FORT CAVAZOS — In a dual-purpose ceremony at Cooper Field on Thursday, the 3rd Cavalry Regiment welcomed Col. Jeffrey Barta and Command Sgt. Maj. Mikeal McInroy as its new commander and senior enlisted advisor.
Barta takes the reins from Col. Kevin Bradley and becomes the 80th commander of the regiment, which falls under the command of the 1st Cavalry Division. McInroy assumes responsibility in succession of Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Dein as the 26th regimental command sergeant major. The history of the unit dates back to 1846.
Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, had nothing but praise for all the men coming and going.
For Barta and McInroy, they hit the ground running.
“Just as the first colonel (of the regiment) had less than a year to ready the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen for an operational deployment, so too does the 80th colonel and the 26th regimental command sergeant major have less than a year before the regiment is called to serve again overseas in the defense of our nation,” Richardson said. “This time next year, the Third Cavalry Regiment will have boots on the ground in Korea, assuring our allies and deterring our adversaries on the peninsula. Col. Barta is the right leader at the right time to lead this organization on the strategically critical mission.”
During his remarks, Barta called the crowd’s attention to the formation of seven squadrons on the parade field.
“Uniquely, this is one of a few united (formations) together under the same yellow standards and red and white guidons and the most powerful organization in our Army,” he said. “We live in turbulent times that we haven’t seen in decades. Other regimes threaten our way of life and values enshrined in our Constitution. But just as the predecessors before us, this formation is baptized in fire and blood and come out steel. They’re ready to meet the next challenge.”
During his remarks, Richardson said the regiment is ready to go anywhere because of the training and guidance it received under Bradley and Dein.
“These two war fighters have trained and prepared this outfit for combat,” Richardson said. “They led this regiment through a challenging training regimen that led them into and through a decisive National Training Center rotation where they honed their craft, built the team and came out steel.”
Early in his remarks, Bradley was quick to remind the regiment of their progress under his and Dein’s tutelage.
“Two and a half years ago, on a somber and dreary December day, we passed the colors in the shadow of our memorial — no speeches, no cake — but our words given to us 175 years earlier showed the path forward.” he said. “Brave Rifles, veterans, you have been baptized in fire and blood and come out steel. And out of this consuming fire, we chose to forge a new steel, a better version of this regiment, and committed to being Brave Rifles tough — great teammates who act with moral courage and attack with a lethal attitude.”