Story and photo by Dawn Arden
Public Affairs Office
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (July 12, 2018) — Marines stationed on Fort Leonard Wood now have a U.S. Marine Corps approved obstacle course to train on, thanks to the combined efforts of the detachment, the Air Force, the Army’s 5th Engineer Battalion and Prime Power School.
According to Marine Master Sgt. Matthew Dennies, project coordinator, it is the only USMC obstacle course within 500 miles of the installation. He said the course is designed to test and build agility and strength.
“What we have here is your standard Marine Corps obstacle course. If you go to any Marine Corps base, you’re going to see these all over the place. This is a staple in every Marine’s journey from civilian life, when they begin that transformation and earn the title Marine. It doesn’t matter if you’re enlisted or officer, this is something that you will always see as part of their training continuum,” said Marine Col. George Markert, detachment commander. “So obviously here, at Fort Leonard Wood, where we have the world’s largest Marine Corps Detachment, we decided that we wanted one of our own.”
Markert praised the teamwork it took to build the course.
“Just like anything we do here at Fort Leonard Wood, it was a joint effort,” Markert said. “It’s always a joint effort. You look at the people gathered here today, we’ve got all the services represented here and talk about engineering — this is an engineering project in support of training evolution. We had to have that joint support in order to get it done.”
Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Darius Cooper, 5th Engineer Battalion construction engineering technician, said to his knowledge, this is the first joint-services project the battalion has been involved with.
“The chance to work with your sister services, you don’t get that every day,” he said. “I hadn’t had a chance to do it before this project, but now we’ve got connections with the Air Force and the Navy, so we plan to do follow-on projects. This was a great effort by everybody, and I know my guys are pretty proud to be a part of this.”
A ceremony was held Monday at the site, dedicating the course in memory of retired Marine Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daryl Reeves for the impact he made on the detachment and the community.
The course may be scheduled by all branches of service through the Range Facility Management Support System.