By Spc. Joseph McAtee, U.S. Army, Europe Public Affairs OfficeJune 18, 2008
BAMBERG, Germany -- When the commander and command sergeant major of the 38th Personnel Services Battalion cased their unit's colors on Warner Barracks here June 11, it was not just the end of a unit. It was the end of an era.
The 38th was the last personnel services battalion in the active component of the Army, and its inactivation represents the next step in the transformation of Army personnel operations, said Col. Richard L. Shepard, commander of the 38th.
"The inactivation of the 38th is significant because it completed the transformation of legacy force units to the next phase in the (Army personnel field's) force structure, which is the Human Resource Company," said Shepard.
The new HRC that begins its Army career as the 38th PSB's ends will draw on the Soldiers of the 38th to fill its ranks. Once the new company is formed, its mission will be to train in its primary postal jobs and tasks, explained 38th PSB Command Sgt. Maj. Annette R. Weber. While it will initially be the only HRC in U.S. Army, Europe, eventually more of the companies will be formed as their benefits to the Army's force structure become evident, Shepard said.
The HRC will fall under the 16th Special Troops Battalion, an element of Bamberg's 16th Sustainment Brigade. Shepard said this realignment falls directly in line with "the new (Army) concept where human resource companies will align themselves underneath the command and control of a sustainment brigade."
"The Human Resource Company is a modular company that is highly mobile, highly deployable and fits into the future force structure of the Army," he said.
The 38th's Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 147th Postal Company and 566th Postal Company, along with the battalion's German partnership unit, the Sommerhausen Reservierten, formed the backdrop for the ceremony on Summerall Field as Shepard and Weber cased the unit colors.
"(Shepard and Weber) are great leaders and very hands-on," said Staff Sgt. Yuri Armstrong of the 38th HHD, who served in the color guard for the ceremony. "It has been an honor being a part of the ceremony and of course being a part of this battalion."
"Not until yesterday did I know this was the last (PSB)," Pvt. Chad Shaver of the 566th said. "It gives me pride knowing I've been a part of this."