25th ID celebrates birthday with Tropic Lightning Week

| October 10, 2014 | 0 Comments
A rare scene as Tropic Lightning assembles more than 8,000 Soldiers and static displays, together, on Weyand Field, Thursday.

A rare scene as Tropic Lightning assembles more than 8,000 Soldiers and static displays, together, on Weyand Field, Thursday.

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Sean Everette
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Equine nostrils flared as horses galloped, back and forth, across Weyand Field, here, by the 25th Infantry Division headquarters building.

This wasn’t a flashback to the days when the Army actively employed these animals.

The sound of the hooves pounding the ground was mixed with the sounds of mallets hitting a little white ball and a cheering crowd. This was a polo exhibition, Thursday, and one of the capstone events for the division’s 73rd birthday celebration, Tropic Lightning Week.

TLW is, in addition to a birthday celebration, a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the 25th ID’s return to Hawaii from Korea in 1954.

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The division celebrated much the same as it does every year, battalions competing throughout the week in several sports tournaments and physical competitions to decide which will be TLW champion and take home the Guadalcanal Cup.

A1_25thID_Tropic-Lightning-ZQ077-13_004_wThe final day was a little different than the cookout and party of past years. In addition to the polo exhibition, the division hosted a traditional Ha’a ceremony and luau for the surrounding community, and it held a pass in review and veterans’ recognition ceremony.

The competition, pomp and circumstance were also a really great opportunity for the division to come together as a family.

“It’s about camaraderie, bringing the organizations together,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Benjamin Jones, 25th ID senior enlisted advisor. “It’s more than just the Guadalcanal Cup. It’s about building the team from Soldier to leader. This is an opportunity to bring everyone together, mesh the colors.”

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One of the units to feel this most keenly was the 65th Engineer Bn. Although technically not part of the 25th, yet, the engineers participated in the week’s events in an effort to get to know the team they’re joining when they officially become part of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team on Oct. 21.

“The best part of this week is the relationships built along the way,” said Lt. Col. David Acker, 65th Eng. Bn. commander. “It really makes us feel like a part of their organization and a part of their team.”

This was the common thread throughout the week.

“We are celebrating our division birthday,” said Chaplain (Capt.) John Gabriel, division headquarters battalion chaplain. “It’s gives us an opportunity to come together to enjoy the 25th ID family.”

Jones added, “It’s also a chance, at the end of the day, to reflect on Soldiers, past, present and future.”

Maj. Gen. Charles Flynn, 25th Infantry Division Commanding General, and the division staff cheer on Col. David Womack, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team commander, and his brigade as they finish up the Division Run that kicked off Tropic Lightning Week 2014. Tropic Lightning Week 2014 is a celebration of the 25th Infantry Division’s 73rd birthday and 60th anniversary of their return from the Korean War.

Maj. Gen. Charles Flynn, 25th Infantry Division Commanding General, and the division staff cheer on Col. David Womack, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team commander, and his brigade as they finish up the Division Run that kicked off Tropic Lightning Week 2014. Tropic Lightning Week 2014 is a celebration of the 25th Infantry Division’s 73rd birthday and 60th anniversary of their return from the Korean War.

 

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Category: News, Observances

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