News: Field Artillery Battalion slips into history
Story by Sgt. Garett Hernandez
FORT HOOD, Texas – After 97 years of service, 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade, cased its colors until it is once again called on by the nation.
During a light drizzle of rain befitting a somber mood, the 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade, inactivated during a ceremony held outside in front of Charles B. Allen Hall here June 12.
After 97-years of service, the battalion cased its colors until it is once again called on by the nation. The colors of the battalion and the guidons of the batteries will remain at the Institute of Heraldry until and if that call comes.
“It’s kind of heartbreaking really, because once you get to know the Soldiers and the unit, then you have to turn around and make the unit go away,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Sivils, the last senior advisor of 1-21st FAR. “You have your unit pride, unit history, and everything you stand for, then you turn around and give your Soldiers up to other units and roll up the colors.”
The battalion was formed June 1, 1917 at Camp Wilson, Texas and was assigned to the 5th Infantry Division during World War I where it saw action in France. It then fought in WWII in Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and throughout Central Europe. During the Vietnam War, the battalion was reflagged as the 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery and took part in 15 offenses and counter-offenses with the 1st Cavalry Division.
The battalion has gone through 20 changes during its history, including activations, inactivations, redesignations, and reorganizations. The battalion has been a part of the 41st FAB since 2007.
“It's hard to imagine the Army without the 21st Field Artillery,” said Lt. Col. Kenneth McDaniel, the last commander of 1-21st FAR, 41st FAB. “It's a historic battalion. It's a prestigious battalion and a well-accomplished battalion.”