By Luke WaackMarch 31, 2009
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. - The 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade is a new unit with a new patch, and ready for new missions in maneuver support, consequence management, stability and support of area operations.
The 4th MEB put on the shoulder sleeve insignia, as a unit, in a retreat ceremony at Gerlach Field, Mar. 23.
Col. Robert Risberg, 4th MEB commander, explained the importance of the event in the unit's short history.
The unit's first milestone was reached when the 4th MEB - the first maneuver enhancement brigade to stand up from scratch, in the U.S. Army - unfurled its colors on Gammon Field, Oct. 2, Risberg said.
"The next milestone was the return of the great Wolverine Battalion from 15 months of combat in Iraq," Risberg said.
"Today, we celebrate another milestone in the standup of this brand new brigade; we are finally going to don our own patch, a patch that we had to design and one that captures the meaning of our unit," Risberg said.
Risberg also told the formation about his pride in the new unit and what the Soldiers can expect to see in the near future.
The next big events for the 4th MEB will be the return of the 5th Engineer Battalion and the 463rd Military Police Company, Risberg said.
"For a short while, we will be complete, before the next guys have to leave," Risberg said.
"It's a step-by-step process. The thing we have to keep in mind is that we are building something that will last. The 1st MEB stood up at Fort Polk, La.; they converted from another unit. We're standing up from scratch; from this point on, (every MEB) that stands up will follow our model," Risberg said.
The 4th MEB has helped grow the Army, as a new unit married together with existing units with long traditions of service, Risberg said.
"It's something to be proud of. As you helped to form this brigade, you can be proud of your role and I hope that you will be proud," Risberg said.
"In the days ahead, remember these things," Risberg said.
The patch's color is not branch specific, Risberg said.
"What it means is that we are not dominated by one branch in this brigade. We are not dominated by the infantry, armor, artillery, or even by the MPs, engineers or CBRN - although I know some will argue that," Risberg said.
The blended color symbolizes the cooperation it takes to be a successful maneuver enhancement brigade, he said.
"It is a combination of all our colors together and that is where we will draw our strength - from everybody working together and pulling together as one team to provide maneuver support to whoever it is we have been tasked to support; any division, any corps, any Joint Task Force, American or ally. So the more I look at that branch immaterial color the more pride I build in it, hopefully, you will also develop that pride," Risberg said.
The 4th MEB is part of the 1st Infantry Division and the second active duty MEB, after the 1st MEB stood up at Fort Polk, Risberg said. Both units have a shield-shaped patch.
"It's the same shape as the 1st ID and the 1st MEB patches. We wanted the sword up the center for strength and courage. Then we went with four stars on it, because we're the 4th MEB and because (we have) four core missions," Risberg said.
The shield is now the Army symbol for the MEB, in the same way crossed cannons are the symbol for artillery, Risberg said. The brigade colors also feature the patch design, at its center. All battalion colors remain the same.
The unit has a new crest as well, for wear on the shoulders of dress uniforms and on the berets of enlisted Soldiers, Risberg said.
"The twenty-four stars on the crest signify Missouri, as the 24th state in the union. We wanted to tie it into Missouri being the home of the 4th MEB," Risberg said.
With the new unit colors, patch and crest in place, the 4th MEB will be easy to recognize, as each new milestone is reached.