FORT SILL, Okla. (Nov. 21, 2022) — The sound of Velcro, or hook and loop for the aficionados, was heard across Fort Sill as the 4th Battalion, 60th Air Defense Artillery Regiment was reorganized under the 1st Armored Division during a patching ceremony Monday, Nov. 21, 2022.
This patching Ceremony marks the historic transition of the 4-60th from the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command to the 1st Armored Division, and the ceremony was the division’s way of formally welcoming these Soldiers into the Iron Soldier Family, said the division’s Deputy Commanding General – Maneuver Brigadier Richard Bell during a speech.
“Today’s ceremony becomes another small step in the long history of the 4-60th Battalion,” Bell said. “Across America’s tank division, we are proud to call you our teammates. You are bringing a world leading capability that is vital to our success on today’s battlefields.”
The transition is part of the Army’s overall modernization efforts to meet the demands of the changing operational environment and the doctrinal transition to large-scale, multi-domain operations, said Lt. Col. Alex Corby, battalion commander.
“I think this is very positive,” said Corby. “This patch is a physical illustration of which team you’re on and we’re proud of both the team we were on here and the team we joined today.”
Known as the Fighting Aces, 4th Battalion, 60th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, was only recently stood up — uncasing the colors March 4, 2020, nearly 50 years after the unit last saw action during the Vietnam War in 1972.
While the 1st Armored Division is headquartered at Fort Bliss, Texas, the battalion will remain at Fort Sill, said Corby.
Famously known by nickname “Old Ironsides”, the 1st Armored Division is the oldest, most recognizable armor division in the U.S. Army.
As part of the mechanization of the Army and the buildup for World War II, cavalry and infantry units were brought together to form the division on Jul. 15, 1940, at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Maj. Gen. Bruce R. Magruder, the Division’s first commander, gave the division its famous nickname soon after its activation. Gen. George S. Patton Jr. had just named his 2nd Armored Division “Hell on Wheels”; not to be outdone, Magruder held a contest to find a suitable nickname.
The distinctive insignia of the 1st Armored Division is drawn in bold colors characteristic of the division. The insignia is designed from the triangular coat-of-arms of the American World War II Tank Corps. The yellow, blue and red colors of the shoulder sleeve insignia represent the three combat arms — Armor, Infantry, and Artillery.
Superimposed on the triangle is the insignia of the former Seventh Cavalry Brigade (Mechanized), the ancestors of the Old Ironsides. The tank track and lighting bolt represent the basic attributes of Armor — mobility, firepower and shock action.
The Arabic numeral at the top of the triangle indicates the First Armored Division. The nickname of the division — Old Ironsides — is emblazoned under the triangle and is an integral part of the insignia.
“When you see someone with the patch of your unit, you know that you have found someone with shared experiences, shared values and you’ve found friends and family,” said Bell. “The 1st Armored Division patch is a privilege to wear. Old Ironsides have always answered the free world’s call.”