FORT POLK, La. – The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) deactivated during a ceremony at Fort Polk's 5th Aviation hanger on February 24, 2015. The 4th Brigade colors were cased for the final time on Fort Polk., as the 3rd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. colors were uncased, starting a new legacy of the 10th Mountain Division here on Fort Polk.
On January 19, 2005 a new brigade unfurled its flag for the first time on Fort Polk's Warrior Field. 4th BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. stood ready to face all enemies foreign and domestic.
February 24, 2015 - Maj. Gen. Townsend and Command Sgt. Maj. Lewis is pictured with the Patriots' Color Guard symbolizing the Continental Army Soldiers. A values based Soldier fighting for the "Army of the Free". (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David Edge)
As the Global War on Terrorism raged, 4th BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. set about the task of preparing to deploy. In the fall of 2005 the Patriot Brigade found need to turn its attention away from its looming deployment.
On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans with devastating effects. The 4th Brigade Patriots deployed more than 300 Soldiers to the Big Easy in an attempt to help those caught in the wake of Katrina. Mere weeks later, Hurricane Rita struck southeast Texas displacing millions of U.S. citizens. With the world watching helplessly, the Patriot Brigade once again responded by sending Soldiers to support the local relief and recovery efforts.
Since 2006, 4th BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. has deployed more than 6,000 Soldiers to the Global War on Terrorism. Throughout 2006 and 2007, several Patriot Brigade formations deployed and operated in Afghanistan. The brigade's command elements established the first U.S. National command element in Kandahar to help facilitate the transfer of combat operations to the NATO led coalition.
In July 2013, 4th BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. deployed to Afghanistan, its mission to train, advise, and assist.
The Patriot Brigade's contributions at home and across the world exemplify the patriotism and dedication of the men and women of 4th BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. These Soldiers constant ability to change their mission proves that their motto is just not words, these Soldiers truly are “Forged for War.”
“The Patriot Brigade was forged during this war and for this war. This time last year, I was with the Patriots in eastern Afghanistan as they were completing their fourth deployment in this long war. They may have only had a 10 year history, but it was a history rich in accomplishments,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen Stephen Townsend, Commander, 10th Mountain Div.
As the Patriot Brigade transitions to the 3rd Brigade, the brigade gains a history that is as rich in accomplishments as the one they leave behind.
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) was established in September 2004. The six subordinate battalions were first brought together in September 2004 with a specific mission, making them unique among other Army entities: to support Operation Enduring Freedom, which they would go on to do with four deployments to Afghanistan which would ultimately play a significant part in helping its people chart a course for a brighter future.
February 24, 2015 - Maj. Voelkel leads the 3rd Brigade "Patriots" in their traditional battle cry "Huzzah, Huzzah, Huzzah." The Soldiers raise their hatchets as the Colonial Army Infantry once did, this mocked the British Red Coats and also demonstrated their equality on the battlefield. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David Edge)
They first deployed to Afghanistan in the winter of 2006, in support of OEF VII and VIII. In January 2009, the Spartan Brigade deployed again to Afghanistan, to RC-East. The Spartan Brigade found itself once again being called upon to deploy to Afghanistan, in March 2011. The Spartan Brigade embarked on its final deployment to Afghanistan in October 2013, not long after the announcement of their deactivation. With their departure from Afghanistan in July, 2014, the Spartan Brigade was deactivated in November, 2014 on Fort Drum's Magrath Field.
During the deactivation ceremony, Fort Polk also said goodbye to two of the battalions that belonged to 4th BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. The 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion cased its colors and reflagged to become the 317th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div.
“What I want do with the 317th is bring back the great legacy of the 317th Buffalos, that goes as far back as the WWI days,” said Lt. Col. Matthew McCulley, Commander, 317th B.E.B, 3rd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div.
Fort Polk also said goodbye to the 94th Brigade Support Battalion that was formed during the Louisiana Maneuvers of 1941 as the 710th Brigade Support Battalion uncased its colors for the first time since it was deactivated on Fort Drum, NY.
“What I want for the 710th BSB is to live up to the motto “Strength and Mobility. That says a lot about us, it says that we want to be known as the 3RSTof mobility. The three “R's” stand for “ready, relevant, and resilient, the “S” is for sustainment, and the “T” is for teamwork. So I want the 710th BSB to be known as relevant, resilient, and ready battalion that will sustain the brigade through teamwork,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Eddie Camp, senior enlisted leader, 710th BSB, 3rd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div.
The 4th BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. deactivated today but its legacy will live on as the 3rd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div Patriots “Forged For War.”
“We will keep the legacy of 4th Brigade that was activated right here at Fort Polk, 10 years ago. We also will retain the legacy of 3rd Brigade previously assigned to Fort Drum, N.Y., until this past November when it was inactivated. It too was a brigade that grew out of the Army's Global War on Terror force requirements, just like 4th Brigade. Together these histories are interwoven today to start 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Patriots, assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana,” said Col. Guy Jones, Commander, 3rd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div.
By U.S. Army Sgt. David Edge
Provided through DVIDS
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