CAMP HUMPHREYS, REPUBLIC OF KOREA – Soldiers of the 41st Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade, celebrated 80 years of legacy through a traditional military ball at the Morning Calm Center, on Camp Humphreys, Republic of South Korea, Jan. 27, 2023. Arriving in their military dress uniforms and formal wear, Soldiers and guests were treated to a night of celebration that included honoring the history of the battalion, cutting the birthday cake, and by the end of the night, dancing.
After years of not having a ball and getting through COVID-19, it seemed like this was the right time to host one again. With the organization being constituted on January 8, 1943, commemorating the history was very necessary to the leaders of the battalion.
“It is especially important to me because it gives me a history and lineage I can share with our younger troops,” said Lt. Col. Kyle R. Yates, Battalion Commander of 41st Signal Battalion. “There are not really any other types of events we can conduct that can get this many people celebrating at the same time. I think it was absolutely the best way to get that outreach.”
Once the 260 Soldiers and guests entered the dining hall, and started took their seats, the official portion of the event began. The colors were posted, the national anthem was sung, and the invocation was given by Brigade Chaplain Maj. John B. Lee. Opening remarks were then given by Yates and the 41st Signal Battalion Command Sergeant Major Dominique M. Davis.
Davis shared words of triumphs and successes throughout the organization's history. “I ask you all to take this journey with us from the time of 1943 to present,” said Davis as she reflected on the years the battalion has been in service.
Throughout the rest of the night, honors and recognitions were shown of the past. The long history of the battalion was displayed through Soldiers donning uniforms from past eras and giving a speech to the crowd that saw them represent the Soldiers they were being presented as. “I think my favorite part was the historical presentations because we were able to show exactly how blended this organization is,” said Yates as he talked about the event.
Awards were later presented, but not before the cake cutting ceremony. Before the cake could be served, the leaders of the battalion gathered, put their hands on the saber, and made the first cut.
The evening went on without a hitch as the celebrations continued. After the benediction was given by Lee, and the colors were retired, the dancing began.
It was an unforgettable night that was filled with excitement, joy, and remembrance. It was a proud moment for the organization that has been around for so long. As one of the largest signal battalions in the U.S. Army with a blended workforce of Soldiers, American and Korean civilians, and Korean Augmented Soldiers, bringing them all together in one location could have been a tough job, but was pulled together beautifully.
“That was huge for me seeing everyone come together as one Family. Seeing us all come together to have such a great time, that was significant to me,” Davis said as she looked back on the evening. Davis, who has served in South Korea four different times, and who has previously served as a first sergeant for a company in the battalion will be departing from the organization this summer. “It definitely meant so much to me achieving this huge milestone and outwardly celebrating it with a ball itself, especially as I prepare to transition myself”.
The pace of the battalion is strong and always moving forward, and according to Arnold H. Auza, the Civilian Deputy to the battalion commander, the battalion is on track for 80 more years of success. “The momentum is really on the people, the people who make the organization, and create the great reputation of this organization. Technology will come and go, but it's the people who adapt to that technology.”