Roger Ashley, The Real McCoy Contributor
May 25, Maj. Gen. Paul Hamm and Brig. Gen. Jeff Talley, stood to
attention as 844th Task Force Soldiers passed by for a final review.
It is the last inspection by higher command before they head to the
Lt. Col. Adam Roth and Command
Sgt. Maj. Robert Sims, along with the 844th’s color guard,
case the unit colors during a farewell ceremony.
(Photo by Maj. Jesse Stalder)
is commander of the 412th Theater Engineer Command and Talley is
commander of the 926th Engineer Brigade.
companies attached to the 844th include the 808th, the 961st, the
375th, the 655th Platoon and the 321st Engineer Detachment. Nearly 700
Soldiers from 34 states have deployed with the 844th as part of the
nearly 90,000 Soldiers who have gone through Fort McCoy since 9-11.
The 844th will execute engineer support operations in both Iraq and
Col. Adam Roth, the 844th’s Battalion Commander said, "This is
a day of joy and sorrow. We answer our nation’s call to serve, but
we leave a number of families, loved ones and employers to answer our
nation’s call. Our motto says Earth to sky with a propeller in the
middle. Back in 1942, the 844th was building airstrips for the B24s
and B17s striking at the heart of Nazi Germany." Roth’s father
was a bomber crewman during the war. "I like to think my father
flew from one of the airstrips built by the 844th."
Lt. Col. Adam Roth salutes as the
844th does a final pass and review during its farewell ceremony
at Fort McCoy. (Photo
by Maj. Jesse Stalder)
felt McCoy was the ideal location to train, "I could think of no
other place to train than here. This has been a homecoming for me. I
deployed from here in 2003. This is Fort McCoy’s birthday year. I
chose McCoy because it is a premiere training site for the Army
Reserve. The opportunity to train combat lifesavers, the opportunity
to do construction operations — train our plumbers, carpenters,
electricians, our earth movers building roads, constructing buildings
— all that coupled with our survey design team to do bases and
tearing down old ones. McCoy has everything in the military system
from vehicle to computer training. It’s all here. The technical
training they received is superior. It is by far the best training I’ve
ever seen. I can look at the Soldiers of 844th Battalion and say that
they are ready."
said, "You are members who have been called up in defense of your
country — our country. Your mission is tremendously important. You’ve
been called away from civilian jobs, family, home life, churches and
friends. You are now part of the 27,000 Army Reservists mobilized
around the world and the 206,000 Army Reserve Soldiers who have been
deployed in the Global War on Terror. You are America’s warriors.
Your nation needs you and you unselfishly step forward to answer the
the finale of the ceremony, Roth and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Sims
cased the 844th’s colors. Roth said, "The colors are the
lifeblood of our unit. We will be casing our colors until we safely
arrive in the theater of operation."
(Ashley is a member of the
412th Engineer Command Public Affairs Office.)