Story and photo by Dawn Arden
Public Affairs Office

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Oct. 11, 2018) — Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District’s Leadership Development Program visited Fort Leonard Wood for a three-day retreat Oct. 1 through 3.

The retreat marks the beginning of a year-long program that aims to build teamwork, communication and leadership skills and camaraderie.

Now in its 20th year, teams enrolled in the program have been coming to the installation for about 15 years, according to Bob Schoen, Kansas City Office resident engineer and event coordinator. Schoen added he was part of a team that came through 10 years ago.

During their stay, the group toured facilities, received briefings, watched demonstrations and participated in training sessions at the Teamwork Development Course and engagement skills trainers. The group also learned and practiced different rappelling techniques on Warrior Tower after receiving a block of instruction from the Sapper Leader Course.

“I think for an organization that’s (mostly) civilians, it allows these folks the opportunity to see leadership in a different light, kind of broaden their horizons and also give them some perspective on the military,” Schoen said. “We give them just a taste of what it’s like to live as a Soldier over a few days.”

He added, “I think it not only gives a lot of great perspective, but I think it also increases our appreciation for what it is that we do as civilians in support of the Army.”

Tyler Stewart, USACE natural resource specialist and a park ranger at Rathbun Lake in southern Iowa, said the retreat has been a learning experience as well as exciting.

He said he has learned to have more patience and how to better work with his teammates during the various activities.

“We’re getting information and guidance about leadership and how it applies to the Army,” Stewart said. “We can take some of that information and apply it to the Corps of Engineers, as well.”

For more information on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, visit

Members of the USACE Leadership Development Program rappel down Warrior Tower Oct. 2.