Troopers from across the 1st Cavalry Division gathered for a special patch and retreat ceremony conducted May 31 on Cooper Field at Fort Hood.
During the ceremony, the First Team said farewell to Brig. Gen. Chris Norrie, deputy commanding general – maneuver, and Col. Matthew Cody, division chief of staff, and welcomed Brig. Gen. Brett Sylvia, incoming deputy commanding general – maneuver.
Maj. Gen. Paul Calvert, 1st Cav. Div. commanding general, hosted the ceremony and began his remarks by bidding farewell to Norrie and Cody, and expressing his excitement regarding the newest member of the team.
“Goodbyes are hard. They are especially difficult when you say goodbye to key and essential members of the team who flat out made the organization better every single day,” Calvert said.
“While it saddens our hearts to lose these two great leaders and Families, we are fired up and highly excited to welcome newly promoted Brig. Gen. Sylvia and his Family to the First Team,” he added.
Norrie gave his departing speech first where he stated 10 of the most significant things he learned during his time at the Great Place, which included thoughts such as the importance of action, communication and fundamentals. He then expressed his love for the Fort Hood community.
“I only hope that these thoughts are deserving of your presence this afternoon and that they are representative of the rich dialogue we have enjoyed together as part of the most lethal formation on planet earth, the 1st Cav. Div.,” Norrie said.
Cody spoke next.
“It has been an honor and a privilege serving, once again, in the most lethal division on the planet,” he said. “To Maj. Gen. Calvert, sir, thanks again for providing steady leadership and a command climate of trust that allowed combat readiness to flourish. Without compromise, you invested in leader development, the importance of relationships and balance with our Families.”
He closed with, “It is a great team, it is our team, and it is the First Team.”
During the ceremony Calvert also welcomed the division’s new deputy commanding general – maneuver, by presenting Sylvia with a 1st Cav. Div. patch and the traditional Calvary Stetson.
“We are getting a leader with immense talent, a man of character, and a Soldier that has the drive, intellect and commitment to make a difference every day for the betterment of the team.” Calvert said. “Thanks in advance for the difference that I know you’re going to make in the formation.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Sylvia addressed the formation by saying, “It is truly an honor to now be a part of America’s First Team. To the troopers and leaders of the division, there is no other division in our Army with the firepower and shock effect of this division.”
“I promise to give you my all as we continue to build the readiness and lethality of this all-powerful division,” he added. “My Family and I are truly proud to now be living the legend. First Team!”
Sylvia and his Family are not strangers to the Great Place. In his previous assignment, he served as the III Corps and Fort Hood chief of staff.