The 3rd Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team will be deactivated during a ceremony Thursday at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

During the ceremony, the brigade's command team of Col. Scott Jackson and Command Sgt. Maj. Stanley Varner will case the unit's colors.

However, the brigade's colors and lineage will not be gone for long.

This summer, the 3rd Infantry Division's 4th BCT will be reflagged as 2nd BCT, taking on its colors and lineage.

The current 2nd BCT's deactivation is part of a larger Army reorganization and drawdown.

The Army is cutting 11 BCTs as it works toward an end-strength of 490,000 soldiers by the end of 2015.

Five of those BCTs were deactivated last year. The rest are scheduled to be cut by Sept. 30, which is the end of this fiscal year.

The other BCTs deactivating this year are:

• 3rd BCT, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York.

• 3rd BCT, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.

• 4th BCT, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas.

• 2nd BCT, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

• 1st BCT, 2nd Infantry Division, South Korea.

These cuts will bring the number of active-duty BCTs down to 32.

In addition to the BCT cuts, the Army is reorganizing 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.

Once the reorganization is completed, each BCT will have about 4,500 soldiers, nearly 1,000 more than they do in their current configuration.

The history of the 3rd Infantry Division's 2nd BCT dates back to 1917 and includes deploying to France during World War I and fighting in the Battle of the Marne, from which the 3rd Infantry Division derives its motto "Rock of the Marne," according to the brigade website.

The brigade headquarters was inactive during World War II, but the units that make up the modern brigade were heavily involved in the war, including during Operation Torch in North Africa and the Battle of Anzio in Italy, during which 22 Americans were awarded the Medal of Honor, according to the brigade website.

The Spartan Brigade was called into action again during the Korean War, participating in eight separate campaigns, according to the website.

In March 2003, the brigade attacked into Iraq as part of the "Thunder Run" into Baghdad, according to the website. It would return to Iraq several more times through 2010.

Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.

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