FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (November 2, 2023) — St. Louis native Staff Sgt. Ryan Johnson is to be presented the Purple Heart in a ceremony taking place at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 3 in Lincoln Hall Auditorium for injuries received in action while deployed to Afghanistan on Dec. 11, 2019, in support of the Special Operations Joint Task Force Afghanistan.

Johnson is currently serving as a drill sergeant with Company A, 701st Military Police Battalion, where he is responsible for training the next generation of Soldiers, instilling in them the Army values, attitudes and skills necessary to succeed in their military careers.

One of the most recognized and respected medals awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces, the Purple Heart is awarded to men and women who are wounded or killed by opposing armed forces during military service. Introduced as the “Badge of Military Merit” by Gen. George Washington in 1782, the Purple Heart is also the nation’s oldest military award.

Media interested in attending, please contact the Public Affairs Office at 573.563.4145 no later than 8:30 a.m. Nov. 3.


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.