63rd Brigade Support Battalion cases its colors

| August 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

Col. Samuel Membrere (left), commander of the 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, and ceremony reviewing officer, Command Sgt. Major Alan Roberts, 63rd Brigade Support Battalion, and Lt. Col. Peter Gleason, commander of the 63rd BSB, furl the 63rd BSB colors during an inactivation ceremony, Fort Shafter Flats, Honolulu, Aug. 6.

Story and photos by
Sgt. 1st Class Chanelcherie K. DeMello
650th Regional Support Command Public Affairs
303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade
9th Mission Support Command

FORT SHAFTER FLATS — The 63rd Brigade Support Battalion cased its colors at an inactivation ceremony here, Aug. 6, bringing to a close six years of mission support to the 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 9th Mission Support Command.

Lt. Col. Peter Gleason and Command Sgt. Maj. Alan Roberts, the 63rd BSB command team, along with Col. Samuel Membrere, commander of the 303rd MEB, partook in the furling of the battalion colors before it was cased and marched off the field.

Command Sgt. Major Alan Roberts, 63rd Brigade Support Battalion, passes the 63rd BSB colors to Lt. Col. Peter Gleason, commander of the 63rd BSB, during an inactivation ceremony at Fort Shafter Flats, Honolulu, Aug. 6. The passing of the colors initiated the act of “casing the colors,” an Army tradition held to commemorate the unit and its history before it is inactivated.

Contingent on the Army’s needs, mission and organizational force structure, a unit can be activated and inactivated an unlimited number of times.

Although the “Casing of the Colors” is not an uncommon practice, it is a time-honored Army tradition held to commemorate the unit and its history before it is inactivated.

And the 63rd BSB had plenty to memorialize.

The 63rd BSB, originally known as the 63rd Quartermaster Company, was first activated in March 1943. It served under the 63rd Infantry Division until its selection into the Organized Reserve Corps in 1952.

In February 2009, the unit was renamed the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 63rd BSB, and was ordered to activate in September 2011 in Las Vegas.

Officials at the Aug. 6 ceremony made it clear that the 63rd BSB had achieved mission success.

“Your creativity to think forward, ‘Pahu Imua,’ enhanced and enabled the execution of challenging missions,” said Membrere. “You set the bar higher every time you executed a mission.”

Since its activation in 2011, the 63rd BSB had increased its five-personnel unit to over 100 Soldiers in just its first year, which Membrere called “a sign of great leadership.” The unit participated in and excelled during Warrior Exercise 13-008, Combat Support Training Exercise 14-007, Command Post Exercise Imua Dawn 2015 and 2016, and Yamasakura 71.

“(The) 63rd BSB was there to strengthen the bilateral relationship and demonstrated our support to our mutual defense with Japan,” said Membrere.

Lt. Col. Peter Gleason (left), commander of the 63rd Brigade Support Battalion, and Col. Samuel Membrere, commander of the 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, render salute during an inactivation at Fort Shafter Flats, Honolulu, Aug. 6. The inactivation ceremony marked the official inactivation of the 63rd BSB.

In 2015, the 63rd BSB won the Department of the Army’s Philip A. Connelly food service award and the Army Supply Excellence Award.

“Not only are you competent professional Soldiers and Army civilians, but a cohesive team who always supported our higher headquarters, the 303rd and 650th Regional Support Group,” said Gleason. “I thought your greatest strength was your responsiveness and your ability to anticipate what I needed as a commander.”

Stepping up to a monumental task, the 63rd BSB hosted the memorialization ceremony of the George W. Dunaway, U.S. Army Reserve Center in Sloan, Nevada.

“No other unit could have done better in ensuring the legacy of our past is honored,” said Membrere.

Membrere, who was also the reviewing officer over the ceremony, said that the inactivation of the 63rd BSB was ordered in support of the Army Reserve mission redesign that will have combat service support battalions sustain the brigade’s mission as the BSB did, in a more battle-service approach.

“Change is one of those things in life that we resist, but is critical to any successful organization,” said retired U.S. Army Reserve Col. Randy Hart, guest speaker at the ceremony. “Our Army is no exception. We must change due to strategic decisions and a dynamic world. Our Army is in constant change in an effort to meet challenges in the world and improvements needed in order to continue to lead the world with the best and most effective Army in the world.”

As the first commander of the 303rd MEB, Hart said that one of the greatest pleasures of his 38 years in uniform was activating the 303rd MEB and the 63rd BSB.

Retired U.S. Army Reserve Col. Randy Hart is presented a flower lei by Cadet Melissa Tran, a Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, during an inactivation ceremony held for the 63rd Brigade Support Battalion at Fort Shafter Flats, Honolulu, Aug. 6. Hart attended the ceremony as the guest speaker and was the first commander of the 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, who activated the 303rd MEB and 63rd BSB in 2011.

While the 63rd BSB may have been deactivated, other units will have opportunities to gain the hundreds of professional and proficient Soldiers, civilians and families that were assigned to the 63rd BSB.

“Soldiers are what makes a unit, not a guidon or things in the unit,” said Hart. “All the accolades are due to the accomplishments of an excellent leadership team that built a high performing unit with a focus on Soldiers and their mission.”

In accordance with its permanent order, the 63rd BSB’s effective inactivation date is Sep. 15, 2017.

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