The 3rd Infantry Division has a storied history dating back to 1917. Each new Soldier that arrives at the Division adds to that legacy, but those new Soldiers don’t always know the history of the unit or of the patch that they wear on their left sleeve.
Maj. Gen. Charles D. Costanza, the commander of 3rd ID, and Command Sgt. Maj. Quentin V. Fenderson, the division’s senior enlisted advisor, welcomed incoming Soldiers to the 3rd ID during the division’s first formal patching ceremony held at Cashe Garden on Fort Stewart, Georgia, April 19, 2022.
First Sgt. Louis Batanzos, the first sergeant for the Marne Reception Center, said this patching ceremony informs incoming Soldiers about the symbolism of the 3rd ID patch while also instilling pride in service as a Dogface Soldier.
During the ceremony, Soldiers formally received the division patch, which represents key history of the Marne Division; the three white stripes are symbolic of the three major operations in which the division participated during World War I: the Battle of the Marne River, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and the St. Mihiel Offensive, and the blue symbolizes the loyalty of those Soldiers who lost their lives.
“This is the premier division inside of the United States Army,” said Fenderson. “A lot of things are going to be asked of you and a lot of things are going to be expected of you.”
Among its many storied achievements, the 3rd ID lays claim to the most Medal of Honor recipients in the Army with a total of 61 medal recipients. The division has taken part in many historic campaigns including WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Most recently, the division deployed its 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team to Europe to support NATO allies there.
“Right now, we are in eight different countries, and approximately 3,900 Dogface Soldiers are deployed,” said Costanza. “You need to be ready to go as part of the XVIII Airborne Corps.”
As the “Hammer of the XVIII Airborne Corps” and part of the Nation’s premier strategic response force, units of the 3rd ID regularly deploy to support combatant commands around the world while assisting allies and partners in a wide range of environments.
“I'm ready and I'm motivated,” said Pfc. Kayla Fowler, a signal support specialist newly assigned to 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID. “I look forward to the deployments; I'm ready to just go see the world and make lifelong friendships.”
Fowler is originally from Chino Hills, California, and worked different government jobs prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army. Fowler is not only a Soldier, but is also a wife and a mother of two.
The patching ceremony gave each Soldier the opportunity to meet their chain of command and understand the expectations ahead of them.
Pvt. Derek Franklin, a signal support specialist now assigned to 9th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID, says he looks forward to being a part of a team and working hard.
Franklin is originally from Brooklyn, New York. While in high school, Franklin took a technical college welding course and with the help of his instructor, he realized that the Army could offer him different and better opportunities to be successful.
“It feels great being here at 3rd ID,” said Franklin.
With their patches firmly attached, the incoming Soldiers left the ceremony for their new units where they will continue to add to the legacy of 3rd ID.
“On behalf of the families and Soldiers of the 3rd ID, we want to tell you all welcome to Fort Stewart,” said Fenderson.