Oldest engineer battalion in the U.S. Army welcomes new commander
By Spc. Hassani Ribera, 113th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
BOLESŁAWIEC, Poland – The oldest and most decorated engineer battalion in the U.S. Army welcomed its new commander on April 4, 2022.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Sidney Howard III relinquished command of the 1st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division over to U.S. Army Lt. Col. Richard Peacock during a change of command ceremony.
Howard served as the commander of the 1BEB for 25 months. He was considered the best engineer battalion commander in years at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, according to U.S. Army Col. Brian McCarthy, commander of the 1ABCT. However, he assured the battalion that they would be getting another first-draft pick in Peacock.
“My name is Lt. Col. Richard Peacock, and I am a Big Red One Soldier, proudly serving in America’s 1st Division,” said Peacock, opening his speech.
“Command at any level is a privilege,” said Peacock. “To take the colors of the 1st Brigade Engineer Battalion is an extremely distinct honor; the great lineage of the Diehard battalion is one of the greatest in the history of our army and is a worthy testament to the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.”
The 1BEB traces its lineage to the original Company of Miners and Sappers, organized at West Point, New York, in 1846, and participated in various wars, including the American Civil War, World War I, and World War II. The battalion has earned more than 20 unit decorations across 150 years of service.
“Today, we are shoulder to shoulder with our allies in Europe as we strive to protect freedom, whenever and wherever called,” said Peacock. “It is an honor to be the steward of this lineage and lead such a historic unit today.”
Peacock takes command of the 1BEB as the 78th commander in its 176-year history.