FORT HOOD - The 1st Cavalry Division bid farewell to one brigade combat team and welcomed another in one week.

The 4th Infantry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team, called the Cobra Brigade, re-flagged as the First Team's 4th BCT at Fort Hood's Cooper Field March 7. Just two days before, the previous 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. re-flagged to the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas.

Having picked up the nickname of the "Long Knife" Brigade, the Soldiers joined the cavalry's famous military lineage while retaining the fighting spirit of the currently deployed Ivy Division in Baghdad.

"I congratulate you Col. (Philip) Battaglia and Command Sgt. Maj. Edwin Rodriguez, your commanders, noncommissioned officers and 4th BCT Troopers on becoming a member of America's First Team," said Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the commander of the 1st Cav. Div. "You're now a part of the traditions that make you unique and you're a part of the heritage that makes our nation proud when they see the big yellow patch. You sure look good in those Stetson's too."

The newly re-flagged 4th Brigade "Long Knives" are scheduled for deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom early this summer.

"You have all contributed to the great, proud history of the 4th Infantry Division," said Battaglia, the brigade commander of the 4th BCT. "You can be proud of what you've added to the history of the Ivy Division. Now we're going to be a part of America's First Team. You are all making history and that's what it's all about."

The unit will add to that history by departing for a three-week rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La. The training rotation is unique because the brigade completed training at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., in November of last year.

Long Knife Brigade leadership has emphasized the additional training to better prepare the brigade for its scheduled deployment to Iraq.

Media representatives wishing to cover the brigade's deployment to JRTC should contact the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Officer at (254) 553-2844 or (919) 610-4628, or and

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