After meeting with Fort Hood Soldiers and senior leaders Feb. 11 at Club Hood, the Army’s senior leader said the installation is on a much more “positive path.”
“I think everyone has recognized that Fort Hood has been through some challenges over the last year,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said. “I felt that the table was turning, that people recognize and can see very clearly the issues they need to get after.”
McConville said he met with Soldiers of all ranks during his visit to the Great Place. He first met with the younger Soldiers and later met with commanders and sergeants major, to give them feedback based on what the enlisted personnel shared with him.
He also advised the commanders and sergeants major about the things Army senior officials expect, which is focused on building cohesive teams and going after the things that break trust within the force, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, suicide, racism and extremism.
McConville said Army senior leaders suspended some unit training to the combat training centers so the units could completely focus on what he called “people issues.” Those issues included leaders gaining a deeper understanding of their Soldiers, taking time to build a culture of respect and a culture where they take care of one another.
“If you have more time at the lower levels, you build a solid base and then when you get to the combat training centers, we see much better results,” he explained.
He said the last time he was at Fort Hood, he received a lot of negative feedback from the troops regarding operation tempo, among other issues. While there is still work to be done, the feedback was mostly positive.
“I think the leadership has taken Fort Hood’s Independent Review very seriously,” the general added. “We’re on a must more positive path.”
McConville also shared positive news regarding the Army’s $1.13 billion investment into Fort Hood. He said the 10-year, $1.13 billion investment plan includes a $496 million investment into Fort Hood barracks, $1.5 million into Child Development Centers, $448 million into maintenance facilities and operations centers and approximately $280 million into other key areas.
He said that Lendlease Inc., who owns and operates Fort Hood Family Housing, will be investing $519 million into Fort Hood privatized housing over the next few years. McConville said the funds will help pay for 540 new junior noncommissioned officer homes, 186 demolitions, and 2,287 major renovations and infrastructure improvements.
“This is going to significantly improve the quality of life for our Soldiers,” he said.
Phillip Carpenter, chief operating officer of Lendlease Communities, said Lendlease would be making improvements across six installations, including Fort Hood.
“Thanks to our innovative approach to financing, we’re able to expedite our improvement plans, ensuring our homes meet the needs of military families, now and into the future,” Carpenter said. “We’ll be announcing additional details on the six installations’ scopes of work later in the spring.”