FORT CAVAZOS, Texas — On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Honorable Christine E. Wormuth, the 25th secretary of the Army, visited Fort Cavazos to meet with senior leaders, units and families to discuss readiness and quality of life for Soldiers, families and Department of the Army civilians.
Wormuth’s first day at Fort Cavazos began at the III Armored Corps headquarters, where she met with Lt. Gen. Sean C. Bernabe, III Armored Corps and Fort Cavazos commanding general, and III Armored Corps and Garrison Staff.
III Armored Corps leaders discussed the organization’s operational capabilities and how they remained a trained, committed and ready organization that is grounded on the values of dignity and respect; dedicated to working together with its partners to build, deter, engage and shape at anytime, anywhere.
Other topics of discussion included III Armored Corps’ ability to deliver a proven high-readiness force, trained and ready to support operations across the full spectrum of crisis. It offers a well-manned and modern structure that is flexible, scalable and capable of meeting a wide spectrum of commitments.
“III Armored Corps is focused on warfighting with more than 10,000 Soldiers currently deployed across the globe,” said Lt. Col. Jeremy Prince, chief of operations assigned to III Armored Corps headquarters. “This fiscal year, III Armored Corps will have almost 40% of our assigned Soldiers deployed in support of contingency operations, combat training center rotations, warfighter exercises or joint exercise programs. We are a busy and engaged corps. We train and we are ready.”
III Armored Corps leadership also briefed the secretary of the Army on updates related to new equipment fielding, multi-domain training and long-range fire capabilities.
As an example of the type of large-scale combat operations training the corps is participating in, the secretary of the Army was briefed on III Armored Corps’ recent exercise, Remagen Ready. Remagen Ready was the largest training exercise conducted on the installation since 2020.
Leaders also discussed initiatives on improving quality of life for Soldiers and their Families, such as the People First Center, family programs and resources and the development of a new mobile application customized to the needs of every individual user.
III Armored Corps has made numerous changes to enhance the safety, quality of life and support for service members and Families, including working toward improving the integration of newcomers to Fort Cavazos with a weekly installation orientation for newly arrived Soldiers and family members. The newcomer’s brief is delivered by the commanding general or a senior leader that he designates, which emphasizes III Armored Corps’ commitment to ensuring Soldiers start their time at the Great Place with the information they need to thrive.
Another important topic discussed was III Armored Corps’ focus on recruitment and the lessons learned as the corps strives to adopt creative community engagements in partnership with local recruiting battalions. The integration of several III Armored Corps staff with a recruiting outreach non-commissioned officer, creates synergy and streamlines the process between recruiting battalions and III Armored Corps supporting units.
“In the last year, III Armored Corps has supported more than 370 community events that have led to more than 10,000 recruitment leads, and we have a number of partnerships throughout the Central Texas region that consistently generate community engagements for III Armored Corps and our subordinate units,” said Col. Chad R. Foster, III Armored Corps chief of staff.
To enhance the quality of life, III Armored Corps operates the People First Center, which opened May 13, 2022. The center provides an immersive leader and Soldier development experience, to prevent harmful behaviors, reinforce a healthy organizational culture and serve as an innovative home of experts in the fields of family advocacy, sexual harassment and assault prevention, equal opportunity, resiliency, substance abuse, suicide and spiritual readiness.
Wormuth was able to gain first-hand knowledge of the resources available to Soldiers at the People First Center during a tour of the facility and interaction with the leaders, Soldiers and civilians that maintain the multiple programs offered at the People First Center. Wormuth learned about some of the resources and opportunities during a brief, which provided an overview of how the center provides unit transformation, empathetic leader training, equal opportunity training and sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention training.
“The People First Center recently increased from three to four courses each week; accommodating more than 480 Soldiers,” said Capt. Jenny Carlo, the commander of the People First Center. “We hear multiple stories about the positive impact this center has on the lives of Soldiers, which is made possible through our integrated prevention stakeholders, cadre and our commanding general’s support. We are incredibly happy that we were able to share the successes of the People First Center with the secretary of the Army.”
Wormuth also had the opportunity to visit the 1st Cavalry Division headquarters where she discussed service innovations with Maj. Gen. Kevin D. Admiral, the commander of the 1st Cav. Div. Afterward, she stepped out to Cooper Field and met with troopers from the 1st Cav. Div. and presented several troopers with her coin of excellence for their dedication and commitment. She held multiple round-table discussions with Soldiers of the 1st Cav. Div., allowing the opportunity for a question-and-answer session concerning the Soldier experience and quality of life at Fort Cavazos.
Additionally, Wormuth conducted an aerial tour of Fort Cavazos, where she received an overview of critical terrain that facilitated the success of Remagen Ready. She also toured an artillery training area and received an orientation on the Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense system, a system that integrates existing anti-air guns, missiles, rockets and sensors onto a Stryker A1 vehicle. Next, she observed a live-fire exercise of an M109 Paladin. The Paladin crew is assigned to Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, and is competing in the All-Army National Best-by Competition at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in May. The crews for both platforms received a coin of excellence from Wormuth.
Wormuth also joined a crew and fired multiple rounds from an Abrams M1A2 System Enhanced Package 3, the most modern of the U.S. Army’s main battle tanks at the Blackwell Multi-use Range. Following the live-fire exercise, Wormuth presented coins to the tank’s crew from Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cav. Div.
Wormuth additionally had the opportunity to visit the motorpool of 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, one of many motorpools on Fort Cavazos, where she focused on modernization, equipment readiness and spoke to Soldiers to gain a better understanding about preventative maintenance before ending the day with an orientation to the fielding of the Bradley M2A4 Infantry Fighting Vehicle, its gunnery skills test and corresponding Operator New Equipment Training, also known as OPNET.
“The 1st Cavalry Division team was excited to host the Honorable Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth and showcase our Soldier training and equipment modernization,” said. Maj. Lauren K. Blanton, strategic engagement chief, 1st Cav. Div. “Our First Team Soldiers were thrilled to demonstrate their expertise and training progression to the secretary. The secretary’s meaningful Soldier engagement and interest in the 1st Cavalry Division missions resonated throughout the force. It was an honor to host her in our footprint.”