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Alford urges House Committee to keep funding for Fort Leonard Wood

Congressman Mark Alford, who represents Missouri’s 4th Congressional district, has joined Missouri’s Congressional Delegation and sent another letter concerning veterans and active service members in his district. Last month he sent a letter to the Director of Veteran’s Affairs citing concerns about complaints from veterans from his district. 

Now he is sending another letter. Except this time the letter is addressed to Rep. John Carter and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Carter is the Chair of Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies, a subcommittee within the House Appropriations Committee. Schultz is a ranking member of the subcommittee. 

In the letter, Alford and other Missouri Representatives requests that the committee support the 50 million dollars in funding for privatized housing in Fort Leonard Wood,  in the Year 2024 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill. Alford notes in the letter that this funding was requested in the President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget request and that he would like the committee to retain the funding as the bill makes it way through the appropriations process.

Located in Pulaski County, Fort Leonard Wood is an army training base and the largest military installation in Missouri. The base is home to almost 16,000 people. According to the most recent census data, about 2,300 families reside in Fort Leonard Wood. 

This is not the first time that Fort Leonard Wood’s infrastructure has been at the center of attention for Missouri politicians. This time last year, Sen. Josh Hawley inquired Secretary of the Army, Army Christine E. Wormuth and Chief of Staff of the Army General James C. McConville about the military housing at the installation during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing

Last Friday on May 12, Sen. Eric Schmitt visited Fort Leonard Wood along with Secretary Wormuth. According to a press release, they discussed “Army training, military infrastructure, and how Congress can improve the lives of Missouri’s military families.” 

And now Alford is stepping in to ask that the requested funding make it through the appropriations process in order to combat some of these issues.

“Fort Leonard Wood is a vital part to not only our communities in Missouri, but our military infrastructure as a whole. Its estimated $2 billion economic impact for Missouri should not go unnoticed. Ensuring that service members and their families have appropriate housing and access to necessary facilities is paramount. That’s exactly why the Missouri Congressional Delegation is calling upon the Appropriations Committee to adequately fund Fort Leonard Wood’s Military Housing Privatization Initiative with $50 million,” Alford said. 

Fellow Republican Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District said that, “Fort Leonard Wood is a critically important military installation not just to our national security, but also to the economic growth of Missouri.  The soldiers and their families based here in Missouri sacrifice a great deal for our nation, and they deserve the best housing we can give them.  I urge the committee to approve this funding so we can support our soldiers in their fight for our freedoms.” 

Rep. Sam Graves, also a Republican, spoke out. “The men and women of our armed forces dedicate their lives to serving our nation,” said Graves. “Their families follow them around the country or around the world to support them. The very least we can do is set them up for success and provide them with safe, comfortable housing while they defend our nation.”

A third Republican, Rep. Jason Smith from Missouri’s 8th Congressional District gave his approval of the letter as well. Fort Leonard Wood plays a vital role in supporting our nation’s defense,” said Smith. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in this effort to help ensure that our heroes stationed at Fort Leonard Wood – as well as the families who support them – have the best housing possible. I’ll continue working with Congressman Mark Alford to secure funding for improvements that will not only better support Fort Leonard Wood’s mission, but also enhance the quality of life for service members and families who call this military base home.”

This appeal to the subcommittee has also crossed party lines. Democrat Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver from Missouri’s 5th Congressional District expressed his support of the letter as well. “The well-being of our service members and their families should always be immune from partisan politics, and when our men and women in uniform return from a day of service, they deserve access to decent and affordable housing and to know the condition of their home is not a threat to the health of their family” said Cleaver. “Fort Leonard Wood is one of the premier military installations in the world and a major source of pride in Missouri—but those who have served on the base have been clear that housing improvements are desperately needed. I’m thankful that President Biden included funding for such improvements in his Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal, and I’m proud to join the Missouri delegation in a show of bipartisan support for these essential investments.”

Starting Wednesday May 17, Year 2024 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill will enter the “markup” phase in committee. In this phase members of the committee will study the bill in greater detail and may add or subtract parts of it.

The entire letter can be read below.

Dear Chairman Carter and Ranking Member Schultz:

We write to request your support for $50 million for privatized military housing for Fort Leonard
Wood be included in the Fiscal Year 2024 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs
Appropriations bill. This funding was included in the President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget
request and we want to ensure this funding is included as you progress through the Fiscal Year
2024 appropriations process.

Fort Leonard Wood is a premier military installation that trains nearly every branch of the
military, amounting to over 80,000 service members and civilians per year. The installation has
three U.S. Army schools including the U.S. Army Engineer, Chemical, Biological, Radiological,
and Nuclear (CBRN), and Military Police Schools. In addition, the installation trains the largest
Marine Corps Detachment on an Army base, the Marine Corps’ Civilian Police Academy, the
largest Air Force Squadron on an Army base, and Navy Seabees and Facilities Engineering
detachment. Fort Leonard Wood is also a significant employer to the state of Missouri with an
estimated economic impact of over $2 billion.

We believe this military base is an incredible asset not just to our state but to the nation and want
to ensure the soldiers and their families have the best possible housing. With the recruitment
crisis we’re facing as a country, particularly the Army, improving on and off base housing is
paramount to improving our military’s recruitment and readiness. For these reasons, we request
your support for $50 million for privatized military housing for Fort Leonard Wood be included
in the Fiscal Year 2024 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill.

Thank you for your consideration of these efforts.


Mark Alford
Member of Congress

Jason Smith
Member of Congress

Blaine Luetkemeyer
Member of Congress

Sam Graves
Member of Congress 

Emmanuel Cleaver II
Member of Congress

Ann Wagner
Member of Congress 

Eric Burlison
Member of Congress