Fort Hood National Bank was recognized by the Department of the Army as the 2018 Distinguished Bank of the Year – an honor they have earned 12 out of the last 35 years the Army has recognized its on-post financial institutions.

“These awards recognize the on-post bank and credit union branches that have provided exceptional financial service and support to their communities,” William Staley, deputy to the commanding general of the United States Army Financial Management Command, said in a memorandum to the bank.

Military branch winners were recognized during a ceremony at Palm Beach, Florida, Aug. 27. Fernando Fernandez, vice-president of FHNB, and Terry Tuggle, FHNB chairman of the board, were present for the ceremony, which was held during the 2019 Association of Military Banks of America annual workshop.

The award was open to all banks or credit unions located on a military installation. All nominations included an endorsement from the installation commander. Criteria for the award included the bank’s initiatives, special services, financial education and training and actions taken to combat predatory lending practices.

Fernandez said one of the biggest things the bank does is its financial literacy program. He said they offer free individual, family and group classes regarding finances. The classes can be held at the bank or at the unit. They also host a lunch and learn program every Thursday, where they provide the food and Soldiers come to listen to a 30-minute finance class on budgeting.

“Fort Hood National Bank offer services that help our customers be better prepared by becoming self-sufficient and achieving financial stability,” Fernandez said. “This services include tips on saving money, establishing/managing a budget, car buying, and planning for retirement. We do this to help avoid mistakes that lead to money struggles.”

As a retiree, Fernandez said he wishes he had known about the financial services when he was a Soldier. He is happy to now have the opportunity to assist the next generation of Soldiers with their financial needs. 

Fernandez said FHNB, which opened its doors in 1965, follows financial institution guidelines directed by the Department of Defense, in accordance with DoD 7000.14, DoD Financial Management Policy and Procedures. He said they try to meet and then exceed all expected requirements, which is far more extensive than off-post banking institutions.

FHNB regularly works with Army Community Service, Army Emergency Relief, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Fort Hood Family Housing and the Association of the United States Army – Central Texas Chapter. They also provide financial advice quarterly for the Fort Hood United Service Organization’s Pathfinder program, which assists transitioning Soldiers preparing for a future outside the military.

Fernandez feels that this award shows that FHNB is doing something right and hopes the customers always leave the bank feeling good about the service they received and their financial needs were met.

“Our bank is really Soldier, family and veteran centric,” Fernandez said. “This is our community – this is the people we serve.”