Fort Hood recognized 94 individuals and teams for their selfless contributions during 2020’s first quarterly Hood Hero award ceremony and luncheon Feb. 4 at Club Hood.
The ceremony marked the 21st consecutive year of recognizing Soldiers, civilians and family members for their efforts and time to make Fort Hood and neighboring communities better.
“Today we take time to recognize the great people in our units and organizations,” Keith Gogas, deputy to the Fort Hood garrison commander, said during his welcome remarks. “To quote the Army’s 40th Chief of Staff, Gen. McConville, ‘People are always my number one priority … our Army’s people are our greatest strength and our most important weapon system.’”
Awardees like Jackelyn Ferrer-Perez, sustainability program manager for the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division, was nominated for her outstanding commitment to support the division when there was a significant manpower loss and a program unsupported due to vacant positions.
“The NEPA program essentially supports every project on Fort Hood, from construction and earth disturbing, to planning and decision making,” Timi Dutchuk, chief of environmental programs, DPW Environmental, said. “With basic instruction, Ferrer-Perez learned the Federal Statute guiding the process and excelled at performing this legally-mandated and important task for Fort Hood.”
While Ferrer-Perez was one of the many individuals recognized at the luncheon, many awards were also given to teams who went above and beyond the call of duty to make the Great Place more great.
“We couldn’t do all we do without the support of our world class communities and good neighbors who help us to improve the quality of life for our Soldiers and families,” Gogas said.
The Sustainable Environment Team, made up of good neighbors from the City of Killeen, Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful, DPW Environmental and the School Liaison Office Adopt-A-School Program, were recognized for the Community Support to Fort Hood award.
“We are a team of teams working together to teach students, educators and schools on how they can incorporate green practices into their daily routine by setting the example, getting involved and helping to educate everyone,” Israel Garza, project manager, Environmental Services Division, City of Killeen, said. “To be recognized for the positive impact we have made on thousands of military and Central Texas youth is priceless.”
The actions of honorees like Ferrer-Perez and Garza echoed III Corps and Fort Hood Commander Lt. Gen. Pat White’s vision that Gogas shared with the audience.
“People, are the center of the corps and our profession,” Gogas said. “From the Soldiers we train, equip and deploy, to the civilians who enable us, and the Families who support us, our people empower the corps to win in all domains and under all conditions.”
The next quarterly Hood Heroes ceremony is scheduled for April 28. Nominations are due April 1.