Co. B, 577th Engr. Bn. Soldiers build new castle for events Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 April 2005
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Co. B, 577th Engr. Bn. Soldiers build new castle for events

At most engineer events there has been a common site, the engineer castle.

But now there is a new castle that is anything but common.

Soldiers of Company B, 577th Engineer Battalion presented a three-dimensional castle to leaders during a ceremony at Brown Hall April 7.

The castle, which took 10 days to design and 13 days to build, will be used during ceremonies and special events, said Staff Sgt. Thomas Wielgosh, the project noncommissioned officer-in-charge.

The project started with a simple tasking from Lt. Col. Robert Peterson, 577th Engineer battalion commander, to build a replacement for the old castle, which had fallen into disrepair.

The only instruction the Soldiers received was to ensure the castle was at least 16-feet tall and to minimize the bracing requirements, Wielgosh said. The old structure was simply a flat faˆßade, with exposed bracing.

So, with the help of three battalion Soldiers, Spc. Eric Bernecker, Pfc. Joshua Lynn and Spc. Jeremiah Peters, Wielgosh decided to design a castle he said "more accurately reflects the strength and pride of the Engineer Corps."

Army Engineers around the world have long embraced the turreted castle as their symbol. The use of the symbol dates back to heraldry when the castle and tower was used on coats of arms or shields of individuals, who overcome walled fortifications, were the first to mount their walls or successfully defended them.

The Army officially adopted the castle to appear on the Corps of Engineers epaulets and belt plate in 1840.

The new castle towers almost 16 feet and is three dimensional, eliminating the need for bracing.

The top turrets hinge down and the entire unit can be broken down into 10 components for easy transport.

"We designed the new structure with ceremonies in mind," Wielgosh said. "It will be used for every engineer on the parade field and stored when not in use."

Though the structure wasn’Äôt designed to be a year-round, all-weather outdoor fixture like the old castle, leadership didn’Äôt seem to mind.

Peterson, battalion commander, called the castle "beautiful" and "the pride of the Engineer Corps" during the ceremony.

"This is important (the building of the new castle) because the old castle has been used for every engineer event on post," said Sgt. 1st Class Walter Ray, senior training management NCO, vertical skills division.

The castle has been a prominent fixture at Enforce, brigade, battalion and company level change of command ceremonies, he said. The castle, displayed during the holiday season, is also one of the post’Äôs lighted attractions. Its home location is on Iowa Avenue between 1st Engineer Brigade and 577th Engineer Battalion headquarters.

Ray, likened the event to a changing of the guard.

"It’Äôs sad because we’Äôre so accustomed to seeing the old familiar castle, but also great because this one is a more impressive castle," he said.

"This castle means a lot to all of us engineers and the pride and hard work put into this castle is immeasurable," Ray said.

The fact that none of the Soldiers constructing the project are carpenters by trade is even more impressive, Feight said.

The four Soldiers are heavy equipment or crane operators.

Feight also praise Weilgosh for spending 40 hours of his own time and his personal tools to construct the new castle.

"We never envisioned a castle like this," Peterson said, as he gave the Soldiers 577th Engineer Battalion Coins of Excellence. "This goes beyond our wildest dreams."

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The top turrets hinge down and the entire unit can be broken down into 10 components for easy transport.

"We designed the new structure with ceremonies in mind," Wielgosh said. "It will be used for every engineer on the parade field and stored when not in use."

Though the structure wasn’Äôt designed to be a year-round, all-weather outdoor fixture like the old castle, leadership didn’Äôt seem to mind.

Peterson, battalion commander, called the castle "beautiful" and "the pride of the Engineer Corps" during the ceremony.

"This is important (the building of the new castle) because the old castle has been used for every engineer event on post," said Sgt. 1st Class Walter Ray, senior training management NCO, vertical skills division.

The castle has been a prominent fixture at Enforce, brigade, battalion and company level change of command ceremonies, he said.

The castle, displayed during the holiday season, is also one of the post’Äôs lighted attractions. Its home location is on Iowa Avenue between 1st Engineer Brigade and 577th Engineer Battalion headquarters.

Ray, likened the event to a changing of the guard.

"It’Äôs sad because we’Äôre so accustomed to seeing the old familiar castle, but also great because this one is a more impressive castle," he said.

"This castle means a lot to all of us engineers and the pride and hard work put into this castle is immeasurable," Ray said.

The fact that none of the Soldiers constructing the project are carpenters by trade is even more impressive, Feight said.

The four Soldiers are heavy equipment or crane operators.

Feight also praise Weilgosh for spending 40 hours of his own time and his personal tools to construct the new castle.

"We never envisioned a castle like this," Peterson said, as he gave the Soldiers 577th Engineer Battalion Coins of Excellence. "This goes beyond our wildest dreams."

Last Updated ( Thursday, 14 April 2005 )