By Master Sgt. Donald Sparks, NCOIC, 2ID Public AffairsOctober 24, 2008
One week into her tour with the 2nd Infantry Division, Pvt. Ashley Mehr did not know that she would be part of a rich Army tradition and a historic Warrior Division celebration.
The 19-year-old assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company is the youngest Soldier in the Division Special Troops Battalion and took part in the ceremonial cake-cutting at Camp Red Cloud, Korea celebrating the division's 91st anniversary of its activation.
She joined Maj. Gen. John W. Morgan III, 2ID commander, Command Sgt. Major Antoine Denson, division command sergeant major, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Walker Davis, at age 55, the oldest Soldier assigned to DSTB, to collectively slash the birthday cake in symbolic fashion.
Prior to cutting the cake, Morgan mentioned significant highlights of the Warrior Division's legacy and lineage to nearly 200 Warriors attending the event.
"We are the second oldest division in the U.S. Army," Morgan said. "Our history starts in France as part of the American Expeditionary Forces that went to Europe to fight Germany during World War I."
Morgan continued to tell the history of the division, describing how the Warriors landed at Omaha Beach on June 7, 1944 and how bravely the men fought a very determined enemy through the hedgerows of Normandy.
He next talked about the division's role in fighting on Freedom's Frontier in the Korean War, mentioning how the Indianhead Division led the break out from the Pusan perimeter and led the Eighth Army drive north to the Manchurian Border.
"Ever since 1965, the 2nd Infantry Division has remained the most forward deployed unit within our Army's arsenal facing a million-man army on the other side of the DMZ," Morgan said.
Reflecting on the current fight, Morgan reminded every Soldier wearing the "Big Black Patch" on their left shoulder of their role today.
"Warriors wearing the 'Big Black Patch' are spread across the world," Morgan said. "The 2nd Infantry Division is a highly trained and lethal fighting force able to fight insurgent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to the mid and high intensity conflicts of Korea.
"Be proud each and every day of the 2nd Infantry Division's history, of the Soldiers who fought before you, the Soldiers who serve today, and of those who will serve in the future."
As for serving today, Mehr admitted before arriving to the Republic of Korea, she knew nothing of the unit for which she now serves, but that will change quickly.
"I'm honored to have been a part of this moment and celebration," Mehr said. "I am going to be here for the next year and I'm going to learn as much as I can about this great unit and I'm proud to be here in the 2nd Infantry Division."
The celebration concluded with the Soldiers singing the 2nd Infantry Division song, The Warrior March and the Army song.
The 2nd Infantry Division was organized on Oct. 26, 1917 Bourmont, Haute Marne, France. Some of the decorations garnered by the division include Presidential Unit Citation (Army), French Croix de Guerre with Palm for action in World War I, French Fourragere - World War I, Belgian Fourragere - World War II, and five Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations.
There are 36 2ID Medal of Honor recipients - 12 from World War I, six from World War II and 18 from the Korean War.