BAGHDAD - The 1st Armored Division Special Troops Battalion commander, Lt. Col. Lane Turner, took the reins from the 1st Cavalry Division STB commander, Lt. Col. Matthew Karres, in a transfer of authority and color-casing and uncasing ceremony conducted at Camp Liberty Jan. 9.

Under a cloudless blue sky, Karres and his battalion senior noncommissioned officer, Command Sgt. Maj. Clinton Joseph, marched forward and formally cased the battalion's heavily decorated colors.

Following tradition, the casing of the outgoing battalion's flag was followed by the uncasing of the incoming battalion's flag.

Under the Army's modern concept of the modular brigade combat team, Karres found himself the commander of a diverse combination of troops, collectively known as the Mavericks. The DSTB spent the last 12 months in Baghdad performing a variety of missions - an achievement for which Karres is justifiably proud.

"We accomplished much more than we ever thought we would," he said during the ceremony. "We have a rock solid reputation throughout Baghdad."

After uncasing his battalion's colors Lt. Col. Lane Turner thanked the Mavericks for their outstanding performance during the relief-in-place, signaling that the time had come for the mission of his troops to begin.

"Iron Soldiers of United States Division-Center, I formally accept and certify that we are ready," said Turner.

After the brief ceremony, the incoming battalion senior noncommissioned officer, Command Sgt. Maj. Sal Katz, said that he, too, was impressed with the way the relief-in-place was handled.

"First Cavalry did an awesome job of heading us in the right direction," he said. "The leadership here treated us like we were one of their own."

As for the future, we are excited about this phase in the history of the battalion. We've worked extraordinarily hard in training our Soldiers for this mission," Turner said. "Now, it is time to test our mettle. We are looking forward to this next year."

"This will be a very focused and engaged deployment," Katz added. "We just want to bring everyone home, safely."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16