NATIONAL GUARD BATTALION COLORS CASING, COMPANY UNCASING CEREMONY

Written by Theresa Rose on August 8, 2016

BATTALION COLORS CASING, COMPANY UNCASING CEREMONY TO BE HELD IN FAIRFIELD, SUNDAY, AUGUST 14

 

The Iowa Army National Guard will recognize the deactivation of one of its storied battalions, as well as the debut of its newest supply company during a ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 14, at 1 p.m. at the Fairfield High School Football Field, 605 E. Broadway, Fairfield, Iowa. Elected officials and Iowa National Guard leadership will participate and the public and media are welcome and encouraged to attend this time-honored ceremony.

 

The 224th Engineer Battalion, headquartered in Fairfield (Headquarters and Headquarters Company) and with subordinate units in Fairfield (Company A-Forward Support Co.),

Middletown (831st Engineer Co.), Johnston (Det. 1, 831st Engineer Co.), Mt. Pleasant (832nd

Engineer Co.), Keokuk (Detachment 1, 832nd Engineer Co.), and Ottumwa (833rd Engineer Co.), will encase its battalion flag (“colors”), while a new unit to Fairfield, the 1034th Composite Supply Company, will uncase its company flag.

 

Every unit in the Army has a distinctive flag, known as their “colors.” This tradition began so Soldiers would recognize the colors of their organization and follow it into battle. When a unit is deactivated and consigned to history, a “casing of the colors” ceremony is performed and the colors are retired to the U.S. Army Center of Military History. When a new unit is activated, its colors are “uncased.”

 

This ceremony is the result of nationwide restructuring of the Army National Guard due to changes in U.S. national defense needs and strategies. Accordingly, the Iowa Army National Guard’s Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (“2/34 BSTB”), is transitioning to the 224th Brigade Engineer Battalion (BEB). The 224th BEB will be headquartered in Cedar Rapids.

 

The structure of both the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) and Co. A, 224th

Engineer Battalion is transferring to the Nebraska Army National Guard. The approximately 80 Soldiers currently serving in HHC, 224th Engineer Battalion are transitioning to the HHC, 224th BEB in Cedar Rapids.

 

The approximately 80 Soldiers comprising Co. A, 224th Engineer Battalion are being assigned to either the 1034th Composite Supply Company (with approximately 95 Soldiers) in Fairfield, or Company E, 334th Brigade Support Battalion (100 Soldiers), based in Cedar Rapids.

 

Soldiers transitioning from the Fairfield armory have the option to either remain at Fairfield, transfer to Cedar Rapids, or transfer to another Iowa Army National Guard unit. Engineer units located in Middletown, Johnston, Mt. Pleasant, Keokuk and Ottumwa will remain in those communities.

 

The 224th Engineer Battalion has had a long and storied history following its initial authorization and constitution in 1954. The unit was originally designated the 224th Aviation Engineer Battalion as part of the Iowa Air National Guard and headquartered in Cedar Rapids. In 1955, the battalion was reorganized as an Army National Guard unit, the 224th Engineer Battalion, with its headquarters relocated to Fairfield, Iowa in January 1968.

The Battalion was activated in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm and assigned to the U.S. Army’s 8th Infantry Division in Germany. They were awarded the Army Superior Unit award and a battalion streamer embroidered “DESERT STORM.” In 1993, the battalion was federalized for flood relief efforts throughout eastern Iowa.

The 224th Engineer Battalion was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) for its participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004-2006 and is authorized a battalion streamer embroidered SOUTHWEST ASIA and IRAQ.

 

For questions concerning this release as well as additional information about the operations, training, and activities of the Iowa Army and Air National Guard, please contact Col. Greg Hapgood, Iowa National Guard Public Affairs Officer by email at

gregory.o.hapgood.mil@mail.mil or (515) 252-4582 (office) or (515) 971-6385 (cell), or contact Master Sgt. Duff E. McFadden at duff.e.mcfadden.mil@mail.mil or (515) 252-4666 (office), or (515) 480-7647 (cell).