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."