FORT HOOD, Texas — Senior leaders across III Armored Corps and Fort Hood gathered to hear from a former Army vice chief and familiar Fort Hood leader during a leader professional development seminar at the Lone Star Conference Center here, May 6.
Retired Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the 32nd Vice Chief of Staff of the Army and former 1st Cavalry Division commander, led the discussion, which centered on traumatic brain injuries, recruiting challenges, suicide, and post-traumatic stress, among others. More than 70 leaders attended the event.
Chiarelli said it was important to meet with Fort Hood leaders because he remembered fondly the mentors that brought him up and how important it was to hear their experiences.
“At the same time, it allows me to learn of the issues that you are faced with,” Chiarelli said of his audience.
He added that as he is talking to people to help support the Army, panels such as these “keeps me current with my ability to speak to the issues that are really important to the leaders of the Army today,” he said.
In addition to the leadership seminar, Chiarelli spent time before the event visiting various areas in and around Fort Hood.
“I was really excited to see the Intrepid Spirit Center and to see what it’s doing to take care of people with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury,” Chiarelli said. “It is exciting to see some of the things that are being done along the lines of the “People First” initiative.”
During his visit to the area, Chiarelli met with leadership and Soldiers with III Armored Corps, 1st Cavalry Division, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, and numerous others in the community. He said one of the highlights was the engagement with the various leaders in the room during the seminar.
“Being around people in that room meant the world to me,” Chiarelli said, “and in doing so I get energized,”
Chiarelli stays active in the military community, with strong ties to Fort Hood. He led the 1st Cavalry Division in war during the early fighting of Operation Iraqi Freedom, then later serving as the commander of Multi-National Corps – Iraq. He retired as the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army in 2012.