Fort Polk Progress Gearing up for March 3 Listening Session

LEESVILLE, La.--Fort Polk Progress is deep into planning for the listening session set for March 3 in Leesville.

Army officials will be on hand to hear comments concerning the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment which indicates that Fort Polk could see a reduction in troops of about 6,500 as the Army reduces its force from 490,000 soldiers to 420,000 by the year 2020. The listening session will begin at 6 p.m. at the First United Pentecostal Church at 101 Nolan Trace, Leesville.

"The listening session will be a very tangible opportunity to drive home the value of Fort Polk to the Army," said Fort Polk Progress Chairman Michael Reese. "We will make a very aggressive argument to that end.

"In addition, we know from past experience that crowds and numbers create an attention-getting atmosphere, and so we are also going to call upon our surrounding parishes and counties; small towns and municipalities as well as larger cities; civic organizations; schools and school groups; government agencies; senators and representatives at both the state and federal level; our Heritage families; and Veterans groups to organize themselves and prepare for the March 3 listening session.

"We need everyone's participation on March 3 to show the Army, beyond a shadow of a doubt, our commitment to Fort Polk, our soldiers and their families."

Fort Polk Progress will be reaching out to as many of these groups as possible with a call to action and details about how each group can participate.

Share your Plans
If you have specific plans for how you or your group would like to participate, please contact Tammy Sharp (337-378-9329; who will be happy to help you coordinate with others.

Line the Streets
In particular, groups are encouraged to line the streets from the entrance of Fort Polk on University Parkway (La. 467) to Third Street, then Texas Street which turns into Nolan Trace where the church is located. To be most helpful, please be sure to communicate to Tammy at Fort Polk Progress what area your group plans to occupy so that we can plan for the best coverage.

Attend the Session
Attending the listening session is also a great way to participate. Please let us know if you plan on attending and how many people are in your party so that we can better plan for accommodating as many people as possible. If you'd like to speak at the session, we encourage you to contact Fort Polk Progress so that we can make arrangements for you.

Make a Video
In addition, we're considering how best to create a video segment of public comments. You are welcome to send your 1-2 minute video commentary to Tammy Sharp at

Schedule a Speaker
You can also schedule a Fort Polk Progress board member to educate your group on the importance of the listening session. Please contact Tammy Sharp to make arrangements.

Spread the Word
Do you know of others who need to be in the know about this very important issue? Please don't hesitate to forward this information to them and encourage your family, friends and neighbors to get involved!