by Kerstin Lopez
Members of the inactivated 104th Military Intelligence Battalion Long Range Surveillance Detachment made a special trip to the Fort Carson area to celebrate their first reunion.
The reunion, coordinated by several LRSD members, was held Nov. 11-Sunday to bring together former unit members, said Sgt. Maj. Mario Cockrell, XVIII Airborne Corps Noncommissioned Officer Academy deputy commandant and reunion member.
The group engaged in several activities in the Colorado Springs area during the four-day reunion such as rappelling, night fires, climbing, horseshoes, a pig roast, a confidence course and a tour of the old company supply and administration building on Fort Carson.
The 104th MI Bn. LRSD was activated at Fort Carson in 1988 and was inactivated in 1995 as part of the transformation of the 4th Infantry Division to the Army’s modular force structure.
“The assessments that were conducted early in the unit history made a difference compared to most units. We all volunteered for the unit and that assessment period didn’t stop with the 100-pound rucksack march and interview, it continued throughout your time in the unit,” Cockrell said. “Average Soldiers sometimes arrived to LRSD, but within months they were leaps and bounds above their counterpart on ‘the belt,’ this was due to the assessment as well as dynamic leadership by the NCOs who ran this organization. I owe everything I’ve become in the Army to those first NCOs who molded us young guys.”
Dave Wyrick, reunion coordinator, said the lineage of the LRSD comes from a long line of recon Soldiers, and the reunion was necessary to preserve the memories.
“We cannot take for granted the history of our experiences or the lineage of the units we belonged to. As such, we all want to make sure that this history will be preserved. It is up to us to carry on the tradition. Just as the bonds formed on our teams when we were stationed at Fort Carson, so, too, are the bonds that stretch from era to era in an unbroken chain of specialized excellence of which we were a part. We were part of over four decades of valuable, in-the-field, real-time surveillance,” Wyrick said.
The reunion members reminisced about their days in the unit and collectively agreed that the LRSD unit was special and they were proud to have been a part of it.
“It was the right time in our young impressionable days, where we were molded into the silent professionals many of us went on to be. I attribute that to solid leadership, physical and mental toughness development, strong team bonds – bonds that have incredibly lasted to this day,” said Doug Rogers, reunion member.