Seoul, South Korea— After a week of cloudy days and rain, the sun shined bright over the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District (FED) compound as many employees, guests, and friends of the district gathered to commemorate a monumental event in the district’s history.
The FED held a colors casing ceremony Aug. 31 to mark the closing of the district's headquarters in Seoul (Dongdaemun) and its relocation 40 miles south to Camp Humphreys.
A casing of the colors is a traditional ceremony when a unit is deactivated or relocates, and is held to commemorate the unit and its history.
After more than 60 years of being nestled in the heart of Seoul, the district has reached its milestone of relocating as a part of the Yongsan Relocation Program which relocates U.S. forces to Camp Humphreys.
Col Teresa Schlosser, FED commander, opened the ceremony by thanking everyone for joining the district for its color casing ceremony.
“The unit’s colors represent people, though you can’t see all of them today the colors represents all the civilians and Soldiers who have served in the Republic of Korea (ROK),” said Schlosser. “All volunteers determined, tough, and intelligent.
Schlosser went on to thank the local community for its openness and generosity to FED and the bond they have created throughout its history near the East Gate.
“We have enjoyed being a part of the Dongdameun community and making kimchi with our neighbors in the fall,” said Schlosser. “Although we are officially moving our headquarters and we are preparing to close our gates in the coming month, Dongdameun and the East Gate will always be a part of our history and we’ll be forever grateful for the friendship and experiences we’ve had here”
The Honorable Seo, Yang-ho, Mayor of the Jung-gu district joined the ceremony and also provided remarks. He opened with a light-hearted joke of how all U.S. and ROK military ceremonies are held directly in the sun and how painful it is to sit in the heat.
Seo went on to elaborate on the fellowship of the community alongside the Far East District.
“I would like to express my gratitude to Col. Schlosser. Our relationship between Jung-gu office and FED dates back to 2008 when FED participated in the kimchi making event for those in need in our community,” said Seo. “Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to provide a helping hand.”
The mayor stated his regrets about the relocation but offered encouragement to FED’s future endeavors.
“It’s a shame the FED is relocating to Pyeongteak from Jung-gu, but I hope that all USFK processes are completed successfully,” said Seo. “I hope that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues strengthening the Korea/U.S. alliance through construction service after relocation and also our relationship will continue.”
Everyone gathered for a reception following the ceremony, and walked together to the East Gate to take a photo in front of this historic landmark that serves as a backdrop to the district’s illustrious history.
An opening ceremony will be held at the district’s new headquarters in autumn.