CAMP HENRY, South Korea – The Order of the Silver Spike is a 25th Transportation Battalion (Movement Control) tradition that harks back to 1962 when the battalion’s then-commander, Maj. Joseph F. Gioia, initiated the first person into the “Cinder, Steam and Semaphore Brotherhood.”
“In searching for a symbol of unity, strength, and great significance, I finally settled upon the railroad spike,” said Gioia. “The rail spike is representative of the steel ribbons that have joined men and nations together during the world’s most important period of growth.”
For the first time since 2013, Cmd. Sgt. Maj. AnDante’ T. Williams, of 25th Trans. Bn. received the unit’s most prestigious award, the “Order of the Silver Spike,” on Apr. 23, 2021.
Members are chosen for their ability to continuously hold the mission together in, and act as the fulcrum point for, the battalion – much in the same way that a railroad spike holds tracks together, even under the mighty strain of a heavy train moving at high speeds.
Lt. Col. Jason Book, the 25th Trans. Bn. current commander came up with the idea to bring back the tradition when he found a dusty old plaque and a newspaper article from 1962.
Excited to bring back this brotherhood, Book bestowed the award upon the person he felt most embodied the values of honesty and interest in those around them.
“I cannot think of a person more deserving of this award than (Williams),” said Book. “The way he revitalized the BN is partly why I decided to revive this award.”
As part of receiving the Order of the Silver Spike, Williams’s name has been added to a plaque that lists the very few who have received this award. Williams is now one of only 19 people who can claim that honor.
“I am deeply moved and honored that I was considered and awarded the Order of the Silver Spike,” said Williams, a native of Flint, Mich. “This would not be possible without the dedication and contributions of our Soldiers and NCOs who prepare us to be ready to win the ‘Fight Tonight.’ Consider It Done!”
Williams, who has a total of 25 years of Army service, served as the Command Sergeant Major of 25th Trans. Bn. served for 18 months.
The 25th Trans. Bn. has been in Korea since June 24, 1960 when it was re-activated by the Eighth United States Army. It is still the single traffic management agency for United States Forces in Korea.
The 25 Trans. Bn. is responsible for planning, programming, coordinating, and supervising movement of personnel, material, and supplies to include containers, and exercise committal authority over general support transportation resources, ultimately acting as a transportation brigade or command in many respects.