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 March 26, 2010

News

86th Training Brigade holds 'patch ceremony,' welcomes troops to new unit

A Patch Ceremony welcomed new members of the 86th Training Brigade to the unit’s March 6 Battle Assembly at Fort McCoy and set the tone for the organization as it begins to assume its new mission, said Maj. Lenny Sloat, the unit’s G-7/operations officer.

PHOTOS: Col. John Oathout, left, 86th Training Brigade chief of staff, sets the unit patch to the shoulder of Master Sgt.  Michael Kreinbring, 86th Training Brigade. Photo by Allan Harding
Col. John Oathout, left, 86th Training Brigade chief of staff, sets the unit patch to the shoulder of Master Sgt. Michael Kreinbring, 86th Training Brigade. Photo by Allan Harding

The mission of the 86th is to construct, coordinate, and execute meaningful and challenging Warrior Exercises (WAREX) and Combat Support Training exercises (CSTX). These exercises generate commander-specific capabilities in an interactive training environment that fits the Army Force Generation model and prepares Soldiers, units, and staffs to execute their specified wartime mission to Army standards.

“We’re growing exponentially,” Sloat said. “We’ll be training people on our mission, and learning our mission this summer.”

The 86th will be involved in the CSTX this summer and looks forward to following in the footsteps of others who served in the 86th before them, he said.

During the Patch Ceremony, members affixed the new unit patches on their uniforms, and learned about the history of the unit’s predecessor, the 86th Infantry Division.

Sloat said the unit was activated Aug. 3, 1917, in response to the United States’ involvement in World War I. The Soldiers in the unit admired the leadership and tenacity the great Sac Chief, Chief Black Hawk, showed in the Black Hawk War of 1832, so the unit was designated the Black Hawk Division.

In September 1918, the unit was sent overseas. Although it didn’t fight as a unit, the unit provided replacement personnel for other units involved in the fighting.

Members of the 86th did play a prominent role in combat during World War II while moving throughout Germany. The unit also liberated the Attendorn civilian forced-labor camp in 1945. The 86th earned recognition as a liberating unit by the U.S. Army’s Center of Military History and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

In addressing the attendees, Col. John Oathout, the unit’s chief of staff, said he appreciated all the work done to stand up the unit.

“Now it’s up to all of us to work as a team to go forward as a unit,” he said. “I see that happening easily. We have a lot of experience here.”

Sloat said the unit will continue to recruit people to support its mission and continue to build toward the time when it will serve as the lead unit for WAREX and CSTX at Fort McCoy.

For more information about the unit, including open positions, call 608-388-0920.

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