Story and photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait. — “Raider” Brigade leadership assumed command and officially began its Soldiers’ tour of duty at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, during a March 4 ceremony.
During the mission assumption ceremony, Col. Joel Tyler, commander, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, and Command Sgt. Maj. Edison Rebuck, brigade senior enlisted leader, uncased the brigade’s colors after Col. Johnnie L. Johnson Jr., commander, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, and Sgt. Maj. Jose Rivera, senior operations noncommissioned officer, cased their brigade colors, representing the completion of their deployment.
Maj. Gen. Gary Cheek, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Central, who presided over the ceremony, welcomed the Raiders and thanked the “Sledgehammer” Brigade Soldiers and leaders for their hard work during their nine-month deployment.
“I’m going to miss the ‘Dog Face Soldiers,’ but the amazing thing about the U.S. Army is that when somebody leaves, no matter how great they are, someone will come in right behind them and continue doing great things,” Cheek said. “To the Raider Brigade, coming from the 4th Infantry Division … it’s great to have you here. I want you to know that you have my absolute trust and confidence that you will not only excel at this mission, but that you will bring us to new heights.”
Tyler expressed eagerness to continue 3rd ABCTs tradition of excellence in the coming months.
“This mission has been a long time coming for the Raiders and we are excited to be here,” he said. “For a professional Soldier, the opportunity to practice our trade with such a diverse group of partners is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We intend to take full advantage of it.”
Johnson thanked the 3rd ABCT leaders, partners and allies for enabling their success as they furthered ARCENT’s objectives in the region.
“The capabilities and support of all of these well-trained and focused units allowed us to aggressively pursue our campaign plan and support the broader ARCENT campaign plan,” Johnson said. “We simply could not have asked for a better situation with which to conduct operations and training and develop the next generation of leaders.”
Tyler closed the ceremony by thanking Johnson and his Soldiers for a warm welcome to Camp Buehring and a smooth transition of responsibility.
“We have learned much from the great Soldiers of the Sledgehammer Brigade,” Tyler said to Johnson. “Col. Johnson, you and your Soldiers have done a tremendous job in partnering with our great friends in the Kuwaiti Land Forces, and prepared us for the tremendous opportunities of partnership that will allow us to take this friendship to even greater levels of operating together.”