Fort Carson observes Black History Month

FORT CARSON, Colo. — Lt. Col. Curtis Bowe, commander, 64th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, addresses an audience of about 200 people Feb. 26, 2020, during Fort Carson’s Black History Month observance at the Elkhorn Conference Center at Fort Carson. Bowe, the only African-American battalion commander in the 4th Infantry Division, spoke about the accomplishments of black men and women in the Army’s history and the importance of acknowledging the past as the Army moves toward a better future. (Photo by Sgt. Liane Hatch)

By Sgt. Liane Hatch, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division

FORT CARSON, Colo. —Approximately 200 members of the Fort Carson community joined the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, in honoring the historic and ongoing contributions of African-American service members Feb. 26 during Fort Carson’s Black History Month observance at the Elkhorn Conference Center. This year’s theme centered on “Honoring the Past, Securing the Future.”

Lt. Col. Curtis “Curt” Bowe, commander, 64th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd ABCT, spoke about the importance of recognizing black history as American history, and educating people on the past in order to make a better future.

Originally from Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Bowe commissioned into the Army in 2001 after completing the ROTC program at Elizabeth City State University — one of the nation’s 101 historically black colleges and universities. He has served in his current role as battalion commander for approximately nine months and is the only African-American battalion commander currently serving in the 4th Inf. Div.

“We’ve experienced truly painful and tortuous times in American history; times we must never forget,” Bowe said.

Remembering the seeds of accomplishments in the past will help secure the future, Bowe said. He spoke about celebrating the Army’s commitment to fulfilling President Harry S. Truman’s order to desegregate the military nearly 72 years ago; this directed the nation’s military toward equality for all people.

“We must also honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, an Army where men and women are judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin,” Bowe said. “Where the only colors that matter are red, white and blue. We must embrace those achievements from past to achieve (the) future.”

The observance also featured a segment on some of the contributions of black Soldiers and military units during World War II.

Two units with 3rd ABCT also have ties to African-American military history. The 388th Engineer Battalion, now the 588th Brigade Engineer Battalion, was comprised of enlisted black Soldiers during the time of its activation in World War II. The 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, which is the only active remaining squadron from the historic 10th Cavalry Regiment, was established in 1866 as a segregated African-American “Buffalo Soldier” unit.

Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Smith, equal opportunity adviser, 3rd ABCT, said events and observances like this give Soldiers the chance to learn about the contributions of great men and women from the past.

“These events are about bringing awareness and understanding to our formations,” Smith said. “It’s about coming together as a collective (unit), as we do like today’s theme said, and honor the past while securing the future.”

Col. Grant Fawcett, commander, 3rd ABCT, thanked Bowe for his words and briefly addressed the audience at the ceremony’s closing.

“These events are important for recog­nizing one of the true strengths of our Army, which is our diversity,” Fawcett said. “There’s no other example of an organization that matches what we’re able to do, and as Lt. Col. Bowe mentioned, the Army has always been at the forefront of integration and diversity. It’s truly remarkable and contributes to our ability to be an adaptable and ready force.”

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