FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (May 4, 2023) — Future service members from high schools across South-Central Missouri will be honored for their commitment to serve their country at the Community Salute to Service event, scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Waynesville High School.
In attendance will be Gen. Gary Brito, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; Rolla, Missouri-native, Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels, chief of Army Reserve and commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Missouri Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe; Maj. Gen. James Bonner, commanding general of the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood; Maj. Gen. Levon Cumpton, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard; and Dr. Margie Vandeven, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education commissioner.
Additionally, Fort Leonard Wood’s 399th Army Band will provide live music, and Waynesville High School’s Junior ROTC color guard will post the colors.
According to Waynesville R-VI School District Superintendent Hilary Bales — who will also serve as master of ceremonies for the event — students from area high schools will be individually recognized by the branch of the military they are joining.
“I invite everyone in South-Central Missouri to come and help us honor these students who are raising their hand to serve,” Bales said. “With our close proximity to Fort Leonard Wood, we are honored to host this event and celebrate students, whose college and career readiness plans include selfless service. Less than 1 percent of Americans join the military, and it is an honor to recognize these students.”
Capt. Taumaloto To’o, Mid-Missouri Recruiting Company commander, said he looks forward to seeing these future service members honored in front of their families, teachers and coaches, along with some of the important decision makers from across the state. To’o, who oversees 38,000 square miles of recruiting territory across much of central Missouri, said these high school students have demonstrated their willingness to assume a level of responsibility most young people do not experience.
“We proudly support our future service members as they take an oath to serve this great nation,” To’o said. “It is a privilege to see their progression as they embark on this journey towards excellence. I am very proud of them.”
Visit the Fort Leonard Wood Facebook page or the Waynesville R-VI School District Facebook page for the most up-to-date information on the event. Additionally, the Salute to Service will be livestreamed on Tiger TV Channel 12 and on the district’s Facebook page.
About Fort Leonard Wood
Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 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