BAUMHOLDER, Germany – The Army has announced the next steps toward redesignating two Germany-based units as part of the service’s transformation efforts in Europe.
Soon, the soldiers of Schweinfurt’s 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division will be known by another name.
Effective March 16, the Dagger Brigade and its subordinate units will be called the 172nd Infantry Brigade, U.S. Army Europe announced on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Baumholder-based 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division and its subordinate units will be recast as the 170th Infantry Brigade. That change takes effect in September 2010.
On Dec. 19, the Army announced its intention rename the units. Specific time lines and new unit designations, however, were not available at that time.
A news release from the Army said that the unit’s electronic designation changes on March 15, and there will be a more formal ceremony on March 28 to properly send the Dagger colors to Fort Riley, Kan., and recognize the forming of the 172nd.
Acknowledging that some soldiers might have bittersweet feelings about the changes, Col. Jeffrey Sinclair, Dagger commander said: “Relationships are enduring. You still maintain who you are regardless of the patch you’re wearing at the time.”
The 172nd was inactivated in December 2006 at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. As the current 172nd unit patch holds an Alaskan theme, soldiers in Schweinfurt are currently designing a new one, as well as a new unit crest, motto and nickname, Sinclair said.
The brigade’s relocation to Grafenwöhr, Germany, is still on track, officials said.
In Baumholder, Germany, the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division and its subordinate units are set to undergo the same transfer process in September 2010.
That brigade will activate as the 170th Infantry Brigade.
In Baumholder, many soldiers currently assigned to the Iron Brigade will likely be gone when the change to the 170th occurs.
Still, news of the change prompted a sense of nostalgia for the brigade’s armored past.
“It means a lot to Iron Brigade soldiers to wear that patch. So there’s some sadness about losing the history and tradition of Old Ironside-America’s tank division,” said Maj. Wayne Marotto, a 2nd Brigade, 1st AD spokesman. “At the same time, I’m confident the soldiers who wear the 170th Brigade patch will keep the same high standards that the Iron Brigade soldiers always have.”
Thursday’s announcement, meanwhile, does not change the plan to relocate the units back to the U.S. in 2012 and 2013, according to USAREUR.
Next week, USAREUR will transfer Dagger brigade unit designations, lineage, flags and other heraldic items to U.S. Army Forces Command.
A look at the units
The Schweinfurt-based 172nd Brigade will include the following subordinate units:
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 172nd Infantry Brigade — formed from HHC, 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division
- 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Division — formed from the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Division
- 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division — formed from the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Division
- 3rd Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment — formed from the 1st Battalion, 77th Armored Regiment
- Troop E, 5th Cavalry Regiment — formed from Troop E, 4th Cavalry Regiment
- 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment — formed from 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment
- 172nd Support Battalion - formed from the 299th Support Battalion
The Baumholder-based 170th Infantry Brigade will include the following subordinate units:
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 170th Infantry Brigade — formed from HHC, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division
- 3rd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment — formed from 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment
- 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment — formed from 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment
- 4th Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment — formed from 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment
- Troop D, 5th Cavalry Regiment — formed from Troop G, 1st Cavalry Regiment
- 24th Support Battalion — formed from 47th Support Battalion
- 1st Battalion, 84th Field Artillery Regiment — formed from 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment