FORT HOOD, Texas – The III Armored Corps received the assessment and recommendations from the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee which were released today from the Headquarters, Department of the Army.

The report’s finding and recommendations identified areas Fort Hood leadership has taken action on through its Operation People First campaign launched on Oct. 19.

“III Corps has made significant changes since the events over the summer to prioritize a people-first approach to leadership that promotes a positive culture at Fort Hood and across the Corps,” said Lt. Gen. Pat White, III Corps and Fort Hood Commanding General. “Our efforts through Operation People First already addresses some of the recommendations from the review committee, and we look forward to implementing their additional recommendations.”

“Operation People First” is a campaign that prioritizes a back-to-basics, people-first approach to leadership and focuses on the fundamentals of engaged personal leadership to build trust with Soldiers, Families, Civilians and military communities.

The corps-wide program has three primary tenets:  getting to know Soldiers, leaders taking action to ensure trust and discipline is maintained, and leaders holding leaders accountable if standards are not met.  Operation People First is a year-long campaign designed to produce enduring positive cultural change across the force.

III Corps will share insights and best practices with the Army’s new People First Task Force.

Since October, more than 4 million man-hours have been devoted to team-building activities for the 90,000 Soldiers assigned to III Corps at Forts Hood, Bliss, Carson, and Riley.

Other areas that the independent review identified as areas where improvement is needed includes the Army’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program, which the Army will establish the criteria for improving the program.

At Fort Hood, one of the programs that has been highly successful is the SHARP 360 training facility – an interactive, immersive Soldier traioning experience that was identified as a best practice by the review committee.

“The 360 facility is used for engagement training, so it’s actually hands-on scenario-based training,” Capt. Valleen Thomas, 1st Cav. Div. SHARP program manager, explained. “Soldiers can go through scenarios, which they may face in their units or even outside post at a club. We put them in the shoes of a sexual assault victim and show them how to intervene to stop the situation before it progresses into a sexual assault.”

The independent review committee also identified that the culture and climate at Fort Hood needs improvement.

“While culture takes time to improve, the climate of an organization is a direct responsibility of the leadership,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Cliff Burgoyne, III Corps and Fort Hood command sergeant major. “We are committed to putting our people first, rebuilding trust, investing in our Soldiers, holding leaders accountable, and providing a safe, secure, and positive climate for all Soldiers.”

The committee was formed at the request of the Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and Gen. James McConville, Chief of Staff of the Army, to conduct an assessment into the Fort Hood command culture and climate after questions and concerns were voiced by family members, Congress, and various Hispanic advocacy groups during the investigation into the disappearance and murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen.

The Fort Hood Independent Review Committee’s findings and recommendations can be found here: http://www.army.mil/forthoodreview.