Story by: Capt. Christopher Buys, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas - The 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team ‘Black Jack Brigade’, 1st Cavalry Division, marked the start of a deployment in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve with a colors casing ceremony on Cooper Field Jan. 6.

Col. Christopher Kirkpatrick, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Adams, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team command sergeant major, case the colors during a ceremony on Fort Hood, Texas, Jan. 6. BLACK JACK is on rotation to the EUCOM area of operations to support Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Army Photos by Pfc. Jacob Nunnenkamp)

The casing of the colors is a traditional ceremony held by the United States Army.

From the earliest of times, warriors used a banner or other symbols to identify specific units, and to serve as a rallying point for troops. Today, the brigade colors, with battle streamers attached, join their unit in formations during ceremonies to signify their presence during past battles.

This ceremony symbolizes the unit’s movement of operations from its home station to the U.S. Army Europe Command area of operations in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Since April 2014, U.S. Army Europe and Africa has led the Department of Defense’s Atlantic Resolve land efforts by bringing units based in the U.S. to Europe. The deployment of ready, combat-credible U.S. forces to Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve is evidence of the strong and unremitting U.S. commitment to NATO and Europe. Through bilateral, joint and multinational training, Atlantic Resolve builds readiness, increases interoperability and enhances the bond between ally and partner militaries.

“The brigade is no stranger to Europe, having recently deployed in support of Atlantic Resolve in 2019,” said Col. C.J. Kirkpatrick, Black Jack brigade commander. “However, the conditions have changed. Black Jack now deploys to stand alongside our European allies and partners to posture against an adversary in the east that threatens democracy and all freedom-loving people. We are ALL IN!”

Approximately 4,000 Soldiers from the ‘Black Jack Brigade’ and subordinate units will deploy to Europe.

Col. Christopher Kirkpatrick gives a speech during the ceremony where 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team’s colors were cased on Fort Hood, Texas, Jan. 6. This ceremony marked the start of 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team’s rotation to the EUCOM area of operations. (U.S. Army Photos by Pfc. Jacob Nunnenkamp)

” You are the last 2000 meters of American diplomacy. The world is and has been watching one of the most modern and lethal armor formations on the planet prepare for this mission,” said Kirkpatrick of his troops. ” They know you are ready. You know you are ready. And we are all incredibly proud of who you are and what you represent.”

Kirkpatrick closed his remarks by expressing his gratitude for the families of the Soldiers.

“I offer my utmost gratitude for allowing these brave Troopers to stand up and answer the Nation’s call,” he said. ” There is a network of support here at the Great Place to share the burden with you while we are away. You’re a part of the Best Team, America’s First Team. Again, thank you for your support. We will return soon.”