Those who work, live on or visit Fort Leonard Wood will soon be seeing some new, and possibly familiar, faces manning the main gate. Beginning Monday, senior leaders from across the installation will be taking shifts conducting the gate-guard duties of checking IDs and greeting the community.
According to Lt. Col. Graham Swenson, the initiative was directed by the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general.
“The CG wanted to ensure that the installation’s leaders demonstrated to the community their concern. In addition, she wanted those same leaders to experience what our gate guards go through every day,” Swenson said. “It demonstrates how seriously the CG sees the roles of our gates, gate guards and the installation’s security.”
Many of the service members currently manning the gate are engineers. Col. Kip Korth, 1st Engineer Brigade commander, said he is happy to take his turn on the gate because of this.
“We have a lot of engineer Soldiers from 5th Engineer Battalion pulling gate guard shifts,” Korth said. “Leadership needs to be out there with them — we can’t ask them to do something we couldn’t or would be unwilling to do. It is flat out important to be out there, especially on the cold days and nights of winter.”
Leaders who will be working the gate include the CG herself, members of the MSCoE command team, senior MSCoE staff officers, commandants, regimental command sergeants major and chief warrant officers, brigade and battalion command teams and also Interservice Training Review Organizations (ITRO) leaders.
Swenson said leaders working the gate will go through an abbreviated block of instruction similar to what the installation’s gate guards go through. He also said they are not expecting there to be any delays at the gate.
“The program will be ongoing for quite some time so don’t be surprised at whom you may meet at the gate,” Swenson said.