FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Aug. 2, 2012) -- The 14th Sgt. Maj. of the Army, Raymond F. Chandler III, and his wife Jeanne, visited Fort Leonard Wood Aug. 1-3.

The main purpose of the trip was to meet with Soldiers and Families.

"I'm here at Fort Leonard Wood because I'm here to visit Soldiers and Families," said Chandler during a media conference at the 1st Lt. Joseph Terry Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Responder Training Facility. "Today it's really about Fort Leonard Wood and the great things we're doing here and to take that back to the Army and share a little bit about all the great things our Soldiers and Families are doing."

Chandler said he was impressed by Fort Leonard Wood's partnership with the Army National Guard, Army Reservists, the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps because it represents a great example of the joint effort that the Army makes for the nation.

"This is my first trip to Fort Leonard Wood, so I've never been here," said Chandler. "It's one of those hidden jewels, I think, for our Army. … There are great leaders doing great things, training Soldiers from the time they enter the service all the way up to the Captain's Career Course to deliver a quality Soldier back to the force."

As the Army transitions to meet the needs of the nation, Chandler remains optimistic about the outlook for the future force and he shared his insights with Soldiers and Families at Fort Leonard Wood.

"The nation has made a decision that we're going to have a smaller force and our duty is to do what the nation asks us to do," said Chandler. "Our Army will be smaller but it will also be as effective, if not more effective, than it is today. We've got great programs and policies that we're putting in place to sustain and actually increase the quality of our force. There are still going to be plenty of training opportunities. There are still going to be plenty of places for people to serve in our Army even in 2020 and beyond, so I'm actually excited about the future."