A new era dawned as the 133rd Engineer Support Company, Wyoming Army National Guard, lowered its flag in a poignant casing of the colors ceremony. In this solemn moment, Capt. Ethan Carswell, the outgoing commander, passed on his command, paving the way for the emergence of the new 307th Engineer Utilities Detachment, now under the leadership of 1st Lt. Kyle Schinkel. This transformative flag casing and change of command ceremony unfolded on Sept. 9, 2023, at the Regional Training Institute on Camp Guernsey.
The change-of-command ceremony holds deep-rooted significance, where the outgoing commander symbolically relinquishes responsibility and authority by passing the brigade colors to the incoming commander, thus beginning a new dawn of leadership for the incoming commander and the brigade.
Each military unit possesses its unique flag, commonly known as "colors," carried by a color guard designated by the unit commander during military ceremonies. When a unit is deactivated, it is customary to hold a "Casing of the Colors" ceremony, a ritual that commemorates the unit's history. In this instance, the ceremony paid tribute to the rich heritage of the 133rd as it gracefully made way for the 307th. Despite being smaller, the 307th is poised to continue the storied traditions of the 133rd.
Capt. Ally Jeran, serving as the master of ceremonies, acknowledged Carswell's exceptionally meritorious service as the 133 commander from Nov. 11, 2020, to Jan. 6, 2023. Her words underscored the profound impact of Carswell's leadership on the unit, enhancing readiness, mission preparedness, and nurturing future leaders within the organization.
Throughout its history, the 133rd has responded to numerous natural disasters, conflicts, and wars. In May 2023, they extended their reach to Tunisia, collaborating with international partners to provide training. Their remarkable achievement included the construction of a shoot house involving the placement of 10,000 sandbags and the foundation work for an IED training facility.
Carswell reflected on their accomplishments, "From working in remote areas of their beautiful state to foreign lands where the unit overcame language barriers to build partner capacity. The 133rd's legacy within Wyoming holds a special place in the hearts of many."
Lt. Col. Nicholas Rayes, commander of the 941st Troop Command Battalion, praised the 133rd's global accomplishments, from projects in Panama, Honduras, and Germany to Tunisia. Their versatility spanned road construction, airfield runway work, dike construction, and shoot house erection.
Much of the 133rd's history is intertwined with their commitment to local communities during times of crisis. They showcased resilience, camaraderie, and expertise while making their communities safer.
In 1979, following Thanksgiving Day, they answered the call during a blizzard, engaging in snow removal and rescue efforts for two weeks across Albany, Laramie, and Platte Counties. In 1983, the 1st Platoon undertook the formidable task of extending the Camp Guernsey Army Airfield by 1,600 feet and widening it by 40 feet, an enduring achievement.
Rayes summarized the 133rd's heritage as one of professionalism, faithful service, and expertise. Their history encompassed vital contributions to major flood responses in Laramie and Cheyenne. Swift action during the floods of 1984 and 1985 averted disaster in Laramie and aided Cheyenne's recovery efforts.
1st Sgt. Stacey Hiser, 133rd 1st Sgt., expressed gratitude," I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to work alongside these dedicated individuals and witnessed their progress through the ranks.
The 133rd's legacy of constructing runways and parking lots and contributing to community projects, including demolition and earthwork, leaves an indelible mark on the state of Wyoming. Carswell aptly summarized, "You all have so much to be proud of from your time in the 133rd." The 133rd's time and effort spent in the aid of their state leaves an engaging legacy for others to follow.