SPOKANE, Washington - The National Military Fish and Wildlife Association gathered for their annual training workshop here, March 14-18. More than 400 professionals were on hand with five group/individuals earning awards for their achievements.
Among the awardees was Capt. Anna Wilson, of Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cav. Division, who won the NMFWA Conservation Communication-Military Involvement Award for her volunteer work at Fort Hood, Texas.
Wilson, is currently completing a Career Skills Program Internship at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Fish and Wildlife.
“I feel humbled to be recognized by NMFWA. I’m thankful for all the people who supported my volunteer hours. I have a deep appreciation for the Texas landscape, and the Natural Resources Program at Fort Hood was the highlight of my time there,” said Wilson.
When not on duty, Wilson spent calendar year 2021 supporting Fort Hood Directorate of Public Works' Natural and Cultural Resources with their missions. This included projects the staff prioritized to ensure natural resources are managed using best practices for Army mission completions. Balancing the two missions is essential for sustained Army training.
Wilson sought volunteer opportunities because of her passion for the outdoors, and is preparing to begin a natural resources career after she departs of the Army. During her Fort Hood volunteer work, Wilson interacted with a diversity of stakeholders including hunters, wildland firefighters, scientists, cattlemen and Army units using the sprawling ranges.
“It was a great opportunity to learn about the natural resources at Fort Hood, and gave me such an appreciation for the natural processes going on right beside our military training.” said Wilson.
As the Fort Hood staff positions are Army civilians or state contractors, and others are temporary personnel completely new to Fort Hood, Wilson’s presence helped because she familiarized the staff members with Army jargon and the multitude of communication acronyms used daily. Wilson learned a lot, too, from the conservation experts that know what makes Fort Hood so ecologically unique.
“Fort Hood is a great example of undeveloped land. It was left for military training and it makes unique habitat for dozens of species. The Natural Resources Program has really helped with beginning to recover the Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler, and is something that has large ecological impacts,” she added.
“It’s something Fort Hood should be so proud of contributing to the community, that we start to see a bit of a resurgence of these unique songbirds,” Wilson said. “I’m really grateful for my experience talking with experts in the avian programs, the wild pig program, which helps quell the invasive animals, and for all the lessons learned.”