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Division Transforms for the Future
By U.S. Army Pfc. Jason Thompson / 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas, Dec. 16, 2004 – Since the 4th Infantry Division returned from Operation Iraqi Freedom in March, it has seen many changes in the move towards a modular Army.

"This point in time is historical in that it is the largest transformation undertaken by the Army since World War II," said Maj. Gen. J.D. Thurman, 4th Infantry Division commanding general. "Each soldier, regardless of rank or MOS, plays a critical role in resetting this division."

Command Sgt. Maj. Ron Riling said 4th Infantry Division is one of the divisions leading the transformation from a division-based Army to a brigade-based Army. "Since the division's return from its deployment from Iraq, we have concentrated on resetting the division and reorganizing into modularity brigades capable of independent action."

"The nation is counting on the 4th Infantry Division more than ever, We must do all that we can to be ready for our nation's call." said Maj. Gen. J.D. Thurman, 4th Infantry Division commanding general

The new design implemented by the division is a significant change from how the division fought in the past and it encompasses the most comprehensive restructuring in the Army since World War II, Riling said. Of even greater significance is that this has been accomplished while being engaged with the enemy and fighting a war.

"The division has undergone tremendous change in the past year as it finalizes its transition into a modular division today, and it remains at the forefront of the Army as one of its premier and most powerful fighting units."

Riling said he looked forward to the division's future and that it's an exciting time to be assigned to the "Steadfast and Loyal" division which celebrated the 87th anniversary of its service to the nation Dec. 15, during a cake-cutting ceremony at the division headquarters.

"I'm proud to serve alongside the great soldiers and leaders of this great division during the 87th anniversary of the 4th Infantry Division," Riling said. Thurman said he feels every soldier in the division is extremely special and he is humbled every day by their selfless service.

Nicknamed the Ivy Division, it is the fourth oldest division

in the Army and was formed under the command of Maj. Gen. George Cameron on Dec. 10, 1917, at Camp Greene, N.C.

During the past 87 years, more than 540,000 soldiers have worn the distinctive patch of the Ivy Division on their uniforms. They have established a legacy of dedicated service to the nation that has spanned almost nine decades since its inception to fight in the "Great War" of World War I.

Among the 540,000 soldiers, the division has seen 16 Medal of Honor recipients, including Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Since its inception, 4th Inf. Div. Soldiers have served their nation, having fought in combat operations dating as far back as World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and recently returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom earlier this year.

In March 2003, 4th Inf. Div. deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Division headquarters was established in Tikrit and the division's brigades were located over a large Area of Operations in the "Sunni Triangle." 4th Inf. Div. Soldiers conducted numerous raids and patrols seeking the remainder of Saddam Hussein loyalists and terrorist operatives in the area.

On Dec. 13, 2003, the division was responsible for finding and capturing Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president.

During World War I, the Ivy Division was involved in five major campaigns that ultimately helped to break the Hindenburg Line and led to the demise of the German war machine.

During World War II, 4th Inf. Div. was the first division to land on Utah Beach on D-day, June 6, 1944. It was the first division to reach Paris, the first infantry unit to cross the German border, and it defended the southern shoulder of the Battle of the Bulge against the German offensive.

In Vietnam, the Division fought in 11 major campaigns over four and a half years.

In addition to the wartime and counter-insurgency missions, the Division was instrumental in opening and supplying thousands of schools, hospitals and clinics within their area of operation. Division personnel also repaired bridges, roads, power plants, oil pipelines, water mains and many other essential parts of the Iraqi infrastructure.

Last Updated:
12/01/2005, Eastern Daylight Time
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