By Staff Sgt. Sierra A. MelendezFebruary 23, 2017
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Soldiers, leaders and Family Members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division held a regimental induction ceremony at Hangar 3, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Feb. 10.
The 502nd Infantry Regiment has served in almost all major conflicts since World War II. From the invasion of Normandy to their most recent deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, Strike's history and accomplishments are widely known and recognized.
The induction ceremony, however, was conducted to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of individual Soldiers and civilians who have directly and positively influenced the storied legacy of the 502nd Infantry.
More importantly, the inductees had to display their relentless passion for Strike -- proving that their impact will resonate long after they depart the unit.
"In this ceremony we attempt, in some small way, to recognize the individual contributions that comprise this regiment," said Col. Brett G. Sylvia, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team and the 19th commander of the 502nd Infantry Regiment. "In many ways, it is the tenacity of the individuals within this outfit over the past 75 plus years that defines this regiment, this brigade combat team, and who we all aspire to be as Strike Soldiers."
In order to be categorized as a distinguished member, inductees had to have directly served in any battalion in the 502nd: 1st Battalion, "First Strike;" 2nd Battalion, "Strike Force;" and 3rd Battalion, "Strike and Kill."
Honorary members can be any service member or civilian outside the 502nd whose actions and contributions aided to the regiment's success.
Inductees were presented a certificate by Sylvia; Command Sgt. Major Jason L. Wilson, the command sergeant major of Strike; and retired Col. Ted Purdom, the honorary colonel of the 502nd Infantry Regiment.
In total, Strike inducted 29 individuals. Although the inductees hailed from different walks of life, such as active duty Soldiers, veterans and sponsors, one thing remained consistent -- the 29 personnel were humbled to be a part of the organization.
"The continuity of this regiment lives through these colors, through the Soldiers who serve today, and uniquely through our honorary and distinguished members," said Sylvia. "Although our time in uniform under this banner is temporary, these notable leaders remind us that our bond is permanent, everlasting."
"We are, and always will be, part of this storied legacy."
Staff Sgt. Leal C. Potter, Company A, 1-502nd, Strike, was inducted as a distinguished member of the regiment. He has spent almost all 10 years of his career in Strike and deployed on three separate occasions with the brigade.
"I feel humbled and honored," said Potter. "There was a lot of great Soldiers that came before me, and I know they play a role in why I honor this unit so much."
Sylvia closed out with thanking the inductees on keeping the history and legacy of Strike alive by their continued efforts.
"It is you who solidified the foundation with your service and sacrifice; it is you who gave this regiment the reputation it enjoys today; and it is you whose shoulders upon which we stand daily."
"You are a constant reminder that no matter the time, no matter the place, and no matter the circumstances, there is one thing that will never change -- we are Strike Soldiers. We fight where we are told, and we win where we fight!"