Tank unveiling
Lt. Gen. Pat White, commanding general of III Corps and Fort Hood, leads a tank crew as they unveil an M1E1 Abrams tank near the Bernie Beck Gate at Fort Hood, Texas, June 14. (Photo Credit: Blair Dupre, Fort Hood Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT HOOD, Texas - Those who enter post through the Bernie Beck (main) Gate here will now be greeted by an Abrams tank.

The tank was unveiled in honor of the Army’s 246th birthday. Members of the crowd were given a brief history of how Fort Hood came to be and how the tank, that is now on display, came to be.

Once the tank had been unveiled by Lt. Gen Pat White, III Corps and Fort Hood commander, and the tank crew, Col. Chad R. Foster, commander of U.S. Army Garrison – Fort Hood, addressed the crowd.

“It’s great to see everybody out here on what is, finally, after a few weeks if rain, more indicative of our great Central Texas summer weather. On behalf of Lt. Gen. White, Command Sgt. Maj. Burgoyne, the command team for America’s Third Armored Corps and Fort Hood, I want to welcome everybody today to the unveiling of this symbol. This symbol that embodies Fort Hood’s unique and integral contribution to the national defense of our country,” Foster said.

He continued, “This tank will serve as a visual reminder, every day, to everyone that crosses through these gates that Fort Hood is the largest armored installation in the free world. Here we have just under 300 tanks and hundreds of other armored combat vehicles and support vehicles, but most importantly those vehicles are crewed by our most important asset, America’s sons and daughters, as you see represented right here by this (tank) crew. This crew and many like them, along with all those other vehicles we mentioned, can stay on Fort Hood and conduct combat training over an area that is 197,000 acres in size.”

Tank munitions sit on display next to an M1E1 Abrams tank following an unveiling ceremony outside Bernie Beck Gate at Fort Hood, Texas, June 14. (Photo Credit: Blair Dupre, Fort Hood Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

He also stated how the tank will be a great show piece to welcome visitors to the National Mounted Warrior Museum currently being built right next to the Marvin Leath Visitors Center that is expected to be completed in 2023.

“What better way to kick off this birthday for our United States Army and point the way toward what will be here in a couple of years than the unveiling of this beautiful, magnificent machine,” he concluded.

Earlier in the day, in honor of the Army’s 246th birthday, the Army held a mass virtual reenlistment ceremony. The Oath of Enlistment was administered virtually by Gen. James C. McConville, U.S. Army Chief of Staff.

“It is truly a privilege to serve with the greatest Soldiers in the world,” McConville told troops in a virtual message Monday.

Across the world, Soldiers raised their right hand during the virtual reenlistment ceremony, along with 15 Fort Hood Soldiers, who participated in the ceremony at 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters.

“It feels like an amazing opportunity,” Sgt. Jennifer Kaplan, 1st Cav. Div. Headquarters, said about the reenlistment ceremony. “I feel very lucky and appreciate the opportunity.”