Patch and Distinctive Unit Insignia
The 3rd Infantry Division (nicknamed the Rock of the Marne) is a United States Army infantry division based at Fort Stewart, Georgia. It is a direct subordinate unit of the U.S. Army Forces Command, and boasts a storied history of valorous service in World War I in France and World War II in Italy.
The 3rd Infantry Division was the first conventional U.S. unit to enter Baghdad during the 2003 invasion, and the first division to serve three tours in Iraq. Its current organization includes four brigade combat teams, one aviation brigade, and support elements.
The 3rd Infantry Division has one of the most successful combat records of any U.S. Army division. It has paid a high price for this distinction, suffering more than 50,000 wartime casualties. Fifty-one members of the 3rd Infantry Division have been awarded the Medal of Honor.
The 3rd Infantry Division was activated in November 1917 during World War I at Camp Greene, North Carolina. Eighteen months later it saw combat for the first time in France. At midnight on July 14, 1918, the Division earned lasting distinction. Engaged in the Aisne-Marne Offensive as a member of the American Expeditionary Force to Europe, the Division was protecting Paris with a position on the banks of the Marne River. The 7th Machine Gun Battalion of the 3rd Division rushed to Chateau-Thierry amid retreating French troops and held the Germans back at the Marne River. While surrounding units retreated, the 3rd Infantry Division, including the 30th and 38th Infantry Regiments, remained rock solid and earned its reputation as the "Rock of the Marne". The rest of the division was absorbed by the French Command until brought back together under the Command of General Joseph T. Dickman and by July 15, 1918 they took the brunt of what was to be the last German offensive of the war. General "Black Jack" Pershing said the Division's performance one of the most brilliant of the United States' military history. During the war two members of the division were awarded the Medal of Honor.
The 3rd Division is one of the only American divisions which fought the Axis on all European fronts and was among the first U.S. combat units to engage in offensive ground combat operations during World War II. (The others were the 32nd and the 41st in the Pacific on New Guinea, Carlson's Raiders on Makin Island, the 23rd Infantry (Americal) Division and the 1st Marine on Guadalcanal, and with the 3rd in North Africa, the 9th Infantry Division and the 2nd Armored Division.
The Division first saw action as a part of the Western Task Force in the North African invasion, landing at Fedala on November 8, 1942, and captured half of French Morocco. Eight months later, on July 10, 1943, the Division made an assault landing on Sicily, fought its way into Palermo before the armor could get there, and raced on to capture Messina, thus ending the Sicilian campaign. Nine days after the Italian invasion, on September 18, 1943, the 3rd landed at Salerno and in intensive action drove to and across the Volturno River and to Cassino. After a brief rest, the Division was ordered to hit the beaches at Anzio, January 22, 1944, where for four months it maintained its toe-hold against furious German counterattacks. On February 29, 1944, the 3rd fought off an attack by three German Divisions.
In May the Division broke out of the beachhead and drove on to Rome, and then went into training for the invasion of Southern France. On August 15, 1944, another D-day, the Division landed at St. Tropez, advanced up the Rhone Valley, through the Vosges Mountains, and reached the Rhine at Strasbourg, November 26 – November 27, 1944. After maintaining defensive positions it took part in clearing the Colmar Pocket, 23 January 18 February 1945, and on 15 March struck against Siegfried Line positions south of Zweibrucken. The Division smashed through the defenses and crossed the Rhine, March 26, 1945 ; then drove on to take Nurnberg in a fierce battle, capturing the city in block-by-block fighting, 17-20 April. The 3rd pushed on to take Augsburg and Munich, 27-30 April, and was in the vicinity of Salzburg when the war in Europe ended. The 3rd Division suffered more combat deaths in World War II than any other U.S. division, and the third highest among modern U.S. Divisions, behind only the 2nd Infantry Division in the Korean War and the 1st Cavalry Division in the Vietnam War.
3rd Infantry troops getting ready to patrol the Imjin River, 1951.During the Korean War, the Division was known as the "Fire Brigade" for its rapid response to crisis. 3rd Infantry Division had been headquartered at Fort Benning along with it’s 15th Infantry Regiment. The 7th Infantry Regiment was located at Fort Devens. 3rd Infantry Division initially arrived in Japan where, as the Far East Command Reserve, it planned post conflict occupation missions in northern Korea. In Japan their strength was increased by augmentation from South Korean soldiers. They landed at Wonson and received the 65th Infantry Regiment as their third maneuver element before moving north to Hungnam and Majon-dong. At Majon-dong they established a defensive position with the 65th Infantry and began their baptism of fire. 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 7th Infantry were on the left flank. The 15th Infantry was between the 7th and 65th Regiments. 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry was set as the nucleus for Task Force Dog which was commanded by Brigadier General Armistead D. Mead, assistant 3rd Division Commander and sent north to conduct a relief in place with 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment at Chinhung-ni; the south end of the 1st Marine Division and support the withdrawal of 1st Marine Division and Regimental Combat Team 31 from the Chosin Reservoir. 3rd Infantry Division's TF Dog was the rear guard keeping the pressure off of the Marine column. The Division established, along with the 7th Infantry Division a collapsing perimeter around the port of Hungnam until the last of X Corps was off the beach. The port of Hungnam was blown up to deprive the enemy the use of those facilities as the last of the 7th, 15th, and 65th Infantry units boarded ships.
The Division went on to support combat missions of the Eighth Army until 1953 when it was withdrawn. Notably, the Division fought valiantly, besides its extremely essential and able contribution during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, at the Chorwon-Kumwha area, Jackson Heights and Arrowhead outposts, and blocked a CCF push in the Kumsong Area in July 1953.
3rd Infantry Division received ten Battle Stars. Eleven more MOH recipients were added to the division's list of heroes during the Korean War. Eight were from the |7th Infantry Regiment: Jerry K. Crump (September 6 and 7, 1951), John Essebagger, Jr. (April 25, 1951), Charles L. Gilliland (April 25, 1951), Clair Goodblood (April 24 and 25, 1951), Noah O. Knight (November 23 and 24, 1951), Darwin K. Kyle (February 16, 1951), Leroy A. Mendonca (July 4, 1951), and Hiroshi H. Miyamura, whose award was classified Top Secret until his repatriation (April 24 and 25, 1951). Three more recipients were with the 15th Infantry Regiment: Emory L. Bennett (June 24, 1951), Ola L. Mize (June 10 and 11, 1953) and Charles F. Pendleton (July 16 and 17, 1953).
From April 1958 to April 1996, the Marne Division was stationed in West Germany from near the Czech border westward throughout various towns in Bavaria including Bamberg and Aschaffenburg. In August 1961, a few days after the Berlin Wall was erected, a reinforced company from the 7th Infantry Regiment (a unit of the 3rd Infantry Division) in full battle gear, was ordered to travel along the Autobahn (a major highway) from Aschaffenburg in Bavaria to West Berlin. This was to assert the right of US forces to travel unhindered from West Germany across the western part of East Germany to West Berlin. After the Berlin Wall was built, it was not known if the East German forces would attempt to impede or restrict the movement of US troops when crossing East Germany while trying to reach West Berlin. The unit arrived in West Berlin without incident confirming the right of free passage.
In November 1990, soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division were once again called into action. Following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, more than 6,000 Marne men and women deployed with the 1st Armored Division on Operation Desert Storm as part of the Allied Coalition. Later nearly 1,000 soldiers deployed to southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq to provide comfort to Kurdish refugees. Another group of nearly 1,000 were part of Task Force Victory rebuilding Kuwait.
As part of the Army's reduction to a ten-division force, the 24th Infantry Division was inactivated on 15 February 1996, and reflagged to become the 3rd Infantry Division.
In 1996 the division was restationed at Fort Stewart, Fort Benning, and Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia. The division repeatedly demonstrated its deployability since then by maintaining a battalion, and later a brigade task force presence in Kuwait. It has also moved sizable forces to Egypt, Bosnia and Kosovo in partnership training and peacekeeping missions.
In 1996-97, the 3rd Infantry Division Detachment, Rear Tactical Operations Center (RTOC), which is a unit manned by the Georgia Army National Guard was mobilized and served in Operation Joint Endeavor. During this time, the 3rd ID RTOC served under the 1st Infantry Division and later the 1st Armored Division. Respectively serving in Bosnia, at Camps Dallas and Angela, near Tuzla under the 1ID, and then in Croatia at Slavonski Brod, under the 1AD, serving the Assistant Division Commander for Support, then BG George Casey.
Global War on Terror
MG Buford "Buff" Blount
MG William Grant Webster
MG Rick Lynch
MG Tony Cucolo
Since September 11, 2001 units have been sent to Afghanistan, Pakistan and other Middle Eastern countries to support the designated "War on Terrorism".
Early in 2003 the deployability and fighting capability of the Marne Division was highly visible worldwide when the entire division deployed in weeks to Kuwait. It was called on subsequently to spearhead Coalition forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom, fighting its way to Baghdad in early April, leading to the end of the Saddam Hussein government. The First Brigade captured the Baghdad International Airport and cleared and secured the airport, which also resulted in the Division's first Medal of Honor since the Korean War, awarded to SFC Paul Ray Smith. Second Brigade, Third Infantry division made the much-publicized "Thunder Run" into downtown Baghdad. The Second Brigade was redeployed to Fallujah, Iraq during the summer of 2003. The division returned to the United States in August, 2003.
Beginning in 2004, the 3rd began re-organizing. The division shifted from three maneuver brigades to four "units of action," which are essentially smaller brigade formations, with one infantry, one armor, one cavalry, and one artillery battalion in each. The former Engineer Brigade became the 4th Brigade at Fort Stewart. Each of these units of action engaged in several mock battles at the National Training Center (NTC) and Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC), and preparation for a second deployment to Iraq.
In January 2005, the Third Infantry Division became the first Army Division to serve a second tour in Iraq. The division headquarters took control of the Multi-National Division Baghdad, MND-B, headquartered at Camp Liberty and with responsibility for the greater Baghdad area. First and Third Brigades of the Third Infantry Division were placed under control of the 42nd Infantry Division, and later under the 101st Airborne Division, in MND-North. In preparation of this deployment a Fourth Brigade was organized and became the first cohesive "Brigade Combat Team" sent into a combat zone by the US Army, cohesive in that it fulfilled the Table of Organization requirement of such a unit. The California Army National Guard's 1st Battalion 184th Infantry Regiment served as one of the brigade's two infantry battalions, as well as the detachment from the Hawaii Army National Guard's 29th Brigade Combat Team, the 2/299th Infantry. Both served in the Baghdad area of operations. The 48th Brigade Combat Team was also attached to the third infantry division covering southern Baghdad and its surroundings during the 2005 rotation.
The Division redeployed to Fort Stewart and Fort Benning in January 2006. On November 17, 2006, the Army announced that the Third Infantry Division is scheduled to return to Iraq in 2007 and thus become the first Army division to serve three tours in Iraq. The division headquarters became the leadership organization of MND-C (Multi-National Division Central), a new command established south of Baghdad as part of the 2007 troop surge.
Definition from Wikipedia
OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE 3rd INFANTRY DIVISION