FORT HOOD, Texas- Soldiers and families of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, gathered together on Cooper Field April 15 to watch as the brigade cased its colors during the division's color casing ceremony.

The color casing is in preparation for the brigade's upcoming deployment to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn.

"It's a great, great cavalry day," said Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, the commanding general of the 1st Cav. Div.

Black Jack troopers prepare to set forth and chart the next chapter in the legend of the American cavalry, according to Allyn.

"They have mastered the fundamentals...this is a thoroughly trained and combat ready outfit," he continued.

Brigade Soldiers undertook a rigorous training schedule after the brigade returned from its 2009 deployment and focused on getting back to the basic skills necessary to undertake combat operations.

"The Black Jack team has been busily preparing for this day since returning from Iraq sixteen months ago," said Col. John Peeler, the commander of 2nd BCT.

"While our road...has been anything but easy, you have risen to every challenge and have overcome whatever obstacles stood in your way," Peeler said about his troopers. "You continue to prove that you are a lethal, trained and ready brigade combat team."

The brigade prepares to deploy on a truly historic mission, one that marks the beginning of another chapter in the legend of America's cavalry and one that will close out an important chapter in the history of Iraq, explained Peeler.

But while the Soldiers of the brigade prepare to take on the challenges of the upcoming deployment, Peeler felt it wouldn't be possible without the support of the families.

"Too often we are quick to recognize the men and women in uniform without trumpeting the same praise and adulation to the spouses and family members that support our troopers," he said. "Our spouses and family members are the true heroes among us, and there is just no way to thank them enough for their undying and steadfast support, whether they are supporting us back in garrison or while we are deployed downrange."

"They allow our troopers to focus squarely on the mission at hand, and we simply couldn't do that nation's business without you and your loyal support," Peeler said of the families.

Between the support of families and the intensive training ingrained in its troopers, the Black Jack Brigade has a lot to rely on.

"I have no doubt that we will attack this new mission with the same ferocity and commitment that has distinguished the Black Jack Brigade time and time again in its storied history," he continued.

In the upcoming weeks, Black Jack Soldiers will continue the hard work they have put in over the last sixteen months to ensure that every trooper and their family members are ready for whatever mission they may face.