The 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division assumed responsibility as the rotational armored brigade combat team in Korea during a transfer of authority (TOA) ceremony on October 22.
Soldiers from the "Bulldog" brigade began arriving here in late September to begin their nine-month rotation. Bulldog Soldiers replaced the Raider Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, who completed their first ever rotation to Korea after U.S. armored brigades began rotating on the Korean peninsula June 2015.
Hosted by Maj. Gen. Scott McKean, a San Jose, California native, commander of 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division, the TOA ceremony completed the mission hand-off between the two armored BCTs.
"Over the last nine months, the Raider brigade from the great Rock of the Marne division, served with honor and distinction," said McKean. "During their rotation they furthered interoperability with our ROK partners and demonstrated their Soldiers toughness throughout."
"Raiders, you should be proud of all you've accomplished; Our Army is better because of all of your efforts. You are second to none," he added.
The deployment marked an historic return of 3rd ID Soldiers to the Republic of Korea. This was the first time that Rock of the Marne troops have served in the ROK since fighting throughout the Korean War.
"At Fort Stewart, our battalions are all within walking distance of each other. Here we were split between Camp Humphreys, Camp Casey-Hovey and Rodriguez Live Fire Range with the world's fifth largest metropolitan area in the middle," said Col. Mike Adams, commander, 1st ABCT. "Our Soldiers trained and competed in everything they could across Korea."
He also mentioned that some Raider troops represented 2ID/RUCD at the Sullivan Cup, competed in the military intelligence and best medic competitions, and qualified expert on all weapons platforms.
This will be a new mission for the Bulldog brigade and 1st AD as a whole. Nearly 10 Army units have completed rotations to the Republic of Korea since 2013, including armored brigades and various battalions. Brigade rotations began after the Army deactivated 2ID/RUCD's organic brigade, the 1st "Iron" Brigade, in 2015.
"Our mission here in the Pacific is remarkable in the regard that it's the first time a 1st Armored Division unit will conduct operations on the Korean Peninsula," said Col. Marc A. Cloutier, a Marlborough, Connecticut native, commander, 3rd ABCT. "Many thanks to our new division leadership, the 2nd Infantry Division. We are certainly honored to become part of your storied legacy, Second to None!"
During their time in the ROK, the Bulldog Brigade will support the 2ID/RUCD in maintaining peace on the Peninsula.
"We look forward to building on Raider Brigade's superb work they've done here. We are particularly excited to establish strong relationships with our Republic of Korea partners, and we know that our efforts will have a significant impact here in your country," concluded Cloutier.