WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 14, 2008) -- The Department of Defense has announced that the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, from Fort Hood, Texas, will deploy to Afghanistan beginning in June.

This is a normal rotation in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, officials said, and it affects about 3,400 Soldiers

The 3rd IBCT, 1st ID - also known as the "Duke Brigade" - has a long history of service dating back to its creation on May 24, 1917, as the 1st Expeditionary Division during World War I. The unit was quickly pressed into action upon its arrival to France and was baptized by fire in the battles of Montdidier-Noyon, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Lorraine 1918 and Picardy 1918.

After World War I, the unit was designated as Headquarters Company of the 1st Infantry Division - "The Big Red One."

In August of 1942 the unit was once again called to defend its nation's interests overseas. During World War II the unit fought battles in Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, the invasion of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and other locations across Central Europe.

On April 20, 1960 the unit was deactivated at Fort Riley, Kansas, and on Oct. 23, 1963 the unit was reconstituted as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Infantry Division (Forward) and activated into the Regular Army in January 1964. After its activation, the unit proceeded to the Republic of Vietnam where it saw six years of action earning 13 streamers and citations for its actions.

After Vietnam, the unit moved to its new home station at Goeppingen, Germany, where it remained until it was deployed to Saudi Arabia where it participated in the Defense of Saudi Arabia and the Liberation and Defense of Kuwait campaigns. The unit was involved in the VII Corps spearhead operation into Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. After Desert Storm, the unit returned to Germany and was again inactivated on Aug. 15, 1991.

In March 1996, the unit was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3d Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and activated in Vilseck, Germany. Throughout the next eight years, from March 1996 to July 2003, Soldiers and elements assigned to the Duke Brigade were deployed to the Balkans on at least five different rotations, to include the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as Task Force Able Sentry; twice to Bosnia-Herzegovina, once with Operation Joint Endeavor and later as part of Operation Joint Guard; and twice into Kosovo for rotations with the NATO mission "KFOR" or Kosovo Force.

In February 2004, the unit deployed to Iraq as part of the U.S.-led Combined Joint Task Force-7 and quickly reassembled as Task Force Duke. The 3rd Brigade assisted in the Division's effort to help the Iraqi leaders start nearly 2,000 projects worth more that $1 billion, creating jobs for thousands of Iraqis. The Brigade returned to Germany in February 2005.

After returning from Iraq, the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division was reassigned from Germany and moved to Fort Hood Texas on April 19, 2007.

Currently, the 3rd Brigade is led by Col. John M. Spiszer and Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald E. Orosz, both whom have served in Afghanistan.

Army leadership does not take for granted the incredible sacrifices borne by Family members during this period of frequent deployments to combat, officials said. They said the Army continues to look closely at all aspects of Family support during this period of unprecedented operational tempo, and every consideration for the Soldier's and Family's exceptional dedication to duty is given during the periods of pre-deployment, deployment and, in particular, upon return.

The Defense Department and the U.S. Army will continue to announce major unit deployments as they are identified and told. For information, please contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.

Page last updated Fri March 14th, 2008 at 14:54