Brainy Leavenworth adds enlisted brawn

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(Lowe Hall is set to become the site of Fort Leavenworth's new resiliency center/Photo: Leavenworth Lamp)

Fort Leavenworth, the “intellectual center of the Army,” has got a little more muscle these days.

Best known as the home of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, the Combined Arms Center and the Command and General Staff College, the numbers of enlisted soldiers at Fort Leavenworth have swelled in recent years–and they’re MPs.

“The nature of this post is changing,” said Col. Wayne Green, the garrison commander. “It’s not an officer’s post, and we work pretty hard to refute that, because if you’re an E-2’s spouse, you’ll think ‘I’m on an officer’s post and nobody cares about me.’ Quite the opposite.”

On our visit to Leavenworth this week, we learned the traditional population of 1,400 students and their spouses has added 1,200 noncommissioned officers in two years. That’s in part because the Army Corrections Brigade reflagged as the 15th Military Police Brigade.

Under brigade commander  Col. Eric Belcher are two deployable MP battalions, the 40th Military Police Internment and Resettlement Battalion, which oversees operations of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, and the 705th MP I/R Battalion, which oversees operations of the new Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility.The 705th returned from Iraq in September, and the 40th MPs are there now, manning the Camp Cropper Theater Internment Facility as part of Operation New Dawn.

There has been $287 million in construction, mostly for the new prison, but also for the company headquarters for the new MPs and other projects, Green said. The post has also expanded its single solder quarters, built a new chapel, and overhauled its gym, but the capstone of the transformation of the post is a resiliency center now under construction at Lowe Hall.

Plans to renovate the historic troop hospital turned garrison headquarters were changed to follow the Army’s comprehensive soldier fitness goals, and now the building will serve as the three-story resiliency center.

“A light-bulb went off in our ops center 18 months ago, and they said, ‘Where might we put this?'” Green said. “There you go.”

Intended as a “one-stop” location for soldiers and their families looking to heal mentally, physically and spiritually, it will incorporate Army Community Services, FMWR headquarters, children’s activities, services for Gold Star families and other offices.

“We hope that one of the tangential benefits is that we also pull in the E-2, E-3, E-4, because their network’s not as rich as major’s wife’s that’s been in for 12 years,” Green said. “They can come here, walk through that front door.”

The ribbon cutting is likely for late May or early June, Green said.

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10 Comments

  1. Even though the Brigade is growing, the post housing office still refuses to address the discrimination of Senior and lower enlisted Soldiers not able to recieved adequate housing in favor of the Officers. It’s all about the “Benjamins”. The Housing office would rather recieve officers higher BAH than lower enlisted rate in order to profit.

  2. I remember attending a chapel on post and all the studies were for officers. They even plan all the summer children’s programs based on officer schedules. I’ve been to Leavenworth several times for schooling. I statement of the Garrison Commander of it not being an officer’s installation shows how out of touch they really are.

  3. If it’s not an officer’s post then somebody needs to tell the surrounding area. The town of Leavenworth raises prices based on a Majors salary due to the fact that there are around 3000 majors on that installation at any given point during the year. As long as CGSC is open Leavenworth will continue to be an officers post, and treat the enlisted like they don’t matter.

  4. I was stationed on Ft Leavenworth for 3 years, I was enlisted at the time. To say that because you are enlisted means that the post and community do not care about you- is ridiculous.

    Go to Pullmans and order breakfast…look around, officers, enlisted, GS civilians…that is the population of Fort Leavenworth.

    How about this….STOP WHINING. There are thousands of Soldiers forward deployed right now…worry about them. Worry about their famililes.

  5. My husbands been stationed at Fort Leavenworth for 2 years now. To see this post is not geared or catered towards officers is a joke. My husband can never purchase equipment from the military store because they never have stuff. They always say, "Officers are here, sorry, you know how it is. " Yeah he has been told to go purchase stuff. Must be nice to work M-F and a cushy schedule.
    Well my husbands an MP. He works just about every weekend and holiday, no rotation, just random schedule. And so do his comrades. Not to mention, him and the other MP's who have or have not been deployed all say the same thing. BK's closed, PX is closed, Pools on post close before they are off duty and etc.
    Childcare is ridiculous.
    As a spouse I can speek my mind, he will not for fear of any reprocuctions, lord forbid he speak some truth.
    Housing here is ridiculous too. We know many enlisted who are on waiting lists to get on post housing. Sorry, that too is given priority to officers. Come on, they make 1200 or more BAH per month, enlisted make 882 starting. Of course the brand new houses go to officers and the slums go to the enlisted.
    Also when something nexts repair its done for an officer, we can call housing and make complaints, but what they are is just that, a complaint.
    My husband and I have filed ICE reports on this and others. So please don't try to demote my comments to reports.
    I know the whole army is about hurry up and wait. But I disagree when I see civilians on this post getting high dollar money and working some easy hours, or getting paid way too much.
    This is ludicrous considering our boys deployed supposedly can never get money for upgrades cause the budget is busted.
    Also this post is so darn privatized its ridiculous. Positions held by MP's are now and have been manned by over paid wannabe security personal.
    Maybe Officers need a pay cut and give back the other jobs to enlisted like it was.
    By the way, Degrees in the military don't mean crap anymore, my husband has one, and so do 3 others who work with him this includes 4 year. He even says regularly that some officers act more like the MP's are dumbies. Well alot of MP's are actually very well educated.
    I hope I can speak for other spouses out there or troops who feel the way my husband feels.
    They should not have to fear making comments, isn't freedom of speech what he and his deployed friends are defending.

  6. Former Commander, 705th MP BN on

    As the son of a career E7 who served 21 years and fought in Korea and Vietnam, I am very sensitive to the sensitivities and perceptions of our enlisted soldiers and their spouses.

    Much of the comments on this blog are sour grapes based on jeolousy of others pay and benefits. If you want to be paid for your degree, get a job that pays you for your degree.

    The officers, senior civilian leaders, and senior non-coms I saw when I was in command and today get up each morning trying to make Fort Leavenworth better for our soldiers.

    By the way, the CGSC students complain that the post needs to do more for the students and not just focus on the permanent party. They sense that being a 9 month student makes them a second class citizen.

    “Can’t we all get along?”

  7. Stacie- while I appreciate your passion, you are not basing any of your comments on fact.

    I was an MP when i was enlisted, and guess what? I’m an MP now too…as an officer.

    I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I was an MP at the USDB, and I am well aware of the shifts everyone works- and the officers, NCOs and Soldiers all work crazy shifts and hours sometimes.

    Getting a degree doesn’t make you a professional- but giving uninformed comments on a situation you are vaguely familiar with doesn’t make you correct.

  8. The great thing about being a part of an all volunteer army is that you can choose not to continue your service when you complete your tour.

    If you and your spouse are unhappy with your military situation, use your skills and talents and find work in the private sector.

    Sincerely,

    Everyone in the Army who is sick of lower enlisted with a sense of entitlement they haven’t earned.

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