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Fifth BCT this year shuts down on Wednesday

May. 20, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division tra
Lt. Col. Eric Lopez, commander of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, which falls under 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, and Command Sgt. Maj. John Morales, command sergeant major of 2nd Bn., 2nd Inf. Reg., case their unit colors during a transfer of authority ceremony at Forward Operating Base Apache, Afghanistan, on Feb. 27. The ceremony was held to signify the official transfer of authority from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, to 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. (Cpl. Clay Beyersdorfer/Army)
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Third Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division will case its colors during a ceremony Wednesday at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The ceremony will signify the inactivation of the brigade — the latest of 10 BCTs slated to be shut down by the end of 2015.

About 1,200 soldiers from the brigade are expected to participate in the ceremony, which will feature a horse-mounted color guard and a flyover by Fort Knox’s 8th Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment.

A salute battery also will fire a round in honor of every soldier from the brigade who died in combat since the unit arrived at Fort Knox from Fort Hood, Texas, in October 2009.

The 3rd BCT was originally activated in May 1917 and has been inactivated two other times in its history.

Wednesday’s inactivation is part of a larger Army reorganization and drawdown. The Army is inactivating 10 BCTs as it works toward an end-strength of 490,000 soldiers by the end of 2015.

The 3rd BCT will be the fifth brigade inactivated this fiscal year.

In addition to the BCT cuts, the Army will reorganize most of its remaining BCTs by adding a third maneuver battalion to its armored and infantry brigades. The Army's Stryker brigades already have three maneuver battalions each.

Even deeper manpower cuts to the Army are expected after 2015; projections call for the Army to drop to 450,000 or even 420,000 soldiers.

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