By Karl Weisel, USAG WiesbadenMay 14, 2012
WIESBADEN, Germany (May 14, 2012) - "Today is a bittersweet occasion," said Lt. Gen. James Terry, during a casing of the V Corps colors ceremony at the Wiesbaden Fitness Center May 10.
"It seems just yesterday when Brigadier General [Ricky] Gibbs and Command Sergeant Major [William] Johnson uncased these colors, establishing the Victory Corps in Hessen after a 17-year absence. It seems we just said hello to this great community and now we say goodbye to our friends, closing yet another chapter in the history of one of the U.S. Army's most distinguished and storied units."
Terry, who fielded questions from the media about the upcoming mission in Afghanistan and projected inactivation of V Corps after the deployment, explained that the Corps' Soldiers will join NATO allies and Afghan partners in the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command.
"During our tour, the IJC will manage the operational fight and provide key support as Afghans move to the lead in securing their own nation and future," he said.
And while the V Corps colors will most likely not come back to Wiesbaden, but rather move to the United States to be stored until the corps is called back to service again at some future date, the commander said its Soldiers will return.
"I want to assure each of you that while the colors likely will not return, these great Soldiers will. Each of us will come back to Germany, to re-unite, reintegrate and conduct the actions necessary to move on to our next assignments."
During the press conference Terry said Army human resource officials are working diligently to ensure Soldiers are supported in their careers.
"We're already working with each Soldier to obtain the best possible assignment when they get back," he explained.
As V Corps prepared to leave Germany, Terry reflected on the storied history of the unit.
"The history of the corps has been written by greats and unknowns alike -- former commanders Abrams and Powell; Medal of Honor awardees Smith, McGinnis, Giunta; and tens of thousands of others who have served honorably with less notoriety.
"The next chapter of Victory Corps history remains unwritten, but its authors are in this formation -- the Soldiers standing here today will forever be part of the history of our corps, our nation and the history of a sovereign Afghanistan," Terry said. "Together we will write that chapter."
Describing the mission as "a critical one for Afghanistan [and] a tough and difficult challenge," Terry said, "What happens over the next year will change Afghanistan and will be viewed by the world. You will be a part of that. You will write that history."
Terry praised the local military community and host nation for its warm welcome to Wiesbaden and support of Families while Soldiers deploy. "These friendships and partnerships are enduring and will remain in our hearts forever.
"I want to thank the thousands of family members, loved ones and friends that support our Soldiers. You too will write part of our next chapter."