News: Band of Brother’s Easy Company returns; End of an Era
Story by Sgt. Justin Moeller
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – The 506th Infantry Regiment has had a powerful lineage ever since their initial activation July 20, 1942.
Since World War II, the 506th has been inactivated, reactivated and re-designated a number of times. They have served within different brigades, divisions and military posts.
The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 506th Inf. Regt. reunited in September of 2005 under the Colors of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Abn. Div., and have since had two separate deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The last group of soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team “Currahee”, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), consisting mainly of soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, returned home in the early hours of Jan. 26, 2014, marking the end of an era for the brigade.
“This is the final flight of the Band of Brothers, and the final rendezvous with destiny as we furl the colors,” said Lt. Col. Scott W. Kirkpatrick, commander of 2nd Bn, 506th Inf. Regt., 4th BCT, 101st Abn. Div. “It’s been a great honor to be the commander of the 2nd of the 506th,and a great honor to be a commander in this organization.”
Aside from feeling honored to have experienced a deployment as a commanding Currahee, his battalion returned without losing a single soldier.
“We were able to bring everybody home for my battalion which is usually a very tough thing to do,” expressed Kirkpatrick.
“This mission was difficult, but we are very, very happy to be back.”
While the majority of the brigade returned after 7 months of being away, the soldiers of Easy Company were re-tasked and stayed a full nine months till the completion of the mission.
“This is a phenomenal organization,” Kirkpatrick explained. “This organization has always been focused on accomplishing the mission no matter what it was, where it was or how difficult it was.”
“Our time in the Khost province, [Afghanistan], north of Kabul and south of Kabul--accomplishing those missions--that’s the take away, the legacy of what the Band of Brothers is.”
While the 4th BCT will be inactivating on Apr. 25, 2013, the 1st Bn., 506th Inf. Regt., will be realigned to 1st BCT “Bastogne”, 101st Abn. Div., and 2nd Bn., 506th Inf. Regt., will be realigned to 3rd BCT “Rakkasan”, 101st Abn. Div.
The colors of the 506th will continue to fly, maintaining the history and pride that the unit has achieved over the span of the regiment’s life time.
“No matter where,” exclaimed Kirkpatrick, “we always, always accomplish a mission!”