CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq – Lieutenant Colonel Chip Daniels, commander, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-North, salutes his Soldiers after presenting each trooper with a combat service patch during a ceremony on Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, July 1, 2011.

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq "U.S. Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment "Black Knights", 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, crowded into a hot conference room to celebrate a milestone event.

The Black Knights, deployed from Ft. Hood, Texas, received the combat service patch during a ceremony at Contingency Operating Base Warhorse, Iraq, July 1.

"From this moment forward, you will have a (combat) patch and no one can take that away from you," said Lt. Col. Chip Daniels, commander, 1st Bn., 5th Cav. Regt., to his Soldiers. "It's what connects you to those who came before us."

The unit's role in Iraq, to advise, train and assist their counterparts in the Iraqi Security Forces, allows U.S. Forces to leave an even more stable country when they withdraw, explained Daniels.

During the ceremony, Daniels addressed the formation and praised the commitment and positive attitudes maintained by the Soldiers during the deployment.

This ceremony served to highlight to the Soldiers that Iraq remains a combat zone and they must stay vigilant, said Daniels.

The ceremony, significant for Soldiers who received their first patch, recognized all Soldiers who attended as combat veterans, an attribute shared by very few Americans.

It was nice to be recognized as part of the less than one percent of my countrymen who are serving in combat, explained Spc. Nathan Smith, tanker with 1st Bn.

This battalion has a storied history and has had a lot of famous Soldiers serve in it, added Smith, who calls Las Vegas home.

Command Sergeant Major Patrick Lowery, senior enlisted advisor with the Black Knights, listed the renowned figures who served in 1st Bn., 5th Cav. Regt., providing his Soldiers a link to the past through the patch on their right shoulders.

"Our Battalion is unique because of the leaders we have had in the past," he said. "Serving in the unit that was once commanded by Robert E. Lee and George Patton is a story that we can all tell our grandkids about someday."

Page last updated Mon July 11th, 2011 at 00:00