© 2024 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New Commander Is No Stranger To Fort Leonard Wood

Provided photo from Fort Leonard Wood, taken 6/26/20
Fort Leonard Wood
Brig. Gen. James Bonner and his wife, Debra, at the change of command ceremony at Fort Leonard Wood.

Brig. Gen. James Bonner took command of Fort Leonard Wood on Friday, but it won’t take him long to get acclimated to the installation in the Ozarks.

This position is his fourth assignment at the post.

Bonner returns to Missouri from the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, where he was the commander of the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Command.

The change of command ceremony at Fort Leonard Wood was sparsely attended because of coronavirus restrictions but still had the pageantry of a brass band playing military tunes and cannons firing to mark the occasion.

“As I embark on this fourth assignment here at Fort Leonard Wood, I am grateful and excited that the Army chose to reunite us with this phenomenal installation,” Bonner said. “It’s an honor to serve with this exceptional leadership team today.”

Bonner replaces Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, the first woman to lead Fort Leonard Wood in the installation’s 80-year history. She is headed to the Pentagon, where she will be the provost marshal general of the Army, the position that leads the Army’s Criminal Investigation Unit.

“As I leave Fort Leonard Wood, I won’t leave behind the lessons, nor will I miss an opportunity to talk to everyone I meet in Washington, D.C., about all the capabilities and the great people they will find here,” Martin said.

Martin led Fort Leonard Wood for a little less than two years. While she was in charge, the post saw the addition of jet service to the airport that serves both military and civilians, the groundbreaking of a new hospital for active-duty soldiers, their families and veterans, and the base dealing with the effects of coronavirus.

Fort Leonard Wood trains more than 80,000 soldiers each year.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @JonathanAhl

Our priority is you. Support coverage that’s reliable, trustworthy and more essential than ever. Donate today.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org

Jonathan Ahl is the Newscast Editor and Rolla correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.