Ft. Leavenworth has a considerable financial impact on the area.
That was the message that Richard Keller, a retired lieutenant general, gave to the Wyandotte-Leavenworth Study Committee at its monthly meeting Tuesday, Jan. 8, in the community room of the Country Club Bank. The committee recently helped in completing an extensive economic development study of the K-7 Corridor.
Keller, who is from Leavenworth, is a member of the 27 Committee, a voluntary organization that promotes cooperation between the federal government and private business. The organization is centered at Ft. Leavenworth and gets its name from the year 1827 when Ft. Leavenworth was founded.
Keller estimates that Ft. Leavenworth has an annual overall impact of more than $2.8 billion on the area. A substantial amount of that figure is military and civilian payroll, estimated at more than $491 million.
A major component of the U.S. Army at Ft. Leavenworth is the Command and General College—a school that has trained many famous generals including Dwight Eisenhower, George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, George Patton, Omar Bradley, Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell. Since 1894, more than 7,500 international officers from 159 countries also have attended the college.
The college is housed in a new brick building; J.E. Dunn was the general contractor; Maderak Construction did the masonry work.
Ft. Leavenworth is also considered the “intellectual center” of the U.S. Army; it has several persons who are army historians.
Keller presented a chart showing that officer training at Ft. Leavenworth is more cost effective, compared to other posts such as the National War College in Washington, D.C. Its cost about $160,000 a year to train an officer at the War College; at Ft. Leavenworth, that cost is about half that amount.
Keller said that construction and housing costs at Ft. Leavenworth are much more reasonable than in the Washington area.
Ft. Leavenworth is also home to a military corrections complex including the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, the only maximum-security prison for all branches of the U.S. Military.
Ft. Leavenworth has been an important post since its early days when it provided a link to Ft. Scott, Kan., and Ft. Gibson, Okla. From 1865 until 1891, it was involved in Indian wars. Its training efforts can be traced back to 1881 when the School of Application for Cavalry and Infantry was established.
Murrel Bland is the former editor for The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is the executive director of Business West.