Marne Soldiers rally for first division run in 5 years
November 4, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga., Nov. 3, 2011 -- The Third Infantry Division is known for making history, and Nov. 3, the 'Rock of the Marne' Division came together to make memories.
Assembled together at Fort Stewart, Ga., about 20,000 'Dog Face' Soldiers readied for an esprit de corps run- the first of its kind in almost five years. Running just shy of four miles, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Teams, the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade and the 3rd Sustainment Brigade -- along with other tenant units on Stewart -- seized the opportunity to foster camaraderie on a day when all Third Inf. Div. units were home from combat.
"It was a great opportunity for us to come together as a division ... all the brigades, all the super units, all the colors, all the commanders, assembled at one place, at one time," said Maj. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams, Marne Division commander. "This is probably a once in a career -- maybe twice in a career -- opportunity. Soldiers really had a very special opportunity today to be a part of something great."
The 3rd HBCT traveled from Fort Benning, Ga., and the 3rd CAB came from Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., to participate in the significant event. The last time the entire Division ran together on Fort Stewart was Nov. 20, 2006 -- led by then Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch just before the division departed on its third deployment to Iraq. Since then, other division runs have been held but at each one, many of the unit colors were cased to honor the Soldiers who were serving overseas in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
Abrams said that the run was fitting as the Third Inf. Div. will celebrate its 94th birthday at the end of the month.
"It's only appropriate, as we get ready for our birthday, to gather us all together, to take stock of our roots, take stock of our history and rededicate ourselves to a really great future," he said. "Today we need to focus on our division's proud history, on our lineage and enjoy each other's company."
The Soldiers ran around the installation calling cadences, motivating each other and their leaders.
"I'm going to be pumped up for the rest of the day," said Abrams after the run. "It's an incredible feeling to be at the front of about 20,000 Soldiers in formation, running, and what a great feeling standing up there [on the reviewing stand] watching every unit celebrate their own unit esprit as they came running by. It's been a great day."