Fort Leonard Wood mentorship ride events highlight motorcycle safety

Brian Hill
Fort Leonard Wood

Spring marks the beginning of motorcycle-riding season for many, and units at Fort Leonard Wood are hosting mentorship rides to ensure everyone is ready to enjoy their hobby.

According to Capt. Karl Jahrsdoerfer, a Basic Officer Leader Course instructor at the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School and one of the installation’s motorcycle mentors, the goal of the mentorship ride is to focus on safety.

“It is a safety stand-down event, where we focus on making sure equipment is in good working order,” he said. “We validate the paperwork of each rider — that they have gone through the appropriate training — and then we verify that the Soldiers in our formation are proficient at riding to ensure their safety on the open road.”

The 3rd Chemical Brigade began their event Friday morning in the Baker Theater parking lot. Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Ornot is a senior drill sergeant assigned to Company C, 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, and is his brigade’s motorcycle mentor.

After checking training certifications, registration and insurance, each motorcycle was inspected and the group was given a safety briefing on the route, specifically chosen for its 90-degree blind curves, hills and roads with little to no shoulder.

“The ride went exceptionally well,” Ornot said. “The value of the mentorship program is increased safety, which comes partly through riders sharing experiences. We’re building unit cohesion while emphasizing the commander’s intent on the importance of the program.”

Jahrsdoerfer, who participated in the ride Friday, said Fort Leonard Wood is one of the best installations in the country for motorcycle riding.

“I volunteered to come back — this is my third time here — because I love the riding in this area,” he said. “You can ride for 45 minutes — an hour — here and never hit a stop light. There are a lot of long, moderate-speed, windy roads. If you just like to get on the road and cruise, it’s nice.”

Motorcycle courses at Fort Leonard Wood

The U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood Safety Office began a new round of Motorcycle Safety Courses Tuesday.

According to Ashley Shetland, a safety and occupational health specialist at the garrison safety office, Motorcycle Safety Foundation-approved courses are mandatory for service members to operate motorcycles on Fort Leonard Wood, starting with the Basic Rider Course.

Follow-up courses, such as the Experienced Rider Course, Military Sportbike Course and Motorcycle Refresher Training are also required as riders gain experience, Shetland said, adding riders who completed training five or more years ago are required to take Motorcycle Sustainment Training.

Department of the Army civilian employees who operate motorcycles in the performance of their duties must also meet the training requirements, Shetland added.

All courses are held at Training Area 209A, commonly known as the Motorcycle Safety Course.

Online registration is available for service members through the U.S. Army Installation Management Command registration system. Call 573-596-0016 or email for more information.

Motorcyclists from the 3rd Chemical Brigade depart the Baker Theater parking lot Friday morning on a 70-mile mentorship ride to Rolla, Missouri, and back as part of the post's Motorcycle Mentor Program — the goal being to ensure motorcyclists here have proper training and proficiency. Photo by Brian Hill