Maj. Gen. Kent Savre is scheduled to relinquish command of the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood at 9 a.m. Aug. 28 on Gammon Field to Brig. Gen. (promotable) Donna Martin.
On April 7, 2015, Savre took command of the installation from then Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith and is set to retire after 34 years of service to the United States Army.
Q: What is your most rewarding experience while being in command at Fort Leonard Wood?
A: I think the most rewarding experience has to be watching people achieve success, whether it’s Soldiers in training who come here to join our team, or developing officers, NCOs and warrant officers.
Working with the great young men and women of our military and helping them be successful service members and people and seeing our team of teams achieve their goals has been one of the biggest highlights for me as the MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood commander.
Q: What challenges did you face with commanding in a multi-service training environment?
A: The challenge was not that difficult, it makes sense for us to train together. CBRN, Engineers and Military Police have similar mission sets across our services, and we compete for the same resources, the same ranges, the same facilities.
So the reality of it is, with the teamwork we have here, those challenges have been pretty minimal. Everybody is focused on the greater purpose of getting after the mission and to support and defend the Constitution.
Q: What is the future of maneuver support and how has it changed since you’ve been in command?
A: The future for maneuver support is really bright because maneuver support is about enabling commanders to operate and gain a position of advantage over our adversaries and to win in a complex world. In the future, as long as we’re going to fight on the ground we’re going to require police, engineers and CBRN professionals to enable maneuver, shape conditions and really to safeguard and protect our forces in large-scale ground combat.
Q: What one accomplishment, from your time at Fort Leonard Wood, are you most proud of?
A: I’m most proud of our ability to lower attrition at Fort Leonard Wood. Three years ago, about 12 out of every 100 Soldiers who came for Initial Entry Training ended up going home for one reason or another. As a team collectively, we reduced that to 7 percent. This means we are helping more Soldiers to be successful in achieving their goal of serving on the greatest team on Earth — our Army.
I am equally proud of our incredibly professional cadre as evident by Fort Leonard Wood winning Drill Sergeant of the Year for the past four years and the NCO of the Year for the U.S. Army, Sgt. 1st Class Ryan McCarthy.
Q: What is your vision of Fort Leonard Wood 10 to 15 years from now?
A: I can see Fort Leonard Wood becoming a place that the other services and the joint inter-organizational and multinational communities look to as a center of excellence for CBRN, Engineer and Military Police professionals for the unique skills and tools that we train here. This will be the place where people will want to come and train. I think that a lot of the capabilities we bring to enhance maneuver are going to begin to merge, such as the ability to provide commanders with all-hazards — not just explosives hazards — detection and early warning.
Q: What experience or lesson will you carry with you from Fort Leonard Wood?
A: As you know, my philosophy is mission first, people always, team of teams. This is a complex team with the local communities, our families, contractors, civilians, military personnel with all three components — Guard, Reserve and active, and all services of our military.
It was always my belief that if you set a common vision and created a climate of teamwork people would come together and accomplish the mission. And by doing that, organizations and people would excel and enjoy working together to support the people of the United States and defend our ideals and our Constitution. That’s exactly what happened, we do have a team of teams that is not only more productive but able to enjoy life in the heart of America.
Q: What is your departing message to the Soldiers and civilians?
A: Thank you for serving our nation and for your commitment to making Fort Leonard Wood a premier Army installation. I’d also like to thank you for your support to our team here and to me personally. I am really proud and honored to have served with you. I have had the opportunity to serve in some pretty rewarding positions throughout my career and there is no better place to wrap up my time in the Army than at Fort Leonard Wood. Mary Beth and I will definitely miss it here.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: We can’t be successful without the support of our families, and Mary Beth has been “all in” for my entire career to include our time at Fort Leonard Wood where she has been instrumental in building support for our team of teams. Mary Beth has contributed in so many ways — supportive Army wife and a great example for other spouses to look to. Mary Beth and I enjoyed the people, enjoyed the mission, and we will always cherish our time here at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence. It has been my pleasure to spend almost 34 years with the most competent professionals in the world and the greatest team on Earth — the United States Army.
Victory starts here — victory through skill.