Fort Hood is the U.S. Army post which is home to III Corps and First Army Division West. Fort Hood had more than 50,000 when counted as part of the 2010 United States Census. Some have qualified Fort Hood’s size in the past by stating it is thought to be the “largest base in the free world.” In any case, it’s an impressive amount of troops, civilians, and contractors.
Find information about Fort Hood including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PCSing personnel, and inprocessing.
Mission & Units
Fort Hood is the headquarters of III Corps and First Army Division West. The base provides support for the 1st Cavalry Division and the 3rd Cavalry Regiment and many other operations. Fort Hood provides infrastructure support, as well as enabling training and readiness support. This installation is known for training and testing new equipment and ways to use it.
Important missions and units at Fort Hood include:
- 3th Finance Management Center
- 13th Sustainment Command
- 1st Army, Division West
- 1st Cavalry Division
- 1st Medical Brigade
- 21st Cavalry Brigade
- 36th Engineer Brigade
- 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment
- 407th Army Field Support Brigade
- 41st Fires Brigade
- 48th Chemical Brigade, 20th SUPCOM
- 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade (504th BfSB
- 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade
- 85th Civil Affairs Brigade
- 89th Military Police Brigade
- Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center
- III Corps (COC)
- Operational Test Command (OTC)
- Warrior Transition Unit
Fort Hood is, compared to other Army bases started during the American Revolution or the Civil War, comparatively new. During World War Two, the Army determined it needed wide-open spaces to develop anti-tank measures against German armored units.
Killeen, Texas was selected as the site that would serve as a new Tank Destroyer Tactical and Firing Center, which opened for business in 1942 as Camp Hood–unfortunately named after a Confederate General named John Bell Hood, a commander of the Texas Brigade during the Civil War.
During World War Two, Camp Hood was home for approximately 40,000 troops, and some four thousand POWs. At its peak, Fort Hood housed more than 90,000.
2nd Armored remained at Hood until it was deactivated after the Cold War. Camp Hood was used post-war as an armored training center and was redesignated as Fort Hood in 1950. Four years later in 1954, the post would begin to fulfill its modern destiny when III Corps relocated from California to Fort Hood. Come 1958, Fort Hood would receive one of its most famous trainees, Elvis Presley, who began his duty there on March 28, 1958.
In 1959, III Corps was inactivated. But in 1961, Fort Hood and III Corps were together again. Fort Hood would train and deploy troops to the conflict in Vietnam, and later in Southwest Asia for support of missions like Operation Desert Shield.
Fort Hood has been the center of some controversy; a number of incidents including terror attacks, mysterious deaths, and missing soldiers has brought the media spotlight to the base in some unexpected ways. A timeline of notable incidents at Fort Hood includes the following:
2007: Lawrence George Sprader, Jr is found dead after having gone missing during a military exercise. Sprader is said to have died from causes including hyperthermia and dehydration. An Army investigation is said to have uncovered misconduct, violation of procedure, and other issues. According to some sources, some two dozen military members were injured or required medical attention as a result of these violations.
2009: Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan opens fire at the Fort Hood Soldier Readiness Center, killing 13 and wounding more than 30 others on November 5. Hasan was convicted of thirteen counts of premeditated murder. He was also found guilty of thirty-two counts of attempted premeditated murder. Hasan was given the death sentence.
2011: Private First Class Naser Jason Abdo goes AWOL, and is later arrested near Fort hood. Abdo is alleged to have made a statement indicating he intended to attack his fellow soldiers. He was tried and later given a life sentence.
2014: In april, Iraq war veteran Ivan Lopez shot 19 people and then died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His actions killed three people.
2015: Sergeant First Class Gregory McQueen is dishonorably discharged for organizing a prostitution ring. Prior to his arrest, McQueen had worked at Fort Hood as the Sexual Assualt Prevention Officer.
2020: Fort Hood becomes embroiled in two controversies; one surrounding the name of the installation itself (as mentioned above, Fort Hood is named after a Confederate general), and another over the disappearance and killing of Private First Class Vanessa Guillén. Fort Hood experienced protests and media attention.
Among the facts in this case are the complaints that Guillén was sexually harassed by a higher-ranking enlisted non-commissioned officer. Guillén disappeared in late April 2020, her body would not be located until July 2, 2020. A person of interest in the murder, fellow soldier Aaron David Robinson, committed suicide as he was contacted by police about the case.
Main Base Address And Phone Number
Bldg. 36000, Darnall Loop
Killeen, TX 76544
Important Fort Hood Contact Numbers
- Post Operator (254) 287-1110
- Reporting In (254) 287-3832
- Chaffee Child development Center (254) 287-4749
- Army Medical Center (254) 288-8000
- Actus Lend Lease-Housing (254) 287-3704
- Barracks/Single Service Members Housing (254) 286-7705
- Government Housing Office (254) 287-4212
- Temp. Lodging (254) 532-8233
- Employment Readiness Branch (254) 288-2089
- Soldier Readiness IN/OUT Processing (254) 287-2223
- ID/CAC Card Processing (254) 287-5670
- Claims (254) 287-2599
- Legal Assistance Office (254) 287-7901
- Tax Center (254) 288-5040
- Victim Advocate Program (254) 287-3583
- Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center (254) 287-8000
- Family Child Care (FCC) (254) 287-5448
- School Age Services (SAS) (254) 287-7950
- School Liaison Office (254) 288-7946
- Copeland Soldier Service Center (254) 287-8502
- Loan Closet (254) 287-4471
- Relocation Readiness Program (254) 287-4471
- Transition (254) 287-3513
- Transportation Office (254) 287-4515
- Copeland Soldier Service Center (254) 287-3832
- Marvin Leath Visitors Center (254) 287-9909
The Killeen area features much to do in the great outdoors; the options include ATV parks, the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area, and three golf options thanks to The Courses Of Clear Creek.
Fort Hood is roughly two and a half hours from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and a little over an hour from Austin, Texas. Austin bills itself the live music capital of the world and it’s hard to argue with that assertion. The city’s legendary music scene includes 6th Street bars and restaurants, the Grand Ole Opry, and Stubbs BBQ with its impressive live stage and selection of local barbecue favorites.
And there is plenty to explore in Dallas/Fort Worth. AT&T Stadium in Dallas is home to the Dallas Cowboys and regular NFL events. Live theater options include the Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth, and the Texas Civil War Museum there features a twice-daily cattle drive. If you have a fascination for the paranormal, try the Fort Worth Ghost Bus tour to get a taste of Texas history combined with some believe-it-or-don’t Texas ghost stories.
Inprocessing and Check-In
All new arrivals are directed to check-in at the Copeland Soldier Service Center, which is open 24 hours a day. A copy of PCS orders are required at check-in time along with medical and dental records. All check-ins during normal duty hours must be accomplished in uniform.
Those who are in the area on Permissive TDY orders must check in at the center to get a stamp on your DA Form 31. These travelers must also check in with the Fort Hood Housing Office. Call them at (254) 287-4212 for more information. Those who are PCSing or are at Fort Hood TDY from other branches of military service should contact the gaining unit for check-in instructions.
Healthcare services at Fort Hood are provided by the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, which features a 128-bed hospital, five primary care clinics and 22 specialty clinics.
Specialty clinics include:
- Allergy / Immunology
- Audiology/Speech Therapy
- Chiropractic Clinic at Monroe TMC
- Internal Medicine Clinic
- Lasik Clinic
- Nutrition Clinic
- Occupational Therapy Clinic
- Optometry Clinic
- Ophthalmology Clinic
- Oral Surgery
- Pediatric Clinic
- Physical Medicine
- Psychology (R&R Center)
- Pulmonary / Respiratory
- Social Work
- Soldier Medical Readiness Center
- Sports Medicine Clinic
- Substance Abuse
- Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic
- Women’s Health Center (Ob/Gyn)
Healthcare at the Darnall Medical Center and its clinics requires enrollment in TRICARE.
There are multiple Child Development Center locations at Fort Hood; care is offered for children between the ages of six weeks and five years. Full day care, hourly care, and before/after school care options are available.
The Fort Hood official site encourages those with PCS orders to the base to visit MilitaryChildCare.com to initiate the process but you are still required to register your child with Fort Hood Child & Youth Services prior to placement. Call 254-287-8029 for more information
There are also childcare options via the Family Child Care (FCC) program which offers on-base care in approved military family housing by screened providers. To learn more about FCC options at Fort Hood, call the FCC office at 254-553-4620.
All inbound personnel PCSing to Fort Hood are directed to track and manage their household goods shipments to Texas via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can get local assistance from the Fort Hood Inbound Personal Property office; call them at 254-287-7812.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
ID card services at Fort Hood are handled at the Copeland Soldiers Service Center and should be scheduled via the RAPIDS system. Two unexpired forms of photo ID may be required for services, and your ID may be subject to REAL ID Act requirements.
The sponsor must be present for most services unless a power of attorney or other acceptable substitute is used. Walk-ins are discouraged due to volume and demand. Call the center at (254) 553-4444 or (254) 288-3866 for assistance.
There are no DOD Schools on Fort Hood but the area features nine independent school districts:
- Copperas Cove
On post, there are elementary, middle schools, and an “early college high school” operated by the Killeen Independent School District. Copperas Cove Independent School District (CCISD), which educates more than eight thousand students in the area. The Killeen ISD features all-day pre-K classes for children who meet one or more of the following requirements:
- Economically disadvantaged
- Active duty military dependent of a veteran injured/killed/MIA
- Limited language skills
- Was or is in a conservatorship of the Department of Family Protective Services
Other age requirements may apply.
At Fort Hood, those entering kindergarten must be five years, or older, on September 1st of the current school year. Those entering first grade must be six years old on or before September 1st of the current school year, except for transfers who qualify under the Interstate Compact for Military Students. Call the Fort Hood School Liaison Office for assistance at 254-288-7946.
All PCSing troops to Fort Hood must check in with the Housing office before entering into any financial commitments for housing the local area. All assigned to the installation are eligible to apply for on-post housing, but off-base options are also available.
On-base housing is privatized and operated in partnership with RCI Partners lend-lease and Universal Services. You can apply for on-post housing within 30 days of arriving to Fort Hood; apply via the Fort Hood Family Housing website.
Unaccompanied service members should check with the housing office to determine current policy on requirements to live in the barracks. Depending on your rank and time in service you may be required to live on-post but many variables may affect these requirements.
Contact the housing office as soon as you have orders. At the time of this writing, single soldiers E6 or above are not authorized to live in the single-soldier barracks.
PCS and TDY Lodging
All those PCSing to Fort Hood are directed to make temporary lodging arrangements with one of three options: the Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites, and IHG Army Hotels.
Call 254-532-5157, 254-532-8233 or-877-711-8326 respectively to make reservations. Due to consistently high volumes of demand, advance reservations are encouraged–last minute requests may be difficult to fill.
Due to the location of the base, you may fly into any number of Texas airports, and the usual ride sharing and commercial taxi / shuttle options are available depending on time of arrival, demand, and other issues.
- Waco Regional (51 miles)
- Austin Bergstrom (60 miles)
- San Antonio (112 miles)
- Dallas Fort Worth (134 miles)
- Dallas Love Field (134 miles)
Most PCSing or TDY orders will likely have troops flying into Waco or Austin. Rush hour in both locations can be a major traffic issue–discuss your arrival with your sponsor for advice on the least expensive option from the airport you arrive in–or have your sponsor pick you up from the airport to avoid competing for ride shares or cabs.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
In 2015, Fort Hood stopped requiring the use of base decals to enter or leave the installation. Access to the base is granted to those with an “authorized DoD ID card”, just present your ID to the gate guard for access. Those who do not have an authorized ID will have to go to the visitor center for access.
All operating privately owned vehicles at Fort Hood are required to observe Texas state driving law requirements including safety equipment, cell phone use restrictions, and proof of insurance.
The State of Texas requires all vehicles to be inspected for safety and be issued a written “pass.” Display of a decal is not a requirement, however you still must have the vehicle inspected. Those who arrive in Texas with a valid driver’s license from anywhere else in the United States are not required to get a Texas license or add Texas plates to their vehicles.