FORT HOOD, Texas / FORT IRWIN, Cali. (FOX 44) – On day 4 of Fort Hood Soldiers training in California, FOX 44’s Allison Fox O’Connor had the opportunity to speak with a retired two star general who has spent many years as the Deputy Commanding General of the Third U.S. Armored Corps at Fort Hood.

General Kendall Cox was in the army for 36 years before retiring as a major general. He then took on the position of a Civilian Aid to the Secretary of the Army for Central Texas.

He has been to the California National Training Center a multitude of times and says while some aspects have changed since the 80’s, others have remained the same.

“Significantly different from a, the way, the installation looks. The way you actually approach the concept of prepare for battle and execute the training, but the fundamentals behind it haven’t changed.” says retired Maj. General Kendall Cox, Civilian Aid to Secretary of Army for Central Texas.

He explained the fundamentals as understanding that fighting in the desert is difficult. Preparing for war is essential and making sure we have a trained and ready force.

While touring The Box this trip, Cox was happy to see soldiers still use maps in this day and age.

“Seeing that map is how we had to do everything. You don’t see people drive around with maps near cars anymore. And so to watch them actually plan and then be prepared to execute off of a map that they carry in their command post is essential. And in many instances it’s a lost art. So yeah, I was pretty excited to see that.”

Cox says every time he visits the National Training Center, it gives him a new appreciation to what the soldiers do in training and for the soldiers and families who live there year round.

He finished by saying the largest change he’s noticed over the years is speed and how efficient everything is, but even that comes with it’s own set of challenges.

“Things are almost instantaneous, real time imagery and you’re actually seeing what the enemy is doing. And we couldn’t do that before. And so commanders today have to be able to see themselves, see the enemy, see the terrain simultaneously. And that is very, very hard. And that’s why this place exists.”

Tune into FOX 44 News at 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. for the latest on Fort Irwin.