Saturday, August 22, 2020

Trailblazers of the 348th BSB Case Colors at Inactivation Ceremony

 By Maj. William Carraway 

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard


Crest of the 348th BSB

The Georgia Army National Guard’s 348th Brigade Support Battalion a unit of the Columbus-based 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, was inactivated during a ceremony at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta Saturday, Aug 22, 2020. Colonel Brian Ellis, commander of the 648th MEB was the keynote speaker at the ceremony.


Col. Brian Ellis
Commander, 648th MEB
Photo by Maj. William Carraway

“Today is a somber day as we case the colors of the Trailblazer Battalion, even though it reflects the normal process of change the Army makes year in and year out,” said Ellis. “That is the mechanical and unsentimental process of the Army. Units, however, are more than capabilities and effects that can be achieved on the battlefield. This is especially true of units in the National Guard… Units in the National Guard not only reflect the people that make up the units but the cities, towns and states in which they are organized."

During the ceremony, the battalion command team of Lt. Col. Charles Newton and Command Sgt. Major William Scaggs cased the battalion colors. Captain April Johnson and 1st Sgt. Eric Yates cased the colors of Headquarters Company while the colors of Company A were cased by Capt. Reggie Corbett and 1st Sgt. Olivia Singleton. Each of the commanders addressed the ceremony.


“I don’t look at it as an inactivation, said Corbett. “To me, we are dispersing excellence throughout the state. We will be able to carry on what we learned here in the rest of the Georgia National Guard.”


Capt. Reggie Corbett and 1st Sgt. Olivia Singleton case the colors of Company A, 348th BSB. Photo by Maj. William Carraway

Charles Newton, the outgoing battalion commander, recognized the Soldiers of the Trailblazer Battalion in his remarks.


“I am immensely humbled to have been your commander,” Said Newton. “We come from a proud legacy. We have never dropped a mission; we have served on foreign soil and frequently in partnership with civil authorities. As we complete our last milestone and the Trailblazer colors fly for the last time, I encourage you to remember the experiences and relationships you developed in the 348th. Deliver the Strike.  Trailblazer Six signing off.”


Lt. Col. Charles Newton and Command Sgt. Major William Scaggs case the colors of the 348th BSB. To the right, Capt. April Johnson and 1st Sgt. Eric Yates
case the colors of Headquarters Company, 348th BSB. Photo by Maj. William Carraway

The 348th BSB served as the support element for the 648th MEB throughout its existence. In addition to a headquarters company, the 348th BSB was comprised of Company A, a distribution company and Company B, a maintenance Company.

Command Sgt. Major William Scaggs with the colors
of the 348th BSB. Photo by Maj. William Carraway
 The inactivation of the 348th is part of an Army-wide force restructuring and affects all maneuver enhancement brigades in the force. The 348th Brigade Support Battalion was constituted September 1, 2009 in the Georgia Army National Guard with headquarters in Cumming, Ga., Headquarters Company and Company A were federally recognized June 3, 2010 while Company B maintained federal recognition and the lineage and honors of the Liberty Independent Troop of Hinesville. One of the oldest units in the Ga. ARNG, this company carries on the lineage of the Liberty Independent Troop, which was formed in Hinesville, Ga. in 1788, fought in World War I, and served in the Pacific theater of World War II. Company B was reorganized as the 1788th Quartermaster Company October 10, 2019[1] and was transferred from the 348th BSB to the 110th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion April 15, 2020.[2]


Throughout its history, the 348th BSB has supported the 648th MEB in training exercises at home and overseas, traveling to Korea, Romania and the country of Georgia. The 348th provided critical assistance to the Macon-based 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team during its train-up for its 2018 Afghanistan deployment and has provided logistical support during hurricane responses in Georgia and Florida. In the final days before its activation, Soldiers of the 348th continued to support COVID-19 response operations.


The 648th MEB in formation in 2015 at the National History Museum, Fort Benning, Ga. Left to right are the 878th Engineer Battalion, 1-214th Field Artillery
and 348th Brigade Support Battalion. Photo by Capt. William Carraway

[1] OA 366-19

[2] OA 090-003

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