Named in honor of Major General Leonard Wood, Fort Leonard Wood was activated on Jan. 1, 1941. The base served as a U.S. Army basic training center, training approximately 320,000 soldiers during World War II. Base history also includes serving as a prisoner of war facility. The base was deactivated in 1946, but soon reopened as a training facility at the start of the Korean conflict.
Today, Fort Leonard Wood is a busy installation where 80,000 military and civilians are trained in active component classes each year. Diverse activities conducted at the site have resulted in impacts to the environment. Environmental concerns at the site include soil and groundwater contamination, military munitions cleanups, landfill cleanup activities and long-term stewardship.
Fort Leonard Wood is home to the Military Police School and Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; both transferred from Ft. McClellan, Alabama, as well as the U.S. Army Engineer School.
Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Role
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is involved in a number of roles at Fort Leonard Wood. The department ensures the Fort’s surface water and air discharges comply with applicable state and federal standards. The department also provides regulatory oversight for environmental cleanups of legacy sites, compliance cleanups and munitions response sites.