By Rose L. Thayer
Killeen Daily Herald
FORT HOOD — Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Hunt pointed proudly to his 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment combat patch.
“There’s no place you can go in Iraq where this patch is not known,” he said after the regiment’s colors-uncasing ceremony Wednesday on Cameron Field.
The regiment returned from its fourth and final deployment to Iraq as an armored regiment after a yearlong deployment. In November, the regiment will switch from tanks to strykers, dropping “armored” from its name.
“It’s a great honor,” Col. Reginald Allen, regimental commander, said of performing the uncasing. “We are one of only a few units to do four deployments in Iraq.”
As the first brigade-sized unit to deploy in an advise and assist role last August, the regiment’s nearly 4,000 troopers worked with more than 14,000 Iraqis in five provinces in the southern region of the country.
“Our legacy is that of the enduring partnership with the Iraqi security forces,” said Hunt, who has been with the unit for seven years and three of its four deployments to Iraq. “We trained, fought, died, bled, sweated and all of the above with those guys.”
The regiment lost 15 troopers during this deployment, and 132 since its first in 2003.
“We went to help the U.S. military involvement in that conflict with respect, honor and courage because by doing so we honorably represent all who have sacrificed so much for a free Iraq and a safer America,” Allen said.
Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr., commander of III Corps and Fort Hood, helped lead the ceremony and recognized the soldiers for their successful mission.
“In the Brave Rifles tradition, through your sweat and blood, you have been an integral part of the future of Iraq and helped make the region a safer place for children to grow up, families to make a living and for freedom to prosper,” Campbell said. “The regiment has a proud lineage and an undisputed record of success in Iraq.”
For more on the regiment’s time in Iraq, see Wednesday’s Fort Hood Herald.