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Fort Leavenworth

Fort Leavenworth is located in the heartland of America near the geographical center of the United States. The post overlooks the Missouri River, on the border between Kansas and Missouri. Nearby Leavenworth, Lansing and Kansas City make good neighbors for the Fort Leavenworth community. The historic character of the post is enhanced by its campus setting, open green space, and hometown atmosphere. Caring and involved soldiers, family members and civilian employees have made Fort Leavenworth an Army Community of Excellence.

Post population: 5,253 military(includes students); 4,613 family members on post; 1,760 DA Civilians and DoD civilians; 390 Nonappropriated Fund Employees; 300 AAFES Employees; 62 Commissary employees; United States Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) inmates 1,056. Population residing off post: Active Army - 1,225; family members - 2,911; Retired (all services) - approximately 8,500. Average Fiscal Year student population: Command and General Staff College (CGSC) - 1,059 total, with U.S. Army making up 777, Reserve Component course 64, International officers 90, other services 128; School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) - 52; Combined Arms Services Staff School(CAS3) - 500 students in each of 7, 6 week courses; School for Command Preparation - 45 per month attending a 1 week Pre-Command Course (PCC); Tatical Commanders Developement Course (TCDC) - 35 per month attending a 1 week course; Brigade Commanders Developement Course(BCDC) - 20 per month attending a 1 week course.

The Combined Arms Center and the soldiers of Fort Leavenworth are engaged in the mission of preparing the Army and its leaders for war. Fort Leavenworth is the Army's center for excellence in combined arms education, doctrine, and leader development.

Fort Leavenworth was the first fort established west of the Missouri River, the first continuously occupied settlement west of the Missouri River, and the site of the oldest house in Kansas (The Rookery, built in 1832 as a bachelor officers quarters). The post is named after Colonel Henry Leavenworth who founded the post in 1827. The Oregon and Santa Fe trails had their beginnings at the spot near the intersection of Kearney and Scott Avenues. Since 1881, it has been the home of the Army's Command and General Staff College, the oldest of the Army's advanced education system. Since 1873, it has been the site of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, a twelve and one half acre site used for the confinement of military prisoners.

In March 1827, the Adjutant General's Office in Washington, D.C., ordered Colonel Henry Leavenworth to set up a permanent camp near the junction of the Missouri and Little Platte Rivers. Colonel Leavenworth moved up the Missouri River with four companies of infantry, and on 8 May 1827 found a suitable area for a permanent camp.

While waiting for official site confirmation, he started a tent camp. Small log and bark huts soon followed, built along what is now Scott Avenue, south of the Post Chapel. Permanent construction began around the Main Parade Area the following year. In September 1827, the site was approved and called Cantonment Leavenworth. Records show the strength of the camp as 14 officers and 174 enlisted men.

Thus began one of the most important Army posts west of the Mississippi River. From here a branch of the Oregon Trail led up the steep hills away from the Missouri River. The huge corrals and supply yards from a branch of the Santa Fe Trail sprang up in this area. From here, traders and wagon trains began their long journeys to the West. When the Indian migration began in the 1830s, the post became the center of activities for Indian agents and found itself keeping peace among the tribes.

The name of the post was changed to Fort Leavenworth in 1832. When the Mexican War broke out, the fort was used to outfit troops moving to the south. The post, under the command of General Philip Kearny, was the headquarters for the Army of the West. The 1850s were times of turmoil and bitter animosities in the United States. States' rights and slavery were the issues of the day when the territory around Fort Leavenworth opened for settlement in 1854. The town of Leavenworth was established in that year. At the beginning of the Civil War, the Army set up Camp Lincoln at Fort Leavenworth to muster men into the service, train them, and assign them to units for combat duty.

In 1874, a military prison, the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, was established at Fort Leavenworth. As we built railroads across the plains to the West, the mission of the post as the western arsenal and supply base for the Indian campaigns became less important. About this time, the War Department also realized the critical need in the Army for extensive military and practical education for its officers. In 1882, the Army established the "School of Application for Cavalry and Infantry" at the post. This school was the forerunner of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officer's Course which you are attending.

Army reorganization following the turn of the century gave Fort Leavenworth increased prestige and importance. In 1902, the Army renamed the School the "General Service and Staff College," greatly expanded its mission, and completely revised the course of instruction. The War Department directed that the College: Shall be a service school of instruction for all arms of the service, to which shall be sent officers, who have been recommended for proficiency attained in the officers' schools conducted in the various posts.

For the first time, officers of the National Guard, former volunteer officers, and graduates of civilian military schools and colleges could enroll at the School.

In 1902, the remains of General Leavenworth were reinterred at the national cemetery here on post. The post founder died in 1834 at Cross Timbers, Indian Territory, while fighting the Pawnee Indians.

When World War I began, Fort Leavenworth became a training center for both draftees and newly commissioned officers. The Army placed graduates of the School in key positions, some commanding brigades or divisions and others serving in high staff appointments.

When the United States entered World War II, Fort Leavenworth again assumed the role it played so well 24 years earlier. An accelerated course was taught at the Command and General Staff College. In the 27 wartime classes, approximately 18,000 officers, including Air Corps, Navy, and Marine personnel, received general staff training. These officers filled critically needed command and staff positions in the divisions, corps, and armies, or in similar units of the Air Corps and Service Forces.

Late in 1956, construction began on Bell Hall, the main academic building, located on historic Arsenal Hill overlooking the Missouri River. Classes began in this building in December 1958. Bell Hall provides class facilities for approximately 1,000 students as well as office and work space for the staff and faculty. Fort Leavenworth's latest addition is Eisenhower Hall. Completed in 1995, Eisenhower Hall houses 300 CGSOC students (one division), the School for Command Preparation (SCP), the Center for Army Leadership (CAL), the Directorate of Nonresident Studies (DNRS), the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), and the world's most modern research facility, the Combined Arms Research Library (CARL). In addition to classrooms and faculty offices, both Bell Hall and Eisenhower Hall contain large auditoriums, briefing rooms, and administrative service areas.


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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:48:08 ZULU