fort leonard wood

Soldiers scale walls and crawl through cold, damp grass while taking on simulated gunfire in this Basic Training course at Fort Leonard Wood. They’re among the roughly 90,000 yearly trainees at the base, located in the central Missouri Ozarks.

Members of Missouri’s Congressional delegation, dozens of the state’s lawmakers and statewide office holders, plus hundreds of citizens gathered at Fort Leonard Wood Monday to boost the credentials of the Army base and attempt to save it from potential job cuts.

Up to 5,400 civilian and military jobs could be lost by 2020 as part of a broader force reduction plan that would significantly draw down the Army’s personnel. The war-time high of 570,000 could be reduced to as few as 420,000 in five years.

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A newspaper review of military sexual assault programs found that reporting lapses and other mistakes contributed to a climate in which a Fort Leonard Wood drill sergeant preyed on female subordinates. 

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The U.S. Army is seeking public comment on possible future cuts at Missouri's Fort Leonard Wood and other installations nationwide.

U.S. Army photo

On Monday, the first-ever gay pride event was held on post at Fort Leonard Wood. Command Sgt. Major Teresa King spoke at a luncheon about her journey coming out and living openly as a gay soldier in the U.S. Army.

Some would say that this is news. It's not that long ago that such an event on an military post would have been illegal. Others say there are diversity events held all the time celebrating one group or another, and it deserved no more coverage than those do.

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The Fort Leonard Wood Army base in south-central Missouri is expected to lose 1,000 soldiers by October 2015.

Base spokeswoman Tiffany Wood confirmed the cuts to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She says it is part of budget cuts throughout the U.S. military.

Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, who oversees Fort Leonard Wood, discussed the cuts Wednesday at a town hall meeting on the base. Wood says Army officials told base leadership two weeks ago about the cutbacks.

Fort Leonard Wood is returning to its more traditional ways for training recruits.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Missouri Military leaders gathered in Columbia today to discuss the current and future landscape of the armed forces in the state, as the federal government  plans to make cuts to defense spending. One of the main messages from panelists: that different stakeholders in that state must work together toward creating a “military friendly” environment in the state.

“It’s gonna have to be a team effort going forward. It can’t just be a Fort Leonard Word effort, it can’t just be a Whiteman effort, it can’t just be a Rosecran effort, it can’t just be a Jefferson Barracks effort. It has to be a  statewide effort… It’s bigger than any just one location anymore,” said Mike Dunbar with the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement commission. Dunbar was one of the panelists at the forum.

U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler hosted the event, which brought together representatives from the military and the communities in Missouri that surround the military bases in the state, to discuss the impact of a possible Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).

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The U.S. Army announced Tuesday it will eliminate 885 positions at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri as part of its plan to restructure its bases in the U.S.

The Army says it was necessary to reduce its numbers by 80,000 active duty members over the next four years because of sequestration cuts. The plan is to bring its number of active duty personnel down to 490,000 by 2017.

 Photo 3: Members of the communities surrounding Fort Leonard Wood gathered Tuesday to discuss the U.S. Army proposal to remove troops from the fort. Under the proposal, the fort could lose as many of 4,000 of its troops.Edit | Remove

Katy Mersmann / KBIA

A U.S. Army plan for possible personnel cuts at forts with more than 8,000 stationed troops could mean removing troops from Fort Leonard Wood in southern Missouri.

Hundreds of members of the communities surrounding Fort Leonard Wood gathered Tuesday night to discuss the proposed cuts and the effect it could have on the economy of the area. The fort currently trains somewhere between 80,ooo and 90,000 soldiers per year, but now that number could be decreased by as many as 4,000 troops.

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A U.S. Army plan for possible personnel cuts could significantly affect Fort Leonard Wood and the economy in the surrounding area.

Fort Leonard Wood welcomes home 463rd Military Police Company

Sep 20, 2012
Meredith Turk / KBIA

Sixty army troops returned home to Fort Leonard Wood from their deployment in Afghanistan.

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Fort Leonard Wood is honoring the first female soldier from Missouri who was killed in action in Iraq.

A building at the fort will be dedicated Thursday to Sgt. Amanda Pinson, who died in Iraq in 2006. A memorial plaque will also be unveiled.

The 21-year-old Pinson, of St. Louis, died when a mortar detonated near Tikrit, Iraq. She was a member of the 101st Military Intelligence Detachment of the 101st Airborne Division.

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Fort Leonard Wood is dedicating a new building in honor of Missouri's first female soldier killed by hostile fire.

The south-central Missouri Army base says a memorial plaque honoring Sergeant Amanda Pinson of St. Louis will be formally unveiled during a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 26th for the new Training Support Center.

Pinson was 21 in March 2006 when a mortar exploded in the central Iraq city of Tikrit, killing her and 22-year-old Specialist Carlos Gonzalez of Middletown, New York. Both were based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.