REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - Endings and new beginnings were the focus at the 4th Battalion of the 321st Regiment's deactivation ceremony here on Dec. 18, 2016. This ceremony marked the completion of the units' deactivations within the 800th Logistics Support Brigade.
The 4th Battalion's deactivation was conducted as part of a larger restructuring of the 800th LSB, headquartered in Mustang, Oklahoma. The 800th LSB falls under the umbrella of the 80th Training Command (The Army School System), headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.
As part of the overall Army Reserve downsizing within the larger context of the total Army drawdown, the United States Army Reserve Command had tasked the 80th TC to assess its operations and determine where efficiencies could be made. Some of these efficiencies resulted in restructuring the 800th LSB. This restructuring lead to five battalions within the 800th being deactivated. Each of these five battalions had three companies that also deactivated. In total, the 800th LSB has deactivated 20 units at 13 locations across the country.
Although the closures of these 800th LSB units are the first and most visible steps in this reduction, they are not the only steps, nor are they the last. Over the coming months, other battalions and portions of battalions under the 80th TC will either inactivate or be re-missioned to support the 80th TC.
Soldiers assigned to these deactivating battalions within the 800th LSB are not being coerced to leave the Army. They are being provided job opportunities for growth and development in other parts of the 800th LSB or the 80th TC. Many of the 4th Battalion's soldiers have already been reassigned to new positions.
The 800th LSB will continue to have a key role in the operations of the 80th TC as it takes on the responsibility for mission command over the 80th's TASS Training Centers. These TASS Training Centers are located at Fort Hunter-Liggett and Camp Parks, California; Fort Knox, Kentucky; and Fort Dix, New Jersey. The 800th LSB will also assume control over the Staff and Faculty Development Academy at Grand Prairie, Texas. At this academy, instructors throughout the 80th TC and the entire Army Reserve receive their initial qualification training as instructors and small group leaders.
Maj. Gen. A.C. Roper, commanding general of the 80th TC, expressed his thoughts at the ceremony. "Change is inevitable, but the ending of this battalion does not mean the end of your service to our country," said Roper. "You are part of the greatest Army the world has ever seen. You should be proud of your service."
Commander of the 4th Battalion, 321st Regiment Maj. Marquis Wilson also shared his thoughts at the deactivation. "I have enjoyed working with the soldiers of this unit," Wilson said. "These are the most tactically proficient soldiers in the 800th brigade."
Col. Bradly Boganowski, commander of the 800th LSB, told the soldiers that "it would be easy to be disgruntled (about the deactivation), but that's not what soldiers do. I encourage you to use this as an opportunity to use your skills across the Army." He charged them to carry the spirit of the 4th Battalion forward.
Wilson agreed, explaining that for the deactivating soldiers, they have opportunities to continue to serve in many other units. "You have challenges and opportunities ahead of you," he said. "Embrace the change, and continue to do great things for our country."