Chemical Corps celebrates birthday Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 July 2013
Leadership from the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and the U.S. Army CBRN School cut the ribbon on the Lt. Joseph Terry First Reponder Training Facility expansion Friday as part of the Chemical Corps birthday celebration. Photo by Robert Johnson
By Melissa Buckley
GUIDON staff
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The Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Corps celebrated their 95th Anniversary on Friday with a full day of events.

The morning started with a Fallen Sunrise Service in Memorial Grove.

“For all our memorial stones out here that represent our great Soldiers of the past; for all our Soldiers that came (today) that used to wear the uniform; for all the Soldiers that are wearing the uniform now — you have all stepped forward and said ‘here I am, send me’ — for that we are grateful,”  said Regimental Command Sgt. Maj. Gabriel Arnold, U.S. Army CBRN School. “Although our fallen no longer live here among us, their memories remain alive, and because we are Family, we will continue to honor their sacrifices — for our service members honor does not end with their death. Honor becomes their eternal legacy, an inheritance left to this earth and mankind, of the blessings of freedom and peace.”

Arnold said the Fallen Sunrise Service is the most important event of the day.

“There is no tradition more important than honoring those that gave everything they had in the defense of this country,” Arnold said. “Don’t leave the ceremony this morning feeling somber. Rejoice, rejoice and celebrate the lives of the fallen—celebrate the fact that we still have great people that are willing to step forward and say ‘here I am, send me.’”

Next, at the State of the Regiment, Brig. Gen. Peggy Combs, U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School commandant, started with having all the Soldiers in attendance, past and present, stand and recite the Soldier’s Creed.

    She then spoke about the future of the CBRN Corps.

“Moving forward we are the Army’s unique technical response force of choice. In fact, we are the nation’s unique technical response force of choice,” Combs said.

One of the points Combs talked about was internationally recognized certifications. She said that is why CBRN Soldiers in Advanced Individual Training now have to pass a HAZMAT operations test to graduate.

 “Not everybody can be a 74 D (CBRN Specialist),” Combs said.

Another change this year is to the regulation for the uniform worn by Soldiers in the MOS Field of 74 Chemical.  

“Every 74 coded position you are now authorized and encouraged to wear the CBRN brassard every day,” Combs said.

Combs said what the CBRN Corps does for the Army is plan, assess, characterize, advise and mitigate all hazards.

“We do CBRN protection every day. What we also do every day, that most folks do not realize, is this notion of building partner capacity around the world. We have a leadership role in the world. When they call we have to be ready. It’s very simple,” Combs said. “We naturally spill into emergency management. We are learning that lesson right now. It’s so important, particularity now on the homeland.  We have to be able to speak emergency management with our civilian counterparts.”

    The State of the Regiment concluded with a traditional cake-cutting ceremony.

The Sibert Award was presented the top performing company-sized CBRN units in the active Army, Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.

The winners this year were the 501 CBRN Company TE, 23 CBRN Bn., Camp Stanley, Republic of Korea, 272 CBRN Company, 79 Troop Command, Reading, Mass., and 371 CBRN Company, 457 CBRN Bn., Greenwood, S.C.

Then there was a Senior Leader Course Plaque Dedication, followed by the Hall of Fame and Distinguished Member of the Corps Induction.

Maj. Gen. Stephen Reeves, retired, and Staff Sgt. John Thiel, retired, were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Distinguished Member of the Corps inductees were Col. Stanley Tunstall, retired, Col. Raymond Van Pelt, retired, Col. Thomas Woloszyn, retired, Command Sgt. Maj. Bobby Vinson, retired, and Master Sgt. Richard Mettke, retired.

The next event, a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opened an expansion of the Lt. Joseph Terry CBRN First Responder Training Facility.

“The new wing will allow the facility to increase the number of students each

year to more than 2,500,” said Dan Arden, Lt. Terry Facility director.

Combs called the facility a “Field of Dreams” training facility.

“If you build it, they will come. And come they did. We have trained thousands of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, DoD personnel, FBI and several other federal agencies,” Combs said. “This is the third expansion of this facility, and we are very proud of this achievement.”

Combs called the facility the most unique training facility in the Department of Defense inventory and said the Secretary of the Army agreed with her during his recent visit to the installation.

“I asked him, ‘What other facility has it’s own cave complex, railroad, urban terrain, pre-positioned car and truck wrecks, laboratories, classrooms and conducts tours by (John Deere) Gators?’” she said. “He replied, ‘You’re right, this is the most unique training facility,’” Combs said.

After Combs’ remarks, the wing was christened with a bottle of Jeremiah Weed

blended Bourbon whiskey — the official drink of the Chemical Corps — by Maj. Gen. Gerald Watson, retired, followed by a ribbon cutting conducted by members of the Maneuver Support Center of

Excellence leadership.

Training in the new expansion is set to begin in August, Combs said.

The 95th Anniversary celebration wrapped up with the Green Dragon Ball held in Nutter Field House.

(Editor’s note: Robert Johnson and Dawn Arden contributed to this story.)

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 July 2013 )