• FORT HOOD, Texas--Col. William McRae, brigade commander for the 41st Fires Brigade, raises his glass for a toast during the annual St. Barbara's Day Ball held at the Bell County Expo Center, Dec. 9. During the ball, the attendees were able to talk to several deployed Soldiers over an internet video communication connection.

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Col. William McRae, brigade...

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Col. William McRae, brigade commander for the 41st Fires Brigade, raises his glass for a toast during the annual St. Barbara's Day Ball held at the Bell County Expo Center, Dec. 9. During the ball, the attendees were able to talk to...

  • FORT HOOD, Texas--Soldiers, officers and family members of the 41st Fires Brigade danced the night away under the banners of all the units within the brigade during the annual St. Barbara's Day Ball held at the Bell County Expo Center, Dec. 9. Soldiers throughout the brigade and family readiness group leaders conducted fundraisers to raise money to offset the cost admission for junior Soldiers and the spouses of the deployed Soldiers within the brigade.

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Soldiers, officers and family...

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Soldiers, officers and family members of the 41st Fires Brigade danced the night away under the banners of all the units within the brigade during the annual St. Barbara's Day Ball held at the Bell County Expo Center, Dec. 9. Soldiers...

  • FORT HOOD, Texas--Lt. Col. Ernest Karlberg, commander for the 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade, bestows the medallion of the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara to Capt. Hector Cantillo, commander for Battery B, 2nd Bn, 20th FA Regt during the annual St. Barbara's Day Ball held at the Bell County Expo Center, Dec. 9. Twenty-three Soldiers received the honorable merit during the evening.

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Lt. Col. Ernest Karlberg...

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Lt. Col. Ernest Karlberg, commander for the 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade, bestows the medallion of the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara to Capt. Hector Cantillo, commander for Battery B, 2nd Bn...

  • FORT HOOD, Texas--Col. William McRae, brigade commander for the 41st Fires Brigade, bestows the medallion of the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara to Maj. Sandra Wilks, the executive officer of the 589th Brigade Support Battalion, 41st Fires Bde during the annual St. Barbara's Day Ball held at the Bell County Expo Center, Dec. 9. Four of the 159 Soldiers deployed from the 41st Fires Bde. was also inducted into the Honorable Order of St. Barbara.

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Col. William McRae, brigade...

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Col. William McRae, brigade commander for the 41st Fires Brigade, bestows the medallion of the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara to Maj. Sandra Wilks, the executive officer of the 589th Brigade Support Battalion, 41st Fires Bde during...

  • FORT HOOD, Texas--Soldiers with the 41st Fires Brigade assisted the Fort Hood Culinary Art Team in creating an M-270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems ice sculpture for the annual St. Barbara's Day Ball held at the Bell County Expo Center, Dec. 9. The Soldiers who created the ice sculpture for the ball took more than 36 hours to create the MLRS.

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Soldiers with the 41st Fires...

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Soldiers with the 41st Fires Brigade assisted the Fort Hood Culinary Art Team in creating an M-270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems ice sculpture for the annual St. Barbara's Day Ball held at the Bell County Expo Center, Dec. 9. The...

  • FORT HOOD, Texas--Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Brinton, command sergeant major for the 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade, holds up the charge for the grog during the annual St. Barbara's Day Ball held at the Bell County Expo Center, Dec. 9. Charge is composed of lasted year's grog and was buried at a training area for safe keeping.

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Command Sgt. Maj. Mark...

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Brinton, command sergeant major for the 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade, holds up the charge for the grog during the annual St. Barbara's Day Ball held at the Bell County Expo...

  • FORT HOOD, Texas--Command Sgt. Maj. Kelvin Hughes, command sergeant major for the 41st Fires Brigade, checks the Red Leg status of the newest lieutenants in the brigade during the annual St. Barbara's Day Ball held at the Bell County Expo Center, Dec. 9. The 16 new lieutenants recited the lieutenants' oath during the ceremony.

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Command Sgt. Maj. Kelvin...

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Command Sgt. Maj. Kelvin Hughes, command sergeant major for the 41st Fires Brigade, checks the Red Leg status of the newest lieutenants in the brigade during the annual St. Barbara's Day Ball held at the Bell County Expo Center, Dec...

FORT HOOD, Texas--There were no horse-drawn carriages seen on this night. It was more plausible to say "Cinderella arrived at the ball on an M-270 Multiple Launch Rocket System."

For the Rail Gunners, these artillerymen started the night in style. Cannons lined the walkway leading up to the Bell County Expo Center and ice sculptures decorated the foyer. The Soldiers, leaders and family members of the 41st Fires Brigade took part in the annual Saint Barbara's Day Ball, Dec. 9.

St. Barbara is the patron saint of artillerymen, along with anyone working with cannons, and explosives. St. Barbara's Day is typically celebrated during the first week of December.

Along with honoring the patron saint of artillerymen everywhere, the ball presented an opportunity for Soldiers and family members to bond in the United States Army Field Artillery traditions and heritage.

"I'm especially pleased to see our young Soldiers out here tonight," said Col. William McRae, brigade commander for the 41st Fires Bde. "St. Barbara is a part of our history dating back to World War I. Our Soldiers should be proud of what they've done and what they will continue to do as Red Legs."

One of the most anticipated traditions of the evening was the revered punch-bowl ceremony known as the grog. Several selected senior enlisted and officers added various beverages to the punch-bowl to create a concoction worthy enough for the strongest Red Legs. However, for the Rail Gunners, the most junior lieutenant within the brigade was chosen to drink first from the grog. For the final piece of the skit, the lieutenant was carried away on a litter.

"I didn't know the senior leadership of the 41st Fires Bde. was so talented," said Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell Jr., commanding general of III Corps. I'm glad to be here during this celebration that honors the traditions and heritage of Red Legs around the world, but most importantly the fine Rail Gunners that stand here before us."

After the grog, 23 Soldiers were inducted into the Order of Saint Barbara. To receive the military honor, inductees must demonstrate the highest standards of integrity, moral character, and selflessly promote the Artillery branch.

Also Andrya Rhodes, Alicia Schwarz, Cary Burton, Shannon Woods, Jessica Nacarrato, and Ann Campbell was bestowed the Honorable Order of Molly Pitcher for volunteering and helping to improve the Field Artillery.

As the night came to an end, The Soldiers were able to enjoy an evening of tradition and fun. After the colors were retired, the dance floor was open to crowd for dancing.

"What I enjoyed the most was seeing everyone as their normal, everyday self," said Spc. Heriberto Valdespino, MLRS crewmember, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 41st Fires Brigade. "Events like the St. Barbara's Day Ball, gives us a chance to see other sides of our leadership and build on our camaraderie outside of the brigade. Seeing everyone here just adds to the sense of pride that I have in the unit."

Page last updated Mon December 12th, 2011 at 00:00