MIDDLE RIVER, Md. (July 28, 2014) -- Top Army leaders honored the Chemical Corps at the 96th National Capital Region Green Dragon Ball here, Friday.
The ball was attended by many senior U.S. military officials, including Brig. Gen. JB Burton, commanding general of 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives); Brig. Gen. Maria Gervais, chief of Chemical and commandant of the U.S. Army CBRN School; and 20th CBRNE Command Sgt. Maj. Harold E. Dunn IV.
Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Spoehr, director of the U.S. Army Office of Business Transformation, hosted the event, and Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Z. Alston, the senior enlisted advisor for U.S. Strategic Command, was the guest speaker at the ball.
"Since 1918, the proud warriors of the U.S. Army Chemical Corps have served to protect the nation and the U.S. Army from the threat of CBRN attack and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future," said Lt. Col. Eric Towns, commander of the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based 22nd Chemical Battalion (Technical Escort).
The Chemical Warfare Service was established on June 28, 1918, to manage chemical offensive and defensive programs. The U.S. renounced the use of biological weapons in 1972, and chemical weapons in 1997. Today, the U.S. Army Chemical Corps defends the nation against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. Green Dragon refers to the dragon logo on the Chemical Corps insignia.
During the ball, outstanding Soldiers and civilians were inducted into the Order of the Dragon and spouses were awarded the Carol Ann Watson Spouse Award.
As the U.S. Army's only command that combats chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats, 20th CBRNE not only trains to support American military operations around the globe but also works with U.S. government agencies to defend the homeland.
Headquartered on Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland's science, technology and security corridor, the 20th CBRNE Command commands specialized units on 19 military installations in 16 states. Soldiers and civilians from 20th CBRNE Command train and operate around the globe to keep the world's most dangerous weapons out of circulation.