• CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers, along with an Iraqi Soldier and a National Policeman, ready themselves during a rehearsal in front of division headquarters on Camp Liberty Feb. 8.  The MND-B Honor Guard stands as a symbol of professionalism and unity for the upcoming transfer of authority ceremony Feb. 10; where by the 1st Cavalry Division assumes command from the 4th Infantry Division.  This is the third time both Fort Hood, Texas-based units have transferred authority to each other as the headquarters element for the greater Baghdad area.

    CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - Multi-National Division ...

    CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers, along with an Iraqi Soldier and a National Policeman, ready themselves during a rehearsal in front of division headquarters on Camp Liberty Feb. 8. The MND-B Honor Guard stands as a...

  • CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers, along with an Iraqi Soldier and a National Policeman, practice color guard drills in front of division headquarters on Camp Liberty Feb. 8.  The group practices movements in preparation for the upcoming MND-B transfer of authority ceremony Feb 10.  This TOA ceremony marks the first time IA and NP members have served as members of the MND-B Honor Guard.

    CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - Multi-National...

    CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers, along with an Iraqi Soldier and a National Policeman, practice color guard drills in front of division headquarters on Camp Liberty Feb. 8. The group practices movements in preparation for...

  • CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - Spc. Lucas Sweeney (left), of Rapids, Wis., 1st Cavalry Division Honor Guard, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, performs drills with Matham Hussein Ali, 1st National Division, on Camp Liberty Feb. 8. The two practice rifle movements in preparation for the upcoming MND-B transfer of authority ceremony in which the 1st Cav. Div. takes over responsibility for the Baghdad operational environment from the 4th Inf. Div.

    CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - Spc. Lucas Sweeney (left)...

    CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - Spc. Lucas Sweeney (left), of Rapids, Wis., 1st Cavalry Division Honor Guard, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, performs drills with Matham Hussein Ali, 1st National Division, on Camp Liberty Feb. 8. The two practice rifle movements...

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq -Honor guards-comprised of Soldiers chosen for their professionalism and attention to detail-are symbols of history and pride, manifesting the best military's offer with their pin-point movements and traditions.

Soldiers serving with 1st Cavalry Division and 4th Infantry Division teamed with servicemen of the Iraqi Army and Iraqi National Police to form a premiere honor guard for the Multi-National Division-Baghdad's transfer of authority ceremony on Camp Liberty Feb. 10.

The ceremony marks the official hand over for the Baghdad operational environment to the 1st Cav. Div. from the 4th Inf. Div.

"I think having a joint honor guard is a pretty good merger, because this is actually their place and it's important that they be included," said Spec. Lucas Sweeney, a native of Rapids, Wis., who serves with the 1st Cav. Div. Honor Guard.

This joint color guard demonstrates a continuance of teamwork at all levels between Iraqi and U.S. forces.

"It's basically showing that both nations are working together to accomplish missions for both the Iraqis and ourselves, and it's this cooperation that's holding us together," said Staff Sgt. Hal Spiller, a native of Rock Hill, S.C., deputy commandant and Honor Guard non commissioned officer in charge, 1st Cav. Div., MND-B.

U.S. Forces have gone through many drills and hours of practice with the ISF to ensure the ceremony is executed correctly.

"The Iraqi Soldiers are really smart and intelligent people. It took us about a day and a half to teach them their portion in the ceremony," Collins said. "It's our main focus to display that there is a strong pride, honor, and heritage from within the division by displaying our division's colors, the national colors, and the Army colors," he added.

These highly symbolic ceremonies serve as a reminder of progress for U.S. forces, but they also give the ISF a positive outlook for the not too distant future.

"We're happy about it when they change divisions and that we're closer to depending on ourselves," said Matham Hussein Ali, Iraqi Honor Guard member, 1st National Police Division.

This TOA ceremony, with its mixed U.S. and Iraqi color guard, subtly speaks of things to come in the continued U.S.-Iraqi partnership as Iraq continues to progress in their ability to secure their own country.

Page last updated Wed February 11th, 2009 at 15:36