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Oregon Army Natl. Guard unit joins Wash. Stryker brigade


The Oregon Army National Guard’s 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry Regiment, officially restructured during a patching ceremony Sunday at the Bend Armed Forces Reserve Center (National Guard Armory),.

The squadron transfred from command under the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), Oregon Army National Guard, to the Washington Army National Guard’s 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), headquartered in Seattle.

The 1-82nd Cavalry Squadron was a reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA) unit subordinate to the 41st IBCT.

The unit transferred as part of the transition to convert Washington’s 81st, formerly an armor brigade, into a Stryker brigade, due to the restructuring of the Army National Guard.

The 41st IBCT gained Washington’s 1st Squadron, 303rd Cavalry Regiment, as a subordinate unit and the 81st SBCT gained Oregon’s 1-82nd Cavalry Squadron. Although the squadron is structured under Washington’s 81st SBCT, it will remain in Oregon as part of the Oregon Army National Guard with operational control under the 82nd Brigade Troop Command, headquartered in Clackamas, Oregon.

The unit’s combat role will remain reconnaissance; however, the restructuring adds new troop positions to the squadron’s rosters and replaces many of their Highly Mobile Multi-Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) with Stryker Armored Combat Vehicles and Stryker ambulances.

Stryker vehicles could increase domestic response in Oregon as rapidly deployable communication; search and rescue; evacuation and even medical vehicles during disaster relief.

The Stryker is a family of eight-wheel-drive armored vehicles designed to maneuver more easily in close and urban terrain while still providing protection in the open.

Stryker vehicles are highly mobile, known for both their off-road capability and navigating in urban areas. They come in different variants. from troop carriers, to mobile command and control vehicles, to reconnaissance vehicles or even ambulances.

Soldiers wear a unit patch on their left shoulder to symbolize the unit they currently serve under. Soldiers assigned to the 81st SBCT are now authorized to wear the 2nd Infantry Division (ID) shoulder sleeve insignia in recognition of the Army’s total force policy effort to partner active duty and National Guard units. The squadron removed their 41st IBCT “sunset” patch during the ceremony and replaced it with 2nd ID’s shoulder sleeve insignia.

The 2nd ID patch was authorized on November 6 , 1918, and was originally established by the division to use as vehicle markings to identify the vehicles as all American. The symbolism of the patch is as follows: the star has played an important role in our history from the days of the colonies to the present time. The Indian signifies the first and original American.

In attendance at the ceremony was Brig. Gen. William Edwards, the Oregon Army National Guard Land Component Commander; Washington Army National Guard Col. Bryan Grenon, Commander of the 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team; Oregon Army National Guard Col. Gregory Day, Commander of the 82nd Brigade Troop Command.

The squadron will display the new Stryker equipment in the Bend and Redmond Veterans Day parades on Friday, November 11 . The public is also welcome to attend a recruiting event and tour of the Bend Armed Forces Reserve Center beginning at 2 p.m. on Veterans Day.

The 1-82nd Cavalry Squadron consists of Oregon Army National Guard units from Bend, Lebanon, Redmond, and The Dalles, Oregon.

Major John V. Qualls of Heppner was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He took command of the squadron on September 15 , 2015.

Prior to becoming squadron commander, Qualls has served as the executive officer, operations officer and personnel officer for 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment, Oregon Army National Guard. He has also previously served as a company commander, mortar platoon leader, and tank platoon leader.

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