Kansas Department of Transportation leaders visit Fort Leavenworth



Kansas Department of Transportation leaders visit Fort Leavenworth

On Dec. 14 the CGSC Foundation hosted Kansas Secretary of Transportation Richard Carlson and Merrill Atwater, who is the director of Aviation at KDOT and also the great grandson of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, on a “Walk and Talk” tour of Fort Leavenworth and CGSC.

Kansas Secretary of Transportation Richard Carlson, right, and Merrill Atwater, director of Aviation at KDOT, pause for a photo in the MacArthur Room of the Lewis and Clark Center on Dec. 14.

Kansas Secretary of Transportation Richard Carlson, right, and Merrill Atwater, director of Aviation at KDOT, pause for a photo in the MacArthur Room of the Lewis and Clark Center during their visit Dec. 14.

As Carlson and Atwater were touring Fort Leavenworth, they learned that Col. Henry Leavenworth established the fort in 1827. They heard the story of how Col. Leavenworth was told to build a cantonment on the east side of the river, but realized that it made more sense to be on the west side high on the bluffs overlooking the river. As the bus followed those bluffs the men viewed the beautiful brick homes including the Rookery, which is a former home of General MacArthur and the oldest continually habited home in Kansas. They also passed Otis Hall where General Eisenhower had lived as a major. Next they passed by the old disciplinary barracks (which now houses a café and gift shop) and the monuments of General Grant and the Buffalo Soldiers.

The next stop was the Command and General Staff College and the men perused the Hall of Fame, the MacArthur room, the Eisenhower Auditorium and the Commander-in-Chief hallway. After that Foundation CEO, Doug Tystad had coordinated ahead of time to lead them into a class to observe a Joint Fires planning exercise. The interaction between students and the instructor, as well as the subject matter, became an absolute highlight of the tour.

After the classroom visit, Carlson and Atwater visited the International Officers Hall of Fame hallway where they learned more about the sponsorship program for the international military students that includes Kansas City chapter of People to People, which is part of People to People International that President Eisenhower started in 1956.

After the walking part of the tour, Tystad presented an “Army 101” briefing during which he explained the importance of education, training, and experience that is required of all Army officers. Next they walked over to the Ike Skelton Library and got to see more of Eisenhower’s personal affects including the famous letter written by Eisenhower stating if the D-Day invasion was a failure, the blame was his and his alone.

As the Walk and Talk was coming to an end Atwater commented that he could spend hours touring the College as there was so much rich, interesting history.

Contact Joan Cabell, the CGSC Foundation director of development, to schedule your own group’s “Walk and Talk” tour of CGSC and Fort Leavenworth and learn about the education of leaders for the nation. – joan@cgscf.org.

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