The U.S. Army Military Police Corps hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 25 for a 2,000-square-foot addition to Fort Leonard Wood's museum. This is the first addition to the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex since its opening in 2000.
According to Jim Rogers, U.S. Army MP Corps Museum director, the addition will be a multi-purpose classroom and lecture hall that will accommodate various ceremonies, including changes of command, re-enlistments, graduations, small receptions and banquets.
"The primary purpose of the addition is to conduct branch history classes at the museum, now mostly taking place elsewhere," Rogers said. "Having such training located at the museum will greatly compliment soldier learning and encourage MP esprit de corps, and likewise will benefit the museum with additional and more meaningful soldier and family visitations."
On hand to break ground were Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general; Brig. Gen. Mark Spindler, U.S. Army Military Police School commandant; Col. William Pfeffer, Garrison commander; Command Sgt. Maj. John McNeirney, Military Police Regimental command sergeant major, and Rogers.
"This is a big day for the regiment, this has been a long time coming," Spindler said. "We're about forging the future; we're about tomorrow."
Spindler said the new addition is being built in such a way that anyone walking to the regimental room will have to go through the MP museum first.
"They'll see the history that went before them," Spindler said. "And when they go into the room, they won't see a whole lot of history, they're going to see a whole lot about today - you're going to see a whole lot about them. This is their room because they are the future of the MP Corps."
"It's going to be a place where we can celebrate and reflect upon the future and the things that lie ahead," he added.
The John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex is also home to the Engineer and Chemical Museums. The museum complex is open to the public and is free of charge. They are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and are closed on federal holidays.
If you would like more information on the museum complex or to set up a group tour, call 596.0780.
The addition is expected to be completed next summer, Rogers said.