INDIANAPOLIS - More than 500 Indiana National Guard soldiers with the 38th Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment, 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, now wear the 25th Infantry Division patch.

The Hoosier soldiers based in Jasper, Indiana, will call the 25th ID’s 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, aka the Warrior Brigade, their higher headquarters as part of the U.S. Army’s associated units program.

“The Army must be globally responsive and balance readiness, the Indiana National Guard is an integral part of this and supports the One Army concept,” said Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr, the leader of the Indiana National Guard. “This program helps posture our military to respond for contingency surge demands. It improves readiness, it leverages National Guard and active-duty strengths, and it builds camaraderie between components.”

The Army program pairs National Guard and Army Reserve units with active-duty Army counterparts. The Indiana Guardsmen will train alongside active-duty soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division, headquartered at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.

“As we move forward, I am confident that our association will set the standard for the Army,” said Col. Tony Lugo, the commander of 2nd IBCT, which has units from the east coast to Hawaii. “Our relationship will ensure that all soldiers in the Warrior Brigade, whether at your home station here at Camp Atterbury or at Schofield Barracks, regardless of component, are prepared to decisively fight and win.”

These associated formations will allow soldiers of all components to train and build readiness together that will enable the Army to provide more combat-ready formations to combatant commanders.

Indiana Army National Guard Lt. Col. Chris Mabis, the commander of 1st Battalion, encouraged his soldiers to be proud of the history of the unit and proud of what the future brings.

“Be proud of the 25th ID patch you’re wearing,” said Mabis to his soldiers in formation. “This is history we are making and that you are a part of. We are here because of the leaders, noncommissioned officers and soldiers of 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment. We are consistently in the top three of National Guard infantry battalions in the nation.”

Lugo praised the Hoosier soldiers for the unit’s rich tradition - from the Pacific Theater island-hopping campaign in World War II to Vietnam to Operation Iraqi Freedom - and welcomed them to the 25th Infantry Division.

“The sons and daughters of Indiana have fought valiantly in support of our great nation,” said Lugo “The entire Warrior Brigade Team and Tropic Lighting Division are excited to have you as part of the Warrior Brigade and Tropic Lightning Ohana.”

— Daily News