Thank God we survived 2020 … what a year!  Anyone else have the same thought?  On top of the normal demands of life as a Soldier, family member, civilian or retiree, we started the year with the ongoing housing crisis. We transitioned into the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues affecting how we live even today.  We also suffered heartache with the loss of fellow Soldiers, some in exceptionally tragic circumstances.  Many of us also may have suffered our own personal tragedies or failures through the past year.  

With 2020 now in the past, I encourage you to look at 2021 as more than a time for just moving forward … I encourage you to seek opportunities, try new things, and look for ways to make your life and lives of others better.

As part of our “People First Initiative,” the Secretary of the Army designated Fort Hood as the fourth quality of life installation.  Along with Forts Polk, Irwin, and Wainwright, the Army will focus on improving quality of life at Fort Hood. We will continue to renovate our barracks at Fort Hood with 48 already completed, 20 currently under renovation, and 21 more scheduled to start renovation between now and 2026.  In the old Warrior Way PX, now designated the Warrior Way Physical Fitness Center, we will complete renovations, fill it with new equipment, and open it this year.  3rd Cavalry Regiment should see completion of their new motor pool, with three more unit motor pools scheduled to build in the coming years.  

Late last year, we conducted a groundbreaking for the National Mounted Warrior Museum, and we continue to see that take shape in the coming year. Once completed this museum will replace both the 1st Cavalry Division and 3rd Cav. Regt.’s museums, and will serve as a great museum open to all visiting Central Texas.  These are just a few examples of the great things in the works for Fort Hood in 2021.

In the family housing arena, we will see a significant investment into Fort Hood Family Housing in 2021.  While the ink is not yet dry and specifics not yet open to public discussion, we hope to continue renovations, build new houses, and raze older houses on Fort Hood.  Fort Hood Family Housing made significant strides in improving customer service and maintenance during 2020, and will continue pushing toward greater achievement in the coming year.  Our collective goal remains safe and healthy homes. One way residents can provide feedback is to complete the CEL survey, which will remains open until 15 January 2021.  If you did not receive a link for the survey, please contact your Community Manager for an email with the link.

Continued effects of COVID-19 remain unknown for 2021. We proved since this pandemic started we can continue to train, deploy, redeploy, and provide installation services even with the threat of COVID-19. However, the threat has not gone away. Our collective vigilance to fight complacency and remain diligent in our mitigation efforts will help reduce the spread of COVID-19. I ask all to re-double your efforts in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.  The vaccine distribution gives hope that we may soon put this virus behind us, but in the meantime, we need to remain disciplined.

With 2020 firmly in our past, and despite a few lingering challenges, the New Year brings hope for great progress on many fronts at Fort Hood. I hope you and your Family receive many blessings, and I look forward to great things for the Great Place in 2021.  Happy New Year!