History of the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion

 


"VIGILANT"

41st Fires Brigade Unit History

The Battalion forms the backbone of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. It provides the 4th Brigade Combat Team with its organic Military Intelligence, Signal, Combat Engineer, Chemical Surveillance and Military Police capabilities. The Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team is composed of five companies: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion; Alpha Company (Military Intelligence), and Bravo Company (Signal), and Charlie Company (Engineer). The Battalion HHC also includes organic Military Police and Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Reconnaissance platoons.

The Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team was first constituted on 15 May 1971 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and activated at Fort Hood, Texas. It was inactivated 30 June 1972 at Fort Hood, Texas.

As part of the US Army's transformation towards a modular force Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division was redesignated on 16 October 2005 as Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and activated at Fort Bliss, Texas. Headquarters, 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division thereafter had a separate lineage. The unit was formally activated in a ceremony at Fort Bliss, Texas on 18 October 2005.

Deploying to northern Iraq, from 2006 to 2007, the Battalion supported the missions of the 4th Brigade Combat Team. During the deployment, the Battalion provided command and control for the BCT during the conduct of operations by employing its two task organized command posts. Returning to Fort Bliss in 2007, the Battalion was inactivated and was reflagged the Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division on 4 March 2008. The Battalion was reactivated in a Ceremony on Cooper Field, Fort Hood, Texas on 7 March 2008. The Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division was reflagged as the Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

The Battalion deployed to Iraq for its second tour of duty between June 2008 and June 2009. During the deployment, the Battalion was stationed in southern Iraq at seven different Contingency Operating Sites (COS). The Battalion headquarters was co-located with the Brigade Headquarters at COS Adder. The Battalion had a myriad of missions throughout the deployment, including running Garrison Command Operations for COS Adder, as well as its primary missions in support of Brigade operations. This included the reconnaissance, intelligence, and surveillance mission, as well as providing a network that enabled command and control throughout three separate provinces (Muthanna, Dhi Qar, and Maysan) in southern Iraq. The military police platoon secured the mission of training and mentoring the Iraqi Police in the region, and the Battalion was also responsible for the Base Defense Operations Cell for COS Adder.

The Battalion once again deployed to Iraq from September of 2010 to September of 2011 in support of Operation New Dawn. During the deployment, the Battalion was deployed to the Ninewa Province in northern Iraq. The Battalion headquarters was located on COS Marez. The Battalion conducted Garrison Command Operations and Base Defense Operations for COS Marez/Diamondback, as well as providing Military Intelligence, Signal, and Combat Engineer support for various operations throughout the Brigade Area of Operations.

On October 2, 2012, the Department of Defense announced the scheduled deployment of the 4th Brigade Combat Team to Afghanistan that will be accomplished before the end of the calendar year.  The 4th BCT will be the first maneuver brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division to deploy to Afghanistan; however, only a portion of the Brigade and subordinate battalions will deploy.  The Long Knife Brigade will field up to sixteen Security Force Assistance Advisory Teams (SFAAT) that will advise, assist, and enable the Afghan army and police forces to take more responsibility for the security of their country.

The Vigilant Battalion and the Long Knife Brigade cased their colors to deploy to Afghanistan on September 26, 2012.  During this deployment the Long Knife Brigade was the first security force assistance brigade in Regional Command East.  Their nine-month deployment completed their fourth combat mission since their activation at Fort Bliss, Texas on 18 October 2005 with three deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan.  They turned over their mission to the 4th BCT of the 10th Mountain Division on 25 July 2013 and returned to Fort Hood, Texas.

Their return to Fort Hood was short lived.  On 17 October 2013, the colors of the 4th Brigade Combat Team and 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion were cased and the unit was inactivated at Fort Hood, Texas.   The Brigade which was formed in 2005 to help fight in Iraq and eventually Afghanistan had completed its mission and due to impending cuts in active duty troop strength and a restructuring of the Brigade Combat Team organization its mission was complete.


Distinctive Unit Insignia

Description:   A Gold color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86 cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned as follows:  “Azure (Teal Blue) from dexter chief a lightning flash bendwise Tenné fimbriated Or and a key saltirewise, wards up Azure (Oriental Blue) fimbriated of the third, the bow charged with a mullet of the like; a base crenellated Gules fimbriated Or, overall an antique sword point to base palewise of the last, hilt Vert.”  Attached below the device a Teal Blue motto scroll inscribed “VIGILANT AND ALWAYS READY” in Gold letters.

Symbolism:   The lightning flash refers to Signal Corps participation and network systems support to the brigade.  The key denotes intelligence and surveillance capabilities provided by the Military Intelligence Corps; the green of the sword handle signifies the combat and security capabilities of the Military Police Corps; the gold mullet charged on its bow signifies excellence and the teamwork achieved from the cooperation of all participants in carrying out mission requirements.  The color teal symbolizes troop diversity within the unit, scarlet indicates courage and sacrifice.  The crenellated base of the shield denotes the security afforded by the Special Troops Battalion and the ability to take action from a position of strength.

Background:   The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 25 October 2005.

Coat of Arms

Blazon 

Shield:   Azure (Teal Blue), from dexter chief a lightning flash bendwise Tenné fimbriated Or and a key saltirewise, wards up Azure (Oriental Blue) fimbriated of the third, the bow charged with a mullet of the like; a base crenellated Gules fimbriated Or, overall an antique sword point to base palewise of the last, hilt Vert.  

Crest:   None.  

Motto:   VIGILANT AND ALWAYS READY.

Symbolism:

Shield:   The lightning flash refers to Signal Corps participation and network systems support to the brigade.  The key denotes intelligence and surveillance capabilities provided by the Military Intelligence Corps; the green of the sword handle signifies combat and security capabilities of the Military Police Corps; the gold mullet charged on its bow signifies excellence and the teamwork achieved from the cooperation of all participants in carrying out mission requirements.  The color teal symbolizes troop diversity within the unit, scarlet indicates courage and sacrifice.  The crenellated base of the shield denotes the security afforded by the Special Troops Battalion and the ability to take action from a position of strength.  

Crest:   None  

Background:   The coat of arms was approved on 25 October 2005.