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Attendees at Fridays 198th Infantry Brigade one station unit training graduation ceremony got a special treat, as the 198th and 199th Infantry Brigades presented the Massing of the Colors ceremony during the graduation. The ceremony combined the colors and color guards of 20 organizations from throughout the local community.
The Massing of the Colors was first held on Nov. 11, 1922, and serves to rededicate faith in the United States and to display support of the national colors and the servicemen and servicewomen that the colors represent.
We graduate OSUT graduations each and every week, and each graduation is a fantastic event, but when theres an opportunity for those young Infantrymen on the field to see even a bigger picture of our nation and our Army in conjunction with the Massing of the Colors, it was an opportunity we just couldnt pass up, said Col. Jonathan Neumann, commander of the 198th Infantry Brigade.
Col. Lance Davis, commander of the 199th Infantry Brigade, said the ceremony not only serves to inspire the Soldiers who were graduating, but also the members of the community who participated.
Its an opportunity to really bring the community together and to bring out some of these Junior ROTC programs, Davis said. Its good for them to come out here and be around the Soldiers and have them set an example. Maybe these guys will continue on and maybe join the military someday.
2nd Lt. Robert Thiel, of the 199th helped to organize the event and had a hand in coordinating with all of the organizations that participated.
We had a great turnout with 20 organizations out here, and were very grateful for each and every one of them, Thiel said.
Thiel said having the ceremony during an OSUT graduation seemed appropriate, as it would serve as a reminder of the communities that Soldiers fight to protect.
It kind of instills the patriotism and reminds these Soldiers of what exactly theyre fighting for, Thiel said. Theyre going to be out there fighting in the trenches, and its good to know that all these organizations who were out here today support them and serve under the same flag. Its good to show that unity with the local community.
The ceremony included the colors and color guards of the U.S. Naval Reserves, Columbus State Universitys Army ROTC, Auburn Universitys Air Force ROTC, Russell County High School JROTC, Lanett High School JROTC, Shaw High School JROTC, Hardaway High School JROTC, Smith Station High Schools Marine Corps JROTC, Central High Schools Navy JROTC, the Columbus Guards, the Coweta Falls chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, the third district of the American Legion, the Camp Benning chapter of the Global Association Buffalo Soldiers Recognition and Riding Club, the Columbus Fire and EMS Department, the Phenix City Fire Department, Columbus Police Department, Phenix City Police Department, Muscogee County Marshals Office, Muscogee County Sheriffs Office and the Russell County Sheriffs Office.
After the Massing of the Colors, Soldiers from E Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment; D Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment and F Company, 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry Regiment officially graduated from OSUT.