PCS: What to Expect on Arrival | News

Arriving at a new facility is like arriving at the first day of school, with all the nerves and anxiety that come with any first day.

“They are anxious,” explained the 1st Sgt. Aaron Baeza, First Sergeant of the Fort Hood Reception Detachment. “I was very anxious and didn’t know what to expect, and I was counting on them to point me in the right direction.”

The Fort Hood Reception Detachment welcomes arriving soldiers. As a first look at what life at the Great Place will be like, Baeza said he likes to make the experience as easy as possible — for soldiers and their parents.

“Some parents bring their soldiers, because they are their babies, so they are extremely worried about their son or daughter,” he said. “Believe it or not, there are a lot of parents who see them through to the end – it’s like their children’s first day of school.”

Where will they live? Where will they eat? What will life be like? These are some of the questions Baeza says he is asked, so he takes his parents on a walk to ease their worries.

He said he shows them the barracks room where their son or daughter will be staying, shows them where the warrior restaurants are located, and answers their questions.

“They (parents) feel a lot better after they talk to us,” he said.

Other soldiers can arrive by car, bus or plane. There is a Fort Hood service desk located next to Baggage Claim at Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport. A service van that will transport soldiers from the airport to the reception detachment, Bldg. 16008. Soldiers in the ranks of colonel, lieutenant colonel, sub-lieutenant 5th, and sergeant-major, or higher, will be assigned to the Personnel Management Division Office, located at III Corps Headquarters, Bldg. 1001, Room 126, for further assignment processing.

Soldiers are held in the Reception Detachment for four days. During this period, they will lead the processing of the facility, with the financial one being the most important.

Baeza explained that they have finance staff on site during the finance briefing, which takes place on the second day of processing.

“Once you’re done filling out the packages, we have finance officers in the back and those officers will check right there if there are any mistakes,” he added. “For us, having these employees on site is amazing.”

While the soldiers are in the reception detachment, they can make use of the day rooms, with TVs, pool, ping pong and poker tables. Baeza said soldiers are also encouraged to go to the Best Opportunities for Single Soldiers headquarters for even more fun things like video games and a movie theater.

After processing, soldiers are forwarded to their respective units, where they will serve their chain of command.

Soldiers assigned to the 13th Expeditionary Support Command will first go to Green Company, the unit’s two-week newcomer company that will familiarize them with the People First initiative, unit history, and more, before finally receiving their patch of unity.

The arriving 1st Cavalry Division soldiers are assigned to the Pegasus Troop. Similar to the 13th ESC’s Green Company, the Pegasus Troop is like a grand welcome to the unit looking to integrate them into the First Team.

Soldiers and family members new to the post are encouraged to participate in the Fort Hood Newcomer Orientation, which will provide a list of resources they may need during their time at the Great Place. The briefing takes place every Thursday from 9 am to 12 pm. Day care is available by calling 254-287-7438 in advance.

• Editor’s Note: This is part three of the PCS season articles. For the other two articles, visit Sentinel online at www.forthoodsentinel.com and search for “PCS”.


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