The activation of a reconnaissance and surveillance unit here May 21 marked another milestone for the Army's transformation into a modular force.

The 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment uncased its colors as Soldiers stood in formation on the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade Parade Field.

The squadron is part of the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade - the only rapidly deployable battlefield surveillance brigade in the United States Army. It is the Army's first reconnaissance and surveillance squadron within the newly formed battlefield surveillance brigades for the Army. The brigade headquarters and two battalions are stationed here, while a third battalion, an aviation battalion, resides at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

Col. Joe Cox, commander of the 525th BFSB, spoke at the ceremony and said lessons learned from combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan prompted Army leaders to design a very special unit.

This new squadron is designed to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance operations for divisions, corps and joint task forces, he said. Cox said of the Soldiers of the 1-38 Cav, "Scouts, snipers, paratroopers, artillerymen, tactical air controllers, combat medics, coupled with communications and intelligence personnel, can just about accomplish any mission."
Lt. Col. James Gaylord, commander of the 1-38 Cav since February, added that the unique combination of Soldiers and skill sets creates both challenges and opportunities.

"The differing specialties of the Soldiers in 1-38 Cav create both training challenges and opportunities. The foundation for training in 1-38 Cav is that we have diverse capabilities united by a common mission which is to answer priority intelligence requirements for the commander of a higher headquarters," he said.

Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Dostie, senior noncommissioned officer and senior enlisted advisor to the 1st Squadron, 38th Regiment, believes that in addition to the design of the organization, the Soldiers themselves are making this "first-of-its-kind" unit something special.

"I can honestly say that our unit has been assigned some of the best Soldiers the Army has to offer, one of which is the XVIII Airborne Corps Soldier of the Year. Many Soldiers have either reenlisted to come specifically to this unit, or have called their branch managers to create assignment opportunities," said Dostie.

Dostie is well aware that paving the way for future units is not always an easy task, however, he considers being part of this team nothing short of a fantastic opportunity - for him and his Soldiers.

"It is an honor and privilege to be part of the initial team standing up this unit. We have been given a great opportunity, and hopefully the success of this squadron will create the template for the other BFSB recon squadrons to follow," he said.