FORT KNOX, Ky.—4th Cavalry Multi-Functional Training “Saber” Brigade hosted an 80’s-themed party at Fort Knox, Kentucky to celebrate the 80th anniversary of 4th Tank Destroyer Group’s activation.
4th Cav. MFTB first began as the 4th Tank Destroyer Group, activated on September 1, 1942 at then-Camp Hood, Texas. During its active years, 4th Tank played a pivotal role in five of the most challenging campaigns of WWII, earning the Normandy, Ardennes-Alsace, Northern France, Central Europe, and Rhineland campaign streamers.
80 years later, the freedoms that 4th Tank Destroyer Group fought to secure, the democracy that they helped restore, and the selfless service that those Soldiers displayed amidst the highest levels of pressure when liberating Europe, is still reverberating throughout the current leadership at 4th Cav.
"Our unit motto is Train for Combat. We are focused on providing invaluable
Observer, Coach, and Trainer capability to our U.S. Army Reserve partners
across the country so that they will be successful when called to action, just as
our Brigade's predecessors were in WWII,” said Col. Karen Baker, commander, 4th Cav. MFTB.
The Soldiers that planned and put together the celebration were equally inspired by the spirit of perseverance displayed by the 4th Tank Destroyer Soldiers in WWII.
“It is imperative to remember the sacrifices and achievements of those who have come before us, especially when it comes to the 4th Tank Destroyer Group,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Brown-Bell, Public Affairs Noncommissioned Officer in Charge, 4th Cav. MFTB, and the creator and coordinator of the event.
“The equipment of this historic unit was largely outmatched by that of its enemies, but the spirit of its Soldiers drove the unit on to victory. Whenever I think I lack the equipment or resources necessary to do my absolute best, I think about the 4th Tank Destroyer Group’s determination and victory with far less than what we have today,” Brown-Bell continued.
Following their efforts to successfully liberate Europe from totalitarian governments, a grateful nation thanked 4th Tank for its service to the world. The unit was subsequently inactivated following its return to Fort Hood, having accomplished its mission.
52 years later, the Saber brigade would be reconstituted at Fort Knox for a brief two-year period before permanent activation on December 1, 2006. Today, the 4th Cavalry Multi-Functional Training Brigade serves as the only Cavalry unit assigned to the First U.S. Army nationwide.
4th Cav. has continued to follow in the footsteps of greatness from their days as 4th Tank Destroyer Group. In 2011, the Brigade received the Army Superior Unit Award for their exceptional achievements in preparing U.S. Army Reserve partners for deployment during the Global War on Terrorism from 2009—2011.
The Saber brigade was again tested during OPERATION BOLD SHIFT in 2015. This First U.S. Army initiative saw 4th Cav. standing up multiple brand-new formations across the brigade, enabling the unit to achieve the Army Total Force Policy needs. 4th Cav.’s execution of the operation fostered the ability for First Army to maintain a flexible, agile force capable of providing training support at training centers and home stations.
Today, the Saber brigade is composed of five active component and five reserve component battalions, a Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, and reserve component Brigade Support Element.
“It’s really an honor to be a part of this brigade and its lineage,” said Sgt. 1st Class Armando Cardenas, current operations NCO, 4th Cav.
“I get to say that I’m part of the unit that traces its roots back to destroying Nazi Germany’s tanks in order to restore freedom; and I get to currently be part of a unit that trains forces across the nation to preserve our freedoms and win the future fight. It’s a lot to be proud of and use to motivate me as I train others to be more proficient Soldiers.”