By Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office

As the new commander of the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood, Maj. Gen. Donna Martin said she aims to be an advocate for the installation and those who work on it.

Since taking command Aug. 28, Martin and Command Sgt. Maj. Henney Hodgkins have been visiting organizations, viewing training and meeting with military and civilian leaders across the installation to better understand Fort Leonard Wood’s capabilities and challenges and to discuss Martin’s command philosophy in order to bring the best product to the warfighter.

Core beliefs

Martin, who served as the commandant of the U.S. Army Military Police School prior to taking command, is approaching her new job in keeping with the “Team of Teams” concept.

A core belief is that leading Soldiers is a privilege that shouldn’t be taken lightly. “I think every day you come to work you ought to be passionate about what you do and give your best because what you do is so important,” Martin said. “Every day you are doing something that supports the young men and women who raise their hands and say ‘I will’ and are willing to go into harm’s way.”

Initial priorities

Included in her initial priorities are training and preparing for the fight, supporting those in the fight, taking care of people and improving the quality of life in our community, and partnering with others.

“The only reason we exist here in the institutional Army is to prepare those graduates…to get ready to go fight the fight,” Martin said. “We have to be the best at doing that. Whether you’re a training developer, an instructor or a commander, all of those things you do lead to providing the warfighter the best Soldier we can from all three regiments.”

And, Martin added, “Every single day you have to ask yourself, ‘What have I done to contribute to the fight?’”

Martin said the team will work together to further refine these priorities and “will develop metrics so we can assess our progress.”


Martin stressed the importance of positive command climate and encouraged Soldiers and civilians to speak up when something does not seem right.

She added “it is everyone’s duty to be ethical and moral examples for their subordinates.”

According to Martin, there is a balance that everyone needs to find in their professional and personal lives. Balance, she said, is about setting expectations with those who love and support you.

“When you can be there, be there,” she said. “Don’t be on your phones, don’t be on your computers, be there. It’s not about the quantity of time that you can spend with your families, it’s about what you do while you’re there, the quality of time.”


Martin asked for everyone’s assistance in promoting a climate of respect and dignity across the installation. She emphasized the need to help the youngest and newest members of our profession understand who we are and what we stand for.

“I owe the service members, civilians and families a nurturing command climate that will advocate for the three schools and maneuver support, while continuing to improve the quality of life for the community,” she said.

Martin also promised to be the standard bearer and set the example for ethical and moral conduct, as well as set a climate that empowers the entire organization to reach its full potential.

Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, discusses her core beliefs, initial priorities, philosophy and expectations with senior leaders from the U.S. Army Engineer School Sept. 6 in the Digital Training Facility. Photo by Dawn Arden