FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Fort Leonard Wood Soldiers and Army civilians are invited, and encouraged, to participate in “Your Voice Matters” listening sessions scheduled for May 18 and 19 in Nutter Field House, and through MS Teams for those unable to attend in person.

The Army-level listening sessions will focus on topics such as diversity, equality and inclusion. They will also address climate, command leadership and trust and their effect on the Army, Soldiers and civilians.

Keith Dupont, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence assistant chief of staff, said the events give individuals the opportunity to make a difference across the Army.

“This is very important not only to Fort Leonard Wood’s leadership but the Army as a whole,” Dupont said. “Soldiers and civilians should take advantage of this opportunity to let leadership know what is on their minds and how leadership can support their needs. This forum helps to spark communication in a non-threatening environment and gives the team an opportunity to hear some of the concerns and potentially offer a few solutions. This in turn helps to foster a positive, inclusive environment.”

Multiple sessions are slated for each day, and no registration is needed as all sessions are 100 percent non-attributional. Topics discussed will not be associated with a unit or person and names will not be taken down. Soldiers may wear civilian clothes to assist with the anonymity.

Sessions are scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to noon, 1 to 2:30 p.m., and 3 to 4:30 p.m. May 18; and 8:30 to 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. to noon, 1 to 2:30 p.m., and 3 to 4:30 p.m. May 19.

Dupont said attending a session counts as work hours and individuals will not be charged leave to attend.

“Mission permitting, leaders are encouraged to adjust as necessary to allow team members to participate in the sessions,” he added.

Those wishing to participate but unable to attend in person may email Master Sgt. Jason Goerl at jason.j.goerl.mil@mail.mil for the MS Teams link.

“In these listening sessions, your voice absolutely matters. Your opinion counts and we look forward to hearing your issues and recommendations,” Dupont said. “These engagements are taken very seriously as we continue to strive to provide a quality work and living environment for our team of teams.”

“Speak up,” Dupont added. “We want to get better every day — if not your voice whose? Help us to make Fort Leonard Wood an installation of choice for all.”

Directed by former Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, the Army launched the worldwide “Your Voice Matters” listening tour in July 2020 to better understand concerns across the force on topics of diversity, equity and inclusion. It is scheduled to continue into 2022.

“The Army must continue to put people first by fostering a culture of trust that accepts the experiences and backgrounds of every Soldier and civilian,” said Gen. James McConville, Army Chief of Staff, in a June 2020 statement. “Our diverse workforce is a competitive advantage and the Army must continue to offer fair treatment, access and opportunity across the force.”

(Editor’s note: Portions of the article were taken from a Feb. 25 article by David Overson, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.)