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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2014  03:38:10 AM

Reflecting on '13 while ushering in '14

Email   Print   Share By COL. Matthew Elledge, Fort Hood Garrison Commander
January 9, 2014 | Editorial
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By COL. Matthew Elledge, Fort Hood Garrison Commander
Let me start off by wishing all of you a Happy New Year. On behalf of myself and the entire garrison Family, I hope your holidays were what you wanted them to be.

Fort Hood garrison has been busy again this year with lots of changes and lots of things to be thankful for. If I may begin by thanking all of those who came out and supported the Celebration of Love, hundreds of military children and Families received gifts as well as food baskets due to the kindness of so many. Thanks to our chaplains and the staff at the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation offices who worked to put that together.

I would also like to reflect upon some of our key accomplishments this year, such as the Education Services Division holding its 17th annual graduation ceremony in November. There were 184 graduates from 34 different colleges; we hope to see at least 200 participants this upcoming November. Education services also hosted the annual college fair last April, in which more than 75 institutions participated. Our next fair is to be held again in April. In February, Education Services will again host Military Evaluation Days, offering the opportunity for Soldiers to discover how military training and experience can be converted to college credit and how that credit relates to a college degree. As well, the Army Career and Alumni Program now offers two-day specialized courses for transitioning military service members and their spouses. The Entrepreneurship, Accessing Higher Education and Career Technical Training courses are part of the Army’s new transition program under the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) act. These two-day seminars are offered as additional opportunities to meet the career goals of those transitioning. Sign up at the ACAP Center or online at www.acap.army.mil; those transitioning may attend more than one course.

Our Directorate of Public Works continues to make excellent progress with Net Zero waste, with a reduction of 700 tons in waste to the landfill from 2012. DPW and Fort Hood Family Housing has outfitted all FHFH villages with 96-gallon single stream recycle bins; increasing the FHFH recycle by 263 tons. Remember, the revenue made from our recycling center is used to offset big events such as Earth Day and our Fourth of July festivities and fireworks show.

Some major renovations on critical facilities was accomplished this year, including seven motorpools, four battalion/brigade headquarters and a company operations center. Some of the larger projects started and ongoing on Fort Hood this past year, included Abrams Gym, two VOLAR barracks, three motor pools, three hangars, Comanche Pool and the Fort Hood Main CDC. Fort Hood completed $34.6 million in military construction projects including Hood Stadium, Clear Creek CDC and the Family Life Center, all of which are in full use now.

Some additional construction projects are also ongoing on Fort Hood with our partners, to include the Clear Creek Exchange, Candlewood Suites Hotel and the Training Support Center. We’ve completed the transitioning of our 99 barracks buildings to the First Sergeants Barracks Program 2020, and we have also made great progress on our installation master plan, with all 11 area development plans complete or in the final stages. Least we not forget our Family and DFMWR team.They have several different events planned throughout the year to help make you and your Family’s stay at “The Great Place,” whether you are new or continuing on with your assignment at Fort Hood, more exciting and rewarding. Every February and August, DFMWR provides an event that opens the doors of the community to you in the Hood Howdy. Feb. 6, come out to Club Hood and meet the businesses and agencies from Central Texas. There is also a mini job fair at the Hood Howdy for those searching for employment.

Besides this bi-annual community event, DFMWR provides numerous opportunities to get out and socialize away from the office. Every month at the Backbone Lounge, there

are the ever-popular UFC Watch Parties and there is an annual Super Bowl Party. Club Hood adds special event brunches for select holidays, career fairs and dinner theaters throughout the year.

In addition to weekly and monthly events, you can always mark your calendar for these annual events: The U.S. Army’s Soldier Show (Aug), Independence Day Celebration (July, Military Spouses Day (May), Army Family Action forum (fall), Single Soldier’s Day (June), Water Fest (Jun), Month of the Military Child (April) and Flash light Easter egg hunt (March).

This year DFMWR will be bringing you Trace Adkins in concert May 3. Visit www.HoodMWR.com for more events and details. There are also a number of fitness classes held monthly and some 5K run/walks to enjoy.

Visit the Fort Hood home page and click on the garrison command link to locate our calendar of events. On behalf of my wife and Family, and the Fort Hood Garrison Command, Happy New Year.
 
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