"Wildcats" begin new Reserve mission
October 29, 2008
<b>FORT JACKSON, S.C.</b> -- After making a 350-mile trip and spending more than a month in a drab green protective sheath, the "Wildcat" colors were finally revealed during an uncasing ceremony held Oct. 26 at the Spc. Thomas D. Caughman Army Reserve Center here.
Master Sgt. Malcolm A. Wolfe Jr., the command chaplain section noncommissioned officer in charge, dressed in an authentic World War I uniform, introduced the 81st Regional Support Command colors to an audience of past commanders, local civilian leaders and the small band of Soldiers who wear the Army's oldest patch on their Army combat uniform.
The colors returned to its original home (known then as Camp Jackson) that began in late 1917.
Soldiers adopted the name "Wildcat" division, from Wildcat Creek, which flowed through Camp Jackson. The commander, Maj. Gen. Charles Bailey, instructed the 81st Division to create and field the "first unit patch of the Army."
As Maj. Gen. Charles E. Gorton, the 81st RSC commander, presented the cased colors, Command Sgt. Maj. Luis Blanco, untied the fabric cords which have provided protection during its trip from Birmingham, Ala.
As Blanco carefully, slowly revealed the black wildcat set on a circular olive green background, the ceremony began a new chapter of the 81st Division and the 81st RSC.
Gorton raised the colors for the first time at the new 81st RSC headquarters building and the ceremonial beginning of a new mission for the command and the Army Reserve.
"Today, we uncase the 81st Division colors and inherit the traditions and the motto, 'Wildcats never quit,'" Gorton said.
Gorton said the credo of 'Wildcats Never Quit" defines the spirit and agility of the 81st Regional Support Command.
He said Wildcat Soldiers are the heroes that keep people optimistic about the new command's future.
The 81st RSC is Fort Jackson's newest tenant and most unique command in the Army Reserve. As part of the 1995 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, the command recently relocated to Fort Jackson from Birmingham, Ala.
"We are definitely another plus for Fort Jackson and the Columbia community," he said. "We are bringing new jobs to the area which will have a positive economical impact to the area."
Supporting the entire southeastern portion of the U.S. to include Puerto Rico, the 81st RSC will provide base operations support to all Army Reserve facilities located in its geographical footprint.
"The 81st RSC is a new structure, designed to meet new challenges, but we are committed to holding the legacy of the entire command close to our hearts," Gorton said.