By Christine Luciano and Todd Pruden, Fort Hood Public Affairs
Fort Hood was officially recognized for winning a Department of Defense award by officials at the Pentagon during a video teleconference at the III Corps and Fort Hood Headquarters today.
Fort Hood earned the Secretary of Defense Award for Environmental Quality for a non-industrial installation for its commitment as ambassadors of a better tomorrow for the installation, surrounding communities and the environment
“This is by far the highlight of my week to be able to recognize three units from across the nation who have done an outstanding job on such a critical mission,” said Lucian Niemeyer, assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment. What you’re doing this year and what you’re continuing to do has a direct impact on our ability to carry out the missions and I just want to say thank you for taking the effort, thank you for your accomplishments and more importantly ahead of time for what’s to come.”
Each year since 1962, the Secretary of Defense has honored individuals, teams and installations for their outstanding achievements to conserve and sustain the natural and cultural resources entrusted to the Department of Defense.
“It’s an honor for our Soldiers, civilians and Family members to be recognized as the winner of a Secretary of Defense Award,” Col. Hank Perry, Fort Hood garrison commander, said. “Their commitment to environmental excellence, mission readiness and resilience is exemplified by their endeavors to stand out as a champion in waste reduction efforts, ensure environmental compliance and promote a sustainable culture within the greater Fort Hood area.”
Niemeyer spoke of the accomplishments Fort Hood has made over the course of the year and extended his gratitude for the achievements the installation has made.
“Fort Hood’s a huge success story and we want to replicate it across the country. I’m just terribly impressed with the achievements … and I just can’t tell you enough how thankful we are,” said Niemeyer. “You’re all the reason why we make a difference for the warfighter. Please keep up the great work.”
To earn the awards, Fort Hood had to win at the Army level, which was recently presented to the installation by Eugine Collins, deputy assistant secretary for environmental health. After that achievement, the installation had to compete with entries from the Air Force, Marines, Navy and National Guard, as well as other defense agencies.
“What an honor to be recognized at this level, considering the great work at so many other Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force installations,” Brian Dosa, director of Public Works, said. “It’s an honor for me to be part of a team that has been so successful at balancing the readiness of our Soldiers and units, our No. 1 priority, with environmental stewardship and conservation. I am proud of them and thrilled that their excellence has been recognized.”
The installation was recognized for its comprehensive environmental program that oversees a range of initiatives such as recycling, Net Zero Waste, compliance, training, water conservation and energy efficiency.
“It’s impressive the hard work and dedication our community puts in daily to accomplish great successes, and should serve as a model for other military installations to emulate,” Perry said. “Winning this award is an example of what you can achieve with a dedicated team working hard to balance the mission and environmental stewardship.”
Fort Hood’s team accomplished the following in fiscal year 2017, all of which were mentioned during the award recognition: recycled 16.516 million pounds of recyclables, generating $1.699 million in revenue; partnered on a surge event to collect more than 1 million pounds of excess equipment; composted 1.358 million pounds of food waste; conducted 1,125 environmental assistance visits; and reached 161,257 individuals through training and outreach.
Fort Hood has created a variety of policies, programs, and projects that balance mission readiness and environmental stewardship across the installation. Dosa further explained the key to Fort Hood’s successful environmental program.
“It is the ability to successfully balance training and readiness at the Army’s largest mechanized/armored training installation, while still maintaining compliance and ensuring the future viability of the Great Place,” Dosa said. “Our people are amazing. Fort Hood Soldiers and civilians are focused on supporting training, while at the same time conserving resources and maintaining compliance.”