Story and photo by Stephen Standifird
Public Affairs Office
Fort Leonard Wood hosted the 2019 Leadership Missouri class as part of their tour through Pulaski and Phelps counties July 11 and 12.
Leadership Missouri is a program founded by the Missouri Chamber Foundation in 1990 that is designed to bring emerging leaders from throughout the state together to enhance leadership skills and provide a deeper understanding about Missouri, said Tammy Long, Missouri Chamber Federation director.
Maj. Gen Donna Martin, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, welcomed the 32 participants to the installation to kick off their tour.
Dan Goff, Directorate of Training and Doctrine deputy, and Sgt. 1st Class Carl Pope, DoTD noncommissioned officer in charge, provided a brief overview of Fort Leonard Wood and what the installation does on a daily basis.
“(We) rotate throughout the state each year and chose to visit Waynesville and St. Robert because of Fort Leonard Wood,” Long said. “We want our leaders to understand the vital role Fort Leonard Wood plays in defending our nation and the contribution it makes to the state’s economy.”
One participant was surprised after hearing how much of an impact Fort Leonard Wood has on Missouri’s economy.
“I knew it was significant, but I had no idea it was so impactful on Missouri’s economy,” said Sheila Thomas, Table Rock Lake Chamber of Commerce president. “What an asset we have.”
The tour continued with a visit to the 43rd Adjutant General Reception Battalion, where participants learned about the first days of the transition from citizen to Soldier. Following lunch at a dining facility, the Leadership Missouri class was able to learn about and fire various weapons systems in the Engagement Skills Trainer.
The tour concluded with a panel of speakers ranging from facilities management to civilian hiring, workforce development and transition assistance programs.
“We are lucky to have such an incredible resource full of incredible humans protecting our country and improving our state,” said Jerrod Hogan, Anderson Engineering president.
Long agreed, adding that this group of Missouri leaders is taking with them an appreciation for Fort Leonard Wood as not only a vital piece of national defense, but a great asset to Missouri.
“Missourians should be proud that Fort Leonard Wood is located in our state,” Thomas said.