FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – After 15 years of service, the Asymmetric Warfare Group marked the end of an era with their official U.S. Army Color Casing Ceremony on March 13.
The casing of the colors is a traditional ceremony, symbolizing honor, respect and sacrifice as a unit departs the Army formation. Every command, brigade, and regiment in the Army has a distinct flag assigned to their respective unit, otherwise known as “the colors.”
Historically, it is the honor of the command sergeant major to be the keeper of the colors to protect the colors from harm or disrespect.
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Devens participated in the casing of the colors alongside Col. Scott A. Shaw, AWG commander, and Sgt. Maj. Jackson C. Perry, AWG Sergeant Major. Devens served with the AWG as a Soldier, sergeant major and consultant. He represented the backbone of AWG and the contracted operational advisors.
The ceremony was hosted by Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commanding general, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. Funk thanked the AWG team for their commitment and endless dedication to service.
“We are proud to recognize the exceptional service of the AWG to our nation,” Funk said. “I am reminded of the bravery, skill and tenacity of this band of brothers and sisters, they are an example of what our Army can do.”
Funk continued to recognize the importance of this unit to Soldiers on the battlefield. He stated that the men and women who make up AWG are national assets and embody the motto of TRADOC, Victory Starts Here.
“It is organizations like this that bring incredible insights to the battlefield,” Funk said. “To all the Soldiers, civilians and contractors who have served with AWG: you have truly left your jerseys, the great uniform of these United States, in a better place. We’re alive today because of what you brought to the front lines of freedom.”
In his remarks at the end the ceremony, Shaw spoke about the history of the unit and his pride in being part of the organization.
“AWG members deployed into harm’s way with a lot of experience, training, and knowledge to help Soldier’s through their worst days,” Shaw said. “It is sad to see the colors cased, but I feel pride that our Army had the foresight to start this group and trusted us continually to do the right thing.”
Shaw also expressed his gratitude to every AWG member in and out of uniform for their patriotism, professional, and leadership.
“What AWG did matters, take pride in what you have accomplished,” Shaw said. “I challenge all of you to continue our influence across this Army.”
The AWG was officially activated on March 8, 2006, at Fort George G. Meade, Md. It served as the U.S. Army proponent for observing and disseminating emerging enemy tactics, techniques and procedures while supporting advisory training for Department of Defense personnel. In November 2011, the AWG was reassigned to TRADOC and served as a direct reporting unit to the commanding general. While at TRADOC, the AWG provided global operational advisory support to U.S. Army forces to rapidly transfer current threat-based observations and solutions to tactical and operational commanders.
The AWG colors will be entrusted to and preserved by the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington D.C. for safe keeping and future use.