Service members with the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command -- Operation Inherent Resolve celebrated the 1st Infantry Division's 100th Year Anniversary with a cake cutting ceremony on June 8 in Baghdad, Iraq.
The 'Big Red One' commemorated a century of history during the ceremony.
"Since June 8, 1917 to today, the contributions, dedication and sacrifice of the men and women of the 'Fighting First' have been a constant," said Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin, commanding general, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley.
Command Sgt. Major Joseph Cornelison, senior enlisted leader, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley, said there are countless instances of valor and meritorious achievement throughout the Big Red One's long history, but to him the Normandy Invasion of World War II, particularly the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Inf. Div.'s assault on Omaha Beach exemplified the fighting spirit of the Division.
During that assault, the 'Iron Rangers' were tasked to lead the beach assault and fight onto the most heavily defended part of the entire allied landing site, Cornelison said. Those Soldiers successfully accomplished their mission despite suffering heavy losses.
Cornelison said because of that legacy, he felt extremely honored to be a part of the centennial birthday celebration, especially here in Baghdad, Iraq, where the 1st Inf. Div. has once again answered the nation's call to fight.
"At this moment, we stand in the threshold of victory once again," Martin said. "Our Iraqi partners, supported by our efforts, are meters away from liberating the city of Mosul. This is the most significant military operation in this modern military era."
The 1st Inf. Div. not only works side-by-side with the Iraqis in their current advise and assist role but also with the Coalition partners of CJFLCC-OIR.
CJFLCC-OIR is a coalition consisting of multiple units, branches, and countries. Around 100 Coalition service members all watched as Martin and Cornelison used a ceremonial saber to cut the birthday cake to mark 100 years of Victory.
"The 100th year anniversary of the 1st Inf. Div. is a very special day for me," Cornelison said. "It is a privilege and distinct honor to serve as the senior enlisted leader for such a storied unit that has made a direct impact on our national history over the last 100 years."
This Division was born in war and created to demonstrate American might and resolve overseas, Cornelison said.
"Fittingly, we celebrated our 100th year on foreign soil engaged in combat operations against another enemy that is getting a firsthand taste of the Big Red One's tenacity and fighting ability," Cornelison said.
Martin, who is serving with the Division for the third time, said he is honored to lead Soldiers in combat.
"With confidence, I can tell you there is something truly remarkable about our
Division," Martin said. "100 years of faithful and uninterrupted service, the 1st Inf. Div. always delivers and we always win and we will prevail."