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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • Fort Leonard Wood welcomes new leader of U.S. Army CBRN School, Chemical Regiment

  • Brig. Gen. Maria Gervais assumed duties as the 28th chief of Chemical Regiment and commandant of the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) School during a ceremony on Tuesday at Fort Leonard Wood.
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  • Brig. Gen. Maria Gervais assumed duties as the 28th chief of Chemical Regiment and commandant of the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) School during a ceremony on Tuesday at Fort Leonard Wood.
    Gervais, who has previously served at Fort Leonard Wood as the 82nd Chemical Battalion commander and the USACBRN School’s chief of staff, said she was thrilled to be back at Fort Leonard Wood.
    “I will tell you that from my previous experience here, there is no better installation or community than this one right here,” Gervais said. “This community goes above the call of duty to take care of the Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines, civilians and family members. We can’t thank you enough for all you do.”
    She said that CBRN duties are more relevant than ever before.
    “Over the past decade and a half, our nation has been in persistent conflict,” she said. “We are undergoing force reduction in a complex global environment. CBRN threats and hazards continue to make headlines in places like Syria, Iran, North Korea and even in America. As it has been said CBRN also means 'Could Be Right Now.'”
    Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, who presided over the ceremony, said Gervais’ experience and character make her the perfect fit for this position.
    “The Army carefully chooses its commanders and leaders,” Smith said. “You are the very best in the Army for this position and will be valuable to the regiment and center as we continue transitioning our Army.”
    Gervais has more than 26 years of experience in the Army. Smith said that on top of Gervais' many impressive accomplishments and skills, including a Bronze Star and Legion of Merit,“she can run like the wind.”
    Prior to this assignment, Gervais served as the U.S. Army Cadet Command’s deputy commanding general. Col. Jeffrey Brodeur, USACBRNS assistant commandant, served as the acting commandant in Gervais’ absence. Gervais replaces Brig. Gen. Peggy Combs.
    Maria is married to Lt. Col. Chris Gervais. The two celebrate their 26th anniversary this week. They have one daughter named Brandi. Gervais ended her speech by thanking her family.
    “I know I wouldn't be here today or half the person I am if it wasn't for them,” Maria Gervais said. “We are celebrating our 26th anniversary tomorrow. I have 26 years of service in the Army and our daughter just turned 25. You can see they have been there for me every step of the way for my military career."
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