Story by: Army Sgt. Darrell Stembridge, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
Col. Christopher Dempsey took command of 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team “IRONHORSE,” 1st Cavalry Division during a traditional ceremony held on Cooper Field, Fort Hood (Now designated Fort Cavazos), Texas on Nov. 3.
Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV, 1st Cavalry Division commanding general, presided over the ceremony which included the military traditions of conducting a pass and review on horseback and passing the unit guidon to the incoming commander.
During his remarks, Richardson highlighted the brigade’s recent return from a nine-month rotation supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve in Europe; its support towards a non-traditional mission to welcome over 7,000 Afghan guests at Camp Atterbury, Indiana last fall and their current support towards Project Convergence 2022 in Fort Irwin, Calif. at the National Training Center.
“IRONHORSE never quits,” Richardson said. “In fact they do a lot more than that, they win…It’s that attitude, that winning spirit that defines this brigade.”
Over the past few months, elements of 1ABCT including 1st Battalion 82nd Field Artillery, 115th Brigade Support Battalion, and the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion are currently at NTC supporting Army Futures Command in the Army’s largest joint and multinational modernization experiment in history, Project Convergence-22.
As the brigade begins the next chapter in its history, they will launch into a new training path enabling leaders and Troopers to build and maintain readiness through individual and collective training while preparing for upcoming large-scale exercises including a spring Warfighter exercise and a combined arms rotation at NTC this summer.
“It is the leaders on the field today that built this cohesive team,” said Richardson. “They are fit, disciplined, well trained, ready to fight and win wherever and whenever called.”
“Col. Dempsey will provide the inspirational purpose, direction, and motivation to build this team into the most lethal combined arms formation on the face of the earth,” Richardson continued.
Dempsey began his career as an armor officer serving with 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st CAV Division as a tank platoon leader. After leaving the First Team, Dempsey gained in-depth experience while serving at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of command in staff and command positions both in garrison and in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most recently, Dempsey participated in the U.S. Army Advanced Strategic Leadership Studies Program in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Once he completed the program he served as the Combined Arms Center G-3/5/7 responsible for developing and managing training operations, policies and plans.
In his remarks, Dempsey began with thanking the III Armored Corps and 1st CAV Division leaders for warmly welcoming him and his family to Fort Hood (Now designated Fort Cavazos). He also recognized his first platoon sergeant, Command Sgt. Maj. (Ret) Joseph Adcock, and his first battalion commander, Gen. (Ret) Paul Funk II, both present at the ceremony. He then thanked the Troops and Families who will now fall under his command.
“IRONHORSE Troopers and families, you are all exceptional,” said Dempsey. “All we ask is that you start where you are with what you have, make it matter and never stop improving. IRONHORSE never quits and I am proud to be your Commander.”
1st Armored Brigade was constituted in the Regular Army in August 1917. Initially operating as horse cavalry Troopers, the brigade distinguished itself during combat operations in World War II, Vietnam, Desert Shield/Storm, Bosnia and Iraq. In June 1972, the brigade received the official designation of “IRONHORSE”. As of today, the 1st IRONHORSE Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, stands ready to lead the way to any contingency area world-wide to accomplish any mission that the future might bring.
“This is a tremendous honor and privilege, to be a commander for this historic brigade,” said Dempsey. “I just want to be as humble and caring as I can knowing that there are a lot of Troopers and families in this brigade that are counting on me to do the right thing, and I look forward to doing that.”