Story and photo by Spc. Kayla Benson
358th Public Affairs Detachment
BILLINGS, Mont. - The 411th Ordnance Battalion served its nation well in World War II and was deactivated in 1968. More than four decades later, the U.S. Army Reserve unit plans to support its nation once again as one of the few active ordnance battalions. Soldiers, family and friends gathered for the 411th OB reactivation ceremony here, Sept. 21, 2013.
Brig. Gen. Ivan N. Black, the commanding general of the 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, passed the unit’s crimson and gold colors to Col. Howard C. W. Geck, the group commander of the 652nd Regional Support Group, who passed the colors to Lt. Col. Tuan A. Truong, the 411th OB commander. This tradition symbolizes the responsibility Truong accepts in becoming the new commander for the unit.
The more than 50 soldiers assigned to the 411th will train monthly for their wartime mission of supplying ammunition, weapons and other related equipment.
“I think we have a lot of great soldiers in this unit and I think we’ll accomplish great things,” said Pfc. Kaitlyn Gelsinger, a paralegal specialist with the 411th OB. “Hopefully go above and beyond what we’re actually supposed to do.”
The local community welcomes the unit to the area. Billings Mayor Thomas Hanel was among the many distinguished guests to attend the reactivation ceremony.
“We’ve always made strong efforts to include [local soldiers] in our activities,” said Hanel. “It’s crucial - very, very important to have the Army Reserve here in Billings.”
Also showing support for the reservists were two representatives for Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., as well as state legislators Elsie M. Arntzen, R-Billings, Robyn Driscoll, D-Billings, Roger Webb, R-Billings, Kelly McCarthy, D-Billings, and Clayton Fiscus, R-Billings.
Truong is confident in the soldiers under his command and showed great enthusiasm for the 411th’s future.
“On this day going forward, there’s no doubt it’s going to be the best battalion,” said Truong. “I’m very proud to be here and be part of this battalion.”