FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Fort Leonard Wood installation access have announced the initiation of a trusted traveler program, as one way to help ease gate traffic congestion and maintain a more efficient vehicle throughput.

The program allows certain Department of Defense card holders to escort guests onto Fort Leonard Wood without a requirement for each guest to produce identification at the point of entry, said Rick Vise, Security Operations Division chief for Fort Leonard Wood’s Directorate of Emergency Services.

“The primary purpose for (the trusted traveler program) is to increase efficiency at the access control points,” Vise said, noting additional measures — including recent ID scanner upgrades and a pre-registration initiative for graduation guests — are also now in place to help ease gate traffic.

Vise said the program may be used by service members, their dependent spouses, DOD employees and retired service members and their spouses, and no prior registration or enrollment in the program is required. Contractors, foreign military members, family members 18 years and younger — along with anyone still enrolled in high school — and individuals with entry passes, such as those with Veterans Affairs credentials, may not escort visitors onto the installation under this program.

Those allowed to vouch for guests under this program are limited by the number of passengers legally seated in the vehicle with a seatbelt, Vise said.

“In other words, if the vehicle is designed to transport up to seven people, to include the driver with a seatbelt, the DOD-credentialed person may vouch for all the passengers,” he said, adding if the escort is not driving the vehicle, the driver’s identification must also be scanned at the gate.

Vise said the program may be utilized between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily at all access control points — note: the East Gate hours of operation are 5 to 8:30 a.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays — and he stressed all non-DOD-credentialed persons must stay with the DOD-credentialed person who vouched for them the entire time they remain on the installation.

“DOD-credentialed persons, who fail to remain with their non-DOD guest may have their trusted traveler privileges suspended or revoked,” Vise said. “The guest caught without their DOD escort may be charged with federal trespassing and denied any future unescorted access without an approved waiver.”

Additionally, DOD-credentialed individuals who violate the rules of the program may be subject to UCMJ actions — Vise said, as an example, those who attempt to vouch for individuals they know to be barred from the installation would be in violation of the program’s policies.

Vise said the trusted traveler program may be suspended at any time, as deemed necessary due to force protection conditions or senior leader concerns.

More information on the program may be found in Army Regulation 190-13 and Fort Leonard Wood Regulation 190-13. Anyone with questions about the program may call the Fort Leonard Wood Visitor’s Center at 573.596.0356. More information on access to the installation can be found on the Fort Leonard Wood website.