FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (June 16, 2022) The U.S. Army Chemical Corps held its annual regimental week here from June 4 through Saturday.
Hosted by U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School Commandant Col. Sean Crockett, this year’s celebration marks the corps’ 104th anniversary.
The week of events kicked off June 4, when members of the regiment participated in a 5K run that began at Memorial Grove.
On June 6, the regiment hosted an event for the spouses of CBRN Soldiers that included visits to the Lt. Joseph Terry CBRN First Responder Training Facility and the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex.
About 25 spouses took part, including Daphine Hills, wife of USACBRNS Regimental Chief Warrant Officer 3 Humphrey Hills.
“Just seeing what our spouses do and go through regularly was nothing short of amazing,” she said. “I love that this opportunity was provided.”
Hills said she especially enjoyed the hands-on nature of the event. She said she tried on chemical and biological protective clothing, which gave her even more respect for what CBRN Soldiers do.
“I was in it maybe all of two to three minutes,” she said. “It seemed like it was 100 degrees in seconds.”
June 7 saw the opening of the two-day Chemical Corps Regimental Association’s 2022 CBRN Exhibition at Nutter Field House, featuring more than 30 technology partners and industry leaders.
One of the more unique events this year occurred June 8, when Special Operations Soldiers conducted an airborne operation here in commemoration of Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Johnson, a CBRN Soldier who was killed while on a mission in 2017, in Africa. Known to his friends and colleagues as “JW,” Johnson participated in a parachute jump for CBRN Regimental Week here shortly before he died. He was also inducted into the Chemical Corps Hall of Fame this year.
Master Sgt. Richard Carnicom, from the 82nd Chemical Reconnaissance Detachment, 10th Special Forces Group, organized the event — Carnicom served alongside Johnson in the 14th CRD, 3rd SFG (Airborne).
“JW was an awesome guy and incredible family man, teammate and person — he was a warrior,” Carnicom said. “He would think this is awesome.”
With clear, calm weather replacing the rain that fell for much of the week, a sunrise memorial service was held June 9 at Memorial Grove.
In summing up the event, Regimental Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Williams said there is no tradition more important than paying honor to those who have given everything in defense of the nation.
“This morning, we will pause to reflect on Dragon Soldiers who dedicated their lives to our country and our corps,” he said.
The guest speaker at the event was retired 1st Sgt. Sandra Adams, who now serves as the chief of International Fire Service Accreditation Congress compliance for the USACBRNS Directorate of Training and Leader Development. She told the attendees to “grow in confidence” with the assurance each task can be accomplished.
“Take a look to your left; now, take a look to your right,” she said. “Let your neighbors serve as a reminder of those who have paved and are continuing to pave the way for us to live in the land of the free. Their confidence and determination have allowed them to make the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe.”
On Friday morning in Lincoln Hall Auditorium, senior leaders outlined the state of the regiment.
In his remarks, Crockett spoke on ways the regiment will accomplish its current priorities — taking care of its people and modernization — as the Chemical Corps works to maintain readiness and relevance in the Army of the near future.
“To accomplish our goals, we must develop specific capabilities across the doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities domains that will ensure survivability and enable freedom of action in large-scale combat and multi-domain operations against near-peer threats in a complex CBRN environment,” he said. “Modernization objectives will set conditions for mission success for the Army 2030 force and beyond, utilizing our three core functions: assess, protect and mitigate.”
Crockett also thanked the service members and civilians who accomplish and support the mission every day.
“Your continued dedication to this formation has allowed us to remain steadfast in our training and support to the maneuver force over the years,” he said. “I am confident our training and modernization efforts will keep our corps ready and relevant as we transition into Army 2030 and beyond. I am equally confident our planned trajectory for modernization is in support for how the Army wishes to modernize, delivering capability to the warfighter that will ensure success in future CBRN environments. All of you here, along with our Dragon Soldiers and joint partners around the globe, continue to represent the strongest CBRN counterforce team this nation has ever seen. Together, we collectively will be the decisive edge in support of the future force.”
Following the senior leader remarks, the Order of the Dragon awards were presented to 15 individuals.
The award is given to those who have demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and moral character, have an outstanding degree of professional competence, and have contributed to the promotion of the Chemical Corps in numerous ways over the course of their careers.
The Ancient Order of the Dragon was presented to Cols. Benjamin Lindsey and Alexander Lovascz, Lt. Col. Justin Hurt, Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Burkes and 1st Sgt. Darryl Harley.
The Honorable Order of the Dragon was presented to Lt. Col. Josh Howell, Majs. Victoria Clemons, Trey Ferguson and Chester Garner, and Sgts. 1st Class Pedro Caban, Brenton Calvin, Sasha Gonzalez and Johanna Visscher.
The Order of the Dragon – Legionnaire, which recognizes non-CBRN personnel, was presented to Sgts. 1st Class Michael Mindt and Matthew Williams.
The Sibert Award was then presented. Named after Maj. Gen. William Sibert — often referred to as the “Father of the Chemical Corps” — the annual award recognizes the top-performing CBRN companies in the active-duty Army, National Guard and Reserve, and the top-performing team or detachment.
The active component winner this year was the 9th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Company (Technical Escort), from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; the National Guard component winner this year was the 690th CBRN Company (Hazard Response), from Mobile, Alabama; the Reserve component winner this year was the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 415th CBRN Brigade, from Greenville, South Carolina; and the team or detachment winner this year was the 82nd Chemical Reconnaissance Detachment, from Fort Carson, Colorado.
Following the Sibert Award presentations, retired Sgt. Maj. William Jackson was honored as a Distinguished Member of the Corps, an award extended to individuals who served the Chemical Corps in their professional lives, and who continue to serve it in their personal lives.
The regiment then inducted Johnson into the Chemical Corps Hall of Fame. As a CBRN Soldier with the 14th CRD assigned to the 3rd SFG (Airborne), Johnson was killed while providing cover for his team after they were ambushed by enemy forces five years ago in Niger. Johnson was named an honorary Green Beret in 2021 — one of only 13 Soldiers ever to receive this honor — and Johnson’s Bronze Star Medal with Valor was upgraded to the Silver Star in March. The Silver Star is the armed forces’ third-highest military decoration for valor in combat.
After Crockett and Williams presented Johnson’s parents with Chemical Corps Hall of Fame honors, Crockett said “the respect we give to our fallen speaks to the value we place on their service.”
“A service members’ death touches more than just the lives of their loved ones and friends,” he said. “When their stories are shared in our neighborhoods, our homes, our schools and our places of worship, these men and women become a part of the collective identity of our hometowns. The stories of their sacrifices live on in the pride of memories of their loved ones, at observances, through inscriptions on memorials, and plaques dedicated to the legacy of their generation. Woven into the fabric of our country are those who died while wearing the cloth of our nation. They instill a sense of pride among citizens, and they inspire new generations to raise their hands in service.”
More information about the Chemical Corps’ Hall of Fame can be found on the USACBRNS website at https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/units-tenants/USACBRNS/CBRN_units/HQs/HOF.
Later that evening, the regiment hosted their Green Dragon Ball at Nutter Field House, and Saturday morning, the CCRA golf tournament at Piney Valley Golf Course wrapped up the week of events.
About Fort Leonard Wood
Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains nearly 80,000 military and civilians each year.
Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.
Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.
More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/about/mission