Uncasing Colors in SWA
Uncasing the Colors in Saudi Arabia
The photographs below were taken by the LTC Rodney G. Thomas, Division G4 (Logistics Staff Officer), during the ceremony to uncase the Division Colors in the Port of Dammam, Saudi Arabia in January 1991. Most of the senior leadership of the Divison – battalion and brigade level commanders and command sergeants major – were not present. This was in contrast to the the Casing Ceremony held in the Frankfurt Officer's Club (Abrams Building) in early December 1990. There, in formal attire in front of those leaders, German Bundeswehr partnership leadership (5th Panzer Division primarily), and German civilian friends of the Division, MG Paul E. Funk and CSM Joe T. Hill formally cased the colors for movement to Saudi Arabia. It was cold, snowing, and the holidays were in the air. There were not too many dry eyes in the Club that night as the cased colors were marched out by the Division Honor Guard. Memory fails as to what songs were sung but the emotional tugs of that night can still pull.
Less than a month later in the largest, most modern port facility in the world, about 300 soldiers assembled on the docks to formally uncase the colors in a ceremony quite different from the one before. Some of the Division's equipment had arrived while some would take a month or so longer to get to the Division in the desert. I don't know of any other photographs of this ceremony in existance. They now are placed here for all to see. If copied, please cite the source in any documentation.
MG Paul Funk (right) and CSM Joe T. Hill (left) prior to the ceremony.
CSM Hill (back to camera) and MG Funk prepare to remove casing.
3d Armored Division Colors uncased for combat for the first time since 1945.
3d Armored Division…Present for duty
Spearhead 6…"You are trained. You are ready. Let's Go. Talkin' ain't fightin' "
Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal,
Liberation of Kuwait (Saudi Arabia) Medal, Liberation of Kuwait (Kuwait) Medal