Posts Tagged ‘US Army’

Today is the birthday of the 1st Infantry Division. The Big Red One. It is the oldest continuously active division in the Army. To my fellow Big Red One Veterans, happy birthday to a great Division and to all who have served in the Big Red One, her history includes you. Well done and congratulations!

The 1st Infantry Division Patch World War I
1st Infantry Division Patch Modern Day

World War I

The First Expeditionary Division was constituted in May 1917 from Army units then in service on the Mexican border and at various Army posts throughout the United States. On June 8, 1917 it was officially organized in New York, New York. This date is the 1st Infantry Division’s official birthday. The first units sailed from New York and Hoboken, N.J., June 14, 1917. Throughout the remainder of the year, the rest of the Division followed, landing at St. Nazaire, France, and Liverpool, England. After a brief stay in rest camps, the troops in England proceeded to France, landing at Le Havre. The last unit arrived in St. Nazaire on Dec. 22. Upon arrival in France, the Division, less its artillery, was assembled in the First (Gondrecourt) training area, and the artillery was at Le Valdahon.

On the 4th of July, the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, paraded through the streets of Paris to bolster the sagging French spirits. At Lafayette’s tomb, one of General Pershing’s staff uttered the famous words, “Lafayette, we are here!” Two days later, July 6, the First Expeditionary Division was redesignated the First Infantry Division. On the morning of Oct. 23, the first American shell of the war was sent screaming toward German lines by Battery C, 6th Field Artillery. Two days later, the 2nd Bn., 16th Inf., suffered the first American casualties of the war.

By April 1918, the Germans had pushed to within 40 miles of Paris. In reaction to this thrust, the Big Red One moved into the Picardy Sector to bolster the exhausted French First Army. To the Division’s front lay the small village of Cantigny, situated on the high ground overlooking a forested countryside. It was the 28th Infantry, who attacked the town, and within 45 minutes captured it along with 250 German soldiers, thus earning the special designation “Lions of Cantigny” for the regiment. The first American victory of the war was a First Division victory.

The First Division took Soissons in July 1918. The Soissons victory was costly – more than 7000 men were killed or wounded. The First Infantry Division then helped to clear the St. Mihiel salient by fighting continuously from Sept. 11-13, 1918. The last major World War I battle was fought in the Meuse-Argonne Forest. The Division advanced seven kilometers and defeated, in whole or part, eight German divisions. This action cost the 1st Division over 7600 casualties. In October 1918, the Big Red One patch as it is now known was officially approved for wear by members of the Division.

The war was over when the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. The Division was then located at Sedan, the farthest American penetration of the war. The Division was the first to cross the Rhine into occupied Germany where it remained until the peace treaty formally ending WW I was signed. It deployed back to the United States in August and September.

By the end of the war, the Division had suffered 22,668 casualties and boasted five Medal of Honor recipients. Its colors carry campaign streamers for: Montdidier-Noyon; Aisne-Marne; St. Mihiel; Meuse- Argonne; Lorraine1 917; Lorraine, 1918; Picardy, 1918.

World War II

On On August 1, 1942, the first Division was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Infantry Division.

The 1st Infantry Division entered combat in World War II as part of “Operation Torch”, the invasion of North Africa, the first American campaign against the Axis powers. On Nov. 8, 1942, following training in the United Kingdom, men of the First Division landed on the coast of Algeria near Oran. The initial lessons of combat were harsh and many men were casualties in the campaign that followed and which stretched from Algiers into Tunisia. On May 9, 1943, the commander of the German “Afrika Korps” surrendered his force of 40,000 and North African operations for the Big Red One ended. The Division then moved on to take Sicily in “Operation Husky.” It stormed ashore at Gela, July 10, 1943, and quickly overpowered the Italian defenses. Soon after, the Division came face-to-face with 100 tanks of the Herman Goering Tank Division. With the help of naval gunfire, its own artillery and Canadian allies, the First Infantry Division fought its way over the island’s hills, driving the enemy back. The Fighting First advanced on to capture Troina and opened the Allied road to the straits of Messina. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Big Red One stormed ashore at Omaha Beach. Soon after H-Hour, the Division’s 16th Infantry Regiment was fighting for its life on a strip of beach near Coleville-sur-Mer that had been marked the “Easy Red” on battle maps. As the assault progressed, the beach became so congested with destroyed equipment, the dead and the wounded, that there was little room to land reinforcements. Col. George Taylor, commander of the 16th Infantry Regt., told his men, “Two kinds of people are staying on this beach! The dead and those who are going to die! Now, let’s get the hell out of here!” Slowly, spurred by the individual heroism of many individuals, the move inland got underway.

A German blockhouse above the beach became a command post named “Danger Forward.”

After the beachhead was secured, the Division moved through the Normandy Hedgerows. The Division liberated Liege, Belgium, and pushed to the German border, crossing through the fortified Siegfried line. The 1st Inf. Div. attacked the first major German city, Aachen, and after many days of bitter house-to house fighting, the German commander surrendered the city on Oct. 21, 1944.

The Division continued its push into Germany, crossing the Rhine River. On Dec. 16, 24 enemy divisions, 10 of which were armored, launched a massive counterattack in the Ardennes sector, resulting in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. The Big Red One held the critical shoulder of the “Bulge” at Bullingen, destroying hundreds of German tanks in the process. On Jan. 15, 1945, the First Infantry attacked and penetrated the Siegfried line for the second time and occupied the Remagen bridgehead. On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, the Division marched 150 miles to the east of Siegen. On April 8, the Division crossed the Weser River into Czechoslovakia. The war was over May 8, 1945.

At the end of World War II, the Division had suffered 21,023 casualties and 43,743 men had served in its ranks. Its soldiers had won a total of 20,752 medals and awards, including 16 Congressional Medals of Honor. Over 100,000 prisoners had been taken.
Following the war, the First Division remained in Germany as occupation troops, until 1955, when the Division moved to Fort Riley, Kan.

You can read the rest of the Division’s history here: Society of the First Infantry Division

Memorial Day seems to be forgotten for its original intent. Now people think it’s a long weekend signifying the start of summer and a time to break out the BBQs.

Please remember our fallen brothers and sisters this weekend. Fly the flag. Remember that your weekend BBQ came at a great price. Freedom is never free.

Memorial Day

By RU Rob

While Memorial Day in the United States often induces thoughts of the beginning of summer, BBQ’s and a long holiday weekend, it is not celebrated as intended. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being its birthplace but was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Traditional observance of Memorial Day has sadly diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day as well as its importance to many who have lost someone in the service to the country. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected and have fallen into a state of disrepair. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50′s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights.

via Memorial Day – Rhino Den | Military Stories, MMA News, Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy.

I think it’s a hanging offense.  How many Soldiers died as a result of this asshole?

But I’m no lawyer.

Bradley Manning pleads guilty in WikiLeaks case

FORT MEADE, Md. – The Army private arrested in the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history pleaded guilty Thursday to 10 charges that could send him to prison for 20 years, saying he was trying to expose the American military’s “bloodlust” and disregard for human life in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Military prosecutors said they plan to move forward with a court-martial on the 12 remaining charges against Bradley Manning, including aiding the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence.For the first time, Manning directly admitted leaking the material to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks and detailed the frustrations that led him to do it.

via Bradley Manning pleads guilty in WikiLeaks case | Fox News.

…is well worth your time.

11 Facts About Medal of Honor Recipient Clinton Romesha

BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
January 17, 2013 3:59 pm

Former Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha (ROE-muh-shay), 31, will receive the Medal of Honor next month for heroic actions during the day-long attack on Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan.

More than 300 Taliban attacked Keating early in the morning of Oct. 3, 2009, from all four sides and from higher ground. Armed with recoilless rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, machine guns, and rifles, the Taliban swarmed the site, occupied by only 53 Americans and two Latvians. A score of Afghans stationed there had abandoned the site. Mortars hit Keating every 15 seconds during the first three hours of the attack. Taliban breached the site and destroyed 70 percent of Keating with a fire.

More

…in 2006, a UH-60 Blackhawk crashed near Tal Afar.

12 souls perished that day.

Why is it significant? Well, it’s significant because my friend was killed in that crash.

And as I do every year since then, I honor his memory and those of the other 11 that were lost that day.

Doug was my friend. He was my son’s godfather. He was an honorable man. He is sorely missed all the time. He was my last platoon leader that I had in the Army. He was the best of the bunch. And I don’t say that lightly.

Jan. 7, 2006: A Black Hawk helicopter carrying eight U.S. troops and four American civilians crashed near the northern city of Tal Afar, killing all aboard.

Here’s the names of the souls lost that day: Maj. Stuart M. Anderson, 44, of the 3rd Corps Support Command; Maj. Douglas A. LaBouff, 36, Capt. Michael R. Martinez, 43, and 1st Lt. Joseph D. deMoors, 36, all of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment; and 1st Lt. Jaime L. Campbell, 25, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Chester W. Troxel, 45, Spc. Michael I. Edwards, 26, and Spc. Jacob E. Melson, 22, all assigned to the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment. From Dyncorp International, Arsenio Domingo, 40, and Robert Timmann, 49, were killed in the crash. Both were members of a Civilian Police Advisory Training Team working with Iraqi police officers. I don’t know the names of the other two civilians lost in the crash.

A salute to my friend and those that died with him.

MAJ Doug LaBouff Scholarship Flyer 2012

This is Doug. He was just promoted to Major.

Rest easy, sleep well my brother.
Know the line has held, your job is done.
Rest easy, sleep well.
Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
Peace, peace, and farewell…

I still cry when I think about it too much.

…rest in peace General.

They’ll be standing at attention at Fiddler’s Green as you roll in. Job well done General.
Desert Storm commander Norman Schwarzkopf dies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Truth is, retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf didn’t care much for his popular “Stormin’ Norman” nickname.

The seemingly no-nonsense Desert Storm commander’s reputed temper with aides and subordinates supposedly earned him that rough-and-ready moniker. But others around the general, who died Thursday in Tampa, Fla., at age 78 from complications from pneumonia, knew him as a friendly, talkative and even jovial figure who preferred the somewhat milder sobriquet given by his troops: “The Bear.”

That one perhaps suited him better later in his life, when he supported various national causes and children’s charities while eschewing the spotlight and resisting efforts to draft him to run for political office.

He lived out a quiet retirement in Tampa, where he’d served his last military assignment and where an elementary school bearing his name is testament to his standing in the community.

Schwarzkopf capped an illustrious military career by commanding the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait in 1991 — but he’d managed to keep a low profile in the public debate over the second Gulf War against Iraq, saying at one point that he doubted victory would be as easy as the White House and the Pentagon predicted.

More

…at the age of 88.

H/T Ace of Spades.

Rest in peace sir.

He was a highly decorated WWII veteran. His Senate career started in 1963.

His Medal of Honor citation:

Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

He loved America.