by 2nd Lt. Tyler R. Bryant
1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, officially returned to Fort Carson June 25 with an uncasing and ribbon-cutting ceremony held outside the new brigades and battalions headquarters building.
The ceremony, hosted by 1st BCT commander Col. Jeffery Martindale and Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald Kinloch, was attended by distinguished guests, including Maj. Gen. Jeffrey W. Hammond, 4th Inf. Div. commanding general; Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Dailey, 4th Inf. Div.; Burt Matya, Army Corps of Engineers; and Paul O’Donnell, Hensel Phelps Construction Company.
Immediately following the uncasing of the colors, a ceremonial ribbon cutting marked the opening of all 1st BCT facilities. Pfc. Cedric Aldridge, the brigade’s youngest Soldier, joined in cutting the ribbon.
“I know there is a special bond and respect between the engineers, the construction community and the Army Soldier, because we know how to get things done,” said Matya. “It was great to see the collaboration between all these multiple contracts, contractors and government agencies. We all pulled together.”
The Raider Brigade received the Leed Gold award from the U.S. Green Building Council. The award was presented by O’Donnell on behalf of the Hensel Phelps Construction Company for the high level of environmentally-friendly architecture incorporated into all 19 buildings in the brigade’s footprint.
Even though the brigade’s and battalions’ colors have been uncased at Fort Carson, many 1st BCT Soldiers have not yet arrived. The new facilities are ready to receive the 1,500 Soldiers moving from Fort Hood, Texas, this month. The rest of the Soldiers required to bring the brigade to full strength will arrive in the next five-six months.
The brigade leadership said it is excited to start receiving the Soldiers from Fort Hood, partially because it will allow them to fill out platoons, but also because they are combat veterans who just returned from Iraq. The experiences and expertise of these Soldiers are vital to training for the brigade’s next deployment.
1st BCT has been stationed at Fort Hood, since it was reactivated Jan. 16, 1996. Before that, they were stationed in Fort Lewis, Wash., until inactivated Oct. 15, 1995, at Fort Carson.
This move to Fort Carson gives the Raider Brigade the chance to be reunited with its sister brigades and the 4th Inf. Div. headquarters.
“Today marks two important events and begins a new chapter in the Raider Brigade history,” said Martindale. “We look forward to building the team that can accomplish whatever is asked of us, and we are proud to be here and excited to be a part of the Fort Carson and Colorado Springs community.”