News: Third Infantry Division turns 95 in Afghanistan
Story by Sgt. Ashley Curtis
KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afgahnistan - The Third Infantry Division celebrated its 95th birthday at its forward Marne Garden located at the Regional Command (South) headquarters, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 21, 2012.
The “Dogface soldiers” gathered to celebrate the division’s many accomplishments since organizing on the same day 1917.
“The Third Infantry Division was formed in humble beginnings,” said Maj. Gen. Robert “Abe” Abrams, Third Infantry Division and Regional Command (South) commanding general. “No gliders, helicopters, parachutes, berets or fancy pants; just ordinary Americans answering the call to duty.”
The division was activated to answer the call of World War I, in which the division earned its moniker “The Rock of the Marne” for holding its position against the Germans along the Marne River in France.
Since World War I, the division has earned 30 campaign ribbons and contributed greatly to U.S. efforts in World War II, the Korean War, Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, where the division commands the southern region today.
The division also boasts the most Medal of Honor recipients of any division in the Army with 51, including the Army’s most decorated Soldier, 1st Lt. Audie Murphy and most recent recipient, Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith.
“Dogface soldiers embody the warrior fighting spirit,” Abrams said. “This fighting spirit has been tested time and again.”
Within the next few months, the Third Infantry Division’s 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Sustainment Brigade and 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade will join the headquarters element in Regional Command (South).
“The world can rest peacefully knowing the Marne Division stands ready along the most decisive front in Afghanistan,” Abrams said.