News: Unit Adopts New Patch Downrange
CAMP TAJI, Iraq — It's common for a deployed unit to hold a "combat patch" ceremony during their tour, however Soldiers of the 1538th Transportation Company recently held a different kind of patch ceremony.
In a unique twist, Capt. Phillip C. Anderson, a native of Plainfield, Ind., commander of the 1538th, presented his Soldiers with their new shoulder-sleeve insignia.
"This is really a special occasion," said Staff Sgt. Michael Gorsuch, a native of Elkhart, Ind. The 1538th Transportation Company, 419th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, an Indiana National Guard unit from Elkhart, Ind., is affiliated under the 38th Sustainment Brigade. Since the brigade's inception as a separate brigade in 2007, Soldiers of the 38th Sustainment Brigade had worn the patch of the 38th Infantry Division, known as the "CY" or "Cyclone". On May 1, the 38th Sustainment Brigade's new patch became effective and authorized for wear.
On the day the new patch became authorized for wear, the 1538th was scheduled to conduct training for all members of the unit and it was decided to incorporate presenting the new patch into the day's activities.
"It only made sense to give it out while we had the entire unit together in one place," said Capt. Anderson. "This is history in the making," said 1st Sgt. Jeffrey Spencer, from Westport, Ind. "We're the first unit to be able to put on this patch as a combat patch, and we got to put it on in the combat zone," said Spencer.
Other units of the 38th Sustainment Brigade have deployed since the brigade became separate from the 38th Infantry Division, but the 1538th is the first unit to be deployed wearing the new patch. According to Sgt. 1st Class Marion Siebenthal, from Madison, Ind., "It's a big change. Other units will see the new patch and wonder if we're a new unit, when we've been here so long and we're close to the end of the tour."
These Soldiers have become used to changes, having served under two different brigade headquarters and two different battalions since arriving on Camp Taji.
The 1538th Transportation Company left Camp Atterbury for Iraq in early September 2008. The unit is scheduled to return from Iraq in the summer. The Indiana National Guard unit's members include Soldiers from neighboring Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois, and as far away as Missouri, Florida, and New York.