591st Engineer Company hits ground running
February 25, 2014
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- The historical 591st Engineer Company has been added to the ranks of 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team "Rakkasans," 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) here.
"For us the only real change has been our location," said 1st Sgt. Aaron Tippett, the senior noncommissioned officer of 591st Engineer Company. "We left the footprint of the 326th and fell into the footprint of the Rakkasans who welcomed us with open arms."
Although their setting might have changed, the outlook of their commander, Capt. Patrick Mahoney stays the same.
"One Mission, one fight as a company," said Mahoney. "To fight alongside our combat brothers and sisters while excelling at our engineer responsibilities."
While the 591st have just joined the Rakkasans, that hasn't stopped them from hitting the ground running.
"Within a few days of joining the Rakkasans we were on the range doing what we do best," said Sgt. Ryan Parker, a team leader assigned to the 591st. "We have gotten a lot of new Soldiers so our objective was to show them how to breach and create obstacles."
With a large influx of new Soldiers, the company has set aside a great deal of time to better prepare those Soldiers for future tasks and missions with the Rakkasans.
"I learned more in my little time in this company then I did in basic training and Advanced Individual Training," said Pvt. Marcus Obeada, a combat engineer assigned to the 591st. "The training and ranges we are doing has helped me to be more confident in my work as a combat engineer."
While the company works to increase their combat readiness, they will maintain a steady rate of training and ranges to maximize their effectiveness as an essential part of the Brigade.
"We train to standard, not to time," said 1st Lt. Stephane Manuel, the leader for 1st platoon. "As engineers we have to always be ready to support the maneuver force."
The 591st are scheduled to reflag as Company B in April as part of the 21st Brigade Engineer Battalion, but although their name may change, they vow to keep their historic lineage as well as their traditions.
"One thing that is very important to me as an old 591st guy is to balance becoming the new B Company while also keeping our rich lineage," said Tippett. "For example, our 591st belt buckle is like a badge of honor. We want to keep that part of our past for as long as possible."
Tippett explains more about the history of the 591st with great enthusiasm and excitement.
"The 591st Engineer Company has an incredible history, said Tippett. "Like the Rakkasans, once most Soldiers join the 591st they don?'t want to work anywhere else."
Tippet and Mahoney plan to preserve the lineage of the company and hope to share the history with all their incoming Soldiers as well as the Rakkasans.
"We are trying to mesh the past and present lineage of B Company and the 591st," said Mahoney. "We need to preserve pieces of our history and keep certain traditions going."
Although the 591st has just joined the Rakkasans, their assistance to the maneuver elements of the Brigade will aid in the success of future missions to come while also keeping intact their rich history, ethics and traditions.