Brigade Changes Patch
Col. Jeffrey Sinclair exchanges his 1st Infantry Division 'Big Red One' patch for the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 172nd Infantry Brigade (Separate) as Soldiers change the unit banners in the background, during the ceremony activating the 'Blackhawk' Brigade in Schweinfurt, Germany March 17.

SCHWEINFURT, Germany (Army News Service, March 19, 2008) -- The 2nd "Dagger" Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division officially became the 172nd Infantry Brigade (Separate) "Blackhawks" during an activation ceremony here March 17.

The change itself could be seen and heard in Finney Fitness Center, where the official casing of the colors of the Dagger Brigade -- and the uncasing of the Blackhawk colors -- was followed by another distinct sound of change.

The sound was of hundreds of Velcro unit patches on the uniforms of the new Blackhawk Soldiers being changed.

The removal of the "Big Red One" patch was emotional for many, given the history of the 1st Infantry Division and the individual significance it holds for the Soldiers who have fought under its colors.

"The 2nd Brigade colors represent blood, sweat, the loss of friends, and also an emotional center of gravity for those who have served under them," he said Col. Jeffrey Sinclair, now the Blackhawk commander.

Sinclair acknowledged the "tremendous legacy" of the Dagger Brigade and the 1st Infantry Division, which will now pass "out of the European Theater and back to Fort Riley, Kansas."

The division's other Germany-based units inactivated or departed in early to mid-2006, culminating in the move of the headquarters from Wuerzburg to Fort Riley in July of that year.

Regardless of its colors, insignia, or name, brigade Soldiers in Schweinfurt are a "band of brothers," said Sinclair, quoting Shakespeare's Henry V: "For he today that sheds his blood with me, shall be my brother."

"These (new) colors also represent blood, sweat, the loss of friends, and an emotional center of gravity to whomever stands under them," Sinclair said.

The change was visible throughout the Schweinfurt community as the brigade's individual battalions took on new names and replaced signs and symbols throughout the garrison.

About 300 Soldiers and family members from the brigade combat team had toured the Grafenwoehr military community Jan. 12 to get familiar with where the brigade will soon relocate.

(Kimberly Gearhart serves with the U.S. Army Garrison Schweinfurt Public Affairs Office.)

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