Clean Up Collection Point
Soldiers throw trash in a bin at the collection point at Fort Hood, Texas, Sept. 14. Hundreds of troops took part in the post's Fall clean-up effort, Sept. 13-17. During the Spring clean-up, more than 30 tons of trash was gathered during that weeklong effort. (Photo Credit: Blair Dupre, Fort Hood Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers and garrison employees here dedicated time for trash pick-up and post maintenance during the post-wide Fall clean-up, Sept. 13-17.

For an entire week in the Fall and Spring, Fort Hood dedicates time for trash pick-up and post maintenance, including important work on the live-fire ranges.

“A majority of the Soldiers will go out and clean up the training area,” U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Hood Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew Ladd said. “And then there’s the cantonment area that each organization on the installation has its specific area around its footprint that they’re responsible for cleaning up.”

Though the Fall and Spring clean-ups obviously help keep the Great Place looking great, they are done for more than just beautification reasons.

“It is not just for aesthetic reasons. Especially when you look at the cantonment area, for instance, we’re making sure that the storm water canals are clear so when we do get a large rain, they’re not flooding. It’s to ensure that the water continues to move,” Ladd said. “It’s safety; we’re making sure the trees are trimmed to six feet so a Soldier can walk under a tree without having to worry about getting poked by a stick. It’s picking up, out of our motor pools, anything that doesn’t need to be in (them), from trash to recyclables to downed trees… the organization’s designated time to clean up.”

One important project in the training area has been firebreak maintenance, to make sure that they are not overgrown and ensure controlled burns are successful. They also pick up items that can cause training delays.

“It’s getting cleaned up so another unit can go out there and train and not have to worry about running over something that they didn’t know was out there, which is going to make them not be able to train because they have to stop and fix whatever is broken,” Ladd said.

Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division Artillery spruce up the area surrounding their unit headquarters at Fort Hood, Texas, Sept. 14. Hundreds of Soldiers assisted in the weeklong Fall clean-up effort on the installation, Sept. 13-17. (Photo Credit: Blair Dupre, Fort Hood Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

Fort Hood Recycle also benefits from the Fall and Spring clean-ups.

“Anything that the organizations find within their motor pool (or) training area, the first stop for every organization is recycling. Then anything that recycling can’t take, the recycling center’s giving them their pass to the landfill,” Ladd said. “That is their pass to be able to get to the landfill at no cost to the organizations.”

In the Spring clean-up this year, almost 31 tons of trash, 10 tons of metal, seven tons of concertina wire and 415 tires were collected from around Fort Hood.

Command Sgt. Maj. Edgar Monsanto, 1st Cavalry Division Artillery, said it is leadership’s job to ensure that Soldiers are doing their part for the Fall and Spring clean-ups.

“Part of this is just a dedicated week to ensure that we are keeping up our installation … for safety purposes, in the event that there may be obstacles on the road. And the other part is for us to have pride in our organization and be good stewards of the community,” he said.

Different organizations cover their footprint on post, picking up trash and even doing some landscaping.

“It is our job to ensure, not only that we’re keeping up with our community, but that we show pride in Soldiers being professionals,” Monsanto said, “and then pride in our area – how much we love Fort Hood and want to make sure that this is the Great Place.”