By Daniel Cernero, III Corps and Fort Hood Public AffairsNovember 2, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas, Nov. 2, 2011 -- About 60 business leaders from Central Texas descended upon Fort Hood for CEO Day Oct. 26.
After receiving an introduction from Lt. Gen. Don Campbell Jr., the III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general, the CEOs split into groups and were given a chance to see much of what the installation has to offer.
"What we wanted to do was showcase what we do here at Fort Hood," Campbell said. "And more importantly, what our Soldiers do to provide for the security and safety of these great Americans who have taken the time to come look at the Great Place."
Events of the day ranged from visiting the Warrior Skills Training Center, where CEOs were given a chance to take part in virtual training missions, to a helicopter tour, which showed just how expansive Fort Hood is.
At the Warrior Skills Training Center, the CEOs were set up on a virtual convoy mission in Afghanistan during which they had the option of driving one of the tanks, operating the mounted artillery or even stepping out of the vehicle with an M4, ready to engage with the enemy.
"It's such a well-rounded program," Dave Robshaw, the CEO of AIC Ventures Real Estate out of Austin, said of the simulation training provided to Soldiers. "And the software that was involved in the training, it's pretty fascinating."
Tom Rhodes, the CEO of Sente Mortgage out of Austin, echoed Robshaw's fascination of the virtual training.
"I'm just kind of stunned at the equipment here, particularly the technology in the simulation stuff," he said. "And the ability to do that kind of practice without going out in the field is quite stunning. It's efficient, and it's so immersive. I just didn't think that they do that."
Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division's 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Teams were also on hand to showcase some of the many armored vehicles the Army has in its arsenal, including the M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the M1A2 Abrams tank.
Other than demonstrating many of the ways the Army trains before deployment, the day also was a chance for the CEOs to meet and talk with the Soldiers.
"These people are proud of what they do," Rhodes said. "You can see it in their faces and in their eyes. And when they talk about having been to Afghanistan or Iraq, they're proud of it. You almost think that they would say, 'Ugh, I had to go to Iraq,' like they'd be down, but they're very proud of what they've done."
Campbell said he sees how days like this helps show the country's CEOs the capabilities of the Soldiers who might end up entering the civilian workforce after serving in the Army.
"These young men and women are representative of our great country, and they come from all walks of life in America," he said. "If you take what these men and women have done, and the majority of them have deployed to combat, translate that into some skill sets when it comes to responsibility, initiative, discipline, standards, honor, integrity, I think these young men and women are what these CEOs are looking for to help them build their companies."