By Ms. Kyrene Resel (Fort Leonard Wood)July 2, 2015
The Chemical Corps Regiment celebrated their 97th anniversary with a full lineup of regimental week events June 20-27.
Activities for the week included a regimental run, state-of-the-regiment and cake-cutting ceremony, Sibert Award presentation, Hall of Fame/Distinguished Member of the Corps Induction ceremony, CBRN enterprise update, "How We Support the Fight Seminar," spouse's events, "Honor to Our Fallen" Sunrise Service and the Green Dragon Ball.
The goal for this year's events, themed "Dragon Soldiers -- America's CBRN Counterforce," was to prepare for the needs of the Army of 2025 and beyond.
U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School Commandant and 28th Chief of Chemical, Brig. Gen. Maria Gervais, said, "Celebrating our regiment gives us a chance to pause and reflect on all that we have accomplished and to assess how we are doing as a corps in protecting our Army and country. More importantly, it provides an opportunity for us to set the direction to meet the future demands of the Army."
Hundreds of Soldiers took to the streets for the annual, early-morning regimental run June 23.
Following the run, the State of the Regiment address took place in Abrams Theater, featuring remarks from Brig. Gen. Kent Savre, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, Gervais, and Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Alston, who served as the regiment's 10th regimental command sergeant major.
"We have come together as a regiment to celebrate turning 97 years young today," Gervais said. "Since June 28, 1918, we have been crucial to our nation and the Army, because of the technical expertise that we bring to the table."
Staying true to tradition, the commandant cut the regimental birthday cake with the corps' youngest and most senior Soldiers, Spc. Jessica Young, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, and Master Sgt. Marcus Elliot, 3rd Chemical Brigade, S-3 noncommissioned officer in charge, respectively.
Several awards were presented to acknowledge the regiment's accomplishments.
The Maj. Gen. William L. Sibert Awards, recognizing the best chemical company within the Army's three components were presented, marking a total of 47 units receiving the award since 1988. This year's recipients include: the Active Army's 9th CBRN Company, 110th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Battalion, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; the National Guard's 690th CBRN Company, 145th CBRN Battalion, Mobile, Alabama; and the Army Reserve's Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 92nd CBRN Battalion, Decatur, Georgia.
Two individuals were inducted into the CBRN Regimental Hall of Fame -- retired Maj. Gen. John Doesburg, who commanded and served for more than 30 years in Army units designed to detect and protect Soldiers from the effects of chemical and biological agents ,and Lt. Col. Edgar Stark, who was killed in action during an enemy aerial bombardment in World War II and was also inducted for his leadership, which enabled units to complete their missions successfully.
The Distinguished Member of the Corps was awarded posthumously to retired Sgt. Maj. Joseph Brauch Jr. for his contributions to the regiment, including developing, coordinating and managing chemical and biological counterproliferation deliberate plans and policies.
Concurrent to the State of the Regiment, the Chemical Corps Regimental Association hosted several events throughout the week, including a two-day industry exhibition featuring more than 40 vendors in Nutter Field House June 23-24.
"The exhibition serves as a fantastic platform for Soldiers and vendors to communicate. Vendors get to hear directly from the user community, and Soldiers get to see what's become possible," said Col. Thamar Main, MSCoE Requirements Determination Division chief.
The 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment hosted an event June 24 for Chemical Corps spouses to experience a day in the life of their Soldier.
Spouses had the opportunity to test their strength by completing the confidence course and the Physical Endurance Course at Training Area 98, followed by a tour of the Lt. Joseph Terry CBRN Responder Facility.
Maj. Shawn Sumpter, 3rd Chem. Bde. S-3, said, "These events brought several spouses from across the regiment together to experience a piece of what their loved ones do every day, and was a reunion for some and a bonding experience for others."
As spouses gained a stronger appreciation for their Soldier, Fort Leonard Wood's commanding general provided opening remarks for the regiment's first "How We Support the Fight Seminar" for senior leaders from across the CBRN regiment and the military.
"I'm proud of Brig. Gen. Gervais and the CBRN School for bringing the leaders from across the regiment together to work through the needs of the Army in the future," said Savre, who recently received notification of promotion to major general. "The demand for the capabilities of Dragon Soldiers now and in the future is extremely high. This regiment is doing a fantastic job, and it is clear that the Army looks to our CBRN School for those answers."
Savre acknowledged the regiment's efforts toward the CBRN Captains Career Course, Basic Officer Leader Course, Warrant Officer Basic Course and credentialing as success stories for developing confident and competent leaders and warfighters.
On June 25, the annual "Honor the Fallen" Sunrise Service was hosted at the Memorial Grove to reflect, remember and honor those Dragon Soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
"Dragon Soldiers shouldn't only be remembered, but should inspire the living, because without their sacrifice, we wouldn't have the freedoms that we have today," Gervais said. "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died, rather we should thank God that such men have lived. We, as a regiment, are charged with upholding their legacy."
The Memorial Grove includes a tribute to Soldiers of each war era, and this year, the Chemical Corps dedicated a white-oak tree in honor of Dragon Soldiers, who, according to Gervais, continued to serve the corps after retirement and who "represent the best our country has to offer."
The week concluded with a renewal of friendships and esprit de corps during the CCRA 5k fun run and the regiment's annual Green Dragon Ball.