KILLEEN — A familiar face to the 13th Sustainment Brigade has taken the reins as the new executive director at the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance.
The alliance is an organization designed to promote the sustainability and importance of Fort Hood and the defense industry within the Fort Hood region.
Retired Col. Keith Sledd took over the position from retired Maj. Gen. Ken Cox on Aug. 1.
Cox, a former III Corps and Fort Hood deputy commander who took the position in 2015, completed a two-year contract for the position before leaving to pursue further opportunities.
Sledd said he was excited about the new position and is looking forward to working with the entities surrounding Fort Hood that make up the alliance.
“As you know, this is a regional organization — it’s funded by the seven cities and three counties surrounding Fort Hood,” he said. “Our job is to advocate for Fort Hood, the defense industries in the region and the region itself. It helps facilitate communication, sometimes, between different aspects of that region because ... Sometimes the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. It’s helping tie all those together in how everyone can move forward with kind of a ‘one voice’ for the region.”
Sledd originally enlisted in the Army in 1980 and served four years with the 82nd Airborne Division before getting out as a sergeant to attend college.
In 1987, he received his commission and returned to active duty, serving for 30 more years before retiring as the deputy commander of the 13th Sustainment Brigade.
He and his wife, Wendy, are originally from Oklahoma and have one daughter and two grandchildren. Their son-in-law is a drill sergeant at Fort Benning, Georgia.
“I think I have a lot of experience. I’ve been fortunate enough to serve in two of the Army’s best divisions — not to knock on the 1st (Cavalry Division) — the 82nd Airborne and the 1st Infantry Division, the Army’s oldest division,” he said. “With some other units I’ve been in, I’ve gained a lot of experience I hope to be able to apply here in helping the region.”
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