By Ms. Dawn M Arden (Leonard Wood)July 6, 2017
Fort Leonard Wood's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School said farewell to Brig. Gen. James Bonner and welcomed Col. Andy Munera in a change-of-commandancy ceremony held June 29 on the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Plaza.
Bonner said the work done by the chemical school is especially important and that over the past year they have made great strides in closing the gap between training and readiness.
"Like the foundation of a sturdy house, what the CBRN School contributes is essential to the countering WMD mission in addition to strengthening the warfighting and combat readiness mission worldwide," Bonner said. "Today I came to the stark reality that after 29 years, this is the last day that I will serve in this corps, culminating as the 29th chief of chemical and commandant of the CBRN School, and I'm OK with that because you have given me an unforgettable experience."
Maj. Gen. Kent Savre, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, spoke of the critical role played by the Chemical Corps dating back to the battlefields of World War I.
"Because of their brave efforts, unique skills and tools developed through multiple conflicts to mitigate a broad range of hazards, the CBRN legacy was born, and the legacy continues today with the passing of the Chemical Corps colors from Brig. Gen. Jim Bonner to Col. Andy Munera," Savre said.
Savre listed a few of Bonner's many accomplishments during his time as commandant.
Those accomplishments highlighted included his interaction with several major Army commands and multiple nations, which in turn strengthened our relationships with international allies and built a better CBRN defense, and his work with various academic institutions of excellence to create the first fellowships for CBRN officers.
"Although Brig. Gen. Bonner has done an exceptional job engaging with key leaders across the world, he's always remained equally focused on developing his team right here at Fort Leonard Wood," Savre said. "From permanent party, Soldiers in training, to Family members and civilians, his unique ability to leverage his great sense of humor and his personal approach toward mentorship has left a positive influence on the CBRN and MSCoE teams."
Savre then congratulated Munera on his appointment as 30th chief of chemical and as commandant, saying the chemical school will continue the mission of creating agile and adaptive leaders of character with unique skills and tools to achieve mission success.
"Col. Munera has a remarkable resume," Savre said. "He's been an integral part of the Chemical Corps and has served in a variety of high op-tempo units like the 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions, and the Big Red One. He commanded the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and is now coming to us from the Pentagon as a senior military adviser to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction."
Munera said it was an honor to be selected and that he and his Family are excited to be back in Missouri.
He said he looks forward to being part of the Maneuver Support team of teams.
"Like my predecessors, I will remain focused on increasing CBRN readiness, developing fundamentally sound and technically proficient leaders, and enhancing CBRN force posture to meet today and tomorrow's national CBRN defense," Munera said.