Archive for Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Army’s ‘Big Red One’ turning 95

June 6, 2012


— Fort Riley's 1st Infantry Division, better known as the "Big Red One" for its distinctive patch, is about to turn 95.

Readying for war

Fort Riley-based infantry division goes through desert training in California before possibly leaving for Iraq

Numerous low-slung tents anchored to the Mojave Desert form one of the forward operating bases at Fort Irwin, where army units go to train.

The 1st Infantry Division has been around for nearly 100 years. Fort Irwin, Calif., has been training troops to fight America's wars for decades. In preparation for possible deployment to Iraq, the Big Red One is spending three weeks at Fort Irwin. More


The division was formed in 1917 during World War I when it arrived in Europe with Gen. John Pershing and was known as the First American Expeditionary Force. The soldiers began wearing the red patch on their left shoulders to identify them on the battlefield.

Based now at Fort Riley, the division will celebrate its history with a series of events beginning Thursday with a carnival beginning Thursday. The division will participate in a "Victory Run" that starts a week of competitions and ceremonies on the northeast Kansas post.

The division's headquarters is currently deployed to Afghanistan.


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