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U.S. Army Chemical Corps celebrates 94th Anniversary during Regimental Week.

The U.S. Army Chemical Corps Regiment celebrated its 94th anniversary during this year's Regimental Week held at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, 17-28 June 2012. The theme for the event was "The CBRN Profession--2020 and Beyond."

Best Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Warrior Competition

Regimental week kicked off with the Best Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Warrior Competition, which was held 17-22 June. Twenty-seven 2-man teams from throughout the Army--and for the first time, its sister Services--competed in events involving Army physical fitness tests, physical endurance combat skills, the Incident Response Training Department, the Chemical Decontamination Training Facility, land navigation, Dragon warrior tasks, reflexive fire, and combatives.

According to Regimental Command Sergeant Major Gabriel Arnold, U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear School (USACBRNS), the Best Joint

CBRN Warrior Competition is vital to the Chemical Corps because "it helps identify who the very best is." Command Sergeant Major Arnold said, "We want our very best leading our formations into the future. Our Regiment will continue to provide combatant commanders with the best-trained and -equipped CBRN personnel and units in order to protect the Nation at home and abroad."

The winners of the competition (Staff Sergeant Maliek Kearney and Staff Sergeant Zachery Jones, 22d Chemical Battalion [Technical Escort], Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland) were announced at the Green Dragon Ball on 23 June. The winning team members each received several nice prizes.

Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, Multinational, Industry, and Academia CBRN Conference

Following the Best Joint CBRN Warrior Competition, the Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, Multinational, Industry, and Academia (JIIM-IA) CBRN Conference was conducted 26-27 June. The theme of this year's conference, which was attended by more than 200 CBRN partners from the JIIM-IA community, focused on the CBRN Soldiers, units, technologies, and capabilities required to enable the Army of 2020.

Keynote speakers for the first day of the conference included Colonel Robert Jones Jr., Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, Standing Joint Force Headquarters for Elimination; Major General Jonathan Treacy (U.S. Air Force), Commander, Joint Task Force Civil Support, U.S. Northern Command; Major General Charles Gailes Jr. (Army National Guard), Commander, Task Force 51, U.S. Army North and Fifth U.S. Army; and Brigadier General Leslie Smith, Commander, 20th Support Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High-Yield Explosives).

The second day of the conference consisted primarily of a series of panel discussions, beginning with a panel of JIIM-IA partners led by Colonel Sven Erichsen (Chief of Staff and Director, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs), followed by representatives from the U.S. Air Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The second panel consisted of representatives from Army Service Component Commands, including U.S. Army Africa, U.S. Army Pacific, U.S. Army Europe, U.S. Army Central, and U.S. Army South. According to Mr. Russ Gerhlein, Operations Officer, USACBRNS, "The highlight during the second day was a presentation by Colonel [Vance P.] Visser, commandant [of USACBRNS] and Chief of Chemical,1 who presented a briefing on the Fiscal Year 2013-2014 Campaign Plan." Colonel Visser's presentation was followed by a third panel discussion, in which USACBRNS and Maneuver Support Center of Excellence personnel discussed CBRN doctrine, organizations, and personnel issues.

Chemical Corps Regimental Association Exhibits

In conjunction with the JIIM-IA CBRN Conference, the Chemical Corps Regimental Association hosted an exhibition, where more than 250 vendors displayed the newest CBRN information, technology, and equipment.

According to Mrs. Arelis Rodriguez, Chemical Corps Regimental Association business manager, the exhibits allowed vendors a chance to introduce new technology that could help improve the Chemical Corps. "What we have," said one vendor, "allows the Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsman to accomplish the mission in a chemical and biological environment. What we do is save lives."

Regimental Run

More than 1,000 Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, civilians, and retirees gathered to take part in the Chemical Corps regimental run, which was held on 26 June.

Colonel Visser welcomed 20th Support Command leaders and personnel from the Fort Leonard Wood Marine Corps Detachment; Air Force 364th Detachment 1; 3d Chemical Brigade; 3d Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment; 2d Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment; 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment; 84th Chemical Battalion; 58th Transportation Battalion; and the Fort Leonard Wood Noncommissioned Officer Academy. "It's a fine morning for this esprit de corps run," Colonel Visser said. "We have members of our Regiment on the parade field along with members of other branches and our sister Services."

Before the run began, Colonel Visser reflected on the Best Joint CBRN Warrior Competition. "Your battle buddies stepped up and took charge as leaders of their profession, and we couldn't be more proud of them," he said. "Competition makes our Army great, builds character, and molds young leaders into true professionals--professionals prepared to take our Regiment well into the future." "As we begin our celebration of 94 years of service as a branch," he added, "I am fired up to be with you this morning. I look forward to seeing highly motivated CBRN warriors at the end."

Hall of Fame/Distinguished Member of the Corps Induction

The Chemical Corps paid tribute to six individuals during a time-honored Hall of Fame/Distinguished Member of the Corps induction ceremony on 26 June. (See page 50.)

"For centuries, Soldiers and civilians alike have always found the time to honor those who have performed above and beyond the call of duty," said Colonel Visser. "It is appropriate for us ... to honor these individuals who have given so much of [them]selves to their Nation, our Army, and our Corps."

Major General Ralph Wooten (Retired) and Colonel Merritt Briggs (Retired) (deceased) were inducted into the Hall of Fame--the highest form of recognition offered by the Regiment.

The Distinguished Member of the Corps designation was awarded to Major General Sampson Bass Jr. (Retired), Brigadier General Stanley Lillie (Retired), Master Sergeant Richard Robertson (Retired), and Sergeant First Class Frank Cupp (Retired) for going "above and beyond" in their personal and professional service to the Corps and by setting a vision of what the Corps is and what it needs to be.

Sunrise Service

An "Honor to Our Fallen" sunrise service was held at Memorial Grove on 27 June in remembrance of 23 Dragon Soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

"Today, we pause for this special time to remember those Dragon Soldiers who have given their lives in service to this country, particularly those killed in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. These Soldiers are patriots and heroes in the truest sense of the words," said Colonel Visser. "Their pasts and homes range from all across America. They range from lieutenant to specialist. They came into the U.S. Army from 15 states and one U.S. territory," he added. "While they came from a variety of locations, today they are united as a band of brothers and sisters who believed in a higher cause. And they were willing to--and ultimately did, in fact--give everything they had in that cause of liberty [and] freedom and to help others."

Spouse's Tour

The 3d Chemical Brigade hosted a spouse's CBRN training tour of the Chemical Defense Training Facility and the First Lieutenant Joseph Terry CBRN Responder Training Facility on 27 June.

According to Colonel Jim Bonner, commander of the 3d Chemical Brigade, "It is important [for spouses] to understand what their [CBRN Soldiers do] within the military. It serves to reinforce that bond ... and [helps the spouses] clearly understand what hard, realistic training their loved ones have conducted that has made them an expert in their field."

Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Borcherding, director of the Incident Response Training Department, 3d Chemical Brigade, USACBRNS, discussed changes that the Chemical Corps has experienced throughout the years. "We are operating in more urbanized terrain ... and [we are encountering] a lot of chemicals in industry that [were] never used as weapons," he said. He went on to explain that these changes resulted in the need for modifications to CBRN procedures and equipment.

Sibert Award Presentation

Regimental Week concluded with the presentation of the Sibert Award on 28 June. The award, which is named for Major General William Sibert--the "father of the Chemical Corps"--is presented to the top-performing, company-size CBRN Regular Army, Army National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserve units.


A total of 28 application packets (the most ever submitted for the Sibert Award competition) were received and reviewed by the selection board, and the competition was fierce.

Company B, 22d Chemical Battalion, was honored with the Regular Army Sibert Award. For the second year in a row, the Army National Guard Sibert Award was presented to the 637th Chemical Company, Kettering, Ohio. Also for the second year in a row, the U.S. Army Reserve Sibert Award was presented to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 415th Chemical Brigade, Greenville, South Carolina. Each of these units achieved the highest standards in unit training, maintenance, discipline, safety, reenlistments, awards, and overall organizational excellence.

"For these three companies to be selected as our best chemical companies in their respective components is a monumental achievement," said Colonel Visser. He also acknowledged the significant achievement of a back-to-back victory, stating, "It's not an easy feat because it requires consistence, excellence in all areas of an organization over the course of a year, and a lot of hard work."

The guidons of each of the Sibert Award winners will hang inside the entryway hall of the USACBRNS until next year's competition.


(1) Colonel Vance P. (Phil) Visser served as the commandant of the USACBRNS and as the 26th Chief of Chemical from August 2010 to August 2012.

At the time this article was written, Ms. Newcomb was a member of the Fort Leonard Wood Guidon staff.
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Author:Newcomb, Amy
Publication:CML Army Chemical Review
Date:Dec 22, 2011
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