The Chemical Corps kicked off its regimental week in fine style Tuesday morning with a massive run that brought Soldiers, Marines and Airmen together to celebrate.
The Chemical Corps kicked off its regimental week in fine style Tuesday morning with a massive run that brought Soldiers, Marines and Airmen together to celebrate. The early morning event was preceded by some brief remarks from Col. Phil Visser, commandant of the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School. “It’s a fine morning for an esprit de corps run,” he remarked to the hundreds of troops that stretched across Gammon Field as the sun broke the horizon. He congratulated the participants and winners of last week’s CBRN Warrior Competition and then briefly touched on the history of the regiment. “As we begin our celebration of 94 years of service as a branch, on (June 28), 1918, the Chemical Warfare Service was established, and in 1946, re-designated the United State Army Chemical Corps, the name we still use today,” Visser added. He closed his remarks with the regiment’s motto, “Elementis Regamus Proelium,” which translates to “Let us rule the battle by means of the elements.” In addition to the run, the 2012 Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, Multinational, Industry and Academia CBRN Conference began Tuesday morning. Russell Gehrlein, USACBRNS operations officer, said he was pleased to see the conference come together. Representatives from across the Armed Services attended, traveling from duty stations throughout the U.S. and overseas. “The (Army’s senior leadership) recognizes the importance of our mission to support and defend the homeland,” Gehrlein said. “We have to be prepared, organized and synchronized, and this conference is a chance for the senior leaders to share ideas.” Colonel Jeffrey Brodeur, assistant commandant at the CBRN school, gave a preview of the JIIM-IA Conference itinerary. “During this conference, the commandant will lay out our vision for our part, our contribution, to the Army of 2020,” he said. “We’ll have key speakers identify the strengths and challenges of accomplishing those objectives.” The conference runs through Thursday with panels, question and answer sessions and educational presentations. Brodeur said Chemical Corps conferences are important for a variety of reasons. “It’s extremely important to us because we’re such a small branch,” he said. “Right now, we have about 20,000 service members. Of those 20,000, only about 6,000 are active-duty.” He added, “It’s rare that we have the opportunity to come face-to-face and talk to each other. We almost have to come together once a year, to level the bubbles and make sure we all have the same objectives.” This year’s theme for the conference is “The CBRN Profession – 2020 and Beyond.” Attendees at the conference will be focusing on maintaining current operations while preparing for the future of the Chemical Corps and the Army.