FORT RILEY, Kan. – The 1st Infantry Division held a joint homecoming and colors uncasing ceremony for the division headquarters and the 1st Inf. Division Artillery on Feb. 11, 2023.
The uncasing of a unit’s colors is a historical Army tradition that symbolizes a unit’s movement from one theater of operation to another. For the 1st Inf. Div., the ceremony signified an official return to Fort Riley from Europe.
During the deployment, the 1st Inf. Div. led operations across Europe to provide ready, combat-credible forces, enable rapid-response capability and further demonstrate our ability to deter foreign aggression and defend our NATO Allies.
“It is great to have the division reunited at Fort Riley after serving 21 months in support of operations in Europe,” said Maj. Gen. John V. Meyer III, the 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley commanding general. “Thank you to the family and friends of the Big Red One; we appreciate your support and sacrifices. We are excited to be here.”
The Big Red One initially assumed the mission in July 2021 as the mission command element in Europe. Following the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the 1st inf. Div. deployed in February 2022. As the Division returned home, it turned its mission responsibility over to the 4th Infantry Division, based out of Fort Carson, Colorado. A Transfer of Authority ceremony was conducted on Feb. 7, marking the end of the 1st Inf. Div.’s 21-month mission in Europe.
The division headquarters mission has concluded, but the Big Red One’s ties to our European Allies persists. As the headquarters returned home, the division’s 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team continues its deployment in Eastern Europe to show the division’s commitment to our NATO Allies and partners.
“During the last year, we’ve been responsible for two divisions, and I’ve spent more time with Soldiers with other divisions than my own, which I am very proud of,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher L. Mullinax, the 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley command sergeant major. “Now, I couldn’t be more excited and proud to be with those who wear the Big Red One patch again.”
As the 1st Inf. Div. returns from Europe, it begins The Big Red One Year of the Noncommissioned Officer, a campaign that recognizes the hard work, dedication, and legacy of the NCO Corps.