By Dave Larsen, Fort Hood (Now designated Fort Cavazos) Public Affairs
FORT HOOD (Now designated Fort Cavazos), Texas — Installation Management Command Commanding General Lt. Gen. Douglas Gabram recognized the efforts of a company command team, military police investigators and the public affairs practitioners who aided in the safe return of a missing Soldier last month during a short ceremony in the III Corps and Fort Hood (Now designated Fort Cavazos) Headquarters here July 20.
The general gave coins to seven individuals who he said represented a much larger effort involving dozens of people to bring what could have been a tragic situation to a positive outcome.
“Nobody ever talks about the saves,” the general told the group. “We don’t get accolades for that because it’s our job. We take care of each other. That’s what we do. That’s one thing special about the Army.”
Gabram gave coins to the Soldier’s command team: Sgt. Tranasha Brinson, first-line supervisor; Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodriguez, acting first sergeant; and Capt. Jordan Lovin, commander, Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison – Fort Hood (Now designated Fort Cavazos).
Brinson was the first to notice the Soldier’s absence and was the first to execute steps to locate the Soldier and establish coordination and communication with area hospitals, clinics and law enforcement. She was also the first to make contact with the Soldier, once found.
“Once she figured out the Soldier was missing,” Lovin said, “she came into my office and voiced her concern as this was out of character. She was the one to get me linked with the (Soldier’s) family and she started to work the friendship network.”
The friendship network Lovin mentioned is part of the “Golden Triangle,” the relationship created between a Soldier’s leader, friends and family members.
“Those three entities help us reach out,” Lovin said, “(and) getting all three involved lets the Soldier know that there is a network supporting them.”
“It’s leaning on each other,” Gabram stressed, “and knowing you can call someone. It’s important.”
Lovin and Rodriguez were instrumental in reaching out to the Soldier’s family, as well as area agencies to ensure the Soldier’s safe return to the installation.
In addition to the Soldier’s chain-of-command, the general gave coins to three military police investigators from the Fort Hood (Now designated Fort Cavazos) Directorate of Emergency Services: Staff Sgt. Rosa Pacheco; Spc. Trevor Benjamin; and Spc. Kyleigh Mellott. The team of investigators followed up on multiple leads, which contributed to the successful location of the Soldier.
Maj. Gabriela Thompson, then the III Corps deputy public affairs officer, also received a coin from the general for the public affairs timely dissemination of information regarding the Soldier’s status, and soliciting the public’s assistance in locating the Soldier early on in the process.
“It takes a village,” Gabram told the seven awardees. “When we say, ‘People First,’ … actions speak louder than words. This is a great example (of those actions). The example you set is what others should follow.”