The Bayonet

Tuesday, May. 20, 2014

Pioneer Battalion cases its colors

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The Fort Benning community bid farewell to the 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, during its discontinuation ceremony May 13 at York Field.

The ceremony included a casing of the colors and remarks from battalion commander Lt. Col. Darren Jennings and 316th Cavalry Brigade commander Col. David S. Davidson.

"I am extremely proud of the Soldiers, officers, NCOs and D.A. civilians that made up the 2-29 Infantry Regiment and they will do great things as they go on to other organizations around the MCoE," Jennings said. Jennings has been commander of the battalion since May 2012. His next assignment will be as the deputy commanding officer of 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. He previously served as the operations officer for the Defense Coordinating Element, FEMA Region X in Seattle.

The battalion's primary mission was training Soldiers and maneuver leaders. It was comprised of five Infantry companies and one UH-60 equipped flight company.

The battalion provided initial entry training support to the 198th and 199th Infantry Brigades consisting of land navigation, mounted react to contact, individual tactics, squad tactics, hand grenade, mines, communications, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, first aid, machine guns and shoulder-launched munitions training. It also supported eight functional training courses included Dismounted Counted Improvised Explosive Device Master Trainer, Heavy Weapon Leader, Sniper, Basic and Tactical Combatives Instructor, Advanced Situational Awareness and the Unmanned Aerial System courses.

"This battalion has a long history - well over 100 years - and the organization may go away but its functions will remain so we will continue to produce snipers, mortarmen and continue to provide one station unit training support for 11C Infantrymen," Jennings said.

Davidson said all functions and courses of the battalion have been transferred to the Airborne and Ranger Training and 199th Infantry brigades as well as the 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry, and 1st Squadron, 16th Cavalry regiments, as part of the Maneuver Center of Excellence's reorganization efforts.

Jennings said he was honored to command a battalion that has greatly impacted the Army by producing Soldiers and leaders who will continue a legacy of professionalism and high-quality training.

"We're still a nation and an Army at war and to know that every Soldier we trained will leave Fort Benning, go to his unit and soon deploy to Afghanistan knowing that he or she would be successful based off the training we gave them," he said. "That's a very rewarding feeling to know that we contributed to this fight through the 60,000 Infantrymen and 15,000 officers that have been trained over the last two years."

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