Thursday, July 10, 2008

Change is Good -- Especially when it involves cannons and horses!!

Yesterday I attended a Brigade Change of Command Ceremony for the Brigade my husband is in. My motivation for going was that he was going to be in the first row of his battalion and I had never been to one so I got up early (it was at 9am) and drove through fog all the way down to the Cavalry Parade field. Luckily the fog cleared up down there so it was still able to be held outside because it really is a neat thing to see when outside.

Unfortunately, I wasn't too clear on the concept of a "brigade" before this so the fact that there were so many battalions(I had finally grasped the concept of that a month or so back) was a little overwhelming and I had no idea where to even start looking for my husband. They were on the other side of the field and everyone looks the same in those darn uniforms. Also, my husband got moved to the 2nd row because in the line he was in someone taller was in the line and the tallest goes in front.

During the ceremony they identified each battalion, but unfortunately, the battalion before my husband's had a yellow flag like them(and of course I didn't know what color the battalion flag was) so I kind of lumped them together and then thought my husband's battalion was the next one with the red flag and I ended up taking mostly pictures of them!!! Ironically, that battalion was 1/5 -- my husband's old battalion!!!

Okay, so on to the ceremony and some pictures

(TJ's battalion is to the left of the flag -- our left, not theirs...

The ceremony was to bid farewell to Col Ingram and welcome Col Wesley, as the Brigade Commander, respectively.

We started with a prayer and other ceremonial things like the Star Spangled Banner and firing cannons!!!The closest one was Old Thunder and boy was it loud.

Then they set off a bunch of other ones at the edge of the field.

One of the Mounted Color Guard presented the wives of the outgoing and incoming commanders with flowers -- red roses in bloom for Mrs. Ingram. and yellow roses not yet bloomed for Mrs. Wesley. The colors and blooming held symbolism that I don't remember exactly but it was something about representing the service that was given and the service yet to come as Brigade Commnader's wives. Then Mrs. Ingram presented the flower bearer's horse with a basket of horses and the rider with a bottle of booze.

Next the Official Party was announced and driven around the field in a half track and the passing of the colors began....

Brigade Flag is passed to Col Ingram one last time

Col Ingram passes it to the Division Executive Officer

It now passes to Col Wesley, the new brigade commander

It goes back to CSM Love

And the changeover is complete!!!!!!!! Then they made speeches.

After the speeches was the pass and review where all the battalions walk by. This is when I realized the battalion I had been watching was not my husband's(and his had passed already). However, by serendipity, I did get this picture of it....

After the pass and review the outgoing commander and his wife were taken away in a mule cart(which I have ridden in before, at Halloween, with the Commanding General, thank you very much)which is part of the Mounted Color Guard.

The very end of the ceremony was marked by a final cannon shot and the best part of all............


I had never seen that done before and it was truly awesome.

I enjoyed the whole Change of Command Ceremony so much I have decided to attend another one tomorrow(minus my husband being involved)!! This time it is for the commander of the hospital, Col Smith. I have met her a few times thorugh her husband who served on the Historical Society board with me and she is really nice. I also bought some very nice strawberry themed serving bowls from her at the Post Wide Garage Sale. Hopefully the weather holds and it is just a good as the one yesterday!!

Or at least has the cannons and Mounted Color Guard.

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