Fort Hood News Archive

By: Sgt. 1st Class Kelvin Ringold, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command

The new Green Company for 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command focuses on shaping Soldiers who understand themselves, their tasks, the wide array of resources available and their unit’s history so that when they arrive at their units, they already have the knowledge and resources to be successful.
Tallahassee, Florida native and culinary specialist, Pfc. Jameilya Howard, 61st Quartermaster Battalion, receives her unit patch after completing the two-week Green Company cycle. The Green Company is designed to create a lasting impact on all the Soldiers who come into the unit by showing them what right is, and not what it looks like.

FORT HOOD, Texas – The Army is a group of diverse men and women from different cultures and backgrounds.  In order to successfully form cohesive teams, leaders must effectively communicate the Army’s organizational culture, and Soldiers must embrace a shared understanding of the Army’s values and expectations.

Leaders from the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command began the inaugural Green Company cycle April 6-14.

“The Green Company is part of the 13th ESC’s campaign to change the culture on Fort Hood, and it starts from the time Soldiers arrive,” said Cpt. Stephen Bracken, Green Company Commander.

For two weeks each cycle, Soldiers new to the 13th ESC will be familiarized with the four company fundamental pillars; knowledge, skills, assessment and indoctrination.

“When Soldiers finish their time with the company, they will have ultimately been indoctrinated into the ESC culture of people first,” Bracken said.  “They will also have an understanding of Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Prevention, equal opportunity, suicide prevention, basic Soldier skills and unit history.”

In order to emphasize the importance of the company, only the best-of-the-best noncommissioned and commissioned officers from across the command were selected as cadre.

“They’re highly motivated, adaptable and physically fit Soldiers, NCOs and officers who are excited to welcome in our new Soldiers into our culture through their example,” Bracken explained.

New Soldiers receive unique assessments such as a personality inventory given by the 13th ESC Command Chaplin, Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Michael Hart, and an in-the-works cultural competency test.

Assessments like these will help cadre assess who a Soldier is, and their level of understanding of empathy and emotional intelligence, which are important in leading Soldiers.  This will not only help Soldiers better relate and understand the people around them, but also help their new leadership get to know them better.

Soldiers have the opportunity to train in areas that will help them learn to build cohesive teams such as a leader reaction course or escape room, but also train in areas that help shape their resiliency.

During an Army Community Service led stress management class, Ruth Roubal, Fort Hood Family Advocacy Office, had the opportunity to show Soldiers how stress can affect not only them, but those around them as well.

“As individuals if we can’t manage stress, then that stress can become part of bigger problems.”

The company 1st Sgt. Richard Gaines II, 13th ESC, supports finding ways to help Soldiers manage the day-to-day challenges and adversities Soldier’s face.

“In the Army, you get things thrown at you non-stop,” Gaines said.  “It’s important we teach Soldiers how to adapt and react to those challenges.”

After completing the inaugural cycle, Bishopville, South Carolina native, Pvt. Montrez Wright, 61st Quartermaster Battalion, received his unit patch.

Wright has only been in the Army for two months as a petroleum supply specialist, and appreciated this step before going to his first unit.

“It definitely made me feel more comfortable being shown what is expected of me and how to do stuff the right way,” Wright said.

During the patch ceremony, Gaines spoke to the cadre and two Soldiers receiving their patches, and explained why being agents of change is crucial.

“It’s all about showing Soldiers, NCOs and officers what right is, and not what right looks like,” Gaines said.  “Identifying corrosive behaviors and working cohesively in a team is what the Green Company is all about.”

The Green Company leadership and cadre will now see what they can incorporate for the next group of Soldiers.

“As an NCO, I always enjoy taking on a challenge first,” said first platoon sergeant, Anthony Wilkins.  “Now we can provide feedback and improve the experience for the next time.”

Getting the first cycle out of the way was a huge step for everyone involved.

“Be proud of yourselves because you are a part of something that’s going to be a big part of ESC and Ft. Hood history,” Gaines said.  “But I also believe the Army’s history eventually.”

FORT HOOD, Texas — Fort Hood officials will unveil an access gate named in honor of Spc. Vanessa Guillén at 1 p.m. April 19 here.

Members of the Guillén’s family were involved in the design process and will attend the ceremony. Lt. Gen. Pat White, III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general, will preside over the ceremony.

The event is closed to the public, however, it will be live streamed on the III Corps Facebook page.

Following the dedication ceremony, the Guillén family will hold a press conference at the new gate.

The gate dedication was originally announced on Nov. 10, 2020. A link to the original announcement is here.

Media who wish to cover this event, should register here by 3 p.m. April 16. On April 19, media representatives should meet public affairs representatives at the Marvin Leath Visitors Center at 11:15 a.m. for escort to the site.


For People First Photo’s Visit The Links Below.


The 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade will hold a ceremony to rename the 553d CSSB on Friday, April 16th at 9 a.m. at Cooper Field.


The combat sustainment support battalion is becoming a division sustainment support battalion as the Army updates sustainment operations to more closely resemble tactical operations.


Media wishing to attend the ceremony should RSVP to SFC Michael Garrett at no later than Thursday, April 15th at 5 p.m.


All interested media will be escorted from the media parking area at the T.J. Mills Blvd. Welcome Center to Cooper Field and should arrive by 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 16th.

FORT HOOD, Texas – Fort Hood officials will welcome approximately 40 injured veterans and their supporters as they cycle through the installation at 9 a.m. April 15 on the fourth day  of their six-day, 300-mile Texas Challenge 2021 ride, which will be held April 12-17 from Austin to Arlington.

The 2021 Texas Challenge is part of a larger program sponsored by Project Hero.

Founded in 2008, Project Hero is a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping veterans and first responders affected by Post Traumatic Syndrome and Traumatic Brain Injury. The project aims at achieving rehabilitation, recovery, and resilience in the participants’ daily lives.

Following a short media availability here, the riders will depart at 10 a.m. from the III Corps Headquarters building for the next leg of their journey to Waco, Texas.

For more information media may contact the III Corps Public Affairs office at (254) 287-0106/9993. A Public Affairs representative will meet the media at the Marvin Leath Visitors Center at 8:30 a.m. for an escort on post.

By Sgt. 1st Class Kelvin Ringold, 13th ESC Public Affairs Office

The HHC, 13th ESC’s Executive Officer, 1st Lt. Drake Nixon, receives some one-on-one mentorship from Brig. Gen. Ronald R. Ragin, Commanding General, 13th ESC. On Thursdays, the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command’s Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Ronald R. Ragin, embarks on a five-mile mentorship ruck march with junior officers from around the command.

FORT HOOD, Texas – Making people a number one priority is easy to say, but actions always speak volumes.  When the example is set from the top to emulate, positive change is reciprocated.

On Thursdays, the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command’s Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Ronald R. Ragin, embarks on a five-mile mentorship ruck march with junior officers from around the command.

“We started these rucks last August,” said aide-de-camp, 1st Lt. Jaryd Wolak, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th ESC.  “It’s a great opportunity for everyone to get a good physical readiness training session in and also get to talk to general Ragin on a personal level to get some one-on-one mentorship.”

Since taking command in May 2020, Ragin has prioritized taking care of Soldiers and their families and has also emphasized the importance of physical readiness, and these events give him an opportunity to support both philosophies.

“It’s about investing to me,” Ragin said.  “Just like physical fitness is about investment, so is mentorship.  Every mile we do is another opportunity to help mentor the next generation of leaders.”

After Ragin and the weekly rotating roster of junior officers complete the first mile, the staggered formation, one-by-one, takes turns speaking with the CG for the remainder of the ruck.

During each officer’s time with Ragin, he asks them questions designed to give him an idea of who they are, where they’re from, what drives them and what makes them who they are.

2nd Lt. Erin Flahrety, HHC, 13th ESC, commissioned in September 2020 and got to the unit in January.

After hearing expectations from friends and fellow service members across the force, this mentorship ruck was just what she needed as a young lieutenant.

“It’s definitely uplifting,” Flahrety said.  “You hear that field grade officers and above have plenty of things on their schedules, so things like this a lot of them supposedly don’t make time for.  So it’s nice we get face-time with someone as high up as the CG.”

The sessions allow a vastly cultural and gender diverse group of junior officers the opportunity to speak on many important topics that affect the Army and nation.

During the ruck march on April 1, Ragin spoke with a lieutenant about the importance of today’s youth seeing their gender, ethnicity or culture represented by someone in uniform.

“At the end of the day we need that diversity,” Ragin explained.  “Somewhere there is a young girl that has aspirations like you.  We need you to be there to show her she can be where you’re at.”

Ragin credits his first platoon sergeant with helping shape him into the officer he became, which is a reason mentorship is so important to him.

“He taught me what right looks like in the Army,” Ragin said.  “I need our sergeants to teach our lieutenants what right looks like as well.”

The 13th ESC’s Strong Sergeants Campaign entrusts noncommissioned officers to mentor and shape junior Soldiers.

“Sergeants work with younger Soldiers but also mentor young officers as well,” said 1st Lt. Drake Nixon, Executive Officer, HHC, 13th ESC.  “So, they not only help officers excel but also Soldiers.”

Sergeants are crucial because they have the most direct interactions and influence with junior Soldiers at the squad, section and platoon levels.

“If our sergeants are strong, then our lieutenants are going to be strong,” Ragin explained.  “So, when I say strong sergeants, I mean Strong Soldiers!!”

At the end of the day, it is these new, young leaders who will command and influence the force.

“You’re the future,” Ragin explained.  “It starts with perfecting the fundamentals.  Make sure you build strong sergeants and hold them accountable to lead their troops.  What you do is hugely important to our success.”

After another successful ruck march and mentoring sessions, Ragin urged his young leaders to stay focused, motivated and most importantly, to take care of their Soldiers.

“Keep leading your Soldiers one at a time,” Ragin said.  “Every Soldier counts.  Stay positive and stay engaged.  I am super proud of every one of you.

2nd Lt. Erin Flahrety, HHC, 13th ESC, speaks with the 13th ESC Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Ronald R. Ragin, April 1 during his weekly mentorship ruck marches. Flahrety commissioned in September 2020, and mentorship is crucial for her as a young leader.

Command Sgt. Maj. Cliff Burgoyne, half of the III Corps and Fort Hood command team, discusses Operation People First during the taping session of the April 8 episode of Fort Hood’s Great Big Podcast co-hosted by Sgt. 1st Class Kelvin Ringold, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, in the podcast studio at Fort Hood, Texas. (1st Lt. Robert Grays, III Corps)

FORT HOOD, Texas — The III Corps and Fort Hood command team appeared on Fort Hood’s Great Big Podcast to discuss a variety of issues relating to Fort Hood Soldiers and how leaders can mentor and guide them in the right direction.

Operation Phantom Action, an initiative meant to improve readiness by focusing on cohesive teams, evolved into the People First initiative, a Soldier-focused initiative created to rebuild trust through action, which is designed to affect permanent change across the force.



The western diamondback rattlesnake is a common venomous species of pit viper found at Fort Hood, Texas. (Gil Eckrich, Fort Hood DPW Natural and Cultural Resources volunteer)

FORT HOOD, Texas — It’s warm outside during the day and while people are naturally drawn outside during warmer temperatures, so are snakes.

“Snakes hibernate in the winter, but they’re also very opportunistic, so if there’s a series of warm days, they’re going to come out, get warm and look for food,” Dr. Amber Dankert, supervisor of Fort Hood’s Wildlife Management, explained. “Folks need to be aware of their surroundings and be watching for snakes.”

Dankert urges Fort Hood families to be observant while out for walks, especially along trails with tall grass. She said snakes are also very good climbers, so they could be hiding in trees, trying to stay out of sight. She said snakes could also be hiding in unusual places.


Inara Houser, Girl Scout Cadette, Fort Hood Troop 318, helps Riley Schilt, Girl Scout, Troop 6200, to plant zucchini in one of the beds at the Montague Community Garden. (U.S. Army photo by Christine Luciano, DPW Environmental.)

Inara Houser, Girl Scout Cadette, Fort Hood Troop 6318, saw an opportunity to revitalize the Montague Community Garden as a tool for empowerment, leadership and service for fellow scouts, Fort Hood Family Housing residents and volunteers.

“I love doing things that help others,” Inara said. “I knew that this project would not only benefit Girl Scouts but that it would help the community as well and hopefully get this garden in use.”


By Army & Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas – Fort Hood youth can set their sights on fun with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s online Nerf target decorating contest for the Month of the Military Child.

From April 16 through April 22, military children 17 and younger can download the Nerf target template at, decorate it and submit their completed creation at for a chance to win great prizes. One grand-prize winner will receive a $50 Exchange gift card, while three runners-up will each receive a Nerf Microshot Fortnite prize.

“The PX encourages military kids to show off their creativity with this fun Nerf contest,” said Fort Hood Exchange main store manager Teresa Palu. “Our youngest heroes have unique talents and perspectives, which the Exchange celebrates with these special Month of the Military Child events.”

Military families can visit for contest details and Month of the Military Child activities, including sweepstakes, coloring pages and more. Month of the Military Child contests are open to kids 17 years and younger, but a parent or authorized shopper 18 years or older must submit the completed target at


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Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 61st-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.2 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at



For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Trey Williams, (254) 289-5967 or

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Instagram: @shopmyexchange

The 1st Cavalry Division Acting Commander relieved Col. Michael Schoenfeldt, Commander of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, because of a loss of trust and confidence in Col. Schoenfeldt’s ability to command.

The Troopers of the IRONHORSE Brigade deserve the best leadership the Army can provide.  Accordingly, based on the findings of an administrative investigation, and in the best interests of the Troopers of the IRONHORSE Brigade, Col. Schoenfeldt was relieved of his duties and responsibilities as commander effective April 8, 2021.  The relief was based on poor judgment demonstrated by Col. Schoenfeldt while in command.

Upon receiving allegations against Col. Schoenfeldt, the 1st Cavalry Division’s Acting Commander directed an investigation that resulted in several adverse findings against Col. Schoenfeldt.

The 1st Cavalry Division Acting Commander approved the findings, which included engaging in bullying as defined by Army Regulation 600-20, paragraph 4-19a(2), and counterproductive leadership as defined by Army Regulation 600-100, paragraph 1-11d.  This behavior was directed at subordinate commanders and staff officers. These behaviors were recurrent, and even if they did not have a deleterious impact on 1ABCT’s performance, they did have a deleterious impact on the welfare of subordinates.  Allegations of racism and maltreatment were unfounded.

The basis for this relief is separate and distinct from Col. Schoenfeldt’s ongoing medical issues. Col. Schoenfeldt has been reassigned and is currently performing administrative duties as directed by the 1st Cavalry Division Chief of Staff.