By Mr. John Brooks (Army Medicine)July 14, 2016
A brief ceremony marked the inactivation of Fort Leonard Wood's Warrior Transition Unit June 30. General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital and installation leadership, community leaders and the WTU's remaining staff attended the event.
"Taking care of America's sons and daughters is the passion of military leaders. This specific organization is one that will always be fond in my memory because of the lasting impact that it will continue to have on so many lives," said Capt. Adam Hamilton, former Fort Leonard Wood WTU commander.
WTU staff members provide command and control, primary care and case management for Soldiers in Transition to establish conditions for healing and promote the timely return to the force -- or transition to continue serving the nation as a veteran in their community, depending on the Soldiers' individual situation.
The WTU's inactivation status, as opposed to a deactivation status, utilizes inter-post transfers of both civilian and military WTU staff members to help ensure local availability of personnel for future reactivations of the unit.
"Resources are already here -- systems and processes are already established. The Warrior Transition Command is established. The major WTU units are not going away, so we are able to stand WTUs back up fairly quickly when they're needed," said 1st Sgt. Bradford Raven, formerly of Fort Leonard Wood WTU.
In March 2015, the Fort Leonard Wood WTU was identified by the Warrior Transition Command to inactivate with an inactivation date of August. The mission was to inactivate without compromising the care or transition of Soldiers, civilians and cadre, as one of 10 WTUs called on to inactivate worldwide.
The WTU unit inactivations were the result of a greatly decreased number of Soldiers receiving care and support in WTUs.
"At the height, we were at 200 STs in 2011. In 2012, our numbers started declining, because we started having fewer Soldiers who required WTU care Army wide," said Alma Stratinger, former lead of Human Resources at the Fort Leonard Wood WTU, now the lead of Human Resources at GLWACH.
Army wide, numbers went from more than 7,000 Soldiers in Transition to less than 3,700 by February 2015, according to the Army News Service.
Though the unit is inactivated, and its facilities are in use by other organizations, such as the post Religious Support Office and the Fort Leonard Wood Wellness Center, whenever the need comes to reactivate, these facilities will be reallocated back to the Fort Leonard Wood WTU.
(Editor's note: Brooks is the marketing and public affairs specialist at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital.)