FORT HOOD, Texas (ASBP) - Command Sergeant Major Donald Felt is no stranger to leading and serving as an example to the thousands of troops he has led in combat and in training. As an Infantryman, he served at every position from fire team member to brigade command sergeant major, leading Third Brigade, First Cavalry Division Soldiers on a brutal 15-month tour in Iraq in 2006. Currently serving as the garrison sergeant major at Fort Hood, he looks for ways to work with the community and continue to inspire Soldiers to excellence.

In late July 2010, he hit upon a new idea to inspire younger troops to donate blood. "I realized that my travel deferrals had expired and wanted a way to challenge these new Soldiers to do the right thing." And so, at the weekly Commanding General's Newcomers Briefing on July 28, 2010, Felt rolled his sleeve up and donated blood in front of 400 new Soldiers arriving to Fort Hood. "My scheduler called the blood center and spoke with two non-commissioned officers, who cleared the room (for safety and regulatory requirement) and collected my unit right after my talk and challenge."

About 400 Soldiers arrive for assignment at Fort Hood, in Central Texas, each week. Part of in-processing includes the CG's Newcomer's Briefing. The III Corps and Fort Hood Commander and sergeant major address the arriving Soldiers and their family members on topics like deployment readiness, fitness, and support programs. Agencies and community representatives set up informational displays around the perimeter of the room and preview their services to the new people. Leaders from every unit on the post are in attendance to introduce themselves to their new charges.

Staff Sergeant Michael Whiteley and Specialist Michael Mejia collected Felt's donation. "It was a good lesson that higher ranking people can donate blood. It doesn't have to just be the junior Soldiers. I thought he served as a good example," said Mejia. By donating blood to the Armed Services Blood Program, Command Sgt. Maj. Felt may have saved the life of a deployed troop. By serving as an example to others, he provided an enduring legacy of lifesaving and treatment afforded by the Armed Services Blood Program and their supplies to deployed troops around the world.

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