COB ADDER, Iraq - Tradition: it ties the present to every age before and after, provides a sense of purpose and continuity, and makes all Soldiers an intrinsic part of something greater than themselves. So it is with the combat patches worn by Soldiers in today's Army, indicating that they too have "been there."

The 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conducted a combat patch ceremony May 8, 2010, at Contingency Operating Base Adder. During the ceremony, Lt. Col. William Edwards, battalion commander, and battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Henry Williams recognized 98 Soldiers as the unit's newest combat veterans.

The combat patch ceremony is a rite of passage for deployed Soldiers, formally acknowledging their combat service.

"I now have a greater understanding and appreciation for the combat patch. I was pleased to see so many new Soldiers who are willing to stand up and fight for their country," said Sgt. Christopher Rose, of Medford, Ore., military police team leader, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd BSTB.

For some, the ceremony brought smiles of happiness and pride. For others, it was a solemn moment. Yet, for everyone, it was just another example of the solidarity that runs deep in "Phoenix" battalion.

"I was extremely proud to receive my combat patch. It made me feel like a part of an Army tradition that not every Soldier gets to experience. It has made me feel closer to the unit and its history," said, Pvt. Dave Utile, of Miami, Fla., HHC, 3rd BSTB.

"The 4th Inf. Div. patch ceremony was a significant event for our Soldiers," Edwards said. "It was a great way to forge bonds between those who have deployed in the past with those new to the unit. Additionally, it created a link to great Soldiers of the past, forging forever a bond of camaraderie that spans past conflicts."

The 4th Infantry Division was organized at Camp Greene, N. C. on Dec. 10, 1917, under the command of Maj. Gen. George H. Cameron. It was there they adopted the distinctive insignia of the four ivy leaves. The ivy leaf came from the Roman numerals for four (IV) and signified their motto "Steadfast and Loyal."