CAMP CASEY, South Korea — The soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, have spent the last month crossing the Pacific Ocean to assume their posts among the camps bordering the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea.
Their arrival signals the end of an era as the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, deactivates after 50 years of service in South Korea to make way for the cavalry soldiers.
The change comes as part of the U.S. Army’s new Korea Rotational Force, which replaces one of the 2nd Infantry Division’s existing combat brigades with a rotational brigade combat team assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division for a nine-month tour.
“Our mission is to maintain the readiness of the brigade and to basically maintain the strategic alliance that we have with the Republic of Korea Army,” said 1st Lt. Michael Froebel, 1st platoon leader of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
To the U.S. soldiers stationed in Korea, readiness is paramount. The 2nd Infantry Division’s motto is “Fight Tonight.”
With the enhanced readiness posture comes an increase in emergency deployment exercises, alerts, and last-minute calls to arms.
“These nine months, we’ll be here without our families which is unfortunate but it’s a good opportunity to train really hard and focus on becoming better soldiers and better leaders,” Froebel said.