While Soldiers with the U.S. Army Chemical Corps Regiment are taking part in conferences and other Regimental Week events, their spouses are also joining together.
Approximately 30 spouses of Chemical Corps Soldiers have been taking part in team-building and educational opportunities at Fort Leonard Wood during Regimental Week. They have gone on facility tours, received informational briefings and got a first-hand look at the equipment their Soldiers use.
On Wednesday afternoon, the spouses headed to the 1st Lt. Joseph Terry Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Responder Training Facility, where they received an overview of the facility and the programs held there, took a brief tour and even tried on hazmat suits.
The spouses include both residents of Fort Leonard Wood and visiting spouses who accompanied their Soldiers to the area for Regimental Week.
Jacki Peters was taking part in her first Regimental Week. Her husband, Capt. John Peters, is newly assigned as the commander of Company A, 84th Chemical Battalion.
She said she enjoyed the tours of the facilities and getting a closer look at the places chemical Soldiers work, but she also enjoyed spending time and building bonds with the other spouses.
“This is fascinating to see,” she said of the different facilities.
“It creates a camaraderie,” she added, speaking about the various events the group took part in. “It’s just a bonding. They’re going through what you’re going through, they’re learning what you’re learning.”
Lieutenant Col. Greg Borcherding, director of the Incident Response Training Department at the facility, said he was happy to give the spouses an overview of the work their Soldiers do and how important it is to the Army.
He presented briefings about the courses offered to Chemical Corps Soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood, and the impact that has across the U.S. and the world.
“We do everything we can to make sure these Soldiers are incredibly well-trained when they leave here,” he told the spouses during his remarks.
After the briefings, the spouses got a close look at some of the equipment the Chemical Corps Soldiers use, and most tried on hazmat training suits, which includes a nearly 35-pound oxygen tank. After suiting up, the spouses were asked to work through a variety of stations, where they attempted to throw a ball, use simple tools or communicate with a partner, all while working around the constraints of the bulky equipment.