FORT CAVAZOS, Texas — Serving as the Garrison commander for Fort Cavazos has been the greatest honor of my 25 years in uniform.
This incredible installation — and the outstanding community of Central Texas — has been good to me and my family, both personally and professionally. After my wife and I completed our first duty assignment at Fort Stewart, Georgia, we arrived to (at the time) Fort Hood for the first of what was to be three tours of duty at the Great Place. As company commanders, field grade officers and now as colonels, we learned how to conduct ourselves as leaders right here. This was the first duty location to which my wife and I brought our one-year-old son after he was born at West Point during our time as instructors at the Military Academy. Fort Cavazos and Central Texas gave a lot to our family.
Returning to this installation as the Garrison commander has allowed me yet again to be a small part of this fantastic team. As I have said many times over the past two years, complex problems require community solutions — and THAT is what we have here at Fort Cavazos: a community that is second to none.
Together we accomplished a lot. Our community partnerships, our emergency responders and several individuals among our civilian workforce have received recognition for excellence at both the Installation Management Command and the Department of the Army levels. We have renovated nearly a dozen of our 99 barracks and started construction on a 100th barrack that will continue to expand our capacity and improve the quality of life for our Soldiers. We have invested heavily in our on-post residential communities with more than 3,000 new roofs and countless renovation projects. And, of course, we just moved the first Army family into what will ultimately be a Heritage Heights community of nearly 600 brand new homes for our junior enlisted families. Perhaps most notably, the community helped us to establish a one-of-a-kind short-term rental program in Central Texas exclusively for our military families waiting on their permanent housing to become available. This program takes some of the stress and financial burden off our newly arrived families by renting furnished residences on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis at a reduced cost. There is no other community across the Army or among all the branches of the U.S. military that can compare to what we have right here in Central Texas.
I have reached the end of my time as your Garrison commander. I look back on the last two years with immense pride in what we accomplished. There is still a lot of work left to do. Therefore, I eagerly look forward to watching even greater successes as Col. Lakicia Stokes joins the Fort Cavazos team. She is no stranger to this installation, having served here in previous years of her career. Col. Stokes knows the quality of our teammates and of the strength of this community. Please welcome her and the rest of the Stokes family to Central Texas, just as you did with me. Together, there is no limit to what you can — and will — achieve!