FORT HOOD, TX — After a tumultuous 2020, Fort Hood commanders implemented Operation People First to improve morale and take better care of their soldiers.
The initiative was started after the release of an independent review into the command climate, which was launched following the murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen.
Operation People First began on October 13, 2020, and units are already putting the policies into action.
Under the light of the moon, folks from the 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters on post took time to have a little fun on the III Corps obstacle course.
”Today I had my battalion staff and some of our team out here competing in an obstacle course to build comradery and team work and to help us have a fun time during physical fitness training in the morning,” said Lieutenant Colonel Lillian Woodington.
Soldiers ranging in rank from private to colonel all agree that taking time to build up the team and morale is an absolute must.
The battalions are not only working on having fun though. They also made their way to the SHARP 360 Center for scenario-based training on sexual harassment and prevention training.
”Just to give them an opportunity to act out these scenarios, and then kind of involve a scenario that includes sexual assault, sexual harassment or a scenario that could possibly lead to sexual assault, sexual harassment,” explained Sergeant First Class Crystal Basham, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for 1st Cavalry Division.
The scenarios, which include bar and barracks scenes, allow soldiers to learn proper responses based on real-life possible events.
”We have them act it out. We sit there and we have a discussion about it. We talk about intervening, we talk about some of those barriers to intervening, and then, if something does happen to you, what would you do.” said SFC Basham.
Everyone involved said they were happy to see Fort Hood taking more time for the well being of the soldiers stationed there.
”As a soldier, I think it is great to take the time to recognize that we are people, we have families, we have things we do outside of the job. So, taking that in mind and giving us the time to recuperate mentally and physically will help us perform better at our job,” explained Sergeant Elizebath Deeley.