By Rodney Jackson
CRDAMC Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, Texas — Selected as the Best Soldier Recovery Unit in the Army at the annual Army Recovery Care Program Senior Leadership Summit at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the Fort Hood SRU was recently presented the award here Dec. 9.
“This is a token representing what our SRU has done, and it is no small feat to be the best SRU in the Army. It’s not something that we take lightly,” said Col. Daniel Moore, commander, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. “Taking care of our wounded warriors and returning them to duty or assisting them on to the next phase of their lives is absolutely yeoman’s work.”
The unit was runner-up last year for the award with several of its members taking first place, including SRU platoon sergeant, squad leader, transition coordinator, Army Recovery Care coordinator, and chaplain of the year.
Most of them repeated as first place winners again this year.
Comprised of civilian, and active-duty and Reserve Soldiers with various military occupational skills, the Fort Hood SRU is one of 15 SRUs nationwide.
The unit was activated here in 2007, and since then has served more than 55,000 Soldiers in recovery. Its mission is to provide mission command, primary care, rehabilitation and case management for Soldiers in recovery, ensuring that each receives the appropriate medical care and administrative support to fully return to duty or transition into the civilian community.
“This unit does a lot, whether cadre, a Soldier in recovery, and on those tough days, the squad leaders, platoon sergeants, and our civilian personnel, are there every single day, and we are receiving this award because of you all,” said Lt. Col. Rebecca Cozad, commander, Fort Hood SRU.
Knowing that they would be up for the award again, the leadership initiated steps to be more competitive.
“We came up with better ways to bring the team in and make the processes better,” said 1st Sgt. Patricia Pierson, Headquarters and Headquarters Co., SRU. “It’s always been a team effort.”
One of the steps includes conducting in-person interviews to select staff members to work in the SRU.
“We want to make sure we get the right personnel in these positions, because they take care of a lot of individuals. They have to be resilient, mentally and physically tough, and prepared to have their own work and home life balance,” said Pierson. “Taking care of these Soldiers is not a small task. You are taking on their illness, their injury and helping their families. At any moment, you can get a call to be on the road or at the emergency room.”
The unit covers active duty, Reserve and National Guard service members for the Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Central Texas areas.
According to Capt. Adam West, commander, HHC SRU, many Soldiers have told him that this is such a different unit from the rest of the Army, because here, they feel like people care about their physical well-being, their feelings, what they’re going through emotionally, and what’s going on in their family.
“All of the cadre, civilians and everybody that works here, put the Soldiers first. I think the Soldiers see that, and I think that’s the most important thing,” West added. “As long as we keep doing that, we probably stand a chance of winning the award again.”