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BAMC follows through with redesignation of Army’s WTBs

Image of Soldier in front of flag speaking into microphone. Click to open a larger version of the image. U.S. Army Lt. Col. Andrea Castillon, Warrior Transition Battalion commander, delivers remarks during a tree dedication ceremony at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, June 3, 2020. The WTB will be renamed as the Soldier Recovery Unit on June 23, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Jason W. Edwards)

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In November 2019, the Army announced the restructuring of its Warrior Care and Transition Program, and formally recognized itself as the Army Recovery Care Program. The Warrior Transition Battalions would soon restructure and re-designate as Soldier Recovery Units.

Brooke Army Medical Center’s WTB made the formal announcement of the pending change on June 3, 2020, with a brief tree dedication ceremony.

Army Lt. Col. Andrea Castillon, BAMC WTB commander, designated a special site near the organization’s offices where a commemorative “WTB” tree will be planted. “Trees are well known as symbols of immense and enduring strength, which couldn’t be more appropriate given the mission of our battalion,” she stated.

Inactivating a unit looks easy to bystanders attending a ceremony, but there is much coordination and work behind the scenes to follow Army Regulation 870-20: Army Museums, Historical Artifacts, and Art. According to this regulation, units must work closely with the Center of Military History for the proper handling of organizational history files, unit historical property, and operational records.

Members of a unit often develop a bond with the history and pride in its colors, or guidon. Change can be difficult to get used to, particularly when WTBs have countless testimonials of past and present Soldiers and veterans, expressing how the programs within them saved their lives.

“Although change is inevitable, we will remain a premier organization for the healing and transition of our Soldiers,” said Castillon. She is confident in the smooth re-flagging of her unit because the fundamental foundation of WTB’s culture is adaptability.

The SRU’s three primary platoons are Complex Care, Veteran Track and Return to Duty. This restructuring will simplify and streamline policy, remove barriers, and tailor services to fit the unique needs of every Soldier.

“Our adaptability and resilience prepare us for what is on the horizon, and will help us successfully navigate this new terrain together as a team,” added Castillon. “We pride ourselves in being a place to heal and transition, and our camaraderie transcends re-naming and time.”

The official re-flagging ceremony will take place on June 23, 2020.

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