Fort Hood Commander Lt. Gen. Paul Funk gave his final press conference on Tuesday.
General Funk was recently confirmed for promotion to a four-star general, and will now serve as the new commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
Funk was proud and emotional at his final press conference. He was reflecting on the accomplishments at Fort Hood over the past two years and says he will now and always be a Phantom Warrior – because Central Texas is, and will always be his home.
“But I am incredibly proud to be a Phantom Warrior,” Funk says. “One of these days, I get sworn in, I hope to be a Phantom Warrior for life.”
Funk has served as commanding general of III Corps and Fort Hood since March 2017. He led the headquarters and Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve – the mission which defeated ISIS in Iraq and Syria from September 2017 to September 2018. During this deployment, more than 1.6 million people in Iraq and Syria were liberated from ISIS control.
During Tuesday’s press conference, Funk was asked how it will feel to say he’s a Phantom Warrior one last time – he got emotional.
“It’s gonna be hard, Dave. But it’s going to be with an incredible amount of humility and pride. This is my hometown. These are my people. This is my reputation. This is where I live and [where] my family grew up. This is incredibly important to me, [and to] the Central Texas area,” Funk says.
Funk also talked about what he will remember most and what he looking forward to at his new post.
“What my job will be at Tray-Doc is two soldiers, bring them in. Turn citizens into soldiers and then provide them the basics so they can be to the operational force and become master craftsman,” Funk says.
He also talked about the issues still facing Fort Hood, such as military housing, and how he thinks the new person in command will tackle it.
“No one wants to put up with substandard housing or anything like that. A new leader brings in new energy. A new set of eyes and a new way to address problems,” Funk says.
He says he’s thankful, and if he had one thing to tell his soldiers before he leaves, it’s this:
“Thanks for their service. You enlist the soldier, but you re-enlist the family. The family served, too. And so, for the families out there, thanks for your service,” Funk says.
General Funk says when it’s his time to retire, he would like to come back home to Central Texas.