USAG HUMPHREYS, South Korea – The 501st Military Intelligence Brigade celebrated the 70 years on the peninsula supporting the Republic of Korea / U.S. Alliance during a ceremony held a day early at Soldier Field.
The brigade celebrated their 70-year commitment to the Alliance by taking time from work and holding a brigade softball tournament with a cake-cutting ceremony to kick off the festivities.
At the start of the event, Col. Paul Oh, commander, 501st MI Brigade, briefly described the events that began the Korean War, the series of defeats that led to the Allied Forces’ final defense at the Pusan Perimeter in 1950 and the counterattack that followed.
“On June 25, 1951, a year after the Korean War started, the 501st Military Intelligence Group (predecessor of the brigade) made our landing in Pusan,” said Oh. “Just think about that, 70 years ago we first set foot here, and we have been here ever since. The ROK intelligence professionals will remind you of this; they remind me of this,” said Oh. “The Alliance goes deep here, that relationship goes deep with us.”
Oh continued, relating how the 501st has been hand-in-hand with their ROK Partners supporting the intelligence enterprise, working to ensure that their adversaries never again gain operational or tactical surprise.
“We take some time today to commemorate our brigade,” said Oh. “We take some time today to remember the heritage of the U.S. Army in Korea; to remember the legacy of the Red Dragons; to remember the legacy of those who fought before us; and to remember your legacy, because you are continuing that tradition. We are ensuring the safety of this country and we are ensuring the stability of this region. That’s why we are here.”
After reminding his Soldiers of their brigade’s tradition and history, Oh, Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Martino, and ROK Capt. Ahn Chang-Uk, the brigade’s ROK Army staff officer, used a saber to cut the cake and officially start the tournament.
Throughout the day, Soldiers and Families enjoyed watching the softball games, eating food, listening to music and participating in various activities, including a dunk-tank, and a pie-in-the-face event (both featuring command leadership).
After the championship game between 3rd MI Battalion and 532nd MI Battalion, Oh and Martino presented the trophy and title of softball champions to 532nd. The day had served its purpose, adding to the camaraderie felt between the battalions, building espirit de corps, and providing an opportunity to celebrate the brigade’s legacy established 70 years earlier.
The 501st Military Intelligence Brigade provides indications and early warning of actions by opposing forces that could threaten the tense but stable peace in the Republic of Korea. In the event of hostilities, the brigade’s mission shifts to providing combined, multi-discipline intelligence and force protection support to the United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command, the CFC Ground Component Command, and their subordinate units.