Missouri Veterans Hall of Fame inducts former commanding general of Fort Leonard Wood | Item
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Missouri – A former commanding general of Fort Leonard Wood was one of six Missourians recognized by the board of directors of the Missouri Veterans Hall of Fame at their second annual induction ceremony Friday in the Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Mary Waggener accepted the award on behalf of her father, the late retired Major-General John G. “Jack” Waggener, who served as a director at Fort Leonard Wood from 1974 to 1976.
âMy family and I are truly honored and appreciate that the Missouri Veterans Hall of Fame presents this award to my father and recognizes his contributions and the many years he has served,â she said.
Waggener recalled moving with her father to Fort Leonard Wood as a young teenager.
âWhen my dad found out they had (horse) stables he decided I was going to take riding lessons,â she said. “He didn’t tell me until I got there, but it sounded funny to me.”
Representative Wayne Wallingford acted as master of ceremonies for the event.
âOur inductees have excelled in the areas of civic and public service, professional dedication, veteran advocacy and volunteerism,â he added.
Originally from Charleston, Missouri, Waggener graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1948 and had a 33-year career as an army officer. He was a Korean and Vietnamese conflict veteran and was the commander of the 45th Engineering Group in Vietnam prior to his posting to Fort Leonard Wood.
While serving as the commanding general here, Waggener pioneered the concept of one-station unit training for combat engineers and established the model of training and command for the U.S. Army’s doctrine. for quality control and basic combat training. He was responsible for the development and implementation of the new three-phase BCT program. New buildings completed and dedicated during Waggener’s tour include the Abrams Theater and the Truman Education Center. The west gate bears his name.
Waggener was also very active in retirement. He has worked with Rotary in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and the Lake of the Ozarks and in the Association of the United States Army. He was a member of the Osage Hospital Board of Directors for eight years and advised Representative Ike Skelton on matters relating to base realignment and closures.
In addition to Waggener, the class 2021 inductees are: James Eddleman of Perryville, Missouri; John Gordon of Columbia, Missouri; Velma Bippen Jesse of St. Charles, Missouri; William Miller of Washington, Missouri; and James Tatum of Pineville, Missouri.
Nominations for next year’s induction course can be made by April 30, 2022, on the Missouri Veterans Hall of Fame website at https://mvhof.wordpress.com, or by email at missourihalloffame @ gmail.com.