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4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
United States Army 1st Armored Division CSIB.svg
1st Armored Division shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 2008-03-04 – Present
Country United States of America
Branch Regular Army
Type Armored
Size 4,000+
Part of 1st Armored Division
Garrison/HQ Fort Bliss
Nickname(s) Highlander
Colors red, yellow, and blue
Engagements Operation Iraqi Freedom
Colonel Terry Cook
Stephen Twitty, Peter Newell

The 4th Brigade Combat Team, "Highlanders", is a Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT) of the 1st Armored Division. The brigade is mechanized and its major combat equipment include the M1A2SEP Abrams Tank, M2A3 & M3A3 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, M109A6 Paladin Howitzer, M1151 HMMWV and MRAP (armored vehicle).

Current Organization[edit | edit source]

Highlander Soldiers exit building at National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif.

United States Army 1st Armored Division CSIB.svg 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division consists of the following elements:

Heraldry[edit | edit source]

4th BCT was organized in 2005 at Fort Bliss, Texas. It was originally part of the 1st Cavalry Division. The brigade reflagged to the 1st Armored Division on 4 March 2008.[1][2]

The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division —nicknamed "Highlander"— is a Heavy Brigade Combat Team brigade of the 1st Armored Division, United States Army with base of operations at Fort Bliss, Texas.

Command and Staff[edit | edit source]

As of 22 May 2012 its command personnel includes:

Commander: Colonel Terry Cook
Command Sergeant Major: Command Sergeant Major Richard Clark

Insignia[edit | edit source]

US 1st Armored Division Distinctive Unit Insignia

Soldiers assigned to the brigade wear insignia of the 1st Armored Division.

The division was nicknamed "Old Ironsides", by its first commander, Major General Bruce R. Magruder, after he saw a picture of the frigate USS Constitution, which is also nicknamed "Old Ironsides". The large "1" at the top represents the numerical designation of the division, and the insignia is used as a basis for most other sub-unit insignias. The cannon and tracked vehicle symbols represent the mechanized role of the division.[2]

The three colors, red, yellow, and blue represent the Artillery, Cavalry, and Infantry Branches respectively, which are the colors of the three original combat arms which, when forged into one, created the field of Armor. This "pyramid of power" was devised by the order of then-Lieutenant Col. George S. Patton, Jr. in Bourg, France in early 1918 during Patton's formation and training of the Tank Corps in support of the American Expeditionary Force under General John J. Pershing.[3]

4th Brigade Insignia is displayed prominently on Brigade Headquarters at Ft Bliss, TX

Each brigade within the 1st Armored Division has created their own unique insignia in relation to their brigade nickname. The 4th Brigades nickname is the "The Highlander Brigade" and for that reason the 1st Armored Division Shoulder Sleeve insignia bearing the Arabic numeral 4 below the cannon and track symbols. The 4 is green, reminiscent of the second color of the Armor branch displayed on armor unit guidons. The shoulder sleeve insignia is that super imposed onto two crossed Scottish broadsword, weapons commonly associated with the highlands of Scotland.

Unit History[edit | edit source]

Origins[edit | edit source]

The brigade was established on 4 March 2008 during a reflagging ceremony from the 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Bliss, Texas. The first commander of the Highlander Brigade was Col. Stephen Twitty. The unit is the first brigade combat team to be activated at Fort Bliss from the 1st Armored Division. The Division will relocate to Fort Bliss in 2012 as a result of Base Realignment and Closure, 2005.

The unit's nickname "Highlander" alludes to the West Texas highlands--Franklin Mountains (Texas)—surrounding Fort Bliss. Additionally, this is a historical reference to the 1st Armored Division's participation in campaigns across the North Apennine Mountains during World War II.[4]

Operation Iraqi Freedom[edit | edit source]

Security Force Assistance: The unified action to generate, employ, and sustain local, host-nation, or regional security forces in support of legitimate authority.

Field Manual 3-07, Oct2008.[5]

The entire brigade deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in May 2009. The brigade is the proof of principle unit for the Advise and Assist Brigade concept also known as Brigade Combat Team-Stability (BCT-S/BCT-A).[6][7][8] The 4th BCT, 1AD will focus on Security Force Assistance during the deployment.[9]

The unit will operate in Southern Iraq in the provinces of Al Muthanna, Dhi Qar, and Maysan.[10]

Operation New Dawn[edit | edit source]

In August 2011 4th Brigade deployed to Iraq. Except for 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment all 4th Brigades battalion were assigned to bases and Forward Operating Bases in the North and West of Iraq. When the governments of the United States and Iraq could not come to an agreement regarding immunity for US service member in Iraq 4th Brigade was one of the last units to withdraw from Iraq as part of the closing of Operation New Dawn.

1st Battalion, 77th Armor stayed in Kuwait while the rest of 4thBrigade deployed forward to Iraq. 1-77 was assigned as the theater wide Quick Reaction Force (QRF) directly under US 3rd Army.

Operation Enduring Freedom[edit | edit source]

Shortly after the brigades return from Iraq in February 2012, members of the brigade were warned of another imminent deployment. 4th Brigade had be selected by the Army as one of the new Security Forces Advise and Assist Teams (SFAAT). These small teams would deployment to Afghanistan advising Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police command teams and staff from the battalion to corps level.

After a month long training rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Ft Polk Louisiana Fort Polk the first of three groups of SFAATs deployed in May 2012. While soldiers were awarded the Purple Heart Purple Heart no 4th Brigade soldiers died while deployed.

The 4th Brigades commanding officer Colonel Terry Cook [3] returned with the last of the teams and the brigade colors in June 2013.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Combat Team Reflagging to Mark Start of 1st Armored Division’s U.S. Standup," Armed Forces Press Service, 3 March 2008 http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=49155
  2. "Long Knife Brigade reflags under 1st AD," Army Times, 10 March 2008 http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/03/army_highlanderbrigade_030708w/
  3. Carlo D'Este. Patton : A Genius for War HarperCollins, (1995), p 215.
  4. 1st Armored Division History http://www.1ad.army.mil/History.htm
  5. U.S Army Field Manual 3-07, Stability Operations, Oct 2008 http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/Repository/FM307/FM3-07.pdf
  6. "Advise and Assist Brigade heads to Iraq," Army Live, 2 May 2009 http://armylive.dodlive.mil/2009/05/02/advise-and-assist-brigade-heads-to-iraq/
  7. "Highlander Brigade to deploy to the Iraqi Lowlands," Richard S. Lowry, OPFOR Blog, 24 April 2009 http://op-for.com/2009/04/highlander_brigade_to_deploy_t.html
  8. "Highlanders case colors, prepare for new mission," Fort Bliss Monitor, http://www.fbmonitor.com/2009/04april/043009/news/043009news3.html
  9. U.S. Army Field Manual 3-07.1, Security Force Assistance, May 2009 http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/Repository/FM3071.pdf
  10. DOD Bloggers Roundtable with Col. Newell, 30 April 2009 http://www.defenselink.mil/dodcmsshare/BloggerAssets/2009-04/05040910223420090430_Newell_transcript.pdf
  1. George F. Howe (1979). The Battle History of the 1st Armored Division. The Battery Press, Inc. ISBN 0-89839-025-7.  covers its first (World War II era) incarnation.

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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