News: Reception Detachment prepares Soldiers for Fort Hood
Story by Sgt. Brandon Anderson
FORT HOOD, Texas - Whether you’re a new Soldier coming from Advanced Individual Training or a more seasoned Soldier Permanently Changing Station from another military installation, chances are your first impression of the people you meet will go a long way in shaping your view of the place as a whole.
For newly arrived Soldiers and family members of Fort Hood, The Great Place, the noncommissioned officers of the reception detachment, do their best to make sure that impression is positive.
Command Sgt. Maj. Douglas R. Gault, the garrison senior enlisted advisor, said the detachment sets the expectation for the Great Place.
“Every NCO assigned to the reception detachment was hand chosen by their units as the best possible representatives for III Corps as well as Fort Hood, and I am incredibly proud of the outstanding job that they’re doing every day,” said Gault.
“My role here as NCOIC is to make sure my NCOs are listening to the Soldier’s issues or problems whether they are coming from A.I.T. as their first duty station or [moving] from another installation,” said Sgt. 1st Class Adrian Ayala, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the cadre of the Reception Detachment.
“Fort Hood can be overwhelming, so my main focus is to make sure that they’re given the attention they deserve.”
The cadre of the Reception Detachment said they have gone to great lengths to help identify and rectify any possible issues in-processing Soldiers may be facing before they arrive at their gaining units.
“Recently we’ve implemented a multi-faceted-individual assessment, similar to the one currently in use by the Army, to help identify any possible mental, physical, emotional or financial issues that may be a hindrance for them at their unit,” said Ayala.
By providing this screening, cadre at the detachment say they hope to be able to send Soldiers to their units ready to hit the ground running and assimilate without too many unresolved issues.
Cadre members said failing to identify crucial clues about newly arrived Soldiers can have long lasting or even deadly
Ayala said he was checking on a newly arrived Soldier who displayed some suicidal thoughts,and upon arrival at the Soldier’s quarters, discovered the Soldier with a loaded weapon. Ayala said he was able to talk the Soldier out of ending his life.
“To me, that was the greatest experience that I’ve had since taking on the job here,” said Ayala. “I was able to implement the training that I received throughout my time in the Army to be able to recognize his issues and was able to help him through it.”
Dealing with issues is something Staff Sgt. Mayzola Seals, an in-processing NCO assigned to the detachment, said she embraces.
“I love mentoring and taking care of Soldiers, it means the world to me to be able to show a Soldier fresh out of AIT about the Great Place and what it has to offer,” said Seals. She said she firmly believes every NCO assigned to the detachment takes the role of mentor to heart.
“When I look at them, I see myself when I first came into the Army, and want to be able to provide them with that leadership and guidance that will make them successful here as well as throughout their Army career,” said Seals.
First Sgt. Aaron E. Windsor, the detachment senior enlisted advisor, said his main mission is to inform newly arrived Soldiers of Fort Hood. He explains the standards during his first sergeant’s in-brief given to all in-processing Soldiers, and enforces them by making on-the-spot corrections when needed.
“Our number-one message that we want to convey to our Soldiers is that we’re here to support the Army,” said Windsor. “We want to make sure that when we send these Soldiers to their units that they are well aware of what is expected of them.”