FORT BENNING, Ga. (Sept. 7, 2018) -- The chief of the Infantry has selected three residents of the Columbus, Georgia, area as honorees in this year's Doughboy Awards, scheduled to take place at the National Infantry Museum Sept. 11.
The three honorees are retired Lt. Gen. Sam Wetzel, retired Command Sgt. Maj. Autrail Cobb and Gary Fox.
The term "Doughboy" originated during the Mexican Punitive Expedition led by Brig. Gen. John J. Pershing in Mexico from 1916 to 1917 and along the Arizona, New Mexico and Texas borders in response to raids conducted by the Mexican bandit Francisco "Pancho" Villa's forces on U.S. border towns. Soldiers accepted the nickname as their own as the American Expeditionary Force deployed to France in 1917 when the entered World War I.
The award is presented on behalf of all Infantrymen, past and present, and the actual trophy is a chrome-plated replica of the Model 1917 steel helmet worn by American Doughboys in World War I and the early days of World War II. The award was established in 1980, and Bob Hope was the first recipient. Other distinguished awardees include cartoonist Bill Mauldin, H. Ross Perot, Senator Daniel Inouye, Gen. Colin Powell and many other military and government leaders. A complete list is available at the Fort Benning website or on the "Related Links" section on this page.
The Doughboy Awards take place the first evening of the Maneuver Warfighter Conference, hosted by the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning. The theme for this year's Maneuver Warfighter Conference is "Sharpening Our Craft."