Master Sgt. Torres J. Carr, Maneuver Support and Sustainment Test Directorate NCOIC, U.S. Army Operational Test Command. (U.S. Army photo)

By Master Sgt. Torres J. Carr, Maneuver Support and Sustainment Test Directorate NCOIC, U.S. Army Operational Test Command 

Imagine arriving in an area that’s completely alien to you and your family. Nothing is recognizable and you are totally confused about where to go or who to talk to.

This was the experience I had when I first arrived to the “Great Place” after my first PCS move to Fort Hood, Texas when I was a Staff Sergeant with orders to 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division back in 2010.

I quickly realized that accomplishing simple tasks, such as being on time to PT would take some careful planning and preparation.

Many Soldiers past and present are overwhelmed by the sheer number of Soldiers who call this installation home. Most people will see this as a reason not to come here but do not let this discourage you.

Fort Hood is home to multiple physical fitness centers located throughout the installation. So if getting in shape and living a healthy lifestyle is your goal, then this is the place for you.

Fort Hood also encompasses an area of over 217,000 acres, so calling it “big” is an understatement.  That is over 340 square miles!

For most newcomers, just navigating the area will be a daunting task, but do not let this deter you from exploration.

Nestled in the “Hill Country,” Fort Hood is an outdoorsman’s paradise. Hunting, fishing, and boating are just some of the activities that can be experienced here.

For those adventurous outdoorsman, the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area, or BLORA, has all kinds of activities for you and your family.

Fort Hood also offers a host of Morale, Welfare, and Recreational activities, to include arts and crafts.

The post is centrally located near major metropolitan areas as well. This is a great location for those shoppers and people who love the city life.

Austin, Texas, the state capitol, is located 68 miles south of Fort Hood, so a day excursion to the “Live Music Capitol of the World” is only a short drive away. Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio are within a few hours’ drive as well.

Now if you are a “foodie,” then you have also come to the right place. Central Texas offers some world-renowned eateries featuring barbeque, seafood, and “Tex Mex” cuisine.

Leaving an installation that has been familiar to you can be a very emotional experience. If you plan accordingly and seek knowledge and ask the right questions, you will find that “The Great Place” can indeed be an awesome experience for you and your family. Good Luck!