WAHIAWA, Hawaii -- As Warrior Brigade Soldiers return to work after a long Memorial Day weekend, a small piece of their identity is no longer visible.
Since March 2016 the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, has initiated and completed a full-scale turn-in of over 300 M1126 Stryker Combat Vehicles to the Project Management Stryker Office.
To highlight the midpoint of the transition process from a Stryker Bde. to an Infantry Bde., the 2nd IBCT held a Materiel Readiness Award Ceremony to honor more than 70 Soldiers and civilians who worked countless hours during the Stryker turn-in process.
"We are only at the midpoint of this transition process, and while we take a break to congratulate you all for what you all have accomplished thus far, I still want you all to take what you have learned and keep applying it every day in everything you do while you continue to make your formations ready as you can make them," said Brig. Gen. Patrick Matlock, 25th ID deputy commanding general-support.
Even though the Materiel Readiness Ceremony was designed to thank the Warrior Brigade Soldiers for their continuous hard work and dedication, it also marks a bitter sweet reality for some.
When the last stryker is properly stored, secured and placed on a ship to the mainland, some of the Warrior Brigade Soldiers will eventually receive reassignment orders to different duty positions or units.
"Well for me, I'm headed to Fort Lee, Va., to work as instructor at the school house," Staff Sgt. James Ingerick said. "Being stationed here has allowed me to build and gain a bigger base of knowledge on this piece of equipment. Now it's up to me to take this knowledge and my past experiences and hopefully better prepare the next incoming Soldiers."
According to Ingerick, a stryker system maintainer assigned to 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, Strykers demanded countless hours of maintenance; however, having them apart of the 2nd IBCT family has allowed Soldiers, who are not primarily infantry, feel welcomed and be apart for the team.
"Being a part of the Wolfhound community or 1-27th Inf. Regt, they really branch out and treats the Forward Support Company Soldiers as family even though we weren't infantry Soldiers. I'm going to miss having the opportunity for my Soldiers and myself having the chance to enjoy Hawaii as a whole," said Ingerick.
As the brigade continues to maintain its readiness throughout the transformation process into an Infantry Brigade, leaders understand the importance of taking a moment to recognize Soldiers.
"To the Soldier of the Warrior Brigade, thank you for your selfless service and dedicated support. We have miles to march and I recognize that we are busy but I appreciate everything you all do," said Col. David Womack, 2nd IBCT commanding officer. "I would also like to give a special thanks to the noncommissioned officers standing in our ranks for setting the example each and every day."