Nearly 100 civilian aides to the Secretary of the Army will visit Fort Leonard Wood next week

Nearly 100 civilian aides to the Secretary of the Army will visit Fort Leonard Wood next week to attend their annual national conference.
CASAs, as they’re commonly called, are business and community leaders appointed by the Secretary of the Army to advise and support Army leaders across the country. They serve without a salary, and each state has at least one. Missouri currently has two — one for the western portion of the state, and one for the east.
Keith Pritchard is the CASA representing western Missouri. Appointed by former Army Secretary John McHugh in 2013, Pritchard has served continuously since then. He says this is the first time the conference has been held in the Show-Me State, and it’s the 100th anniversary of the CASA program.
One of the longest-serving CASAs ever was John Mahaffey, a Springfield businessman, after whom the Fort Wood museum is named. He was the owner of KJPW AM and FM Radio for a period of time in the 1960s and part of the 1970s and was a principal organizer of the Fort Wood area’s Committee of Fifty during that time.
One event that Keith Pritchard says he’s excited to show off to the other CASAs next week is the Community Salute of Service, set to take place at 6 p.m. next Wednesday at Waynesville High School. The event, which was first held here in 2019, will honor area high school students who are joining a branch of the military, ROTC, or who have received an appointment to a military academy.