By Debbie Stevenson
Killeen Daily Herald
FORT HOOD The 1st Cavalry Division marked the close of another chapter in its history Wednesday with a change of command and colors-casing ceremony for the Division Support Command and two of its battalions.
Like the Engineer Brigade and the Division Artillery, the Division Support Command is no more, the 1st Cavalrys commander, Maj. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, told the soldiers and dignitaries assembled in front of the divisions headquarters at Fort Hood.
Three amazing organizations that have served this division so well will not stand another cavalry charge or deploy to combat with us next time, Chiarelli said. But thats OK. ... These organizational changes have done nothing to change the character, patriotism and courage of the First Team trooper.
The changes Wednesday were part of the Army transformation process, which is reorganizing the service from 10 divisions to 43 self-contained brigades capable of deploying rapidly and fighting independently of their division headquarters.
As the 1st Cavalry reorganizes under the plan, its support
command will become known as the sustainment brigade.
The division artillery will be reactivated as the fires brigade. The engineer brigades battalions will now fall under the support troops.
Chiarelli congratulated Col. Mark S. Hurley, the support commands outgoing leader, for his troops accomplishments in Iraq.
General George Patton was rumored to have said, My men can eat their belts, but my tanks have gotta have gas, Chiarelli said to chuckles in the crowd.
Ladies and gentlemen, you have before you the men and women of the division support command, the soldiers who ensure we never have to eat our belts or lack for any class of supply or personnel services.
During the divisions year in Baghdad, Chiarelli noted that Hurleys troops supported nine brigades with more than 39,000 soldiers, delivering more than 1.1 million supply orders, organizing more than 1,200 convoys and 300 air supply missions.
The troops also kept supplies flowing to 1st Cavalry troops involved in U.S. offensives in Najaf and Fallujah.
(They) looked the tiger in the eye every time they left the foward operating base, Chiarelli said.
Mark trained these soldiers for combat in an environment that few who have served in the DISCOM can fully understand or have experienced in combat.
Assuming the helm of the new sustainment brigade was Col. Aundre Piggee, the divisions chief of staff and former rear detachment commander from July 2004 until the 1st Cavalry returned in April after spending a year in Iraq.
Chiarelli alluded to their time spent together in 2000, praising Piggee for his work as a division G4.
Simply stated, there is not a better leader or mentor of soldiers in our Army than Colonel Aundre Piggee, Chiarelli said.
The command is the second in the 1st Cavalry for Piggee, who led the divisions 15th Forward Support Battalion during his last assignment at Fort Hood.
I am optimistic and delighted to have the opportunity to command again in the First Team, Piggee said. I look forward to serving with you and continuing your tradition of excellence.
The new brigades colors did not arrive in time for Wednesdays ceremony.
An official uncasing ceremony is planned once they are received, Chiarelli said.
Cased during the ceremony was the 27th Main Support Battalions colors by the units outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Carl D. Bird III. Lt. Col. Victoriano Garcia Jr. presided over the unfurling of the new Brigade Special Troops Battalion colors as the incoming commander for the newly activated unit.
Lt. Col. Colin Hood also turned over command of the 15th Personnel Services Battalion to Lt. Col. Roger M. Wood.
Contact Debbie Stevenson at email@example.com