Fort Hood, Texas -- The 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division held a reflagging ceremony, changing its unit designation to the 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment at Hood Army Airfield, Oct. 22, 2015.
This transition is part of a larger Army-wide reorganization process. The transformation to the 7-17th Cav. Regt. will change the unit to a Heavy-Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, comprised of both AH-64E Apache helicopters and Shadow v2 unmanned aerial systems aircraft.
Lt. Col. Scott A. Myers (left), commander of the 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and Command Sgt. Maj. Maurice Thibodeaux stand at attention after uncasing the unit's colors during a reflagging ceremony at Hood Army Airfield, Fort Hood, Texas, Oct. 22, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. DeMarco Wills, 1st ACB PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)
With the addition of the Shadows, the aircraft will work in conjunction with the Apache in manned and unmanned teams.
“While we will fondly remember the long and celebrated history of 4th Battalion, 227th Aviation, we eagerly anticipate honoring and embracing the rich traditions, history and lineage of the 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment,” said Lt. Col. Scott Myers, commander of 7-17 Cav. Regt.
As the Army's transformation continues, it has sought to retain the regimental lineage of some of the Army's most storied units, which includes the 7-17th Cav. Regt.
The 7-17th Cav. Regt. was redesignated on April 10, 2006, serving as part of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Its history can be traced back almost a century ago, when it was organized as part of the National Defense Act of 1916 at Fort Bliss, Texas, June 30.
In 2008, it earned a Meritorious Unit Commendation, a valorous unit award and recognized as the Army's top aviation unit during the Squadron's deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“When we changed guidons and colors, it is more than just a new unit designation,” said Myers. “Not only do we adopt the lineage of the 17th Cavalry Regiment, we are transitioning to a cavalry organization. We have a different mission set, which means we need to have a different mindset. It's going to take some effort to not only transition our equipment, but to transition our mindset to be successful as a cavalry unit.”
Invitations to the ceremony were extended to veterans of both 4-227th and 7-17 Cav. Regt. Among those were members of the Ruthless Riders Association, former combat veterans of the 7-17 Cav. Regt. who served during the Vietnam War.
James Irvine, a retired specialist 4th class who served with the 7-17th Cav. Regt. in Vietnam, was excited to see a new generation of Soldiers continue the tradition of his unit, he said.
“This a good unit full of good men,” Irvine said.
“It is bittersweet to be changing units,” said Myers. “For a number of Soldiers, 4-227 Aviation Regiment is the only unit they know. However, it is comforting to be brought into a unit just as great.”
“Regardless of our unit designation, our Soldiers, NCOs and officers will continue to serve with distinction and bring credit upon themselves, the Air Cavalry Brigade, this great Division and the United States Army as we proceed along our march through history,” Myers added.
By U.S. Army Spc. DeMarco Wills
Provided through DVIDS
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