FORT HOOD, Texas - The 1st Cavalry Division's 4th "Long Knife" Brigade Combat Team cased its colors June 4 with a small contingent of 4th Brigade Combat Team Soldiers already in Kuwait building the foundation for the troops who are scheduled to arrive there in the coming weeks. The ceremony symbolizes the storage of the unit's colors until the approximately 3,500 brigade troops arrive in Iraq and un-case the flags. During the ceremony, the brigade and division leaders spoke about the importance of families and their impact on the morale and effectiveness of the troops in combat. "The Army and especially this unit's leadership recognize your continued service and multiple sacrifices," said Col. Philip Battaglia, the brigade commander. "I know that you endure difficult days when your spouse, parent or child is deployed. Our country owes you a great debt of gratitude for your personal sacrifices that you make each day so your loved one can answer this nation's call to duty." The First Team's Horse Detachment presented yellow roses to both the commander's and command sergeant major's wife. The yellow rose is not only the color of the 1st Cav. Div. it is also a symbol of unwavering support and friendship. Local community leaders also received praise for their support of the 4th Brigade and its troops during the stressful times leading up to a deployment. "Fort Hood is known as the Great Place," said Battaglia. "What makes this place great is the unwavering support from our local community - who have continued to support our Soldiers and especially their families in an outstanding manner over the past five years." Battaglia also explained why he thinks the Long Knife Soldiers are the best trained in the Army. "The leaders and Soldiers of this brigade have trained long and hard for the past 18 months, to include rotations at the National Training Center and the Joint Readiness Training Center, to prepare for the mission at hand," said Battaglia. "We are physically, mentally and emotionally prepared to accomplish our missions and we are extremely proud to be wearing the 1st Cavalry Division patch into combat." The Long Knife Brigade is set to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom for 15 months beginning in mid-June.

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