The Fort Leavenworth Garrison Command Team hosted an in-person Town Hall meeting to recognize a Scouts BSA Scoutmaster, share installation policy reminders and upcoming events, and answer questions from the community Aug. 24 at the Frontier Conference Center.
This was the first in-person meeting since the pandemic began in early 2020. The command team has been hosting virtual Garrison Community Update meetings throughout the pandemic via Facebook.
Garrison Commander Col. John Misenheimer Jr. said before each meeting, the command team and installation partners meet with community members who are serving as mayors in each neighborhood village to collect feedback from service members on post and develop potential solutions. Misenheimer said during the fall, the command team and representatives also participate in village walk-throughs to address individual concerns and connect with the community.
“We can talk about things in the house, the neighborhood, or we can talk about (life on post), because we always look for suggestions on how to make things better.”
Misenheimer said community members can also stay up-to-date with the three digital marquees on the installation, social media accounts for the Garrison and other organizations, and by reading the Fort Leavenworth Lamp newspaper.
“It’s all about community here. This is the best hometown in the Army, I’m convinced of it, because we have the ability to discuss things and make things better. We’ve got a great team (of professionals across post) that provide services that really are first class.”
Public Service Commendation Medal
During the meeting, Misenheimer awarded Scouts BSA Troop 166 Scoutmaster Sarah Groefsema the Public Service Commendation Medal for her leadership and devotion to Troop 166, the first female BSA troop at Fort Leavenworth, which began in 2019 when the Boy Scouts of America became Scouts BSA to include girls in the program. He said Groefsema’s efforts contributed to the troop’s growth from seven to 26 Scouts and the inclusion of quality scouting programs for military families.
“(Groefsema has put in) tireless, countless hours. She’ll probably be modest, and she’ll probably say that it was a team effort, but truly, though, it takes people with a vision, … it takes energy, it takes work and those are all traits that you have shown that you embody,” Misenheimer said. “(You put blood and sweat into) this troop, so we want to recognize you.”
Misenheimer began a series of reminders by asking parents review installation regulations for child supervision on post. He offered attendees a guide to child supervision provided by Army Community Service, the Family Advocacy Program, and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, which includes the ages and requirements for child supervision by a parent or a caregiver, curfew regulations, and relevant points of contact.
He said as a father, he has a copy of the guidelines, and he asked families to be mindful of their responsibility.
“I just ask, if you don’t know those rules on the post, please get acquainted with those. The main thing is, we just want to keep our children safe,” Misenheimer said.
View the child supervision policy at https://leavenworth.armymwr.com/application/files/5215/2725/4913/FLKSupervision_policy.pdf.
Protocol for Reveille and Retreat
Misenheimer clarified expectations in response to questions about the proper response to bugle calls while driving on the installation.
He explained that drivers on Grant Avenue must stop, park their vehicles, and wait for the 6 a.m. Reveille and 5 p.m. Retreat calls to finish before proceeding. Drivers on Grant Avenue do not need to exit their vehicles during Reveille and Retreat.
He said drivers on other roads across post should stop and park their vehicles during Reveille and Retreat, and he asked that they step out of their cars to render the proper salute or courtesy and wait for the call to finish before proceeding.
He reminded those in attendance that there is no protocol for Taps, which is played at 9 p.m.
Read more about Reveille and Retreat at https://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/ 2018/11/21/properly-respond-to-daily-bugle-calls/.
Physical Training Uniform
Misenheimer reminded community members that physical training hours on Fort Leavenworth are 6:30-8 a.m. Monday through Friday, as ordered by the commanding general. During those hours, service members are required to wear issued PT uniforms in all post gyms and outdoors.
Wild animal interactions
Fort Leavenworth is home to an array of wildlife. Misenheimer asked attendees to consider safety and avoid interacting with wildlife.
“If you see a wild animal, because we coexist with them — this is really their habitat — I ask you to avoid (it). Leave it alone,” he said.
He said anyone who feels threatened by a wild animal’s presence should call 913-684-2111 to dispatch an animal control professional from the Directorate of Emergency Services. He said for more immediate danger, such as a dog fight, the same number can be called to alert the dispatcher to send a police officer.
Recycling and Hazardous Waste
Misenheimer said Fort Leavenworth actively practices recycling, and military housing offers recycling bins. He said community members can also visit the installation recycling center to drop items into marked bins, including those for cardboard, mixed recycling, glass and scrap metal.
Misenheimer asked people interested in using the facility to be mindful of the items they recycle and to only recycle specified items. He said the facility has a history of receiving dumped items that cannot be recycled, which are difficult and expensive to remove.
He said the installation also has a Household Hazardous Waste Center, open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The center accepts goods that cannot be disposed of in regular trash, and it stores materials such as paint and insect repellant that are available for free pick up.
For more on both facilities, visit https://home.army.mil/leavenworth/index.php/my-fort/all-services/environmental-management and https://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/2022/03/03/many-options-for-unwanted-items-waste-2/.
In the Works
Misenheimer said construction will begin in 2024 for a new Child Development Center on Hancock Avenue next to the existing Santa Fe CDC, which is currently closed due to staffing issues. He said the new location is an upgrade to the existing facility, featuring safer classroom layouts and almost double the available space for infants and toddlers.
He said the installation also plans to build a new military museum within 5-10 years outside of Grant Gate, with fundraising led by the 9th and 10th Cavalry Associations.
He said while the Frontier Army Museum offers an extensive array of exhibits to explain the history and value of Fort Leavenworth during westward expansion, visitors could learn more about the installation and the Buffalo Soldiers in a larger space. He said the new museum, inspired by other national museums, will expand access to more off-post patrons.
Sept. 9, 9:30 a.m. Unified School District 207 Freedom Walk, Normandy Field
Sept. 9, 7 p.m. Post Theater Re-Opening Movie Night showing “Top Gun: Maverick”
Sept. 17, 8 a.m. Run/Walk for the Fallen by the Resiliency Center
Sept. 23-24 Camp Leavenworth in Leavenworth, Kan.
Sept. 24, 8 a.m. Kids’ Fishing Derby at Smith Lake
Sept. 24, 8 a.m. Half Marathon starting at Harney Sports Complex
Sept. 30, 5 p.m. Oktoberfest and Survivor Outreach Services Lantern Launch
Oct. 4 Combined Arms Center change of command ceremony
Oct. 29, 8 a.m. Retiree Appreciation Day, multiple locations across post
Oct. 29, 1 p.m. Fall Festival at Frontier Chapel
Nov. 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Career and Education Fair at the Frontier Conference Center
During a non-attributional session, community members broached the subject of pothole repair and permanent-change-of-station protocol clarification for Exceptional Family Member Program families.
In regard to pothole repair, Misenheimer and installation representatives said residents should call Fort Leavenworth Frontier Heritage Communities to report potholes in housing, and they can call 913-684-5555 to report potholes elsewhere on post. Cracks in the road and potholes are addressed twice a year in preparation for winter and repairs in spring.
In regard to PCS season, Misenheimer explained that a designated task force works with housing and other organizations to move residents in and out of the installation. He said the task force plans to work through feedback in the coming weeks to determine more efficient systems during surges.