Story by: Sgt. James Strunk
Posted: Oct. 24, 2016
FORT HOOD, Texas – Soldiers of the 249th Transportation Company made a historical change for the Texas Army National Guard when they re-patched under 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Cavalry Sustainment Brigade during a ceremony at Fort Hood, Oct. 16, 2016.
“I am anxious and excited just to see where that ultimately takes us – the opportunity that we have now because of this. What we can teach them as well as what they can teach us,” said Texas Army National Guard Capt. Lucas Hamilton, commander of the 249th Transportation Company.
The three-year program pairs an active-duty unit with those in the Army Reserve and Army National Guard so they can train together and deploy together, as well as includes an exchange of assigned personnel between the two partner units to promote better Total Force integration as a part of the Army’s Associated Units Pilot.
“Readiness continues to be my number one priority and in order to maintain that readiness we must leverage our partnerships,” said Maj. Gen. William L. Smith, Deputy Adjutant General-Army and Commander of the Texas Army National Guard, “This Associated Units Pilot Program will be a dramatic shift in what has been a decades old paradigm.”
The 249th Transportation Company joined 27 other Army units selected for the Associated Units Pilot Program, including four from the Texas Army National Guard.
“We are one army and we are not small,” said Lt. Col. Daryl Morse, commander of Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Sustainment Brigade. “We are big and we are capable; we are capable because of the National Guard.”
This association enables integration of formations from units of different components prior to mobilization through collective trailing.
“I think this is a fantastic thing,” said Morse. “In a sense it’s just a validation of what we’ve been doing for years. Our sustainment brigade alone has had a connection with the Texas National Guard for years. But it’s something that’s never been formalized.”
During the patch-over ceremony, the 249th Transportation Company officially relinquished command and control of the unit to the 1st Cavalry, for the duration of the pilot program and will include changing of the unit patch on the guardsmen’s uniforms.
Participation in this pilot program, will not an have impact on the unit’s ability to respond or provide assistance during emergency response missions.