The 10th Mountain Division (LI) Artillery held a ceremony to rededicate its headquarters building as Ruffner Hall June 19, 2020, on Fort Drum, N.Y. The hall was dedicated to Maj. Gen. David L. Ruffner, who served as DIVARTY's first commander during WWII.
Col. Jason Williams, DIVARTY’s current commander, praised his predecessor in front of a crowd of leaders, Soldiers, friends, and family.
“I believe he would feel right at home in the new Fort Drum,” said Williams.
Williams went on to describe the man as tough, determined, and a person that all 10th Mountain Division Soldiers should try to emulate.
Ruffner, who was at the time a brigadier general, led the Soldiers of 10th Mountain Division’s Artillery across the battlefields of Italy in WWII. During his 35 - year career, Ruffner also served as the commander of the 45th Infantry Division in Korea. Ruffner earned several awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, and the Legion of Merit.
Moreover, DIVARTY’s American Flag that was carried during WWII was recently returned and is now displayed in Ruffner Hall as a reminder of the unit’s history.
The colors did not have an easy journey to Fort Drum, though. After DIVARTY was deactivated in 2004, the flag resided above the fireplace mantle of Retired Capt. Chuck Thompson, who served at Fort Drum from 2001 to 2005. Along with the flag, Thompson was given charge of over 100 of the unit’s historical artifacts.
Thompson later returned the colors to DIVARTY in 2019, but the colors were only recently put on display. It took nearly 18 months to get the colors properly cleaned and restored so that they may hang now as proudly as they did all of those years ago.