Fort Hood News Archive


Defense Commissary Agency
Corporate Communications
1300 E Avenue, Fort Lee, VA 23801-1800
Tel: (804) 734-8000, Ext. 8-6105 DSN: 687-8000, Ext. 8-6105
FAX: (804) 734-8248  DSN: 687-8248

FORT LEE, Va. – Military commissaries will operate under a holiday schedule beginning the week of Thanksgiving and continuing through New Year’s Day, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) announced.

“Our overall patron savings of at least 25 percent, compared to commercial grocers, are more important to our customers’ budget than ever before,” said Robert J. Bunch, executive director of DeCA’s Store Operations Group. “We encourage our military community members to check their stores’ schedules, plan their shopping trips on the installation for both commissaries and exchanges, and use their shopping benefit to save money over the holidays.”

DeCA’s announcement means that many of the commissaries normally closed on Mondays will be open on that day during the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas, expanding available shopping hours for patrons preparing for their holiday meals.

All commissaries will be open on Nov. 23, the day before Thanksgiving.

Commissaries will be open for holiday hours (closing at 4 p.m.) on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and open under a normal operating schedule for New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31).

All commissaries will be closed on Thanksgiving (Nov. 24), Christmas (Dec. 25) and New Year’s Day (Jan. 1).

Patrons are reminded to check the “Store Information & Holiday Hours” box on their store’s webpage for specific operating schedules.


About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.



This year, in conjunction with the annual Nature in Lights holiday light display at the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area at Fort Hood, Texas, the post’s Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation is hosting a canned food drive to help support area food pantries. The five-and-a-half mile long display has been a holiday tradition for Fort Hood and its surrounding communities for more than a quarter of a century. (Blair Dupre, Fort Hood Public Affairs)
Nearly 30,000 cars drive through the Nature in Lights holiday display at the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area at Fort Hood, Texas. This year, organizers are encouraging patrons to bring canned food items to help area food pantries in Central Texas. (Blair Dupre, Fort Hood Public Affairs)

FORT HOOD, Texas – Nature in Lights opened to the public at the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area here, Nov. 11, and for the first time, the Directorate of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation is hosting a food drive in conjunction with the popular holiday display.

Lisa Lorenz-Bass, program coordinator for the Fort Hood Outdoor Recreation Department, has been involved in all 26 years of Nature in Lights and is happy to welcome visitors to enjoy the five-and-a-half mile long display.

“One hundred-forty-three displays line the five-and-a-half mile route of lights, wrapping the park with a seemingly endless ribbon of holiday cheer,” Lorenz-Bass said. “Plus, displays illuminate and decorate the riding arena at BLORA Ranch and architectural and foliage lighting sparkles throughout the park.”

A spectacle as large as Nature in Lights requires tons of planning.

“Currently, designs for three years out are being planned and are in various stages of development. Specific themes, displays and route order are determined the December prior to the season they are used. Displays for the current season are built in-house and or refurbished and re-lamped January through April by BLORA’s very talented maintenance crew,” Lorenz-Bass explained. “Set-up begins early August, and the route continues being tweaked and fine-tuned until opening day. Displays are maintained nightly when Nature in Lights is open to ensure an optimum experience for all guests.”

There are various sections with different themes throughout the route, including the newest area called “Winter Whimsy.”

“New this season is a ‘Winter Whimsy’ theme, featuring a new computer-animated arch welcoming guests to view new displays in this winter wonderland, including ‘Furry Fox,’ “Sushi Anyone?,’ ‘Racing Reindeer,’ ‘Sledding Mouse’ and many more whimsical winter critters and characters,” Lorenz-Bass said. “The teamwork for putting on this show is an intricate collaboration of staff striving to balance the massive task of just getting it done on time (while also) making it special. The staff works tirelessly to ensure the event shines brightly opening night and reflects the true joy of the season throughout the duration of the seven-week program.”

Also new to Nature in Lights this year is the food drive. Dr. Peter Craig, Fort Hood DFMWR director, said those who work at BLORA had wanted to do a food drive in conjunction with Nature In Lights before, but never received permission to do it.

“I re-energized the idea and I went to some local food pantries to see if they were interested in participating,” Craig said. “I got four local food pantries … one in Belton, one in Salado, one in Killeen and … the Phantom Warrior Food Pantry. What we’re going to do is get food throughout the next 53 days of Nature in Lights and we’re going to distribute it around … to the different places so we can help replenish their food pantries.”

Lorenz-Bass is happy that the Nature in Lights display is bringing more than just holiday cheer to the community this year.

“BLORA is delighted to be a part of this worthwhile project initiated by the DFMWR director, Dr. Peter Craig, and encourages guests to support us in providing for our local food pantries,” she said.

Nearly 30,000 vehicles drive through the Nature in Lights display each year. Craig said this is a great opportunity for Fort Hood to give back to the communities that support the Great Place throughout the year.

“Nearly one in five people aren’t food secure in Bell County. If I can get one can of food from every one of those vehicles, we’re hoping to give 10,000 pounds worth of food directly back into the community,” Craig said.

For more information on Nature in Lights and admission fees, visit


Story by: Army Sgt. Brayton Daniel, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs

FORT IRWIN, California — 1st Cavalry Division participated in Project Convergence 2022, an experiment offering opportunities to access future warfighting strategies, including how the All-Service and Multinational Force can work together to detect and defeat threats Sep. 29 through Nov. 9 at Fort Irwin, California..

Sgt. Michael Trask, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, bradley track commander, calls grid coordinates on the opposing forces during Project Convergence 2022, Nov. 2 at Fort Irwin, California The opposing forces were spotted using the Raven, an unmanned aerial vehicle fixed winged aircraft.

The First Team’s primary mission during the experiment consisted of forming attack positions each morning while moving to the landing departure zone in the M113 Tracked Armored Personnel Carrier, M1A2 SEP v3 Abrams Tank, M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) while fighting the opposing forces. Each day new technology is added to the mission to test the success and practicality of the technology when used in a lifelike scenario.

Electronic assets allowed the unit to conduct reconnaissance and bring out the enemy without endangering Troopers, preserved combat power of larger platforms, scan the battlefield in a minimal amount of time, and allowed the commander to make decisions with less risk.

The assets also allowed rapid communications with allied partners across the spectrum of operations, reducing the time needed for decision making and allowing for more rapid target engagement by the 1st Cav artillery.

The 1st Cav is transforming by integrating these new technologies across the formation to enhance our ability to compete globally, deter adversaries, and win on all-domain battlefields.

“I firmly believe that everything we do here is something that we’ll see throughout the Army over the next 60 years,” said Lt. Col. Brennan Speakes, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, commanding officer. “This is the equivalent of the Army moving from the horse drawn cavalry to the armored formations we know today.”

Army Futures Command established Project Convergence in 2020 as an opportunity for collaboration, experimentation and a way of informing how we fight, how we organize, the talent we need and what we fight with.

“1-7 Cav is going to be the best trained squadron in the Army by next summer,” said Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV, 1st Cavalry Division commanding general. “You are building an incredible reputation right now across the Army.”

Project Convergence is designed to aggressively advance and integrate the Army’s contributions to the Joint and Multi-National Force and ensure that the Army, as part of the Joint and Multi-National partner’s fight, can rapidly and continuously converge effects across all domains including air, land, sea, space and cyberspace, to overmatch our adversaries, increase operational tempo and generate decision advantage over our adversaries.

Pfc. Thomas Bennett, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, cavalry scout dismount, executes his mission during Project Convergence 2022 while dismounted from a M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle Nov. 7 at Fort Irwin, California. Bennett’s primary focus was gaining a higher attack position to spot the opposing forces using the Javelin Close Combat Missile System – Medium, a man-portable, medium range tactical missile system.

Convergence means integrating efforts across all echelons, from the tactical to the strategic level, to deliver optimal lethal and non-lethal effects across all domains.

“Project Convergence 2022 is good for not only the training value for the squadron, but to learn the use and capabilities of this new technology,” said Sgt. Kyler Tackett, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, bradley gunner. “Hopefully PC22 will help with the further development of these vehicles, and to help solve problems for the future of the Army.”

Through Project Convergence, the Army is demonstrating new technologies continuously throughout the year to ensure we can fight and win as one Joint, Multi-National team by framing objectives within the Joint Warfighting Concept and Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) network.

A 1st Cavalry Division Trooper ground guides a Bradley M2A3 Fighting Vehicle after a mission during Project Convergence 2022 Nov. 2 at Fort Irwin, California.

These experiment demonstrations and future modernization capabilities inform Army emerging technologies, future concepts and future formations.

“Hopefully we leave our mark as a contributor to future technologies that are going to help the Army fight our future wars,” said Cpt. Rannie Lintag, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, human resources officer.

Looking to Project Convergence 2023 and beyond, the Army will continue to expand it’s alliances and demonstrate the impact modernization will have in various theaters of our geographic combatant commands.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the team that’s out here,” said Speakes. “This team is making things happen, and I’ve seen a stark improvement in not only their capabilities, but also their leadership potential.”

By: Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV, commanding general, 1st Cavalry Division

Veterans Day is a day of reflection and appreciation for the patriotism, service, and sacrifice of all who have served in the U.S. Military. We celebrate Veterans Day on the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. It was on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month in 1918, the battlefield of Europe fell silent after more than four years of fight

Col. (Ret.) and Medal of Honor recipient, Bruce Crandall shakes hands with Troopers from 1st Cavalry Division during the 2022 Army versus Air Force game on Nov. 5 at Fort Worth, TX. (Photo by: Staff Sgt. Ashley Dotson, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

ing. The day became known as Armistice Day and celebrated around the world by nations that participated in World War I as a day of remembrance for those who fought in that devasting war.

In 1954, the US Congress changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day to remember not only the Veterans of World War I, but to remember all Veterans who have served the Nation in military service.

This Veterans Day, 1st Cavalry Division Troopers are participating in six different events across Texas, Washington D.C., and London, to honor our Veterans. From Color Guards, to our Honor Guard, to the 1st Cavalry Division Band, and Horse Cavalry Detachment, Soldiers representing the U.S. Army’s premier armored division, take this time to honor our Nation’s Veterans.

But while we take time to reflect and appreciate our Veterans every November 11th, we must also take this time to make sure they are never forgotten and remembered and supported the other 364 days of the year. Prospective Soldiers observe how we take care of our Veterans as they consider serving themselves. Our ability to have an all-volunteer Army of the future depends on our support of our Veterans today.

Approximately 75,000 Soldiers transition out of the Active Army annually and become Veterans. The U.S. now has the largest population of young Veterans since the Vietnam War. We owe it to these men and women to make sure they transition from their active-duty careers with the skills and experience to find meaningful employment outside the Army and demonstrate to their communities the value of serving in the Army.

As a nation, and as an Army, we must commit to taking care of Veterans. Seventy-seven years and two months ago, as World War II came to a close, the First Team led the Allied Occupational Army into Tokyo. In the decade following that great conflict, the GI Bill enabled 7.8 million WWII Veterans to participate in education and training programs. This is one example of how our Nation showed appreciation for those who served to defend it.

Today, the Army’s Soldier for Life Program works in communities across the country to create opportunities for Veterans and Families and encourages Veterans to remain connected to their Army.

Sgt. 1st Class (Ret.) Hall speaks with Spec. (Ret.) Jim Skaggs during the 1st Cavalry Division Association Banquet on July 8 at the U.S. Air Force Museum, Dayton, OH. (Photo by: Lt. Col. Jennifer J. Bocanegra, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

Once you earn the title Soldier, you are a Soldier for Life. The Army is committed to the success of our Soldiers and their Families from pre-enlistment to post-separation, and to supporting our Veterans by connecting them to opportunities for employment and education.

Today, we remember our Veterans, we thank them for their service, and pay tribute to their sacrifices.

Our Nation’s Veterans throughout our history kept us free, protected and defended our Constitution and our way of life.

Today we say Thank You.


U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division
Media contact: (571) 305-4041


QUANTICO, Virginia (Nov. 10, 2022) – The Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division is offering a reward of $5,000 for credible information leading to the identification of the vehicle and person(s) involved in an accident in August resulting in the death of a Fort Hood Soldier.

Investigators are looking for a silver or dark gray 2004-2008 sedan model Acura TL. The vehicle would have sustained damage to the front passenger side of the vehicle. The vehicle may have already been repaired.

On Aug. 13, Sgt. Jesse Cruz died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident after leaving Joker’s Bar and Grill in Killeen, Texas. Cruz, from Fort Hood, Texas, was heading north on Clear Creek Road. Just before the intersection of Clear Creek Road and Mohawk Drive, Cruz lost control of his motorcycle, and was thrown from the motorcycle onto the road and struck by a passing vehicle which fled the scene.

The Central Texas Field Office is working jointly with the Killeen Police Department on this case. Any persons having information regarding this incident should contact the Army CID Central Texas Field Office at (254) 319-0718, crime stoppers at (254) 526-8477 or online at

Persons wishing to remain anonymous will be honored to the degree allowable under the law and the information will be held in the strictest confidence allowable.

No additional information of this incident is being released to protect the integrity of the investigation.



Army announces upcoming 2nd ABCT, 1st Cavalry Division, unit rotation


WASHINGTON — The Department of the Army announced today the upcoming winter rotational deployment of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, to Europe.


The 2nd ABCT stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, will replace the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division as part of a regular rotation of forces to support the United States’ commitment to Atlantic Resolve.


“The Black Jack Brigade is always ready to respond to our Nation’s call,” said Col. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, commander of the 2nd ABCT. “We are part of the most modern and lethal armor formation on Earth. We are ‘ALL-IN’ to reassure our European allies and deter any potential adversaries from doing anything they would regret.”


2nd ABCT, 1st Cavalry Division was first established on 29 August 1917 and fought in major campaigns of World War II and the Vietnam War– receiving multiple battle streamers and honors over those decades. The Black Jack Brigade deployed six times in support of the Global War on Terror and also deployed to New Orleans in support of humanitarian relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina. The brigade successfully completed a similar rotation to Europe in 2020. Today, the Black Jack Brigade is disciplined, vigilant, and professional; ready to fight anytime, anywhere.


For more information, contact the 1st Cavalry Division public affairs officer, Lt. Col. Jennifer Bocanegra, at or, 254-287-9398.

The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center will offer a pilot Walk-In Contraception Clinic at its Family Medicine Residency Clinic on the first floor of the hospital, Nov. 17, from 8-11 a.m.

Providers will be on-site to educate eligible female service members and beneficiaries of all the forms of contraception available, including natural family planning, barrier methods, hormonal methods, and long-acting reversible options like intrauterine devices, or IUDs, and implantable rods called Nexplanon. They will also be available to prescribe and complete procedures for these long-acting, reversible options. In addition, beneficiaries will be able to walk out with their contraception method of choice.

No appointments are necessary; however, beneficiaries are encouraged to arrive promptly at 8 a.m. for this initial service.

The clinic is part of the Department of Defense’s efforts to ensure that service members and their families have access to reproductive health care.

Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center administrative offices and clinics will modify their hours of operation Nov. 10-11 in observance of the Veterans Day federal holiday. Emergency services, inpatient care, and labor and delivery services will not be affected and remain open every day.

Monroe and Bennett Health clinics will be closed Thursday, Nov. 10.  Active-duty service members enrolled in either of these clinics should seek care at the Thomas Moore Health Clinic.

The Killeen, Copperas Cove, Russell Collier, West Killeen, and Harker Heights Community Based Medical Homes, Thomas Moore, Troop Medical Clinic 12 & 14 Soldier Centered Medical Homes, CRDAMC Internal Medicine, Family Medicine Residency and Pediatric clinics and services will be open Thursday, Nov. 10.


Thursday, Nov. 10

Bennett and Monroe pharmacies will be closed

All other pharmacies are unaffected and will be open normal operating hours.

All pharmacies will be closed

Friday, Nov. 11

Saturday, Nov. 12

Clear Creek PX Pharmacy will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

All other pharmacies will be closed.

All CRDAMC clinics and pharmacies will resume normal operations on Monday, Nov. 14.

TRICARE Prime enrollees with urgent, emergent care needs or COVID-19 symptoms should seek assistance at the CRDAMC emergency department during this timeframe.

For questions or concerns about COVID-19, please call the 24-hour APHN COVID-19 hotline at 254-553-6612.

The Nurse Advice Line is also available 24/7 by calling (800) TRICARE or 1- 800- 874-2273, Option 1.

This advice line affords Fort Hood area residents, entitled to military health care, the opportunity to talk with registered nurses about their specific urgent health issues, guidance on non-emergency situations and information about self-care for injuries or illnesses.

Beneficiaries can make or cancel appointments through the Patient Portal at or by calling the Patient Appointment Service at 254-288-8888. Through this patient portal, beneficiaries can also request pharmacy refills, and access health information like laboratory results, radiology results and immunization records.


FORT HOOD, Texas– The 1st Cavalry Division is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of a member from our team. Specialist Jacob A. Oswald, a 22-year-old military intelligence analyst assigned to 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, “Black Jack” died as a result of a fatal motorcycle accident, Thursday evening in Killeen, Texas.

“Our deepest condolences are extended to Specialist Oswald’s family, his loved ones, and his friends,” said Col. C.J. Kirkpatrick,  brigade commander for 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team. “We have been in constant contact with the Soldier’s family and are working with them to offer support during this difficult time.”

Oswald joined the U.S. Army in July 2019 and following initial training at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., he was assigned to Fort Hood.

His awards include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal (1OLC), the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

The accident is under investigation by Killeen Police Department.

Story by: Army Sgt. Darrell Stembridge, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs

Col. Christopher Dempsey, incoming commander of 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, gave a speech to IRONHORSE Troopers expressing his happiness to command the brigade on Nov. 3 at Fort Hood, Texas. 1st Cavalry Division is the most modern and lethal Cavalry Division in the Army.

Col. Christopher Dempsey took command of 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team “IRONHORSE,” 1st Cavalry Division during a traditional ceremony held on Cooper Field, Fort Hood, Texas on Nov. 3.

Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV, 1st Cavalry Division commanding general, presided over the ceremony which included the military traditions of conducting a pass and review on horseback and passing the unit guidon to the incoming commander.

During his remarks, Richardson highlighted the brigade’s recent return from a nine-month rotation supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve in Europe; its support towards a non-traditional mission to welcome over 7,000 Afghan guests at Camp Atterbury, Indiana last fall and their current support towards Project Convergence 2022 in Fort Irwin, Calif. at the National Training Center.

“IRONHORSE never quits,” Richardson said. “In fact they do a lot more than that, they win…It’s that attitude, that winning spirit that defines this brigade.”

Over the past few months, elements of 1ABCT including 1st Battalion 82nd Field Artillery, 115th Brigade Support Battalion, and the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion are currently at NTC supporting Army Futures Command in the Army’s largest joint and multinational modernization experiment in history, Project Convergence-22.

As the brigade begins the next chapter in its history, they will launch into a new training path enabling leaders and Troopers to build and maintain readiness through individual and collective training while preparing for upcoming large-scale exercises including a spring Warfighter exercise and a combined arms rotation at NTC this summer.

“It is the leaders on the field today that built this cohesive team,” said Richardson. “They are fit, disciplined, well trained, ready to fight and win wherever and whenever called.”

“Col. Dempsey will provide the inspirational purpose, direction, and motivation to build this team into the most lethal combined arms formation on the face of the earth,” Richardson continued.
Dempsey began his career as an armor officer serving with 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st CAV Division as a tank platoon leader. After leaving the First Team, Dempsey gained in-depth experience while serving at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of command in staff and command positions both in garrison and in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most recently, Dempsey participated in the U.S. Army Advanced Strategic Leadership Studies Program in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Once he completed the program he served as the Combined Arms Center G-3/5/7 responsible for developing and managing training operations, policies and plans.

In his remarks, Dempsey began with thanking the III Armored Corps and 1st CAV Division leaders for warmly welcoming him and his family to Fort Hood. He also recognized his first platoon sergeant, Command Sgt. Maj. (Ret) Joseph Adcock, and his first battalion commander, Gen. (Ret) Paul Funk II, both present at the ceremony. He then thanked the Troops and Families who will now fall under his command.

“IRONHORSE Troopers and families, you are all exceptional,” said Dempsey. “All we ask is that you start where you are with what you have, make it matter and never stop improving. IRONHORSE never quits and I am proud to be your Commander.”

1st Armored Brigade was constituted in the Regular Army in August 1917. Initially operating as horse cavalry Troopers, the brigade distinguished itself during combat operations in World War II, Vietnam, Desert Shield/Storm, Bosnia and Iraq. In June 1972, the brigade received the official designation of “IRONHORSE”. As of today, the 1st IRONHORSE Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, stands ready to lead the way to any contingency area world-wide to accomplish any mission that the future might bring.

Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV, 1st Cavalry Division commanding general, passes the colors to Col. Christopher Dempsey incoming commander for 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, during an assumption of command ceremony on Cooper field Nov. 3 at Fort Hood, Texas. The passing of the colors symbolizes Dempsey’s new assumption of command over his IRONHORSE Troops.

“This is a tremendous honor and privilege, to be a commander for this historic brigade,” said Dempsey. “I just want to be as humble and caring as I can knowing that there are a lot of Troopers and families in this brigade that are counting on me to do the right thing, and I look forward to doing that.”