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Senior Army enlisted leader visits Fort Hood to assess progress of mental health, sexual assault issues

Posted at 9:30 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 22:39:40-04

The sergeant major of the Army visited Fort Hood, assessing progress after an independent review last year found a number of alarming problems on the base.

The highest-ranking enlisted officer in the army is taking the time to make sure Fort Hood is still moving in the right direction as he makes his rounds across U.S Army installations.

Following the murder of Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen ... an independent review found several issues with leadership, climate, and other things like the handling of mental health and sexual assault on Fort Hood.

Vanessa Guillen

That is why the sergeant major of the army Michael A. Grinston is making sure that soldiers are still seeing positive changes happening on post since he was here in January.

"Soldiers said that they trusted the direction we were going in as an Army and an installation."
Michael A. Grinston

"I wanted to come back and ask the same question, are we still moving in the right directions, and what I heard today is yes,” said Grinston.

Addressing instances of sexual assault, and assessing changes in that area is one of his goals at Fort Hood.

"Doing assessments so they get after some of those things that ... were lacking in the Fort Hood independent review. Do we care about our soldiers? Are we tolerant of sexual assault and harassment? That starts with providing you a good leader that’s intolerant of sexual assault and harassment,” said Grinston.

Grinston is stressing the need for improving how the Army and individual units and leaders address their soldiers' wellbeing and that includes their mental health and mental resiliency.

"We're doing things with meditation and we’re doing classes on mindfulness," said Grinston."How do you practice mental resiliency? So I do go through a crisis, maybe I don’t need to go all the way to behavioral health.”

Grinston is also taking the time to speak with young soldiers stationed at Fort Hood on whether or not they see change happening on the post and what they think still needs to be worked on.

”I heard a lot of our soldiers, our NCOs care about us, leaders care and they want to be engaged. They want to know about us, they actually do care. What I do hear that we still need to improve on is training management and time management,” said Grinston.

Grinston said a lot of positive changes are happening on Fort Hood, but work still needs to be done before the Army or Fort Hood is truly operating at their best.