JOINT BASE CAPE COD, Mass. –
Soldiers from the 101st Engineer Battalion mustered on a parade field here Sunday, September 15, much like their colonial brethren of the past did in Salem in 1636.
However, instead of mustering for training to defend the colonies, these Soldiers gathered to celebrate the changing of command of one of the oldest military units in America and to honor one of their own.
In August of 2010 Staff Sgt.(ret) Brienne Sullivan was severely wounded in combat while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 379th Engineer Company.
“It comes down to three things that are very special to me and I think most of us in the National Guard and that is duty, dedication and most importantly determination. She represents something for us that is really near and dear to all of us as members of the armed forces wearing the uniform,” said Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard.
Rice presented Sullivan with the Meritorious Service Medal for her exceptionally service while deployed with the 379th Engineers.
“It’s the determination, the duty the dedication of Brienne Sullivan that drives us forward to say no matter what we’re handed no matter what fate and god presents in front of us that we don’t know about and that unknown is the fact that we can get through it and we can get through it with honor,” said Rice.
After the awards presentation, the Soldiers of the 101st Engineer Company witnessed the time honored tradition of a change of command ceremony.
Today, Lt. Col. Ryan P. Floyd relinquished command of the 101st Engineer Battalion to Maj. Shawn Cody during a ceremony held here.
“To the Soldiers of the Battalion, there are far too many of you to thank individually and to many things to thank you for, I hope that I have expressed my appreciation many times before now but just in case, thank you for the blood the sweat tears, the commitment professionalism, selfless service and all around greatness,” said Lt. Col Ryan P. Floyd, the outgoing commander of the 101st Engineer Battalion.
The 101st Engineers, who trace their lineage back to the East Regiment, has a storied past ranging from the battle of Lexington and Concord to the mountains of Afghanistan and with units already deployed and more set to deploy within the next year, the 101st Engineers historic story continues to grow.
“All that has been accomplished over the past two years, the deployments, the state activations, improvements in training and personal readiness, I give all the credit to you and I thank you for the best job I’ve ever had,” said Floyd.
Moving from the past to the future, the incoming commander took time to make note of the days importance.
“There’s three things in priority order today of importance, one was what we did at 1030 recognizing sergeant Sullivan, by far that’s the most important thing that we’ll do. Second is to thank Col Floyd, recognize him and thank the BN for their service under him, and last is to welcome my family officially into the 1010st Engineer Battalion,” said Maj. Shawn C. Cody, incoming commander of the 101st Engineer Battalion.
“We can’t leave any Soldiers behind, we recognized sergeant Sullivan today which is fitting and proper, we need to continue to do that, we need to reach out to the Soldiers we served with in the past and the ones we serve with today and watch out for them,” said Cody.
With Battle streamers that predate the United States of America, and units continually deploying into harm’s way to serve their Country, the brave men and women of the Nation’s First will continue to write the story America’s oldest military unit.