A look back at 2021 on Fort Leonard Wood | Article | #education | #technology | #training


FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The Fort Leonard Wood community accomplished many things (and won many awards) in 2021, even as COVID-19 continued to affect nearly every aspect of work and life.

Below is a list of some of the biggest stories that impacted Fort Leonard Wood last year, in the order that they happened:






Serena Detlie, a nurse in General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital’s emergency department, received the first COVID-19 vaccine at Fort Leonard Wood Jan. 11 from fellow GLWACH nurse Michele Nichols.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)

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Fort Leonard Wood begins COVID-19 vaccination program

General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital began administering COVID-19 vaccinations on Jan. 11, after receiving a limited number of vaccines following the FDA’s recent Emergency Use Authorization.

Individuals, representing Fort Leonard Wood’s medical community, law enforcement and fire department were vaccinated first, following a prioritization strategy established at the Department of Defense level.


Developed through a partnership between U.S. Army Installation Management Command and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the Digital Garrison app gives Soldiers, family members and civilians access to real-time information and keeps military communities connected. The app is free and can be downloaded from the Apple and Google Play app stores.



Developed through a partnership between U.S. Army Installation Management Command and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the Digital Garrison app gives Soldiers, family members and civilians access to real-time information and keeps military communities connected. The app is free and can be downloaded from the Apple and Google Play app stores.
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army graphic)

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‘Digital Garrison’ app takes FMWR, AAFES info mobile

The Army launched a mobile app called “Digital Garrison” in January. Developed through a partnership between U.S. Army Installation Management Command and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the goal is to give Soldiers, family members and civilians access to real-time information and to keep military communities connected. The app is free and can be downloaded from the Apple and Google Play app stores.


From left: Brig. Gen. James Bonner, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, and Col. Jeff Paine, Garrison commander, officially cut the ribbon on Fort Leonard Wood’s Fire Station No. 3 on Jan. 22. The 17,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, located in Bldg. 2375 on Oklahoma Avenue, will help firefighters on post meet certain time and distance response standards in the eastern parts of the cantonment area. (Editor’s note: Bonner was promoted to major general on Feb. 26.)



From left: Brig. Gen. James Bonner, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, and Col. Jeff Paine, Garrison commander, officially cut the ribbon on Fort Leonard Wood’s Fire Station No. 3 on Jan. 22. The 17,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, located in Bldg. 2375 on Oklahoma Avenue, will help firefighters on post meet certain time and distance response standards in the eastern parts of the cantonment area. (Editor’s note: Bonner was promoted to major general on Feb. 26.)
(Photo Credit: Photo by Dawn Arden, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)

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Fort Leonard Wood opens Fire Station No. 3

Fort Leonard Wood Fire Station No. 3 officially opened Jan. 22.

The 17,000-square-foot facility on Oklahoma Ave. helps firefighters on post meet certain time and distance response standards in the eastern parts of the cantonment area.


Pvt. Justin Ducey, Company B, 35th Engineer Battalion, became the first trainee at Fort Leonard Wood to try on the jacket of the new Army Green Service Uniform Jan. 28 at the installation's Clothing Initial Issue Point Phase II building. More than 180 Bravo Company trainees received the new uniform the first day. The AGSU becomes the mandatory service uniform Oct. 1, 2027, and the blue Army Service Uniform will then become an optional dress uniform.



Pvt. Justin Ducey, Company B, 35th Engineer Battalion, became the first trainee at Fort Leonard Wood to try on the jacket of the new Army Green Service Uniform Jan. 28 at the installation’s Clothing Initial Issue Point Phase II building. More than 180 Bravo Company trainees received the new uniform the first day. The AGSU becomes the mandatory service uniform Oct. 1, 2027, and the blue Army Service Uniform will then become an optional dress uniform.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)

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Fort Leonard Wood begins issuing trainees the new Army Green Service Uniform

Pvt. Justin Ducey, Company B, 35th Engineer Battalion, became the first trainee at Fort Leonard Wood to try on the jacket of the new Army Green Service Uniform Jan. 28 at the installation’s Clothing Initial Issue Point Phase II building.

More than 180 Bravo Company trainees received the new uniform the first day.

The new uniform, sometimes referred to as “pinks and greens,” is a modern throwback to the winter service uniforms worn by Soldiers during World War II. Army officials said the intent is to pay homage to the Greatest Generation by giving current Soldiers an everyday business suit “for professional environments that honors our heritage.”

The AGSU becomes the mandatory service uniform Oct. 1, 2027, and the blue Army Service Uniform will then become an optional dress uniform.

Army awards Fort Leonard Wood’s safety excellence

The Army recognized Fort Leonard Wood’s fiscal year 2020 safety excellence Feb. 26 with awards for the Explosive Safety Office and Capt. Bruce Leuthold, Company A, 554th Engineer Battalion.

The Explosive Safety Office was awarded the Army Chief of Staff Army Excellence — Explosive Safety Award. Leuthold received the Individual Award of Excellence in Safety — (Officer).

The awardees reinforce “the importance of proactive risk management integrated throughout our plans, operations and training,” said Gen. James McConville, Army Chief of Staff, and John Whitley, acting Secretary of the Army, in a jointly released congratulation letter.


Fort Leonard Wood firefighters conduct a back-burn procedure March 31 near Range 19, after a natural-cover fire consumed more than 1,700 acres of grass and trees on the installation. According to firefighters, the procedure creates a roadblock for wildfires by using controlled burns to consume fuel ahead of its path.



Fort Leonard Wood firefighters conduct a back-burn procedure March 31 near Range 19, after a natural-cover fire consumed more than 1,700 acres of grass and trees on the installation. According to firefighters, the procedure creates a roadblock for wildfires by using controlled burns to consume fuel ahead of its path.
(Photo Credit: Courtesy photo)

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Fort Leonard Wood firefighters knock back Range 19 wildfire

There were no injuries and no damage to government property, but a huge natural-cover fire consumed more than 1,700 acres of grass and trees March 31 in and around Range 19.

Firefighters determined tracer rounds fired on the range sparked the blaze.


Sgt. 1st Class Maximilian Saalmann, a senior enlisted advisor assigned to the Special Operations Element of the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, is the new mayor of Eagle Point neighborhood. He said his experience as a landlord allowed him to identify ways to improve housing conditions and act as a liaison for his neighbors to garrison leadership.



Sgt. 1st Class Maximilian Saalmann, a senior enlisted advisor assigned to the Special Operations Element of the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, is the new mayor of Eagle Point neighborhood. He said his experience as a landlord allowed him to identify ways to improve housing conditions and act as a liaison for his neighbors to garrison leadership.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)

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Mayoral program returns to Fort Leonard Wood housing

After a six-year hiatus, the housing mayoral program made a return to Fort Leonard Wood in March, as leaders here continue to seek ways to keep communication lines open with residents.

According to Mike Estright, Directorate of Public Works Housing Division deputy chief, the mission of the program is to give residents another way to share information, ideas and concerns more efficiently with leaders, while also helping to instill neighborhood pride.

Elections were held to find mayors to represent each of the different neighborhoods around the post.


Col. Jeff Paine, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander (front right), speaks with community mayor, Staff Sgt. Ty Fogal, during the first walking town hall event here April 26, in the South Leiber Heights neighborhood. The goal of the monthly town hall has been to offer a casual environment for residents, where issues and concerns regarding privatized housing can be discussed with leaders.



Col. Jeff Paine, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander (front right), speaks with community mayor, Staff Sgt. Ty Fogal, during the first walking town hall event here April 26, in the South Leiber Heights neighborhood. The goal of the monthly town hall has been to offer a casual environment for residents, where issues and concerns regarding privatized housing can be discussed with leaders.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)

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Monthly walking town halls start in housing

Col. Jeff Paine, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, invited the community to attend the first walking town hall April 26, through the South Leiber Heights community.

Since then, the goal of the monthly event has been to offer a casual environment where issues and concerns regarding privatized housing can be discussed.


Trainees assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, graduate Basic Combat Training in April on Gammon Field. Officials from the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood put plans in place in May to allow for family and friends to attend graduations here in person, after COVID-19 mitigation protocols limited many events to virtual only.



Trainees assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, graduate Basic Combat Training in April on Gammon Field. Officials from the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood put plans in place in May to allow for family and friends to attend graduations here in person, after COVID-19 mitigation protocols limited many events to virtual only.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Dawn Arden, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)

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Fort Leonard Wood graduations reopen for in-person visitors

After COVID-19 mitigation protocols limited graduations here to virtual events, officials from the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood put plans in place in May that made it possible for family and friends to once again attend graduations here in person.

Col. Richard Ball, MSCoE chief of staff, said it’s important to recognize the achievements of those who choose to defend our nation.

“And nothing makes that recognition come together better than having friends and family members around to witness it — in person,” Ball said.


Workers removed concrete in March, in preparation for an improved patio at the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex that will include an additional set of stairs and more room for outdoor events. The old patio had water damage and was deteriorated to the point of being potentially dangerous for visitors. The patio project was one of many improvements being made to the museum complex in 2021.



Workers removed concrete in March, in preparation for an improved patio at the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex that will include an additional set of stairs and more room for outdoor events. The old patio had water damage and was deteriorated to the point of being potentially dangerous for visitors. The patio project was one of many improvements being made to the museum complex in 2021.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Richard St. Cyr, Directorate of Public Works)

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Multiple construction projects improving Fort Leonard Wood museum complex

Anyone passing by the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex in 2021, probably noticed some of the ongoing construction projects.

While much of the visible work has been exterior — focused on fixing the roof and masonry issues on the 53-year-old structure — other projects now completed or nearing completion are improving the museum for visitors and the artifacts inside.


At a ceremony June 28 in Hoge Hall, Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general (right), and MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena (left) presented two-star notes to Army Emergency Relief Officer Chuck Matthews and his team. 1st Lt. Rom Pollack and Sgt. 1st Class Steven Hooper each also received Army Commendation Medals for their roles as volunteer coordinators. The 2021 AER fundraising campaign here was named No. 1 in the Army, with $213,405 raised and 53.9 percent of Soldiers donating.



At a ceremony June 28 in Hoge Hall, Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general (right), and MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena (left) presented two-star notes to Army Emergency Relief Officer Chuck Matthews and his team. 1st Lt. Rom Pollack and Sgt. 1st Class Steven Hooper each also received Army Commendation Medals for their roles as volunteer coordinators. The 2021 AER fundraising campaign here was named No. 1 in the Army, with $213,405 raised and 53.9 percent of Soldiers donating.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)

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Fort Leonard Wood’s AER program is No. 1 in the Army

In an announcement June 28, Fort Leonard Wood’s Army Emergency Relief 2021 fundraising campaign was named No. 1 in the Army. In total, the three-month campaign raised $213,405, with 53.9 percent of service members here donating.

At a ceremony in Hoge Hall, Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, and MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena presented two-star notes to Army Emergency Relief Officer Chuck Matthews and his team: volunteer coordinators 1st Lt. Rom Pollack, Company C, 795th Military Police Battalion, and Sgt. 1st Class Steven Hooper, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Engineer Brigade, along with Patricia McDonald and Kristina Stump.


After 55 years and nearly 2,800 issues, the July 1 GUIDON was the final printed edition of Fort Leonard Wood’s newspaper.



After 55 years and nearly 2,800 issues, the July 1 GUIDON was the final printed edition of Fort Leonard Wood’s newspaper.
(Photo Credit: Graphic by Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)

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Stop the presses! GUIDON print edition comes to an end

After 55 years and nearly 2,800 issues, the July 1 GUIDON was the final printed edition of Fort Leonard Wood’s newspaper.

There were many reasons for the newspaper coming to an end here, and the pros and cons were debated back and forth before this decision was made. The main reasons involved where the majority of our readers — the service members and their families — get their information.

It seems these days most people get news and information digitally, through social media sites and other web pages. That’s where the GUIDON went as well.

GUIDON articles may be found online at https://www.army.mil/paowood. Additionally, the eGUIDON — short for electronic GUIDON — has been produced weekly for more than a year. Back issues may be found at https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/Garrison/pao/eguidon.


From left: Col. Audra Taylor, Armed Services Blood Program division chief, Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, and Col. Aaron Pitney, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital commander, officially opened the new Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center July 8. Construction on the 17,000-square-foot facility, located in Bldg. 759, began Sept. 1, 2019. Amenities include bedside televisions, multiple televisions in the donor area for entertainment while donating and a state-of-the-art blood processing lab.



From left: Col. Audra Taylor, Armed Services Blood Program division chief, Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, and Col. Aaron Pitney, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital commander, officially opened the new Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center July 8. Construction on the 17,000-square-foot facility, located in Bldg. 759, began Sept. 1, 2019. Amenities include bedside televisions, multiple televisions in the donor area for entertainment while donating and a state-of-the-art blood processing lab.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Chad Ashe, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital Public Affairs)

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New Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center officially open for business

Fort Leonard Wood’s new Blood Donor Center was officially opened July 8 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

According to Cindy Wise, U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency transition manager, construction on the new, 17,000-square-foot center, located in Bldg. 759, began Sept. 1, 2019. Donors and staff here are now treated to amenities such as bedside televisions, multiple televisions in the donor area for entertainment while donating and a state-of-the-art blood processing lab.


An artist's rendering of the improved Waynesville Middle School, which was dedicated during a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house event Aug. 9.



An artist’s rendering of the improved Waynesville Middle School, which was dedicated during a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house event Aug. 9.
(Photo Credit: Illustration courtesy of Waynesville R-VI School District)

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Waynesville, Fort Leonard Wood community leaders dedicate upgraded Waynesville Middle School

The Waynesville R-VI School District held a ribbon-cutting dedication ceremony and open house on Aug. 9, to celebrate the completion of an improvement project for Waynesville Middle School.

The two-phase project included the addition of a two-story academic wing that was completed in 2018, with four dedicated science, technology, engineering and math classrooms and laboratories, along with core classrooms — language arts and social studies — and dedicated classrooms for special education, reading assistance, foreign languages, computer technology and health classes. The first-phase additions also included a larger cafeteria and kitchen, a more modern library and media center, and a physical education wing. The newly completed second phase includes a new band room, more special education classrooms, a new stairwell and elevator, administrative offices and a more secure front entrance.

Fort Leonard Wood senior leaders — including Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena, and Col. Jeff Paine, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander — were on hand at the ceremony to highlight the school district’s importance to the Fort Leonard Wood community.


Soldiers with the 5th Engineer Battalion hike up Kachina Peak in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico, this summer, as part of an altitude study being conducted by the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. The data the Soldiers provided will be used to improve the accuracy of AMS-alert, an algorithm military leaders could use to identify warfighters at high risk of experiencing acute mountain sickness at least four hours prior to occurrence.



Soldiers with the 5th Engineer Battalion hike up Kachina Peak in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico, this summer, as part of an altitude study being conducted by the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. The data the Soldiers provided will be used to improve the accuracy of AMS-alert, an algorithm military leaders could use to identify warfighters at high risk of experiencing acute mountain sickness at least four hours prior to occurrence.
(Photo Credit: Courtesy photo)

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Fort Leonard Wood Soldiers assist in Army altitude study in New Mexico

Forty-nine Soldiers from the 5th Engineer Battalion here spent four days at Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico, this past summer, hiking on and around Kachina Peak. While this might sound like an ideal summer vacation, the Soldiers were there for a more scientific reason.

The Soldiers were taking part in an altitude study conducted by the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine.

Dr. Beth Beidleman, a research physiologist with USARIEM and the principal investigator of the study, said the altitude study in Taos Ski Valley is part of the lab’s effort to identify what physiologic and genomic factors put some individuals at higher risk of getting acute mountain sickness, or AMS.


Jeriel Music, U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command Fleet Management Expansion director (left), presented the calendar year 2020-2021 Chief of Staff of the Army’s Award for Maintenance Excellence, Active Army-All Others category award, and the Chief of Ordnance “Best of the Best” maintenance team award to Clay Nagel, director and TACOM support officer at the Fort Leonard Wood FMX, during a ceremony on Sept. 1 at Bldg. 11431.



Jeriel Music, U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command Fleet Management Expansion director (left), presented the calendar year 2020-2021 Chief of Staff of the Army’s Award for Maintenance Excellence, Active Army-All Others category award, and the Chief of Ordnance “Best of the Best” maintenance team award to Clay Nagel, director and TACOM support officer at the Fort Leonard Wood FMX, during a ceremony on Sept. 1 at Bldg. 11431.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)

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TACOM leaders present AAME, ‘Best of the Best’ awards to Fort Leonard Wood’s FMX team

U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command leaders visited Fort Leonard Wood in September to present awards to the Fleet Management Expansion team here.

Earlier in the year, the FMX team won the calendar year 2020-2021 Chief of Staff of the Army’s Award for Maintenance Excellence, Active Army-All Others category, and was also designated the calendar year 2020-2021 Chief of Ordnance “Best of the Best” maintenance team.


Col. Steven Yamashita, U.S. Army Military Police School assistant commandant, presented Donna Ferguson, USAMPS Behavioral Sciences Education and Training Division chief (right), with the Department of Defense Spirit of Hope Award Oct. 27, at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence headquarters building. The award is presented annually on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of Defense to seven individuals or organizations that embody entertainer and military supporter Bob Hope’s values of duty, honor, courage, loyalty, commitment, integrity and selfless dedication.



Col. Steven Yamashita, U.S. Army Military Police School assistant commandant, presented Donna Ferguson, USAMPS Behavioral Sciences Education and Training Division chief (right), with the Department of Defense Spirit of Hope Award Oct. 27, at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence headquarters building. The award is presented annually on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of Defense to seven individuals or organizations that embody entertainer and military supporter Bob Hope’s values of duty, honor, courage, loyalty, commitment, integrity and selfless dedication.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Mike Curtis, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)

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Defense Department honors Fort Leonard Wood civilian with Spirit of Hope Award

Donna Ferguson, U.S. Army Military Police School Behavioral Sciences Education and Training Division chief, was presented with the Department of Defense Spirit of Hope Award Oct. 27.

Col. Steven Yamashita, USAMPS assistant commandant, presented the award to Ferguson, noting she is the epitome of selfless service and commitment to America’s service members and their families in her role of developing law enforcement training to better protect service members, their families and civilians from special victims’ crimes.

The Spirit of Hope Award was established in 1997, in honor of entertainer and military supporter Bob Hope. It is presented annually on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of Defense to seven individuals or organizations that embody Bob Hope’s values of duty, honor, courage, loyalty, commitment, integrity and selfless dedication.


Child care providers at Child Development Center 408 displayed their National Association for the Education of Young Children accreditation certificate in October. The Army requires all Child Youth Services programs to have national accreditation to show that they are meeting or exceeding high standards of quality in child care. CDC 408 exceeded these high standards when they received a 97 percent overall grade during their NAEYC reaccreditation earlier this year – the standard is 80 percent.



Child care providers at Child Development Center 408 displayed their National Association for the Education of Young Children accreditation certificate in October. The Army requires all Child Youth Services programs to have national accreditation to show that they are meeting or exceeding high standards of quality in child care. CDC 408 exceeded these high standards when they received a 97 percent overall grade during their NAEYC reaccreditation earlier this year – the standard is 80 percent.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Ryan Thompson, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)

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Fort Leonard Wood Child Development Center earns A+ in child care

Fort Leonard Wood’s Child Development Center 408 was presented with a certificate in October, after exceeding the Army standard while applying for reaccreditation of their program.

During an assessment from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, or NAEYC, the CDC 408 received an overall score of 97 percent — the standard is 80 percent.


The National Trust for Historic Preservation honored Fort Leonard Wood with the Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation Award Nov. 4, during a virtual conference livestreamed from Washington, D.C., for rehabilitation work done here to save Bldg. 2101, also known as the Black Officer’s Club. The building – renamed Countee Hall in 2019, in honor of the late artist Staff Sgt. Samuel Countee, who painted a mural featured in the building while he was stationed here during World War II – stands as a reminder of a time before segregation in the Army was ended by President Harry Truman in 1948. Countee’s mural is now displayed inside a protective glass case atop the building’s original stone fireplace.



The National Trust for Historic Preservation honored Fort Leonard Wood with the Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation Award Nov. 4, during a virtual conference livestreamed from Washington, D.C., for rehabilitation work done here to save Bldg. 2101, also known as the Black Officer’s Club. The building – renamed Countee Hall in 2019, in honor of the late artist Staff Sgt. Samuel Countee, who painted a mural featured in the building while he was stationed here during World War II – stands as a reminder of a time before segregation in the Army was ended by President Harry Truman in 1948. Countee’s mural is now displayed inside a protective glass case atop the building’s original stone fireplace.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Mike Curtis, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)

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Fort Leonard Wood receives national recognition for preservation of Countee Hall

Efforts at Fort Leonard Wood to preserve a piece of the installation’s cultural history have resulted in national recognition.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation honored Fort Leonard Wood with the Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation Award Nov. 4, during a virtual conference livestreamed from Washington, D.C., for rehabilitation work done here to save Bldg. 2101, also known as the Black Officer’s Club.

The building — renamed Countee Hall in 2019, in honor of the late artist Staff Sgt. Samuel Countee, who painted a mural featured in the building while he was stationed here during World War II — stands as a reminder of a time before segregation in the Army was ended by President Harry Truman in 1948. Countee’s mural is now displayed inside a protective glass case atop the building’s original stone fireplace.


Leaders from the Defense Health Agency, the Army Health Planning Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, and build and design contractors JE Dunn Construction and RLF Architects sign the final steel beam set to be installed in the new General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital Dec. 7.



Leaders from the Defense Health Agency, the Army Health Planning Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, and build and design contractors JE Dunn Construction and RLF Architects sign the final steel beam set to be installed in the new General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital Dec. 7.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Mike Curtis, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)

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New Fort Leonard Wood hospital gets ‘topping out’

Leaders from the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence; the Defense Health Agency; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the U.S. Army Health Planning Agency; JE Dunn Construction and RLF Architects — the primary build and design contractors, respectively; and the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital held a “topping out” ceremony Dec. 7, at the construction site of Fort Leonard Wood’s new hospital, slated for completion in 2024.

In building construction, the topping-out ceremony traditionally marks the point when the last structural beam is placed at the top of the structure. It is also usually signed by the invited dignitaries.



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