The 111th Military Intelligence Brigade revealed a new shoulder sleeve insignia and colors Oct. 4 in a ceremony held at Chaffee Parade Field.
For the 111th Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 304th, 305th and 309th Military Intelligence Battalions, the activation of the redesigned patch and colors opened a new chapter brigade history according to Col. Richard “Mike” Monnard, 111th MI Bde. commander. He said a new insignia is rare for a training unit.
“We are here today because at the end of 2012, the Army’s Institute of Heraldry contacted us with the news that each military training brigade was authorized its own shoulder sleeve insignia and colors,” Monnard explained during the ceremony. “After a 90-day design and review period, the brigade patch and [colors] were approved. Following approval, the design was sent to the manufacturer for production of the colors and patches displayed here this morning.”
Currently, the Soldiers do not wear a shoulder sleeve insignia at all. Not only will the patch make troops more identifiable, Monnard added that wearing the patch and seeing the colors will give the brigade a sense of pride.
“In the same way that patriots fight for their country’s flag, Soldiers rally around and fight for their unit colors, and each other,” he said.
The design displays rays of sun and the mythical phoenix, relating to the unit’s ties to Arizona. While the phoenix pays homage the state capitol, it symbolizes the continuous process of intelligence and its impact from the tactical to the strategic level, Monnard stated.
Following the theme of symbolism, the 111th MI Bde. decided to do the unveiling in October due to the historical significance the month has to the brigade.
“We were established as a detachment in the regular Army in October 1950, and we were formally acknowledged as a brigade-size element in October 1966,” Monnard said. “Because of those two significant dates and with the beginning of a new fiscal year, we thought it fitting to uncase the new brigade colors and don the recently approved brigade patch during the first week of October 2013.”
Ceremony guests of honor included Maj. Gen. Robert Ashley, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffery Fairley, USAICoE command sergeant major. The 62nd Army Band and Fort Huachuca Select Honor Guard also participated in the event.
The 111th MI Bde. mission is to provide administrative and logistical support as well as mandated Soldier relation training to permanent party and student personnel assigned to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School. The brigade teaches over 55 courses to approximately 10,400 students annually.