FORT SILL, Oklahoma (July 23, 2021) -- Soldiers, civilians, and family members of the 75th Field Artillery Brigade capped their Diamond Week celebration with an organization day at Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area here.
The annual event which reminds Soldiers of the brigade’s rich history, recognized the 100th anniversary of the brigade. Soldiers and leaders took a week off training to compete in a variety of events for the honor of hoisting the Diamond Brigade Commander’s Cup.
With the games completed, the only thing remaining on the schedule was to enjoy a day of respite as Soldiers and their families played corn hole, horseshoes, and other games. Brigade leadership grilled burgers, brisket, and hot dogs keeping everyone well-fed. They even implored Soldiers to come back for seconds and fill their plates to take back to their barracks and homes.
The brigade command team of Col. David Norris and Command Sgt. Maj. John Black then brandished cutlery to ceremoniously carve up the 100th anniversary cake.
“The only expectation is Soldiers relax and enjoy some time with the team and their families,” said the colonel.
Norris and Black encouraged Soldiers and their families to remember the brigade’s heritage.
“This is the centennial of our brigade and of our commitment to the nation to fight and win its wars,” said Norris. “Wars are fought with machines, but they are won by people, and people have to come first.”
Norris said battalions competed throughout the week to decide the commander’s cup winner.
“We are all one Diamond Team, but when you take the field of competition, battalion pride runs deep, and there’s a lot of fight in these battalions,” he said. “No one let the commander’s cup go lightly.”
Black then addressed the brigade and without giving details, said a lot of chatter went on during the competitions and said that was a good thing.
“If we can get the best out of everybody and inspire each other to do better that’s the type of behaviors we want,” he said.
Black said brigade leaders invested in their Soldiers this week. It culminated with naming the commander’s cup winner.
“Havoc Battery …
“It’s not you,” he deadpanned to the delight of most of the audience.
Black then announced the Steel Warriors of 1st Battalion, 14th Field Artillery, as the Commander’s Cup winners.
Pvt. Raheem Jolliffe, 1-14th FA, said during a deployment he got to know his teammates better, and that camaraderie carried over onto the basketball court.
“We kind of bonded together,” he said
Jolliffe said Diamond Week was a good experience, especially in regard to Soldiers in other battalions who pushed the 1-14th FA to be the best. “They competed well and the whole event was a success.”
Lt. Col. Emiliano Tellado, 1-14th FA commander, congratulated his Soldiers and spoke of the privilege of commanding the unit.
“We want to be committed, be brave, be an expert, and be ready,” he said. “If you can do those four things, you’re going to be in the right place.”
Norris said the value of the week of competition ties directly to readiness and warfighting.
“Teams that are ready with good morale and cohesion to fight and win together on a dodge ball court or a football field are the same kind of teammates who are going to have each other’s back in combat,” he said.
Norris and Black then reminded their Soldiers to enjoy their three-day weekend and be safe in all they do.
“Monday morning we come back and start the next 100-year chapter of Diamond Brigade history,” said Black.