character, give him power" - Abraham Lincoln
Our TOA ceremony was held inside the main gym on the basketball court. Speicher actually has a nice gym, the building is one of the few in Iraq that continuously has been used for its original purpose. Due to the weather, our Commanding General was unable to attend. Some people may not quite fathom that but, trust me, when the weather doesn't cooperate around here you do not fly. The ceremony is a simple event. The Battalion Colors from the outgoing and incoming units are both carried by the Color Guard. The Colors of the outgoing unit are "cased" by their Commander and CSM. Then the Colors of the incoming battalion are "uncased" by their BC and CSM. This symbolizes the transfer of one command to another. The orders are published and then the speeches are given. I kept mine short. Soldiers get bored very easily and their minds can only endure what their butts (or feet if they are standing) can take. In less than thirty minutes we were done. The only thing left for the outgoing unit to do was go home. They'd earned it. My Battalion went to work. This is our mission now, our responsibility and our task. It will occupy our efforts for the rest of the year. COB Speicher is now officially our home.