By Dawn Arden
Public Affairs Office
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (March 21, 2019) – In January, Regimental Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Bennett assumed responsibility of the U.S. Army Military Police School, becoming the first 31E, or Internment/Resettlement Specialist, to hold this position.
“I just want to be successful,” Bennett said. “I want to do it right; I want to get it right — being the first, there’s kind of a lot of weight on my shoulders. I’m not saying I didn’t ask for it, but if I don’t get it right it could impact the future of those that are up and coming, those that have just as much potential as I did, or do.”
His story began in Bakers City, Oregon.
“I come from a very small town, and I come from a family of ranchers and loggers where hard work is the norm,” he said. “In that environment you lean on other people, the farmers and loggers. You just don’t do it by yourself.”
Bennett said life in the military has been exactly what he expected it to be and compared it to the community where he grew up.
“In a lot of ways the military is the same way,” he said. “You can individually move through the military just fine, but at some point, if you’re going to be completely successful, you’re going to have to rely on others, and there’s going to have to be some teamwork. I’ve always liked the teamwork aspect of the military.”
Throughout his career Bennett said he has had many memorable moments, but his time here as a drill sergeant is one that really stands out.
“The one thing I wanted out of being a Soldier was the opportunity to be a drill sergeant,” he said.
Bennett attended drill sergeant school here at Fort Leonard Wood. He said by the time he graduated the country was at war.
“That whole experience was — well every day was an event,” he said.
Bennett said he watched as National Guard and Army Reserve liaisons came out to the units as Soldiers were graduating to break the news.
“They lined up different young men and women and said, ‘Hey, call your mom because you’re not going home. You’re going to catch up with your mobilizing unit, and we need to have that conversation,’” he said. “The reality of what the young men and women were committed to do — watching that just take hold of those young people was an experience.”
As the MP Corps’ 14th regimental command sergeant major, Bennett said he is looking forward to the opportunity to give back and take care of Soldiers and families.
“I hope I’m able to impact in a way and give back to, a regiment that has impacted me for the last 24 years because it’s been simply amazing,” he said. “I’ve got a family, I’ve got two college degrees and I’m working on a third. I’ve been able to travel around the world, and I’ve been a part of Soldiers’ lives, Soldiers who have been at their worst and watched them grow into amazing professionals. I just hope I can give back.”
Of his career to this point Bennett said, “If this is it, this is amazing.”
About Fort Leonard Wood
Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 75 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains more than 82,000 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 and Air Force detachments 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.