From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander


Almost a year ago, I told you that we were sending a battalion headquarters and eight companies of Drill Sergeants, one of which came from our friends in the 98th Division, to Fort Leonard Wood.  There, they were going to train a large number of new Soldiers, and help the Army increase its overall end strength.  The eyes of the entire Army were on our Soldiers as they undertook this mission.  Would our Soldiers be ready and relevant? Could we meet the challenge?  Today, I am proud to tell you that our Soldiers not only met the challenge, but have excelled in every possible way!

We only had 30 days from when our first Soldiers arrived at Fort Leonard Wood until they were required to pick up the first group of trainees and start their training.  In that short time, our Soldiers had lots of work to do.

They had to obtain all of their post certifications so that they would be qualified to train new Soldiers.  They also had to in-process post, find places to live, and take care of all of the administrative requirements associated with moving onto an active duty post.

Most critically, they had to get their headquarters’ facilities and trainee barracks ready for use.  All of the buildings that our Soldiers took over had been “mothballed” for quite a few years.  While the lights might have turned on, and the utilities mostly worked, that was about it.  Our Soldiers had to do extensive cleaning and repair work on the buildings they took over.  Worse, they had to go out and scrounge furniture in order for the buildings to be functional.  Our Soldiers did all of this, did it under tremendous time pressure, and did it well!  The 2-48 Infantry became a reality, and was open for business precisely on schedule.

Since that strong start, our Soldiers have trained over 1,000 new Soldiers in multiple training cycles.  Additional training cycles are in progress now.  In addition to training new Soldiers, they maintained control of significant numbers of other trainees who had completed basic training and were waiting to ship to their follow-on training; keeping those young Soldiers gainfully employed, fit, and ready.  No matter what their mission was, the professionalism and excellence of our Soldiers was always on display.  In my visits to Fort Leonard Wood, I’ve heard nothing but great things about our Soldiers.

Our Soldiers have completely integrated into the Fort Leonard Wood community.  Many of them like the duty so well that they are extending to serve a second year there.  A significant number even brought their families with them.

In short, our Soldiers have once again proven that they are ready, relevant, and able to step forward to meet critical Army needs.  Without our Soldiers, the Army would not have been able to meet its end strength requirements.  Because of our Soldiers, the Army has many more new, well-trained young Soldiers who are able to serve their country, and can do so secure in the knowledge that their training will be equal to any challenge they might face.


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