Most of us guys built a bond together,” he said. “We went through something that holds us together like brothers. I treat most of these guys like Family.”

Troy Morgan, Engineer Museum director, led the group on the tour. He said these types of tours and reunions are very important to not only the museum, but the post, as a way to give back to the community.

Following the tour, Col. Tracy Lanier, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, addressed the group.

“I want to say thank you for your service, and welcome home,” he said. “I would not be in this position without you.”

Lanier further discussed his career, current statistics about Fort Leonard Wood and answered questions about training here.

He added how it is important for veteran’s groups to get together to “check on your battle buddy.”

The tour also included eating lunch at a dining facility with Soldiers in training.

“(The food) was not like it was when these guys were in the Army,” Mason said.  

Heet and Brown both said they would like to get together more, but life tends to get in the way.

“As long as we are able, we will keep getting together,” Heet said.

“You guys are always welcome back to Fort Leonard Wood,” Lanier said to the group.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 June 2017 )
Post to celebrate Army Birthday Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 June 2017

The Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood has planned a day long celebration Wednesday to commemorate the U.S. Army’s 242nd birthday.

Department of the Army civilians and Family members are invited to join their Soldiers as the day kicks off bright and early with a 3-mile division-style run departing the installation’s Gammon Field promptly at 5:30 a.m.

All are invited to the traditional cake cutting ceremony scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in Lincoln Hall  Auditorium.

Community members are also invited to observe a retreat and streamer ceremony scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on the MSCoE Plaza, where Soldiers dressed in period uniforms place streamers representing past conflicts onto the Army colors.

All events throughout the day will begin promptly at their designated times.

In preparation for the retreat and streamer ceremony, 1st Street and Nebraska and Missouri avenues, and the MSCoE Loop will be blocked off from approximately 4:20 to 5:30 p.m.


— 5:30 a.m., start of 3-mile division-style run on Gammon Field

— 10 a.m.,  Army birthday cake cutting ceremony in the Lincoln Hall Atrium

— 4:30 p.m., retreat and streamer ceremony on the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Plaza

Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 June 2017 )
Group readies post for BCT mission increase Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 June 2017
By Tiffany Wood
Public Affairs director

For the past several months, organizations across Fort Leonard Wood have been preparing to support an increase to the installation’s fiscal year 2017 Basic Combat Training mission.

The Army announced in March that its troop levels for FY17 will increase to 1.018 million Soldiers, a net gain of 28,000 Soldiers across the Total Force — Regular Army, National Guard and Army Reserve.

As a result, Fort Leonard Wood’s BCT mission for FY17 is expected to increase by about 4,500 Soldiers. Plans are also ongoing to activate one BCT battalion and eight companies to train the additional Soldiers, according to Capt. Jason Pavlik, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence G-33 support operations officer.

The first activation ceremony is for the 2nd Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment and is set for 11 a.m., June 16 on Gammon Field. The battalion’s first company is scheduled to start training the week of July 3, Pavlik said.

To prepare for this increase, representatives from various directorates and staff sections within the MSCoE, Fort Leonard Wood Garrison and enterprise partners, have been meeting regularly as part of a working group to manage tasks and functions associated with supporting the additional Soldiers and units.

Joe Rapone, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security director, is the lead for the working group and has been overseeing the meetings. He said the working group has been an essential part of the planning process for the BCT mission increase because “the size and short-fuse timeline required formal integration and synchronization.”

For instance, Rapone said, preparing a barracks for BCT involves more than just maintenance and repairs.

“Bringing on a barracks, many may think it’s just fixing windows and replacing floors, but you have phones, (network) drops, alarms, furniture and linen, just to name a few,” he said. “It’s all aspects of that building.”

Eighteen buildings have been identified to support the BCT mission increase, and, according to Brian Nelson, Directorate of Public Works Business Operations and Integration Division chief, the major work on those facilities involved replacing floors, fixing heating and air conditioning systems, and painting.

Network services and other systems are typically installed after DPW completes its work on buildings, but Nelson said due to the working group, those installations happened simultaneously with the facilities’ maintenance and repairs.

“The working group allowed us to have all the players from the different organizations work together to identify what needed to be done to get those facilities up and ready,” Nelson said. “Then we included all the various systems, such as phones and networks, into our projects and knocked them out.”

The working group, Nelson said, helped the process.

 “We worked as a team, and if we didn’t have that coordination, we would have been in a world of hurt getting the facilities up and ready,” he said. “The working group was definitely needed.”

In addition to facility maintenance and repair, the group has also been tracking other requirements, such as the status of equipment, ranges and training schedules, logistical support, transportation and in-processing for personnel.

About 175 Soldiers with the Army Reserve’s 108th Training Command are expected to in-process as part of the increase, Pavlik said. Those Soldiers volunteered to support a yearlong mission to train the additional BCT Soldiers here, and many have already visited the post’s Directorate of Human Resources.

“Forty-one of those Soldiers started in-processing May 29 and then attended Arrive Strong on June 1,” said Jesse French, DHR program manager.

According to French, Arrive Strong is a weekly orientation for newly arrived service members and dependents where subject matter experts from various organizations provide information on services and facilities offered on post.

“Arrive Strong allows Soldiers to know exactly what kind of programs we offer and what we do,” he said. “It is a way to welcome Soldiers and their Families to the installation.”

The remaining Soldiers with the 108th are expected to arrive throughout the summer, with the next group arriving the week of June 26, Pavlik said.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 June 2017 )
Veterinary Corps celebrates 101st birthday Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 June 2017
By Capt. Chris Magee
Special to GUIDON

The Army Medical Department accomplishes amazing things every day around the world, but what’s their best kept secret?

I may be a bit biased, but I’ll contend that it’s the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps.

From humble beginnings in 1776, when Gen. George Washington directed that a “regiment of horse with a farrier” be raised, to the official commissioning of the Veterinary Corps on June 3, 1916, the Corps has evolved into a Food Safety, Public Health, Research and Veterinary Health force that serves all branches of the Department of Defense.

We work to conserve the fighting strength of not only our valued four-legged warriors, but also support the remainder of the upright forces.

Why does the Army have a Veterinary Corps?

The obvious reason is animal care. While our top priority is the Military Working Dogs, we also care for the personal pets of Soldiers and retirees. Horses are less numerous in the military these days, but we are responsible for our ceremonial cavalry and caisson horse units throughout the country.

At Fort Leonard Wood, we have almost 3,000  active patient records and see an average of 25 to 30 appointments each day.

We conduct wellness exams, health certificates for travel, vaccines, sick call visits, X-rays, ultrasounds, and a variety of laboratory tests.

We also conduct reproductive surgeries, mass removals, dental cleanings and a variety of other procedures as needed.

We mainly see dogs and cats, but we’ve also had goats, llamas, chickens, ducks, ferrets, rabbits and other critters visit us, as well.
Capt. Chris Magee performs a routine puppy exam at the veterinary clinic at Fort Leonard Wood. Courtesy photo

If you have a pet, we are here for you.

What may be less known is our responsibility in food safety and defense.

If you’ve eaten at a dining facility on post, grabbed a snack at the Exchange, or bought groceries at the Commissary, rest assured a veterinarian and a veterinary food inspector has played a huge role in ensuring the safety of that food source and its handling and storage before it gets to your plate.

Ever wondered who made sure those MREs are safe to eat in the field?

Yep, we do that, too.

Over the years, veterinarians have played an increasing role in public health and safety.

After realizing the importance of collaboration among various medical and environmental sciences, a new initiative of “One Health” was born.

This initiative recognizes the vital connection between human health, animal health, and the health of our environment, and promotes the further study and advancement of the well-being of those three intertwined aspects.

A very tangible way you might see us involved here at Fort Leonard Wood is our partnership with the hospital and the Preventive Medicine department in rabies virus prevention. We are in constant contact when a human patient is bitten by an animal, either a wild animal or a pet, to ensure that the victim is not at risk for rabies or to advise on further steps if they are at risk.

But it doesn’t stop at rabies — there are many diseases that threaten our health that directly involve animals. Diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans are known as “zoonotic,” and those actually account for about 60 percent of all human diseases and more than 70 percent of all new diseases.

The “One Health” initiative’s slogan states, “One World, One Medicine, One Health,” and the Veterinary Corps is proud to be at the forefront.

As you can see, we have a wide-ranging, important and rewarding job in the Veterinary Corps across the globe, as well as right here at Fort Leonard Wood.

The Veterinary Corps is made up of some of the finest, most professional Soldiers in the United States Army, and I’ve been blessed to be part of the team here at Fort Leonard Wood for the past two years.

I am proud to have served with such a dedicated group.

As the Veterinary Corps celebrates its 101st birthday, I consider the storied history, and can only imagine what lies ahead. Serving to heal, honored to serve.

(Editor’s note: Magee is a veterinarian at Fort Leonard Wood’s veterinary clinic.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 June 2017 )
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