Focusing not on his own, but his team’s accomplishments over the past two years, Col. Hank Perry, commander of U.S. Army Garrison – Fort Hood, bid farewell to the position as Fort Hood’s garrison commander during a ceremony Tuesday in front of III Corps Headquarters.
“I want to focus on what our team of teams accomplishes on a daily basis. I want to spotlight the tremendous teamwork and cooperation,” Perry said. “I want to speak about the incredible Central Texas community, and focus on why we serve.”
After serving as the garrison commander for nearly two years, Perry relinquished command to Col. Jason Wesbrock, who has served as III Corps’ deputy chief of staff for two years. Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, III Corps and Fort Hood commander, said while change of command ceremonies are often bittersweet, this one is different because the installation is keeping both leaders. Perry will now serve as the III Corps chief of staff.
“He is in fact one of my heroes as he takes on all the issues we have across the spectrum, from Exceptional Family Member Programs to the housing issues, all the way to the barracks,” Funk said. “I am proud that Hank Perry takes care of my hometown.”
The role of the garrison commander is essentially to serve as the installation’s city manager, overseeing the everyday functions of the garrison staff, which helps make an installation run smoothly. During his tenure, Perry oversaw an annual budget of more than $350 million for the world’s largest military installation, while leading a workforce of more than 3,000 units, 10,000 Soldiers and approximately 5,500 civilian employees. Perry led 13 different support offices and directorates, which provided services to more than 350,000 customers annually. Fort Hood’s directorates received 32 awards under his leadership.
“It’s an incredible responsibility and one that entails some of the most dynamic of leadership challenges,” Funk said. “I could not be more proud of how Hank has taken these challenges in stride and continued the legacy that earns Fort Hood the name the Great Place.”
In the presence of hundreds of friends, Family, Soldiers and guests, Perry passed the garrison colors, and its symbolic responsibilities, to Brenda Lee McCullough, director of U.S. Army Installation Management Command-Readiness, who in turn passed the colors to Wesbrock, officially declaring him Fort Hood’s 22nd garrison commander.
Looking to the road ahead as the garrison commander, Wesbrock said he looks forward to serving all Fort Hood Phantom Warriors. Addressing Funk, Wesbrock said he will serve Fort Hood based on one of Funk’s famous rules.
“Your rule number 25 – the Army is a people business – seems most important today, because I have the awesome opportunity to serve all of the great Soldiers, Families, civilians and retirees at the Great Place,” Wesbrock said. “I will keep that at the forefront of my actions as the garrison commander.”
Before the change of command, Funk shared funny memories of the pranks Perry has played on him during his tenure, before getting serious. He talked about Perry’s hard work and dedication to Fort Hood, before awarding him the Legion of Merit for his leadership.
“Hank built a culture oriented on selflessly serving our community,” Funk said. “His consistent leadership, prioritization and trust were the foundations of success.”