Fort Sill and Leadership Oklahoma enhance relationship through shared experiences

By Christopher WilsonSeptember 27, 2023

Fort Sill and Leadership Oklahoma enhance relationship through shared experiences
Leadership Oklahoma Class 36 gathers with representatives from the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill during their visit from September 21-23, 2023. The visit aimed to educate leaders from various sectors about the significant impact of Fort Sill on the city of Lawton and the state of Oklahoma. (Photo Credit: Christopher Wilson) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT SILL, Okla. (Sept. 27, 2023) — Leadership Oklahoma Class 36 participated in a three-day program at the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill from September 21-23, 2023. The program aimed to enhance understanding between the military and civilian sectors in Oklahoma.

Leadership Oklahoma and Fort Sill collaborated to provide leaders from various sectors an opportunity to learn about the role and impact of Fort Sill on Lawton and the state of Oklahoma. The participants engaged in discussions with senior military officials, experienced aspects of basic training, and observed the disciplined lifestyle of Soldiers.

Dr. Marion Paden, President & CEO of Leadership Oklahoma, highlighted the importance of understanding and empathy between communities and the Army, "This program allows members to see the broader implications of service on families and communities, emphasizing the extensive reach of military service."

During their immersive visit, participants were given a comprehensive overview of various pieces military equipment, enhancing their understanding of the tools and technology integral to Army operations. They were introduced to the practicalities of Soldiering, including dining on Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), a staple of military field nutrition, which provided them with a taste of the logistical aspects of life in the field.

The participants engaged in a series of meticulously designed activities that offered profound insights into the rigorous and disciplined life of military service. They were challenged with marksmanship simulations, allowing them to experience the precision and focus required in combat scenarios. This hands-on experience was crucial in fostering an appreciation for the skills and training imbued in the Soldiers.

A significant highlight of the visit was the opportunity to rappel down the 40' Treadwell Tower. This activity not only tested the mettle of the participants but also allowed them to step into the shoes of basic trainees, experiencing firsthand the challenges and triumphs of overcoming physical obstacles. It served as a symbolic journey, representing the conquering of fears and the achievement of goals, integral aspects of the Soldier’s journey.

To balance the intense and insightful activities, the group was treated to communal and cultural experiences that are integral to military life. A standout moment was a performance by the 77th Army Band, which offered a musical interlude, showcasing the diverse talents within the Army and the importance of morale and unity in building a cohesive military community.

To finish the tour, a chuckwagon dinner on the Old Post Quadrangle provided an opportunity for informal interaction and reflection, reminiscent of the days when Fort Sill was a calvary post. It served as a communal space where participants could share their thoughts and experiences from the day, fostering a deeper understanding and mutual respect between the civilian leaders and their military counterparts.

These varied experiences, from practical demonstrations to cultural interactions, worked in tandem to provide a multifaceted view of Army life, allowing participants to witness the blend of discipline, camaraderie, and resilience that defines the United States Army.

The collaboration between Leadership Oklahoma and Fort Sill is a step towards establishing lasting relationships and mutual understanding between the military and civilian communities in Oklahoma. The insights gained are crucial in fostering a cohesive environment for the collective progress of the state.

To see more photos, visit Fort Sill's official Flickr page.