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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 11, 2006

Contact:
Staff Sgt. Chris A. Durney
875th Engineer Battalion
Public Affairs Specialist 
chris.durney@iraq.centcom.mil
christopher.durney@us.army.mil

Arkansas Engineer battalion earns combat patch ~ Proud to wear 411th Engineer Brigade symbol

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq – Soldiers of the Arkansas Army National Guard’s 875th Engineer Battalion now proudly wear the patch of the 411th Engineer Brigade on their right shoulder, a testament to their roll in the brigade’s “plan, build and protect” mission.

Members of the battalion’s A and C companies were awarded their 411th combat patches in a ceremony at Logistic Support Area (LSA) Anaconda Dec. 7, 2006. Battalion Soldiers with the 131st Engineer Company and Headquarters, Headquarters Company, stationed at Camp Striker, received their patches December 8.

The combat patch is formally known in Army regulation as the Former Wartime Service Shoulder Sleeve Insignia. The tradition of wearing a patch indicating that a Soldier served as a member of a combat unit began with the 81st Infantry Division in World War I. Gen. John J. Pershing authorized the shoulder sleeve insignia in 1918.

At LSA Anaconda, Brig. Gen. Michael Silva, commander of the 411th Engineer Brigade, placed combat patches on Lt. Col. Patricia Anslow, 875th commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Billy Ward. Anslow and Ward then passed the honor down to the battalion staff, and the company commanders, who placed patches on each of their Soldiers right shoulders.

Members of the 875th wear the familiar “hog” patch of the Arkansas Army National Guard’s 87th Troop Command on their left shoulder.

The 875th was mobilized in March, and underwent pre-deployment training at Fort McCoy, Wis., before deploying to the Iraq theatre of operations in late September. The battalion’s route clearance and route sanitation missions are a critical part of the “protect” portion of the 411th’s “plan, build and protect” motto, ensuring military mobility and the free flow of Iraqi commerce in the Baghdad area.

PHOTO RELEASE
See photo at right


full cutline -

Seating the patch
Command Sgt. Maj. Billy Ward, Command Sgt. Maj. of the Arkansas Army National Guard’s 875th Engineer Battalion, “seats” the patch of the 411th Engineer Brigade on to the shoulder of 1st Lt. Terri Scroggins during a combat patch ceremony at Camp Striker, Iraq, Dec. 8, 2006. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Chris A. Durney)

additional photos available - contact adrienne.brietzke@us.army.mil (please indicate name of release and date)

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Honoring Arkansas National Guard Fallen.
Lt. Col. Allen Hargis, of Hot Springs Village, presents a slow, respectful salute to each individual display representing the four Fallen Soldiers under his command who died from an April 24, 2004 Rocket attack in Taji, Iraq. The event was a painful moment for Hargis, who was only a few meters from the blast that took the lives of his Soldiers. Hargis served as the commander of the Hazen based 39th Support Battalion of the 39th Brigade Combat Team.
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Courage.
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