El Paso, Texas (KTSM) – The Ironclad Summit forum brought together leaders from Fort Bliss to better strengthen the foundation for mutual respect, safety, and cohesive teams among its soldiers, families, and civilians.

On Tuesday, Dec. 13, Fort Bliss held day one of its two-day 1st Armored Division Ironclad Summit Leadership Forum at the Convention Center. According to Fort Bliss, Operation Ironclad is an action-based approach toward eliminating sexual assault, sexual harassment, suicide, extremism and racism within the ranks.

This year, the division opened the event to the public with community members from El Paso and surrounding communities attending. Fort Bliss Public Affairs Office says this provides an opportunity to enhance leadership skills and proficiencies within their formation.

Renowned keynote speakers Retired Lt. General Thomas James, the former commanding general of the First Army, Retired Major General Robin Fontes, former deputy commanding general of operations for the U.S. Army Cyber Command, and Mike Singletary, NFL Hall of Famer, and former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, also shared their expertise and lessons learned on organizational leadership, building cohesive teams, and caring for people.

“Effectively what this is, is an opportunity for us to pause, bring together leaders from across the installation so we’re talking about battery, company, and troops…command teams; so those are captains and first sergeants and above and bringing the together to focus on particular issues or topics. For this Summit in particular, today’s focus is on leadership, leadership is one of those critical components of what we do within the military,” says Commander Thurman Mckenzie, who is the Commander for the 1st Armored Division Artillery at Fort Bliss.

This is the first time the summit was held in El Paso that has been open to the public since the pandemic.