‘Bulldogs’ return to Fort Bliss, bid farewell to senior-enlisted adviser
Sgt. Victor Everhart Jr.,
3rd BCT, 1st AD Public Affairs:
The 1st Armored Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team unfurled its brigade colors and bid farewell to their command sergeant major during an Aug. 8 ceremony on the 1st Armored Division Parade Field at East Fort Bliss.
Known as the “Bulldog” Brigade, the unit was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from September 2011 to July 2012.
The ceremony began with the brigade’s colors, and those of its six subordinate battalions, wrapped in protective covers. The colors had been cased in a July 17 ceremony at Forward Operating Base Shank in Logar province, Afghanistan, when the brigade completed its mission and transferred authority to the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.
Maj. Gen. Dana J. H. Pittard, 1st AD and Fort Bliss commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Ronnie R. Kelley, 1st AD and Fort Bliss command sergeant major, joined brigade commander Col. Mark H. Landes on the field to uncase the colors. Landes and the brigade senior-enlisted adviser, Command Sgt. Maj. Richard H. Capps, then uncased the six sets of battalion colors.
“Seeing the brigade assembled on this parade field on such a beautiful day in El Paso, Texas, makes this one of the best days I have had in the last year,” Landes told the assembled crowd. “The Bulldog Brigade was given a tough mission against a determined enemy and these Soldiers accomplished everything that was asked of them.”
The brigade’s wounded Soldiers were also honored. At the start of the ceremony, the brigade’s executive officer, Maj. Nicholas O. Melin, reported to Landes that the brigade was incomplete. Landes ordered the wounded Soldiers present to join the units on the field. The crowd applauded as several dozen Soldiers walked onto the field.
The ceremony also marked the transfer of responsibility between Capps and Command Sgt. Maj. Corbett L. Whitmore. Capps had been the brigade’s senior-enlisted adviser since the unit activated at Fort Bliss in 2009 and served in that capacity throughout the deployment in Afghanistan.
Landes praised Capps for his leadership during the deployment.
“More than any single individual, your work from the day this brigade stood up through the day we assumed responsibility for our mission in Afghanistan, and throughout the deployment, made the difference,” Landes said.
Capps’ next assignment will be as the Joint Task Force Civil Support senior-enlisted adviser at Fort Eustis, Va.
Whitmore’s previous assignment was with the 1st BCT, 1st AD. A native of St. Anthony, Idaho, he has served in a variety of infantry assignments since joining the Army in 1988. He is a two-time combat veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The 3rd BCT deployed in September 2011 and assumed responsibility for Logar and Wardak provinces Oct. 16. The brigade’s mission was to provide regional security along vital highways and to train Afghan soldiers and police. Twelve U.S. Soldiers assigned to the brigade and another 10 supporting the brigade were killed in action during the deployment.
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