Kaiserslautern, Germany (Rhine Ordnance Barracks) -- Soldiers from the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France September 14. The ceremony was in honor of the 100-year anniversary of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the largest in United States military history, involving more than a million American soldiers.
The event was in conjunction with a staff ride covering the Allied offensives leading up to Armistice of November 11, 1918 including the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, the Battle of the Argonne Forest and the 47-day Meuse-Argonne Campaign.
Rory M. McGovern, the memorial and staff ride organizer and planner, highlighted the parallels of the American Expeditionary Forces' during World War I and today's Army.
"To be able to walk the ground and observe, analyze and discuss the problems that the staff of the First Army of the American Expeditionary Forces struggled with and ultimately overcame one hundred years ago during the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Campaigns has been an invaluable professional development opportunity," McGovern said. "Not only for each of us as individuals, but also for all of us as a collective group."
For soldiers in the 10th AAMDC, an operational-level headquarters, McGovern said that there is a steep learning curve but by examining our role in a historical context, soldiers can gain a better understanding of our profession of arms.
"While many on our staff have significant breadth and depth of experiences at the tactical level of war, few have considerable experience at the operational level," McGovern said. "There simply is no better teacher than history."
McGovern said the events of 100 years ago hold special significance for those serving in U.S. Army Europe.
"Understanding the AEF's limitations and shortcomings, awed by its achievements, and humbled by its sacrifices, we cannot help but to recommit ourselves to our own mission in Europe today," McGovern said.