News: ‘Blue Spaders’ case colors, prepare to deploy
Story by Sgt. Thomas Duval
FORT KNOX, Ky., – U.S. Army infantrymen often joke that the skies are blue because, ‘God loves the Infantry.'
It was under those same skies that more than 800 Infantrymen with 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team gathered to case their unit colors during a ceremony at Fort Knox's Brooks Field May 8.
The ceremony symbolized the unit’s readiness for its upcoming deployment to Afghanistan, a deployment that has paired the 1st Bn., 26th Inf., Regt., ‘Blue Spaders’ with Special Forces units, with the mission of building stability throughout various Afghan villages.
“The Last four times the Blue Spaders deployed, we fought in one hot spot of a country… this time we will fight in all of them at the same time,” said Lt. Col. William Jacobs, commander 1st Bn., 26th Inf. Regt.
To ensure they maintain their honor and reputation, the 1st Bn., 26th Inf. Regt., has undergone months of rigorous training highlighted by multiple night air assault raids and numerous live fires exercises.
“We have spent the past several months honing our skills at putting the wood to the enemy,” Jacobs said. “We can call for fire, integrate effects of attack aviation, fast moves and indirect fire simultaneously and when necessary we can render aid to keep each other alive until the MEDEVAC arrives.”
During the ceremony Jacobs took a moment to share, with the Blue Spader spouses and attendees, what his unit is fighting for.
“The Blue Spaders have a very long and honorable history. Our history is written not just in words but in our own blood and relentless pursuit of the enemy. We go where others will not and we do what others are afraid to do,” Jacobs added. “The honor and the history of the Blue Spaders is in our own hands. We owe it to those who have gone before us to maintain our honor and great reputation.”
Now that the ceremony is over, the Infantrymen will begin a new chapter in their unit’s proud lineage as they begin deploying to Afghanistan in the coming weeks.
In his final address to the Soldiers of the 1st Bn., 26th Inf., Regt., Col. Bill Ostlund, commander, 3rd IBCT, made his confidence in his Soldiers known.
“The team before you is trained, competent, confident, and committed,” Ostlund said. “An oft quoted Athenian Oath is appropriate- It states: ‘I will not disgrace the Soldiers arms, nor abandon the comrade who stands at my side; but whether alone or with many, I will fight to defend things sacred. I will hand down my country not lessened, but larger and better than I have received it’.”
“The Blue Spaders will no doubt live this oath or something similar. The Soldiers before you are charged with a simple task- Deploy with honor- and redeploy all – with honor,” said Ostlund.