Tropic Lightning Division hosts tattoo ceremony

| October 26, 2012 | 0 Comments

Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller (right), commander, 25th ID, talks with Col. Thomas Mackey (left), commander, 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Crosby, senior enlisted leader, 2nd SBCT, prior to the 25th ID Tattoo Ceremony at the Nehelani, Oct. 16. Tattoos are an evolving tradition dating back more than 200 years.

Story and photos by
Spc. Ariana Cary
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The 25th Infantry Division welcomed five new senior leaders into the Tropic Lighting family in a ceremony, here, Oct. 16.

Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, commander, 25th ID, hosted a tattoo ceremony at the Nehelani, here, to welcome Brig. Gen. Burt Thompson, Col. Pete Johnson, Col. Douglas Mulbury, Col. Thomas Mackey and Col. Brian Eilfer.

“This ceremony is a way to welcome senior leaders to the community,” Fuller said. “I am proud to be your division commander, and I look forward to serving with all of you.”

Thompson is the 25th ID deputy commanding general, Support. A native of Wilmington, N.C., and a 1984 graduate of Norwich University, his previous assignment was as deputy director for Operations with the National Military Command Center, J-3, Joint Staff in Washington D.C.

“It’s great to be here,” said Thompson. “It’s an honor to be back in the division. I absolutely love this division.”

Johnson assumed the position of 25th ID deputy commanding general, Operations. He was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry from the U.S. Military Academy in 1985. He most recently served as the executive officer to the Army G-3/5/7, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

“This is my first year in the Tropic Lightning Division,” Johnson said. “I’ll be blessed to stay here as long as the Army allows.”

Sheila Fuller (right), wife of Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, commander, 25th ID, pins a lapel pin on Renee Mulbury, welcoming her to the 25th ID family as her husband, Col. Douglas Mulbury, chief of staff, 25th ID, looks on.

No stranger to Hawaii or the 25th ID, Mulbury, who grew up as a 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Bronco” Soldier, now returns to the Tropic Lightning Division as the chief of staff. He previously served for two years as the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii commander at Wheeler Army Airfield.

“Our heart has always been with Tropic Lightning,” Mulbury said.

A recent graduate of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, Mackey has assumed command of the 2nd Stryker BrigadeCombat Team. Mackey previously served as the commander for the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, “Strykehorse,” 2nd SBCT, before moving on to other assignments.

“I have 10 years of wearing the 25th ID patch, and I’m blessed to come back here,” said Mackey.

Eifler assumed command of the 3rd BCT in June after serving as commander of the Regimental Special Troops Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga. Eifler stated he feels blessed to be here and that “we are all put here for a reason.”

“We are honored to be here, and it’s a great privilege,” Eifler said.

Fuller finished the remarks for the night with a prediction: “Welcome aboard. It’s going to be a sweet ride,” he said.

During this year’s tattoo, each honoree selected contemporary song pieces, such as “Last of the Mohicans” and “Soul Finger,” instead of traditional pieces. Music is an integral part of tattoos.

All songs were performed by the 25th ID Rock Band.

(Editor’s Note: Information used in this article was taken from various articles and publications.)


The Tattoo Ceremony

The word “tattoo” is thought to be derived from the Dutch phrase “doe den tap toe,” which translates to “turn off the tap.”

In the 17th century, while British soldiers were garrisoned in Flanders, the leaders of the British army would then send out a lone drummer to play a cadence to alert the soldiers it was time to leave the local taverns and return to the barracks.

The local bartenders were under instructions to turn off their beer taps and send the soldiers out. Over the years, these actions transformed into elaborate outdoor military pageants.

A tattoo ceremony generally features musical selections from the colonial times or patriotic favorites.

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Category: Leadership, News

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