Happy new year, Fort Hood.

Last month, as 2018 drew to a close I sent out a policy letter detailing the installation’s commitment to the Garrison Service Culture Campaign. As we ring in 2019, it’s important to me that those who serve the installation, as well as those they serve, understand this ongoing commitment to service.

At the grass roots level, our reaffirmation of the Service Culture Campaign begins with our pledge to our customers. The Customer Pledge states, “We will:

  • Deliver quality products and services.
  • Build relationships – with communities, with our customers and with each other.
  • Be kind and respectful to those we serve.
  • Conduct ourselves professionally.
  • Welcome and encourage feedback; we will communicate and listen.
  • Provide neat, professional and aesthetically pleasing facilities.
  • Take ownership of our actions.”

Service excellence is a derivative of quality employees and leadership and a byproduct of how we treat our own employees. That is why there is also a Fort Hood Leadership Pledge to those who serve within our organization, as well. In that pledge, our leaders “pledge to position you with success:

  • An impactful on-boarding and orientation experience to welcome you to the Garrison team.
  • Clear performance standards; to include standards for performance excellence.
  • An Individual Development Plan, or IDP, developed with your supervisor; reviewed during periodic counseling.
  • Opportunities for personal growth and professional development.
  • A recognition program to reward service and performance excellence.
  • Engaged leaders who seek and welcome your input and take action to continuously improve the organization.
  • An organization that embraces the concept of team, teamwork and empowerment.
  • A promise to hold ourselves, and each other, accountable.

Our commitment to excellence in the support of our customers, and our own team, is not something new. Fort Hood has been called the “Great Place” for years, and not just because of its vastness. Fort Hood is great because of the people, and heading into a new year that’s where our focus will remain.

I’m very proud of the efforts of our Fort Hood Garrison team in 2018. We’ve seen improvements made throughout the installation and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few.

Our Directorate of Public Works oversaw the renovation of three “H-Frame” barracks for Soldiers from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment in 2018, with a fourth one set for completion this month, improving the quality of life for our Soldiers. New overhead cranes were installed in 14 motor pools throughout the installation, while the 1st Cavalry Division has a newly-renovated wash rack. Both of these projects make a positive influence on our troops’ ability to train. Another DPW initiative in 2018 saw the opening of a new highway bridge on Old Georgetown Road, which directly impacts public safety concerns and accessibility.

Our Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security enabled the mobilization/demobilization of more than 17,000 Soldiers in support of deployments all over the world last year. DPTMS opened the Master Sgt. Mike C. Pena Training Support Center that offers state-of-the-art training aides, devices and simulators. The Jack Mountain Multi-Use Range was modified to provide a second site to support live fire breaching operations and a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense training site was integrated to support Army anti-ballistic missile system training. These new facilities and range modifications will significantly increase our future capabilities to support and enhance Fort Hood units training and readiness posture.

Much more visible to the general public were the many installation-wide events superbly executed by our Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation throughout 2018, such as Independence Day, Operation Phantom Warrior Salute, which included a performance by Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band, and the recent World Wrestling Entertainment visit, which highlighted the Great Place on the USA Network, Dec. 20.

I am tremendously proud of our installation team and this is only a glimpse of the ongoing efforts of all of our directorates and their dedicated staff members.

The seven points in the Customer Pledge are more than simply a code of conduct for Fort Hood Garrison staff members or foam board posters hung on our office walls. They are a promise to you, the Fort Hood community as a whole, and a promise we intend to keep today and every day.

Readiness remains the Army Chief of Staff’s top priority, and as a supporting command of America’s Hammer, the First Team, the Brave Rifles and so many other tenant commands who fight and win the nation’s battles, our commitment to our Soldiers and their Families must remain sincere and resolute, just like their commitment to the nation.

To the Fort Hood Garrison team, continue to strive for excellence in all you do as we continue in our service to America’s warfighters and their Families.

To those warfighters and Families, thank you for our freedom.

And to our neighbors here in Central Texas, thank you for your continued support. We are much better ON the installation because the support we receive from OFF the installation.

And once more, I wish you all a happy new year. All the best in 2019!