From the "Saudi Spearhead"
Issue 6 - April 15, 1991
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BELOW, full text of article:

By Spc. Don Parker
148th Public Affairs Detachment


On April 7,1991, the Spearhead Division bid an emotional farewell to Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk, the man who had guided the division to victory over the Iraqi Republican Guard, and welcomed as its new commander another veteran of the conflict, Maj. Gen. Jerry R. Rutherford.

[PHOTO at right: Rutherford (on left) assumes command by accepting the Division's colors from 7 Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Frederick Franks. (PAO photo)]

Rutherford, who commanded 2nd Armored Division (Forward) during the war, dons the Spearhead patch for the third time in his distinguished career. Shortly after earning his commission, Rutherford served with the 3rd AD in the 503rd Admin. Co. and as aide-de-camp to the Assistant Division Commander. Nineteen years later he returned as commander of the "Thundering Third" Brigade. To date, Rutherford has spent nearly six years commanding Spearhead troops.

To close the circle, 3rd AD Assistant Division Commander for Maneuver, Brig. Gen. Paul "Gene" Blackwell, has assumed command of 2nd AD (Forward). Funk, whom 7 Corps Commander Frederick M. Franks hailed at the change of command ceremony as "a master of mounted armoured warfare," will place his battle-honed expertise directly at the service of Pentagon planners as an Army Deputy Chief of Staff.

Funk's last official act as Spearhead commander was accepting the Distinguished Service Medal, the nation's second-highest battle decoration. Franks pinned the medal to the left pocket of Funk's DCU jacket in recognition of Funk's role in leading 3rd AD to decisive victory over three opposing Iraqi armored divisions in only four days.

Speaking a few minutes after the Division's colors were passed at 10:20 a.m. to Rutherford, Funk credited the soldiers of the Spearhead Division for his award, which he said was earned "through their hard work and, in fact, blood." Funk reflected on his role as one of only three wartime Spearhead commanders, and praised the division's soldiers for performing "as well, or even better, than their (wartime) predecessors... you've ensured no right-thinking person will ever again call those bunch of hooligans from the Republican Guard 'elite.'"

Referring to his often-quoted statement, "Talkin' ain't Fightin'," Funk told the soldiers assembled for the change of command ceremony that Spearhead soldiers "can talk proud now. You've done it, you've earned it" The day, and the award. Funk said, "belongs to you."

Taking the podium after Funk's speech, Rutherford said he was proud to take command of a division "whose record speaks for itself Spearhead soldiers," he said, "(You) should be very proud of yourselves and of your great achievements here in Southwest Asia. You have defeated the Iraqi Army. You are a trained and ready division, that has proven itself victorious on the battlefield.

"Hold your heads high, Spearheaders," Rutherford urged. "The world has taken note of your awesome capabilities." At the same time, Rutherford warned "this is not the time to relax. It is a time of continued vigilance. The mark of a great unit is that it never lets itself down." Rutherford said every soldier should apply the skill and professionalism that was the division's hallmark in the war "to assure that you, and your buddy, return home safely to your families."

Following the commanders' remarks, representatives of the Third Armored Division passed in review. Although only a single platoon from each battalion rendered salutes, the procession still took 30 minutes, a sample of Spearhead power that drove 233 kilometers while destroying 853 Iraqi vehicles in only 97 hours.


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