Like the State of Texas, Fort Hood is big and boasts of being the largest active-duty armored post in the United States armed services. Fort Hood is nicknamed “the Great Place” because of the quality of life the post and area offers Soldiers and their families. These qualities are important, especially with home-basing initiatives, frequent deployments and family stability and support.
Soldiers living in the Fort Hood area can expect to have one of the highest quality of life standards in the Army. New housing, quality medical care, thriving communities, recreation and schools combine to ensure that Fort Hood is the Great Place. Fort Hood covers 339 square miles and supports multiple units, a Corps Headquarters and a robust mobilization mission.
A Great Location
Fort Hood rests in the beautiful “hill and lake” country of Central Texas between Killeen and Copperas Cove and is about 60 miles north of the capital in Austin and 50 miles south of Waco. Fort Hood is fortunate to have the cities of Killeen, Harker Heights, Belton, Temple and Copperas Cove as neighbors. These cities include new and affordable housing areas, shopping centers, recreational facilities and good restaurants.
The major access highway to Fort Hood’s principal cantonment area and West Fort Hood is U.S. Highway 190, which provides four-lane controlled access to the post from Interstate Highway 35, the main North-South route through Central Texas.
At a convenient distance from the post are two manmade reservoirs. Belton and Stillhouse Hollow lakes provide an enjoyable recreational outlet for Fort Hood Soldiers and their families. There are 127 ponds on the reservation, all suitable for fishing.
The HOP — public buses running through Killeen, Copperas Cove, Harker Heights, Temple and Belton — operate Monday through Saturday. Rides cost $1.
An on-post shuttle service runs after duty hours, on weekends and on holidays, including training holidays. There are 24 stops along the route, which is operated by two 15-passenger vans, with a van arriving at each stop approximately 30 minutes apart. Each stop is marked with a “Soldier Shuttle Stop” sign, and shuttle route maps are posted at the Transportation Motor Pool, the Copeland Center, 21st Replacement, Clear Creek Post Exchange and at each shuttle stop. For more information, call 254-287-2804.
All Soldiers, regardless of unit assignment, will report to the Copeland Soldiers Service Center, Building 18010. You will furnish the information desk with copies of your orders, leave form, military personnel file, medical and dental records. During in-processing, Soldiers — private through major — will follow schedules for mandatory events. Actual in-processing lasts about four working days.
After reporting in, Soldiers who are colonels, lieutenant colonels, CW5s, sergeants major and promotable master sergeants will be directed to the Office Personnel Management Division (OPMD) located in III Corps Headquarters, Building 1001, Room 126 for further assignment processing.
All other officers, NCOs and enlisted Soldiers will be processed through the Copeland Soldiers Service Center.
After signing in, you will be directed or transported to the Fort Hood Replacement Detachment, Building 16011, off Battalion Avenue or transient quarters for sleeping accommodations and directions for the next day. You will need several copies of your orders to update your military records, insurance, emergency data card and change of address card. Your ID card will be checked and a new one issued, if necessary. Medical and dental specialists will screen your records for special considerations and immunization needs. Your unit will provide the name and location of the appropriate medical clinic for you to visit.
Children: Free hourly child care for all ranks is available at the Fort Hood Child Development Center while you in-process. For details and locations, call 254-287-8029 or DSN 737-8029.
Local banking representatives will be available in Buildings 18010 and 16008 for any Soldier who wishes to open an account. A list of area financial institutions will also be made available.
Army Community Service staff members provide welcome packets, one-on-one counseling, access to the ACS Loan Closet, as well as the Office of Citizenship and Immigration information for Family members. Hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. ACS is in the Rivers Building 121.
The housing staff, on the second floor of Copeland, Building 18010, will provide a complete list of available off-post housing. Those eligible may be placed on a list for on-post housing at this time.
Once you get settled in your unit, or have obtained housing, you must notify the Transportation Office. Household goods and hold baggage will be delivered by appointment, and you will need a copy of your inventory sheet completed by the carrier at your last location.
Emergency care is always available at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.
Family dental care is not provided by the Army at Fort Hood. Family member dental emergencies may be treated at the dental clinic servicing the sponsor. Soldiers are encouraged to enroll their family members in TRICARE Dental Program.
Fort Hood is serviced by area code 254. There are several DSN prefixes on post. The DSN prefix corresponds to the commercial numbers assigned. For example, the commercial number 254-287-4003 would be dialed DSN like: 737-4003.
Prefixes and their corresponding DSNs are:
285 = DSN 663 288 = DSN 738
286 = DSN 566 553 = DSN 663
287 = DSN 737 618 = DSN 259
Questions about coming to Fort Hood can be answered by the Copeland Soldiers Service Center at 254-287-3832 or DSN 737-7486.
Soldiers assigned to Fort Hood should report directly to Copeland Soldiers Service Center, Building 18010, on the corner of T.J. Mills Road and Battalion Avenue. Copeland is open 24 hours daily.
If you arrive at the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport, ground transportation is available to the post. If you need help at the airport, contact the liaison NCO in the baggage claim area.
ARRIVAL BY BUS
If arriving by bus at the Killeen Bus Terminal, taxi service is available for a small fare.
Direct phones are in the terminal. Rail service is not available to Killeen. The closest passenger station is in Temple, about 25 miles east. Taxi and bus service is available for transportation to Fort Hood for a fare.
ARRIVAL BY VEHICLE
If you are driving a vehicle without a DOD vehicle registration sticker, you will need to enter Fort Hood through the Beck Main Gate. Temporary passes are available at the Marvin Leath Visitor’s Center, just before the gate. A state registration document for the vehicle, a valid state driver’s license and proof of insurance are required to drive on the installation. The Marvin Leath Visitor’s Center is always open.
DIRECTIONS TO THE COPELAND SOLDIERS SERVICE CENTER
Copeland is in Building 18010. The telephone number is 254-287-3832 (DSN 737-7486). This office is open 24/7. After coming through the Beck Main Gate, continue north on T.J. Mills Boulevard through four traffic lights. The Copeland Soldiers Service Center will be immediately on your left.
Soldiers wear ACU or other authorized uniform while in-processing. After duty hours, you may report in civilian clothing.
More Things You Should Know
Soldiers PCSing to Fort Hood can call Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites, IHG Army Hotels, 254-532-5157, 254-532-8233 or 877-711-8326 for reservations. Due to large number of personnel in an official status, reservations are recommended. There are two locations available suited to different lodging requirements. All facilities are nonsmoking. Hot breakfast is provided at each property. Each Wednesday the hotel hosts a cookout for all guests of the hotels on post. The Candlewood Suites is a 144-unit facility with full kitchens for the service member with a family or those service members requiring extended stay.
Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites and IHG Army Hotels are available to all personnel at Fort Hood who can gain entry to the installation. For rates and registration information you may visit the IHG Army Hotels site at www.igh.com/armyhotels.
Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites and IHG Army Hotels provide hotel accommodations comparable to the local economy. Outdoor kennels are available at Poxon Guest House. Facilities are pet-friendly. Nonrefundable pet fees will apply. Pet vaccination records must be provided at check-in. Check-in time is 4 p.m. Check-out time is 11 a.m. the day of departure. Late check-out may be prearranged with the front desk.
Guest services and amenities include:
- Free hot breakfast
- Wednesday night social
- Courtesy shuttle, available 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
- Express check-out available upon request
- Fax service
- Fitness center
- Tennis and basketball court, Keith Ware Hall
- Ice and vending machines available at Keith Ware Hall
- Free laundry facilities
- Community kitchens in family areas — Poxon Guest House
- Electronic card key locks
- Guest voice mail
- HSIA in all guest rooms
- Free local calls
- In-room coffeemaker with complimentary coffee
- Lending Locker – Candlewood Suites
- Refrigerators and microwaves in each guest room – Keith Ware Hall
- Flat-screen television with cable/HBO
- In-room iron and ironing board
- Pool located in main hotel, Keith Ware Hall at both properties
- Cupboard open 24/7 Keith Ware Hall both locations
- Daily maid service is provided
- In-room amenities include soap, shampoo and conditioner
- Business Centers available in Keith Ware Hall
Payment is required in advance or presentation of valid credit card upon check-in. Credit cards accepted are: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. Credit card authorization will be processed for payment every seven days. Guests paying with cash must be current daily by 11 a.m.
The legal limit for driving with intoxicated in Texas is .08 blood alcohol concentration. Texas also has a zero tolerance law. For anyone under 21, it is illegal to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol. Seat belt use is mandatory both on post and in the State of Texas.
Soldiers must wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle on and off post. A Soldier who does not have a state-issued driver’s license can obtain one from Texas. Requirements and information on obtaining a Texas driving license can be found online at www.txdps.state.tx.us.
Using a cell phone without a hands-free device is prohibited on post.
All dogs and cats, 4 months and older, must be registered with the veterinary facility within one week of arrival and annually thereafter. Pit bulls are not permitted on post. Kennel facilities are at Poxon Guest House.
Active-duty military are not required to have a Texas driver’s license. If a Texas driver’s license is needed, Soldiers and family members can obtain their driver’s licenses at the Leath Visitor’s Center or at the Bell County Annex at 301 and 302 Priest Drive in Killeen. Three forms of identification are needed for a Texas driver’s license or Texas identification card. Active-duty military will only need their military identification card. In Copperas Cove, the facility is in the Coryell County Annex at 201 S. Second St.
Texas charges a 6.25 percent motor vehicle sales tax on the purchase price of the vehicle titled in Texas and owned by Texas residents. New residents pay $90 to title their vehicles in Texas, if needed.
Regardless of status or home of record, the state requires vehicles to have Texas minimum liability insurance of $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage. Drivers have 30 days after moving to Texas to change their vehicle insurance coverage.
All Fort Hood personnel must register their privately owned vehicles (POVs) and obtain a DOD Vehicle Registration Decal. This includes civilians, active military, retired personnel and contractors.
To obtain a DOD decal for persons in-processing you must first know your assigned unit. Once you have obtained unit information you can then register your vehicle at the Phantom Express/Registration Annex at the Leath Visitor’s Center. You must have a valid driver’s license, current vehicle registration, proof of insurance and an identification card or proof of military affiliation. If you are registering a vehicle registered in another person’s name (other than spouse), you must present a notarized statement or power of attorney, stating that you are authorized use of the vehicle. It must contain the period of authorized usage and a description of the vehicle including the VIN number, make, model and license plate number/state.
PHANTOM EXPRESS PASS
Most of Fort Hood’s gates are equipped with electronic Phantom Express lanes. To use these lanes, you must obtain a Phantom Express card. The system scans your sticker as you swipe your card. Phantom Express registration is conducted during in-processing or at the Phantom Express Annex, next to the Leath Visitor’s Center at the main gate. You’ll need to bring your military ID, driver’s license, proof of insurance and Fort Hood post decal registration.
Military (active duty, Reserve, retirees) and DOD/DA civilians with a CAC driving a rental vehicle may enter any gate without a pass. Their name must be on any rental agreement. Drivers will present their rental agreement and ID to the gate guard. All passengers must show ID.
Seat belts are required at all times while driving on post, infant car seats are required, the minimum amount of liability insurance is required and parking of motor vehicles is authorized only in those areas/spaces designated for parking. Speed limit on Fort Hood is 30 mph unless otherwise posted.
An owner must bring current proof of the out-of-state registration, if applicable; the lien holder’s name and address; proof of insurance and the “green slip;” or valid Texas inspection slip. Regardless of status of home of record, the state requires vehicles to have Texas minimum liability insurance. Contact the Bell County Vehicle Registration Office at 254-618-4180 for guidelines regarding insurance, tax rates and fees.
Under Fort Hood’s Motorcycle Safety Policy, there is a requirement to show a valid Motorcycle Safety Course card when entering the installation. This card must be shown each time you enter the post when operating a motorcycle. This requirement ensures all riders are properly trained and licensed on the vehicle they are riding and that only trained personnel ride on post.
All Soldier or family members who reside on post must register their firearms at the Directorate of Emergency Services, Building 23020 within five working days. The Texas Concealed Handgun law does not apply on Fort Hood. Concealed handguns are prohibited on post. During transportation, firearms must be unloaded and secured in the trunk or out of immediate reach of all occupants and must be declared to gate guards when entering the installation.
The average rainfall for Killeen-Fort Hood airport is 31.26 inches. Most precipitation (more than 3 inches per month) occurs May through June and during October. January sees the least amount of precipitation. The average temperature is 67 degrees, with the mean range 38 degrees to 94 degrees.
It’s hot and dry in Fort Hood during the summer. Take care to prevent heat-related injuries. It takes up to two weeks to become adequately acclimatized. Drink adequate fluids before and during heavy activity or while on exercises. Don’t wait until you get thirsty. Your body feels less thirsty the more dehydrated you get, although you need more fluid. Avoid fluids that contain alcohol, caffeine or sugar. There isn’t much shade, so wear protective clothing that reduces the skin’s exposure to the sun.
Fort Hood has a mass communication emergency system. During emergencies, a loud siren tone will sound followed by a message describing the emergency with immediate instructions to follow. More information will also be available as soon as possible on radio and television. Information on post closures, driving conditions and weather will be available on the Fort Hood website at www.hood.army.mil, the Fort Hood Press Center at www.forthoodpresscenter.com and at www.facebook.com/forthood. The weather alert hotline number is 254-287-6700. Callers will hear a recorded message about when, or if, to report to work during bad weather events.
Flash floods can happen quickly in Texas. Seek high ground immediately. Do not cross roadways with standing water. Do not allow children to play near water.
Tornadoes occur in all 50 states, but the Midwest and Southeast are the most vulnerable. Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms and can leave an area devastated in seconds. They may first appear as a pale tube, which turns black after it touches the ground and begins picking up debris. Objects as large and heavy as railroad cars have been picked up and deposited hundreds of feet away. The spinning, twisting funnel contains winds with speeds that may approach 300 miles per hour. They occur most frequently during April, May and June.
There are two types of tornado threats: a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A watch is given when weather conditions are favorable for the formation of tornadoes. During a tornado watch, keep an eye on the weather. If you see any revolving funnel-shaped clouds, report them to the police department, sheriff’s office or dial 911. Listen for weather updates, and be prepared to take shelter immediately. A tornado warning indicates a tornado has been sighted or spotted on radar. Warnings will give the location of the tornado sighting and the area immediately affected by the warning. Seek shelter immediately.
Major Units Stationed At Fort Hood
T.J. Mills Boulevardand 761st Tank Battalion Avenue
COC | 254-287-2506/2520
The III Corps Headquarters is on Fort Hood. Corps elements are stationed at Forts Hood, Riley, Carson and other posts. The corps has joint and expeditionary capabilities, prepared for full spectrum operations in support of joint, combined and interagency missions.
1ST CAVALRY DIVISION
Building 28000, Battalion Avenue
Staff Duty | 254-288-0928
Phone | 254-287-2013
With more than 20,000 Soldiers, the 1st Cavalry Division is the premier heavy-armored division in today’s Army. It is organized in brigade combat teams, composed of maneuver elements, artillery and support. The division also has an air cavalry brigade, horse cavalry detachment and division band.
DIVISION WEST – FIRST ARMY
Building 410, 761st Tank Battalion Avenue
Staff Duty | 254-553-9378
Phone | 254-553-4949
The First Army’s Division West primary mission is the training of Reserve Component service members.
13TH SUSTAINMENT COMMAND (EXPEDITIONARY)
Building 39009, Support Avenue
Staff Duty | 254-287-8800
Phone | 254-288-7342
The command’s mission is to provide combat support and combat service support to units of III Corps in the areas of supply, maintenance, transportation, field services and medical.
3RD AIR SUPPORT OPERATIONS GROUP (AIR FORCE)
Building 1001, 761st Tank Battalion Avenue
Phone | 254-287-8817
Comprised of six squadrons and about 500 Airmen, the mission is to integrate aerospace power with the Army’s fire and maneuver on the battlefield. The group advises Army commanders on Air Force air and space power employment, provides tactical air control parties for control of close air support assets and also provides staff weather support to the Corps. In addition, the 3rd Weather Squadron operates a 24-hour weather forecasting service at West Fort Hood.
3RD CAVALRY REGIMENT
Albee Hall, Building 9001
Battalion Avenue and Central Drive
Phone | 254-286-6823
The 3rd CR, known as the “Brave Rifles,” is a combined arms unit composed of three cavalry squadrons, an aviation squadron and a support squadron.
21ST CAVALRY BRIGADE (AIR COMBAT)
Building 122, Battalion Avenue
Staff Duty | 254-288-2307
The brigade trains active, Reserve and National Guard Longbow Apache battalions and squadrons. Training units are assigned to Fort Hood during the fielding and training process.
36TH ENGINEER BRIGADE
Corner of 19th Street and Battalion Avenue
Staff Duty | 254-618-8144
The unit deploys to provide route clearing, assault gap-crossing, horizontal and vertical engineering projects.
48TH CHEMICAL BRIGADE
Building 39030, 67th Street
Duty Phone | 254-288-7389/6922
This brigade consists of about 3,000 CBRNE Soldiers in five battalions spread across nine military installations.
69TH AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERY
Corner of 31st Street and Battalion Avenue
Staff Duty | 254-287-1925
Phone | 254-287-2864/553-3243
The unit has Avenger and Stinger missiles and Patriot batteries. The unit is composed of 2-1 ADA, 4-5 ADA and 1-44th ADA.
89TH MILITARY POLICE BRIGADE
Building 87005, Battalion Avenue
Staff Duty | 254-287-7538
The brigade consists of several MP battalions (including the Fort Hood-based 720th MP Bn and the 178th and 126th MP detachments), which deploy to provide military police combat support, area security, internment and resettlement operations, law and order and police intelligence. When not deployed, the brigade provides law enforcement and force protection to Fort Hood.
407TH ARMY FIELD SUPPORT BRIGADE
Building 89010, Tank Destroyer Boulevard
Phone | 254-287-2864/8250
The brigade provides a single Army Material Command interface to the field by integrating and synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology to ensure the combat readiness of Army units west of the Mississippi River.
504TH BATTLEFIELD SURVEILLANCE BRIGADE
Building 91016, Clarke Road
West Fort Hood
Phone | 254-288-1343
The brigade regularly deploys to provide intelligence, counterintelligence, operational security and electronic warfare.
Building 1001, 761st Tank Battalion Avenue
Fort Hood’s garrison provides support to Soldiers and families through services and facilities while optimizing resources, sustaining the environment and enhancing the well-being of the Fort Hood community. The garrison is comprised of directorates such as Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; Emergency Services; Public Works and others.
U.S. ARMY OPERATIONAL TEST COMMAND
Building 91012, West Fort Hood
Staff Duty | 254-288-9406
This command helps spearhead the testing of future Army equipment.
CARL R. DARNALL MEDICAL CENTER
36000 Darnall Loop
Staff Duty Officer | 254-288-8000
PAO | 254-288-8005
Carl R. Darnall Medical Center provides comprehensive health care to military beneficiaries in Central Texas through a system of five primary care clinics on Fort Hood and three in local communities and 22 specialty clinics with the medical center. Behavioral Health services include the Resilience & Restoration Center, Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program, Urgent Care Triage Center, Hospital & Administrative Psychiatry, Adult Outpatient services, Intensive Outpatient Therapy, Adult Inpatient Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Evaluation Services, Department of Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy Services, Traumatic Brain Injury Center, and Soldier Medical Readiness Processing.
WARRIOR TRANSITION BRIGADE
Building 3571, 62nd Street
Staff Duty NCO | 254-466-8406
The Warrior Transition Brigade provides command and control, primary care and case management for warriors who have suffered injury or illness while serving as a member of the U.S. Army.
47TH EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DETACHMENT (EOD)
Phone | 254-287-2929/2309
The 47th EOD provides technical assistance to civilian and federal authorities on disposal, transportation and storage of hazardous non-DOD chemicals and/or explosives. The 47th EOD remains responsive 24 hours a day for any incident involving explosives. When dealing with explosive items, be safe, not sorry.
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION COMMAND (CID)
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC), commonly known as CID, 11th Military Police Battalion (CID) Headquarters is in Building 2201, and the Fort Hood Resident Agency is in Building 2200 (both are on Support Avenue). The RA may be contacted at 254-287-2722. A CID duty agent is available 24 hours a day and may be contacted through the Military Police Desk Sergeant during non-duty hours.
NETWORK ENTERPRISE CENTER
The NEC is responsible for the installation’s information management, network communication and computer systems. NEC is a part of the 106th Signal Brigade, 7th Signal Command.