October 24, 2007:
Army combat units headed for Iraq have been advised to be sensitive to Iraqis,
in order to avoid making anymore enemies than they already have over there. So
one unit headed there, the 1/35 Armor (1st battalion of the 35th armored
regiment) will change its call sign from "Conqueror" to "Iron Knight." It was
felt that the word "Conqueror" might be misinterpreted by Iraqis. Actually,
it's not the Iraqis that officers worry about in situations like this, it's
U.S. journalists who, on a slow news day, might round up a few English speaking
Iraqis and get them to complain about the American tank battalion that refers
to themselves as "Conqueror." Oh, the horror. Especially when this stuff
reaches Congress, and the incident is brought up when the army asks for money.
The 1/35's call sign is
actually derived from the unit motto; "Vincere Vel Mori," (Conquer or Die). In
a further twist, the unit previously used the call sign "Iron Knights" for
decades, until nine years ago. At that time, there was an army reorganization,
and the 1/35th found itself in the same division with an aviation units that
also used "Iron Knights" as a call sign. So the 1/35th changed to "Conquerors."
But now the aviation unit is gone, and "Iron Knights" is available again.
Just in case you were
wondering. Now you know.