Big Red One holds division pass in review
August 3, 2009
- Almost 2,000 Soldiers marched in the division review ceremony.
- 111 Soldiers reenlisted and a silver star and two purple hearts were presented during the ceremony.
- The ceremony was the capstone event of the 1st Inf. Div.'s Victory Week.
First Infantry Division Soldiers capped off a week full of sports competitions, ceremonies and remembrance with a division pass in review ceremony on July 31. Almost 2,000 Soldiers marched onto Fort Riley\'s Infantry Parade Field with almost an equal number of spectators in the stands on the final day of "Victory Week." Victory Week is an annual Big Red One event, designed to remember the division's fallen, honor its veterans and showcase the strength and prowess of today's Soldiers. During the pass in review ceremony, Maj. Gen. Vincent Brooks administered the Oath of Enlistment to 111 Soldiers. The group of Soldiers was led by Spc. Elisabeth Melchione, the youngest Soldier to reenlist. Also during the ceremony, three division heroes were recognized for their actions during combat. David Sterling, II, was awarded the Silver Star for actions in combat in April 2004. While conducting combat operation near Ramadi, Iraq, Sterling, a gunner, was assaulted by an enemy counter-attack and struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, which wounded both he and his platoon leader. Even though his hand was blown off in the attack, Sterling applied first aid to his platoon leader, and manned the turret to repel approaching enemy forces. "This is a big honor," Sterling said. "But at the same time, I'm kind of surprised the Army's made such a big deal out of it. It's very special." Sterling was medically retired from the Army in late 2004 and now works at Fort Riley, supporting range operations. Also receiving honors were Sgt. Damien Griffith and Spc. Jessica Ross, both of 1st Sustainment Brigade. Griffith and Ross were awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained while in combat in Iraq. Victory Week will formally conclude with a festival that includes a concert by country musician and former Army Ranger Keni Thomas and a fireworks display.