By Sgt. Melissa Lessard, 504th Military Intelligence Brigade
(FORT HOOD, Texas, November 26, 2019)--The 303rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 504th Military Intelligence Brigade celebrated their 75h anniversary on Nov 22 at the Phantom Warrior Center on Fort Hood.
The 303rd MI BN is the U.S. Army's most decorated MI BN with 25 campaign streamers, nine unit commendations, and three foreign unit decorations. They trace their lineage back to their parent company 3253rd Signal Service Company which was activated on April 29, 1944. Their primary mission, at the time, was to gain intelligence from intercepting radio communications.
Going forward, the battalion was then redesignated as the 303rd MI BN in 1978.
During the ball, the unit had a special guest, Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Morelock, native of Texas. He originally joined the Army in 1968 as an Electronic Warfare Equipment Operator. While he served from 1968-1990, it has been 34 long years since Morelock last saw the Longhorn Battalion.
He said he was a part of the 303rd MI BN on two separate occasions. The first was in 1978 as the unit was making their transition to Fort Hood. It wasn't an easy transition, but they made it.
The second time he was with the 303rd was from 1981-1985. During this time the battalion went through another change; becoming fully activated with a mission to provide intelligence, electronic warfare, and intelligence communications support to III Armored Corps.
Morelock said he worked his way from a Sgt. 1st Class through Command Sgt. Maj. while serving with the battalion.
Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Austin, the 303rd MI BN CSM, gave a speech where he spoke about his and Morelock's correspondence over the past weeks. He also went through many historical documents where he found documents that Morelock composed.
"It is really very interesting to see what the unit was doing back in the early 1980s," said Austin. "It wasn't much different from what we continue to do each and every day - Which is training, executing administrative requirements, plan for the next terrain feature...then do it all over again."
"CSM Morelock and I spoke about workdays that began at 0430 for him, as he opened up the company headquarters," Austin said. "Then prepared to have his platoon sergeants wake up their Soldiers in the barracks. But they did the same thing we do at 0630 - Salute the flag and go do some PT. His days did not often end until well after 9:00 p.m. Such is the sacrifice to be a 1st Sgt. in the United States Army."
"But as I have spoken with CSM Morelock I can easily tell it was the most satisfying job that he had in the Army, and that he truly, truly loved his Soldiers."
Austin said that Morelock thanked the unit for their continuous support and deployments today.
Austin said that Morelock fought one of the mightiest battles - the Cold War.
"We all owe you a debt of gratitude." Austin said.
The night of the 75th anniversary of the 303rd MI BN, Morelock and his wife Karey became lifelong longhorn members. They were both awarded with certificates from the BN commander and CSM as well as the longhorn coin.