‘Dreadnaughts’ mark return with uncasing of colors
The 2nd Bn., 34th Armor Regt. uncased its colors during a ceremony Jan. 27 at Building 727. The unit recently returned from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Story by: Sgt. Summer Woode
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Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division uncased their colors during a ceremony Jan. 27 at Building 727.
The battalion, also known as the "Dreadnaughts," recently returned from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Standing up only two years ago as a combined arms battalion, the Dreadnaughts adapted quickly to the new challenges they faced in Afghanistan.
While preparing for a mission to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn, the unit received new orders for a deployment to Afghanistan. With only 60 days to prepare, the battalion worked intensely to become mission-ready.
Lt. Col. Christopher Kidd, battalion commander, expressed the pride he had in his Soldiers and their training.
"Through tough training, which included dismounted day and night live-fire scenarios, these Soldiers became equipped and ready to fight," Kidd said. "Tankers learned the skills of infantrymen, serving in every maneuver company within the battalion and conducting the majority of their air assaults."
Kidd said he considered his tankers one of the most adaptive forces of today.
"I am incredibly proud to say that when you placed an armor Dreadnaught and an infantry Dreadnaught side-by-side on a mission, you could not tell the difference between the two," he said. "They both had the same skills and great attitude to win the fight."
Kidd told the story of the battalion and its accomplishments by telling who it is, where it has been and what it has done.
"We are incomplete. We stand here today with too many out of ranks, recovering in and out of hospitals and with five less men than we started this mission with," Kidd said, referring to the Soldiers with the battalion who were either injured or killed in action while in Afghanistan.
He also acknowledged the past Dreadnaughts and "Centurions," the previous name of the battalion, who were able to attend and those who could not. Distinguished guests from the regiment included retired colonels and sergeant majors. The commander also recognized the Family readiness group – the part of the Dreadnaught Family which doesn't wear the Army uniform.
Kidd said the day was about honoring every single person who supported the battalion during its mission. The uncasing of the colors formally marked the end of the "Dreadnaughts" deployment, but Kidd acknowledged his unit must stay ready for the future.
"We will draw our tanks and (Bradleys) and start training for our next set of missions. These colors and these guidons will be cased once more as we answer our nation's call," he said.