On Thursday, May 27th, 2021 the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division dedicated Lancer Field, a new field near their headquarters building on JBLM North Fort.
The 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team is the premier Indo-Pacific aligned unit. Fire teams charge onto the battlefield within armored Stryker vehicles and conduct dangerous missions under enemy fire. Not all would return.
Just days before Memorial Day, the event was an opportunity to recognize those that had lost their lives in service of their country. As wind and rain battered the tent overhead, Col. Jonathan Chung addressed his audience to reflect on the legacy of his team and those it had lost.
“To understand the Lancer Journey, you have to go back over a decade to the origins of 5-2 Stryker Brigade – built and tested in the fires of combat with stories of heroism, gallantry, and the ultimate sacrifice.”
THE STRYKER VEHICLE
On either side of the new field stood two of the characteristic Stryker vehicles, the mascot and battle horse of the unit. They are staunch, densely armored, fit eight all-terrain tires, built for any challenge – just like the men and women inside, ready to jump out and fight.
The Stryker vehicle entered service in the mid-2000’s. It weighs 19 tons and hauls as many as nine infantrymen and two crew across any terrain. It is rugged and simple in appearance, but that belies a trove of battlefield technology within. It is an advanced fighting machine at the tip of the spear of a fighting force.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE LANCE
The unit headquarters is rich in symbolism. “Seize the high ground” adorns every building, sign, and wall. It is a common refrain, spoken as an acknowledgement of singular purpose, and as an expression of camaraderie and pride. The symbolic lance logo flies on flags and adorns every vehicle.
“The Lance is our reminder to seize the high ground. The top of the lance points to the high ground. 7 chevrons represent the 7 battalions. A line at the base represents BDE Headquarters as the stable foundation.”
Both vehicles were named after former commanders of the unit: COL (R) ZEISMAN and CSM (R) DOTSON. The vehicles have other names on them: the names of the 57 members of 5-2 and 2-2 Stryker Brigades that had fought and died. Their 57 names were reciprocated by commemorative bricks before the headquarters building.
THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE
57 names were painted on the two symbolic Stryker vehicles and 57 bricks are chiseled and laid before the headquarters building. Those represent the 57 soldiers lost in battle. 57 that never returned to their families. 57 to whom millions of Americans owe respect and appreciation.
As we head into Memorial Day weekend, Col. Chung wished to share a call for reflection on behalf of those that had lost their lives.
“This is an opportunity to take pause. We understand that the freedoms we enjoy were earned by those that paid the ultimate sacrifice. As you begin the weekend and enjoy a day off and barbeque – remember that 1% of the population protects the 99% and that Memorial Day is truly significant to them. It’s a time that we remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice.”