FORT BLISS-Soldiers and families gathered Jan. 17, 2019, to witness the 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade command team case their colors in preparation for the coming deployment to Afghanistan.
Brigade Commander, Col. John C. Hopkins, along with Command Sgt. Maj. George T. Ackerman and Chief Warrant Officer Steve A. Donahue joined together to retire the colors and push forward in Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
The Brigade's casing of the colors signifies their movement into Afghanistan, a first feat for many soldiers in the brigade, but Hopkins doted on his team's readiness.
"Standing before you are some of our best and most well-trained soldiers in the division," Hopkins said during the ceremony. "We call them Iron Soldiers, and more specifically, we call them Iron Eagles."
At the ceremony, Deputy Commanding General Support for 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss, Brig. Gen. Scott Naumann, spoke on behalf of the readiness and diligence of the Combat Aviation Brigade.
"This brigade in particular has worked really hard," Naumann said. "They're known throughout all of Forces Command for being a hardworking brigade."
Nauman also reflected on the extensive and arduous training the CAB went through to prepare them and ensured their preparedness for their future mobilization into Afghanistan.
"They've done that over numerous home station training opportunities, over intensive gunnery densities, during numerous rotations to the Nation Training Center, and also during our most recent Division War Fighter exercise," Naumann said. "So, they've been busy. Those are just to name a few of them."
While the colors are now cased and the leadership believes firmly in their readiness, Hopkins left his troops with final words of wisdom to take with them on their tour in the coming deployment.
"You are ready for this journey and now I ask you to focus on a new saying," Hopkins said. "Be disciplined. Trust your instincts and your training for they will serve as anchors when times get tough and the challenges seem insurmountable. Trust your fellow soldiers for they are ready too, and they will be there with you for every mission that is put before us. Iron soldiers, Iron Eagles."