By SGT. 1ST CLASS GARY COOPER
3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) PAO
Third Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Sadowski Center Friday. The casing ceremony marked the command’s upcoming deployment to Afghanistan and Kuwait, while preparing the unit flag for movement. The event was attended by leaders from across Fort Knox, friends from the surrounding community, Soldiers of the command and their Family members.
The unit color guard, led with precision by Sgt. 1st Class Steven Barth-maier, the G-3 operations noncommissioned officer, presented the colors to Brig. Gen. Flem “Donnie” Walker who rolled the flag up while Command Sgt. Maj. Edward Bell deliberately unfolded the flag’s multicam patterned case. Ultimately the case slid over the flag and its many campaign streamers.
After the color guard retired the colors, Walker spoke to the 3rd ESC Soldiers and their Families, acknowledging their shared sacrifice.
“I think all of us prefer an uncasing ceremony over a casing ceremony any day of the week—as we understand the emotion that accompanies casing the colors—not only in what we are about to do, but most importantly for what we are about to leave behind for nine months as this outstanding team departs for Afghanistan and Kuwait.
“The 3rd ESC’s mission will be recovering and returning military equipment from 12 years of war, transferring and closing bases and providing sustainment to Soldiers still in the area,” he said.
Walker concluded by expressing his gratitude.
“I want to thank you for what you’ve done in the past, I thank you for what you do today, but more importantly, I thank you for what you are about to go and accomplish.”
Walker’s words foreshadowed future ceremonies. The Soldiers will uncase their flag overseas when they begin their deployment, and will again uncase the flag nine months later as their Families welcome them home.
This will be the fourth deployment for the 3rd ESC in the past six years. The command deployed to Iraq in 2008-09, Haiti in 2010, and Afghanistan in 2012-13.