As the 11th Signal Brigade celebrated its 70th birthday this month, there’s plenty to be proud of, said Col. James Parks III, brigade commander.
The unit celebrated its Sept. 1, 1943, activation date on Friday with a cake cutting ceremony at its new Fort Hood headquarters broadcast live to two of its subordinate battalions at Fort Bliss and Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
“This unit has accomplished so many great and wonderful things. I’m honored every day to stand before you,” Parks said. “It’s also important we recognize the history and traditions of this unit.”
This is the “Thunderbird” Brigade’s first birthday celebration at Fort Hood. Parks uncased the unit’s colors in June, marking its move from Fort Huachuca after 40 years there.
“We have the opportunity to establish another great tradition here with III Corps at the Great Place,” Parks said.
The beginning of this month also marked the arrival of the brigade’s final staff members arriving for duty, completing the move.
Sgt. Matt Holloway arrived with the brigade about three months ago and said it’s nice to be operating with a full staff again.
“We were a crew of 12 instead of 100 and the days got long, but we got it done,” he said.
This is his first tour at Fort Hood, so he’s also been learning the lay of the land with his family.
“They’re getting settled here and finding where everything is in town,” he said.
Thunderbird Command Sgt. Maj. Maurice A. Rambert was previously stationed at Fort Hood and said he is excited to be back. “There is tremendous opportunity for the families,” he said.
Becoming part of the community was important to the command team, so the brigade adopted Ira Cross Elementary School in Killeen. To kick off the relationship, the Thunderbirds will participate in the school’s 9/11 ceremony.
“The community has accepted us,” Rambert said. “It was a great feeling to transition here, and the community welcomed us.”
The 13th Sustainment Command’s Command Sgt. Maj. Terry E. Parham attended the celebration and said it was great to see a team so “fired up.”
“This is what leadership is about. Fired up leaders make fired up soldiers.”