Fort Leonard Wood is a United States Army installation located in the Missouri Ozarks. The main gate is located on the southern boundary of St. Robert. The post was created in December 1940 and named in honor of General Leonard Wood, former Chief of Staff, in January 1941. Originally intended to train infantry troops, in 1941 it became an engineer training post with the creation of the Engineer Replacement Training Center. The post is commonly referred to as "Fort Lost in the Woods" amongst soldiers and visitors due to its remoteness and distance from a major metropolitan center. The nickname of "Little Korea" has also started to pop up due to its harsh weather conditions in the winter and summer months. Its location in the Ozark Mountains provides for field training in rugged terrain with extremes of heat, cold, wet, and dry by the season.
In 1984, as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process, most of the US Army Engineer School's operations were consolidated at Fort Leonard Wood. Before that, officer training was conducted at Fort Belvoir Virginia.
In 2000, again as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process, Fort McClellan Alabama was closed, and the US Army Chemical Corps and Military Police Corps schools were transferred to Fort Leonard Wood, which was concurrently redesignated the US Army Maneuver Support Center.
In 2009, the US Army Maneuver Support Center was redesignated the US Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence; the "center of excellence" designation was placed on almost all US Army training institutions.
Initial Entry Training:
The Maneuver Support Center of Excellence offers Basic Combat Training for most non-combat arms soldiers; and AIT for MOS 88M (motor transport operator) and non-combat engineer MOSes and OSUT training for combat engineers and bridging engineers (MOS 21B and 21C), chemical specialists (74D) and military police (31B & 31E). All training is gender integrated as in Fort Jackson, with the exception of combat engineers (i.e. MOS 21B is closed to women).
Those soldiers who fail their initial physical fitness assessment are sent to the Fitness Training Company to get in shape. They go to the PCU (Physical Condition Unit), which is one of three platoons, the others being PTRP (Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Program), which is where soldiers who were injured in basic training and AIT go to rehabilitate and go back to training, and Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) - Completion (APFT-C) which Soldiers who failed the APFT train to pass the APFT to graduate BCT or AIT. This is an alternative to being medically discharged.
Newly commissioned Second Lieutenants in the CBRN, Engineer, and Military Police branches also attend the Basic Officer Leader Course Phase B at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence.
The Maneuver Support Center of Excellence NCO Academy conducts the Senior and Advanced Leader Courses for the Chemical, Engineer, and Military Police branches, the Advanced Leader Course for Ordnance NCOs in MOS 62B, and the Warrior Leader Course for all Army NCO MOSs.
The CBRN, Engineer, and Military Police schools provide Professional Military Education and functional courses for soldiers, Non-commissioned Officers, Warrant Officers, and Commissioned Officers, including but not limited to the Captains Career Course and the Battalion and Brigade Pre-Command Courses.
Fort Leonard Wood is home to the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, which was formally activated on October 2nd, 2008.
Subordinate units include:
Waynesville Regional Airport at Forney Field serves the community with air service; even though it's on Fort Leonard Wood, it is jointly run by the cities of Waynesville and St. Robert and is available for civilian use by private pilots and scheduled commercial passenger service.
The major east-west route is Interstate 44; before that, the main highway was U.S. Route 66, which still exists as a scenic route through the area and passes through Devil's Elbow, St. Robert, Waynesville, Buckhorn, and Hazelgreen. Names for U.S. Route 66 vary - at different places, it's called Teardrop Road, Highway Z, Old Route 66, Historic Route 66, and Highway 17. State-posted signs mark most of the alignment of the road.
Major north-south routes include:
Major attractions along U.S. Route 66 include the Old Stagecoach Stop in downtown Waynesville, which is now a museum but began as a tavern and boarding house and is the oldest standing structure in the county. It was used as a Civil War hospital for Union troops who were garrisoned above the city in Fort Wayne, which was demolished after the war. The Old Courthouse Museum in downtown Waynesville is near the Old Stagecoach Stop. Three bridges cross the Big Piney River at Devil's Elbow -- the modern Interstate 44 bridge, the later U.S. Route 66 alignment on Highway Z that was made possible by the Hooker Cut through a steep hillside, and the original U.S. Route 66 alignment on Teardrop Road that includes a historic bridge that's in the process of renovation. The Elbow Inn is a biker bar that's a frequent stop the original U.S. Route 66 alignment.
Fort Leonard Wood is in Pulaski County and a high percentage of military personnel live off post in surrounding communities, especially St. Robert and Waynesville but also the farther-out cities of Richland, Crocker, and Dixon, and the unincorporated communities of Laquey, Swedeborg and Devil's Elbow, all of which have a lower housing cost than nearer housing in St. Robert and Waynesville. Military personnel assigned to training areas on the south end of the post sometimes choose to live in the unincorporated areas of Big Piney and Palace in Pulaski County, or the northern Texas County communities of Plato and Roby.
The area has one daily and four weekly print newspapers, as well as an online internet daily newspaper. The county also has two internet discussion sites, the Pulaski County Web and Pulaski County Insider.
The content of the weekly Fort Leonard Wood Guidon is produced under the auspices of Army Public Affairs at Fort Leonard Wood but printed under contract by the Springfield News-Leader, a Gannett-owned newspaper which produces and sells advertisements in the Fort Leonard Wood Guidon.
The Daily Guide, commonly known as the Waynesville Daily Guide but based in St. Robert and serving the entire county, is owned by Gatehouse Media and is the central printing plant for three other Gatehouse newspapers in nearby counties, the daily Camden Lake Sun Leader  and Rolla Daily News  as well as the weekly St. James Leader-Journal.
The weekly Richland Mirror and Pulaski County Democrat are owned by the Lebanon Daily Record, a family owned newspaper in an adjoining county. The weekly Dixon Pilot is privately owned by a former Dixon resident who now lives in Rolla.
The Pulaski County Insider is run by a group of St. Robert and Waynesville residents and maintained and hosted by a Potosi resident. The Pulaski County Web is run and maintained by a Devil's Elbow resident and former St. Robert businessman.
Seven main school districts are fully or partly within the borders of Pulaski County, not counting two small districts which are mostly within other counties and only have only a few dozen residents within Pulaski County. All seven school districts have a high percentage of Fort Leonard Wood military dependents, and over two-thirds of Waynesville students fall into that category.
The cities of Waynesville and St. Robert and the Fort Leonard Wood army installation, along with their surrounding rural areas running east to Devil's Elbow, are served by the Waynesville R-VI School District which is by far the largest in the county.
The cites of Richland, Crocker, and Dixon, along with their surrounding rural areas, are served by the Richland R-IV School Disrrict, the Crocker R-II School District and the Dixon R-I School District. The Richland and Dixon districts both extend into rural parts of adjacent counties.
The unincorporated communities of Laquey and Swedeborg are served by the Laquey R-V School District and the Swedeborg R-III School District. Swedeborg is the county's last remaining K-8 district and most of its high school students attend Richland High School though some attend Crocker High School or Waynesville High School; all others serve students running from kindergarten through high school.
The areas south of Fort Leonard Wood, including the unincorporated Pulaski County communities of Big Piney and Palace, is served by the Plato R-V School District, which is based in the northern Texas County village of Plato but also includes parts of Pulaski, Laclede and Wright counties.