1st Armored Division celebrates Torch Week
1 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – An Iron Soldier shoots several targets during the stress shoot event as part of the best squad competition August 20 at Fort Bliss, Texas. The competition allowed squads competing in the event the ability to refine their tactics helping increase thei... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
1st Armored Division celebrates Torch Week
2 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. Patrick E. Matlock, commanding general of the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss, and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert H. Cobb, senior enlisted advisor of the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss, lead the formation during a division-wide run Augus... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
1st Armored Division celebrates Torch Week
3 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Hunter Ford, 6th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, prepares to zero his rifle prior to the start of the Best Sniper competition Aug. 21 at McGregor Range as part of Torch Week. Torch Week is a... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
1st Armored Division celebrates Torch Week
4 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Iron Soldiers from across Fort Bliss participated in the 1AD Torch Week Best Squad Competition here, Aug 20-21. The 36-hour competition included tasks which tested the Soldier's physical and mental toughness, their ability to work as a team and the o... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
1st Armored Division celebrates Torch Week
5 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Best Tactical Medic team move their simulated casualty to the next event during 1st Armored Division's Torch Week. Torch Week is a celebration of the great legacy of the 1st Armored Division and honors past and present Iron Soldiers of this histori... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
1st Armored Division celebrates Torch Week
6 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Iron Soldiers of the 1st Armored Division hit the mats during in a two-day division-wide combatives tournament Aug. 20-21 at Fort Bliss during Torch Week. This tournament enhanced individual combat readiness by building up each Soldiers' personal cou... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Torch Week is a celebration of the legacy of the 1st AD, and it honors the past and present Iron Soldiers of the historic division.

Normally the division holds Torch Week in November to commemorate Operation Torch, which took place Nov. 8-16, 1942, when U.S. forces invaded North Africa during World War II. This year, however, the division moved the celebration to August and incorporated a monument dedication and retirement ceremony.

During the week, Soldiers across Fort Bliss competed for best sniper, best medic, best chef, best tank crew, best Bradley Fighting Vehicle crew, best squad, aerial gunnery, combatives, family bowling and a host of other family events.

"Torch Week is a week we focus on the preparedness of the division with physical fitness with events like the division run and combatives and several competitions that demonstrate just how lethal our Iron Soldiers can be," said Command Sgt. Maj. David S. Davenport, Sr., former senior enlisted adviser, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, and 1st AD.

The competition was designed to build camaraderie and spread esprit de corps throughout the division and Fort Bliss.

Midway through the week the division had an unveiling ceremony for the new monument placed in front of the division headquarters.

The monument, provided by Association of the United States Army-AUSA National, commemorates the commitment, hard work and success of the Soldiers throughout the division during their most recent deployment in support of Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command -- Operation Inherent Resolve July 2017 through March.

The week wrapped up with the retirement ceremony for Davenport, hosted by retired Gen. David G. Perkins, former TRADOC commander.

"I have left everything on the field as I walk off it today knowing the next generation of Iron Soldiers are ready and willing to step up and lead our Army," said Davenport. I believe anyone can be a Soldier for life, but only a few of us can say we are Iron Soldiers for life."

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