U.S., Polish neighbors celebrate 4th Infantry Division History

4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
Story by Staff Sgt. Diandra Harrell

Date: 08.04.2017
Posted: 08.07.2017 04:04
News ID: 243985
U.S., Polish celebrate 4th Ifantry Division History

Members of the Mission Command Element-Atlantic Resolve celebrated 4th Infantry Division’s 100th anniversary during Iron Horse Day with their Polish neighbors Aug. 4, 2017.

Annually, the 4th Infantry Division conducts Iron Horse Week, which is a four-day celebration of the “Iron Horse” Division’s history, camaraderie and esprit de corps.

Although the leaders and Soldiers supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve are forward deployed to Poland, they took an opportunity to enjoy some friendly competition with Polish Allies in honor of the division’s centennial.

Operation Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of continued U.S. commitment to the collective security of Europe through the deployment of rotational units to provide a persistent presence committed to the enduring peace and stability in the region.

“Today we celebrated the division’s 100-year anniversary since its inception with soccer, basketball and volleyball,” said Capt Lisa Cullen, mayor, MCE.

The day of organizational activities provided Soldiers and Allies an opportunity to take a break from the daily grind of training and operations, to go head-to-head in 3 scheduled competitions.

“This was a chance to share camaraderie amongst our unit, have fun with our Polish neighbors and thank them for their support to our mission here,” said Cullen, event lead planner, MCE.

Sgt. Michael Sharp, basketball team coordinator, 330th Transportation Battalion, said the event gave U.S. and Polish Soldiers a chance to build bonds.

“The Polish Soldiers were definitely ready for us, but we still had a lot of fun” said. “The event today showed our teamwork, as a fighting force and helped to strengthen our alliance.”

Following the competitions was an Iron Horse Ceremony where Lt. Col. Michael McCarson shared some of the “Ivy’ Division’s history and thanked the Polish leadership for their participation.

“Vice Mayor Marlene Malag and Col. Pulkownik Bartoszek, Allies and Iron Horse Soldiers, on behalf of Major General (Ryan) Gonsalves, the 4th Infantry Division Commanding General, thank you for attending and honoring our proud unit with your presence,” said McCarson, chief of staff, MCE.” Today’s event is meant to mark the 4th Infantry Division centennial and acknowledge its service to the United States, Europe and South East Asia.”

“On November 17, 1917, the same year America entered World War I, the 4th Infantry was formed at Camp Green, North Carolina to begin its long tradition of service to our country…Seventh-three years after beginning its service in Europe the 4th Infantry Division, along with our Allies, now serve farther east within Europe than any division in our Army’s history.”

“Thank you for honoring our great division and sharing this installation your beautiful county with us.”

Lt. Col. Marek Pawlowski, base commander, 14th Military Division, expressed his thanks to MCE staff for inviting his Soldiers, and members of the local community to partake in the festivities.

“As host of this complex, along with my subordinates, I am pleased to participate in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the creation of 4th Infantry Division,” said Pawlowski. “Your unit was created when Europe bled during the First World War…which resulted in our homeland regaining its independence in 1918 after 123 years.”

“Continuing the wonderful tradition of your predecessors, you are now here in Poznan, Poland,” he said. “Fortunately you don’t have to shed blood, but I assure you your presence is very important and valuable to our country, for which I am sincerely thankful.”

The ceremony ended as McCarson, and Pawlowski exchanged gifts showing gratitude to alliance between the U.S. Army and our Polish Allies.

The MCE serves as the intermediate headquarters for more than 5,000 U.S. service members conducting bilateral training operations and multinational exercises with host nation defense forces in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.