The Fort Hood Soldier Recovery Unit was recently selected as the best SRU in the Army at an annual awards event, according to a service release.
The SRU was presented the title on Dec. 9 at the Army Recovery Care Program Senior Leadership Summit at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
“This is a token representing what our SRU has done, and it is no small feat to be the best SRU in the Army. It’s not something that we take lightly,” Col. Daniel Moore, commander of the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Ford Hood, said in the release. “Taking care of our wounded warriors and returning them to duty or assisting them on to the next phase of their lives is absolutely yeoman’s work.”
Formerly designated as Warrior Transition Units, the Army announced in November 2019 the restructuring of the care program, which provides medical treatment and administrative support to ill and injured service members, to its current form as Soldier Recovery Units.
The recent win for Fort Hood comes after it was named as the runner-up for the award in 2021, the release said, although several of the unit’s members did take home first place prizes that year, including for SRU platoon sergeant, squad leader, transition coordinator, Army recovery care coordinator and chaplain of the year. Many of them repeated those first-place accomplishments again this year.
Comprised of civilian, active-duty and reserve soldiers, the Fort Hood SRU is one of 15 such units nationwide. It was activated in 2007 and has since served more than 55,000 soldiers in recovery across Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and central Texas areas.
Sgt. 1st Class Cheryl Mancill is one of the many service members the Fort Hood program has assisted, according to another Army release. After breaking both of her legs in a motorcycle accident in July 2020, Mancill arrived at the Fort Hood SRU in March 2021, where she began to treat her traumatic injury through an aquatics program.
“They are amazing,” she said. “We all have something that needs (fixing), so we’re all treated accordingly (at the SRU). It’s not just, ‘Hey, you’re just another soldier.’ And I love it. If I don’t know what I need, they try to figure it out.”
Aware they were up for the award again, leadership in the Fort Hood unit took steps to be more competitive for the top prize, including conducting in-person interviews to select staff members for the unit.
“We want to make sure we get the right personnel in these positions, because they take care of a lot of individuals,” 1st Sgt. Patricia Pierson of Headquarters Company SRU said in the release. “They have to be resilient, mentally and physically tough, and prepared to have their own work and home life balance.”
“Taking care of these soldiers is not a small task,” Pierson added. “You are taking on their illness, their injury and helping their families. At any moment, you can get a call to be on the road or at the emergency room.”
Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media