story by Tom
Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor
A Soldier with the 844th Engineer
Battalion places the new 926th Engineer Brigade patch on his
uniform during the patch ceremony.
a Velcro-backed major unit patch on the left sleeve of a Soldier’s
Army Combat Uniform is a simple task and procedure. It takes about 10
seconds and is an occasional task for many Soldiers.
task took a more significant turn at a ceremony on the Fort McCoy
parade field when six engineer units had about 800 Soldiers slap on
the 926th Engineer Brigade patch, all at the same time.
was while the six units were side-by-side in formation and the order,
"Change patch," was given.
sight and sound of every Soldier using their left hand to open their
left breast pocket and their right hand pulling out the new 926th
patch and slapping it, neatly and squarely, of course, on their left
sleeve, took all of 10 seconds.
took a little while longer to get to that order. The 844th Engineer
Battalion of Knoxville, Tenn., the parent unit of the six units,
hosted the event. At their sides were the 655th Engineer Platoon of
San Antonio, 808th Engineer Company of Houston, 961st Engineer Company
of Sharonville, Ohio, 375th Engineer Company of Huntsville, Ala., and
321st Engineer Detachment, also of Knoxville.
Capt. Joe Ronca, Headquarters and
Headquarters Company commander of the 844th, renders a salute
during a pass-and-review ceremony as part of the patch ceremony.
are Army Reserve units. The 844th is training to support Operation
units are being aligned under Task Force 844 for the deployment. The
926th patch has a scarlet saltire (a bearing like a St. Andrews Cross,
formed by a bend and a bend sinister crossing) Cross of St. Andrew of
the Alabama State Flag with four white squares around the cross
highlighting the engineers’ missions of mobility, counter-mobility,
survivability and sustainment. The gold castle tower is adapted from
the Corps of Engineers.
Col. Adam Roth, 844th commander, said, "The unity of purpose at
Fort McCoy is unquestionable. The pomp of the actual ceremony has
exposed many Army Reserve Soldiers to functions not normally
encountered in a typical Army Reserve career. Many of the older
noncommissioned officers-in-charge have come to me in the days after
the ceremony saying they haven’t seen such a ceremony since they
were at a division change of command."
Flame, smoke and a bang salute the states of the units involved in the patching
this was our birthday. It was a great way to celebrate what we are
doing and what we have to do," he said.
added, "The technical training that we have yet to accomplish at
Fort McCoy, in conjunction with our partners at the 181st Infantry
Brigade and the Fort McCoy Garrison, has set conditions for what is
truly a remarkable exercise where each engineer Soldier and Soldiers
with other military occupational specialties will have the opportunity
to train in their skills prior to actually employing those skill sets
as we move into theater.
feedback from our gaining unit in-theater is that we are on track, and
we could not have done it without our partners at Fort McCoy."