Fort Hood is huge, one of the largest military installations in the world with approximately 52,000 men and women in uniform according to GlobalSecurity.org. It houses two complete divisions, 1st Cavalry Division and 4th Infantry Division. There are also numerous other groups housed here such as Command III Corps, 89th Military Police Brigade, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, 21st Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat) and others. Fort Hood sprawls over three hundred and forty square miles. A crow would have to fly 26 miles to cover it from east to west, and 24 miles north to south.
Visiting Ft Hood
You do not need to be military or military affiliated to visit Fort Hood. The general public may visit but you will need to go to the Marvin Leath Visitors Center located near the main gate just off of 190 on the west side of Killeen to get a visitor’s pass. It is building 69012. Make sure you have your valid driver’s license, proof on insurance, and current vehicle registration.
They are open 24/7. For more information, call the Marvin Leath Visitor’s Center at: 254-287-9909
New Fort Hood Personnel?
All new Fort Hood personnel will need to register their privately owned vehicles (POVs) and obtain a DoD Vehicle Registration Decal. You will need a current vehicle registration, a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and and ID card if you are military or military affiliated.
If you are military and need help or info upon arrival at Fort Hood you may contact the Soldier Welcome and Care Center (254) 287-3832.
There are two museums to visit at Fort Hood.
Indoor exhibits tell the story of this amazing division’s history. Its crucial role in all wars back to the civil war is explained conflict by conflict, with equipment, supplies, and other significant material on display. Outdoor exhibits at the museum include aircraft, tanks, artillery, and other vehicles and equipment.
The museum may be contacted at (254) 287-3626. Ext. 2 for tours and general information, Ext. 3 for the gift shop.
Hours of operation are: Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sunday and training holidays it is open from noon to 4:00 p.m.
It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Easter.
The museum gift shop hours are: Monday – Friday 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On training holidays it is open noon to 4:00. It is closed Sundays.
The museum is on Fort Hood in Building 2218 at the corner of 56th and 761st Tank Battalion Avenue. To get there, if you are traveling west on 190 from Interstate 35, exit at the Fort Hood main gate. You will see the visitor’s center on the right before you get to the gate. To get your entry pass you will need your ID and proof of insurance. They can also give you a map to the museum.
3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Museum
In January of 2010 the Third Cavalry Museum opened the doors of its new building. Today’s only heavy armored cavalry regiment, 3rd ACR dates back to 1846 and the Mexican war when it was the only regiment of mounted riflemen. Known as the “Brave Rifles,” 3rd ACR is one of the oldest units in the US Army. The museum reveals the story of the brave troopers who have served in the regiment from its inception, their sacrifices and standards of excellence. The museum contains artifacts that date back to 1846 with weapons, uniforms, photos, paintings, and maps of battles and expeditions.
The outdoor exhibit is extensive, with many tanks, trucks, anti-tank guns, etc.
The museum also contains a children’s exhibit, a research room/classroom, and the Third Cavalry Association gift shop.
The museum is on 761st Tank Battalion Ave., Building 409.
Hours of operation are: Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday – noon to 4:00 p.m.
Open to the general public with pass from the visitors center.
Parks and Sites of Interest
Belton Lake (Stillhouse Hollow Lake) is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake. It is located at 3740 FM 1670, Belton, Texas 76513. You can do some great fishing and boating there and even participate in fishing tournaments. Like everything else, these tournaments are big in Texas.
To make camping reservations at Belton Lake:
Killeen Train Depot
This is the original depot, built in 1913, and stands only a few hundred feet away from its original location! The Santa Fe railroad is what put Killeen on the map way back in 1882, and destined it to grow. The presence of the railway was a deciding factor in the Army’s decision to establish Camp Hood, which later became Ft Hood.
See plaque below for history:
Founded in 1882 as a shipping point on the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Railroad, Killeen was named for railroad official Frank P. Killeen. After the first depot was destroyed by fire, Santa Fe workers used standard plans to build this structure in 1913. The presence of the rail line was instrumental in the U.S. Army’s decision to build Camp Hood (later Fort Hood) during World War II. After the railroad took the depot out of active service, the city acquired it in 1982 and moved it to this site 350 feet west and 130 feet north of its original location. (1990)
Killeen – Ft. Hood Regional Airport
Below is the attractive terminal lobby. Various military exhibits can be seen.
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