FORT HOOD - Lt. Gen. Douglas M. Gabram, commanding general of Installation Management Command, had the opportunity to speak to newly arrived Troopers of the 1st Cavalry Division at a special ceremony Jun. 29 on Cooper Field at Fort Hood, Texas.
The patching ceremony is a tradition implemented by Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, meant to welcome incoming Soldiers to the First Team after completing the Pegasus Integration Troop process.
Gabram has previously held many positions in the 1st Cav including Division Chief of Staff in Afghanistan, Deputy Commanding General, Train Advise Assist Command-South commander and commander of the First Air Cav Brigade in Iraq. Gabram expressed his joy when explaining that these new Troopers will have great pride in wearing the biggest patch in the U.S. Army. He also explained that there is great pride in joining the most lethal force in the Army, one that looks after the people it leads.
“But if I’ve learned nothing else in the Army, I know that it’s not the lethality of the equipment that matters in combat, it is people.” Said Gabram. “It is trust in each other. That’s why people are the Army’s number one priority.”
During his speech Gabram mentioned that throughout his 38 years of service in the Army there was only one patch he ever wore on his right shoulder, that of “America's First Team.”
“No matter what job I was doing, where I was assigned, or what rank I was, I always felt people looked at me differently when I had this patch on my right shoulder.” Gabram said. “They knew I had been in the company of cavalry Troopers. Just like you.” Gabram said that Troopers can always draw strength from the patch’s history, the veterans that came before and from the American people. “You are their protector.”
1st Sgt. Alexy Rodriguez, first sergeant, Pegasus Integration Troop, explained what a great honor it was to have Gabram speak about the history of the 1st Cav and what moment it is for them to wear the big yellow patch. “It is a great opportunity for these Soldiers not only to hear from a three-star general but also someone who’s had history in the 1st Cavalry Division.”
“I see him as being the Cav.” said Cpt. Cesar Castellanos, commander of Pegasus Integration Troop. “After 38 years of service, 16 of which were spent here in the 1st Cavalry Division is outstanding. For the Soldiers to have a three-star general patching the coveted color patch is something they’ll always remember for the rest of their careers.”
The patching ceremony occurs every week for incoming 1CD Troopers of the. Gabram was invited as a guest speaker and said, “I can’t tell you how honored I am that Maj. Gen Richardson asked me to be here with you and officiate this ceremony today.” 73 new Troopers were welcomed to the First Team. Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV initiated Pegasus Troop when he first took command as a way to welcome new coming service members to the division.