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The commander of Marines assigned to the Army’s Fort Leavenworth in Kansas was fired last week, according to a statement from the Marine Corps Combat Development Command.

Col. William Blanchard was relieved of command by Brig. Gen. William Bowers, commander of the Marine Corps Education Command, on June 19 "due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command,” according to the statement.

The Leavenworth detachment falls under Bowers’ command, which reports to the Combat Development Command located at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

Lt. Col. John Knutson, the detachment’s executive officer, has been temporarily assigned as the acting commanding officer.

The Combat Development Command declined to comment on whether there is an investigation of Blanchard and his firing. The command also did not comment on when Blanchard took command of the detachment and how many Marines he oversaw at the Army base.

Fort Leavenworth is located on 5,634 acres along the Missouri River, north of Kansas City, according to information provided by the base public affairs office. It’s home to about 3,700 active-duty servicemembers.

The Marine Corps Detachment at Fort Leavenworth provides leadership, administrative support, instruction and service-level representation for Marines assigned to organizations supporting the Joint Staff, the Army’s Combined Arms Center, the Army’s Command and General Staff College, and the Army Corrections Command located on base.

Thayer.rose@stripes.com Twitter: @Rose_Lori

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Rose L. Thayer is based in Austin, Texas, and she has been covering the western region of the continental U.S. for Stars and Stripes since 2018. Before that she was a reporter for Killeen Daily Herald and a freelance journalist for publications including The Alcalde, Texas Highways and the Austin American-Statesman. She is the spouse of an Army veteran and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism. Her awards include a 2021 Society of Professional Journalists Washington Dateline Award and an Honorable Mention from the Military Reporters and Editors Association for her coverage of crime at Fort Hood.
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