JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Sept. 7, 2023) -- Leaders from the 904th Contracting Battalion cased their organizational colors during a ceremony Sept. 5 at Fort Stewart, Georgia, in preparation for a forthcoming deployment in support of Operation European Assure, Deter and Reinforce.
Lt. Col. Devin Hammond and Master Sgt. Corey Anderson cased the colors before a crowd of fellow Soldiers, members of Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Stewart, family and friends at the ceremony that was also broadcast virtually for MICC and Army Contracting Command leaders.
Hammond, the 904th CBN commander and director of MICC-Fort Stewart, acknowledged that their deployed mission will be demanding, but said it is in such moments of challenge that battalion Soldiers truly shine as a unit following their months of training and preparation.
“Today, we gather here to honor the brave men and women of the 904th Contracting Battalion as we prepare to embark on a crucial mission in support of the United States European Command,” Hammond said. “As we gather to case the colors, we not only symbolize the end of one chapter, but also mark the beginning of a new journey filled with challenges, growth and opportunities.”
The battalion headquarters staff will depart to execute contracting operations in Romania and Poland in support of the 3rd Infantry Division while deployed forward.
“Our role as contracting professionals is vital to the success of our military operations. The work we do ensures that our forces are equipped with the resources they need to carry out their missions effectively,” Hammond said. “Whether it's procuring supplies, services or support, our efforts directly contribute to the readiness and capability of our fellow service members.”
Col. Doug Ralph, commander of the 419th Contracting Support Brigade at Fort Liberty, North Carolina, officiated the ceremony. He said that while the colors casing event is a relatively quick ceremony, it serves as a significant occasion for those at the battalion, brigade and Army levels.
“The flag casing represents change. Everybody in this room will be affected by this change in the coming weeks. Whether you’re deploying and going to a new place, with a new mission and new threats; whether you’re staying home and you’re helping to carry the 904th through the end of the year and into the next fiscal year; or whether you’re the family members who are without your loved ones -- everyone in this organization will be affected,” Ralph said. “It is important that this casing ceremony represents for you the fact that you come together as an organization and that you need to support each other.”
Hammond echoed the critical role played by families, friends and loved ones who make up the Soldiers’ support system. “You play an integral role in our ability to fulfill our duties. You provide the strength and encouragement that sustain us through the long days and nights.”
While deployed, leading contracting support for the MICC-Fort Stewart contracting office and battalion rear detachment will be Maj. Jane Bramel, David Hale and Sgt. 1st Class Paul Gaeth. The 904th CBN and MICC-Fort Stewart are responsible for providing contracting support for 3rd ID units, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield units, directorates and tenant organizations.
About the MICC:
Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,300 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.