News: C Battery comes to a close
Story by Spc. Nathan Goodall
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Soldiers with C Battery, 1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Fires Brigade inactivated their battery during a color casing ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Oct. 11.
The inactivation of C Battery is part of a bigger picture, said Lt. Col. 1-94 Battalion Commander Luis Rivera during a speech at the event.
“All (high mobility artillery rocket system) units Army-wide are executing what we are doing here today,” he said. “C Battery will redistribute their personnel and equipment amongst A Battery and B Battery in order to fulfill our Army’s next evolution in combat organization.”
The modified table of organization and equipment that defines how the battalion is structured was recently changed, said 2nd Lt. Todd A. Wiegman, a platoon leader with C Battery.
“The new MTOE states that each battalion will only have two firing batteries, so we inactivated C Battery to meet those requirements,” Wiegman said.
Shifts in battalion structure occur to meet the needs of the Army as they change, said Rivera.
“We adapt to changes that keep us more tactically efficient as the war effort shifts,” he said.
The color casing ceremony is an Army tradition. A distinctive flag known as the “colors” represents each unit. In the past, the colors were used by soldiers to identify their unit and follow it into battle.
Today, units still take their colors with them during deployment and bring them back when their tour is over, said Capt. Evan Salbego, the current operations liaison officer with 1-94.
The history of the colors and what they represent is what makes their involvement during inactivation so important. At the ceremony, the colors are wrapped up and cased, then taken by the color bearer, who marches off the field, indicating the formal end of that command.
The colors are scheduled to be retired to The Center of Military History in Washington, D.C., Salbego said.
While the soldiers of C Battery are relocating to other batteries within the battalion, they will, for the most part, remain the same, Wiegman said.
During the ceremony, Rivera praised the soldiers of C Battery for what they’ve done for the battalion, and reminded everyone it’s the soldiers that make a unit what it is. He stressed that those soldiers would still be part of the battalion.
“What we know as C Battery is much more than just a guidon or a slide on a briefing. A battery consists of people – of soldiers. C Battery will go away today, but the soldiers who really form C Battery will continue to fulfill their futures in the Army. I’m proud of everything the soldiers of this Battalion have accomplished and will accomplish, no matter what the configuration is,” Rivera said.