By Susanne Kappler, Fort Jackson LeaderJune 30, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- After almost 14 years here, the 157th Infantry Brigade bade farewell to Fort Jackson during a casing ceremony June 23 at the Joe E. Mann Center. The brigade will move to Camp Atterbury, Ind., where it will uncase its colors Aug. 15.
“We’re going to miss a lot of folks here. It’s been great,” said Col. David Bushey, 157th commander. “But we’re going to have to move on. It’s part of the ... 1st Army transformation plan.”
As part of the 1st Army, the 157th is responsible for preparing mobilized National Guard and Reserve Soldiers for deployment. Bushey said that although the brigade’s mission won’t change, the move will have an effect on its Soldiers. Previously, the 157th trained Soldiers in various locations throughout the country. With the move, the majority of training is expected to take place at Camp Atterbury.
“That’s one of the biggest reasons why we’re moving there,” Bushey said. “(Camp Atterbury is) a mobilization training center, so mobilized Soldiers report there, and we get together with them and train them up. That allows us to stay home every night.”
Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Calvin Morman said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family.
“It’s going to be great,” Morman said. “I’ve been in the brigade for three years. The first two years, I’ve spent maybe four months out of 24 months here at Fort Jackson. It was rough. It’s rough for the family.”
However, Bushey said the farewell is bittersweet.
“This is such a great community,” he said. “This whole state, living in the Columbia area " it’s going to be tough to leave. Some of us are leaving family members back here for various reasons.”
Bushey thanked Fort Jackson leaders for the support they have provided to the brigade.
The brigade was constituted in 1917 and its Soldiers fought in World War I and World War II.
Throughout its history, the brigade has seen a number of redesignations. The current 157th was activated on Fort Jackson Oct. 24, 1997. It was inactivated in 1999 and reactivated here in 2006.
During its time on Fort Jackson, the brigade has trained more than 50,000 Soldiers for deployment.
With the move, the battalion will also gain in strength, increasing its battalion number from three to 10.
“Our mission will stay the same, but with the advent of 1st Army’s transformation plan, our home station, location and organizational structure will change,” Bushey said. “It’ll be quite a challenge. We look forward to that, obviously.”