FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Sept. 1, 2022) -- The strength of the 10th Mountain Division (LI) was on display Aug. 31 during a live demonstration on Division Hill, while the Salute to the Nation flag formation showcased Soldiers’ state-by-state pride in serving their country.
Maj. Gen. (P) Milford H. Beagle Jr., 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander, welcomed hundreds of community members attending the Mountainfest festivities. Beagle also thanked a group of future Soldiers in attendance visiting Fort Drum, as well as 10th Mountain Division veterans – the oldest being t98-year-old Hilton Labow, who served in the 87th Infantry Regiment during World War II.
Beagle told the audience that what they will see Soldiers demonstrating on the parade field is the history and evolution of the 10th Mountain, from its earliest roots as an elite alpine unit to the modern-day light infantry division capable of fighting in any environment and in all operational domains.
“Our nation will never ask is if we are ready, our nation will expect it,” he said. “For those of us who wear the cloth of our nation, which is what I’m wearing today, we know that we have the honor and the privilege to fight and win our nation’s wars. That’s what our main thing is, every single day. We do a lot of things, but we all know what our No. 1 main thing is – to fight and win – and that’s what we do.”
Audiences watched as Soldiers demonstrated tactical movements across the field, followed by ground and air support, as well as ear-splitting artillery fire that left clouds of smoke as Soldiers marched onto Division Hill carrying the 56 U.S. state and territory flags.
Beagle said that the patch worn by 10th Mountain Division Soldiers, like the state and American flag, is a source of pride. The bayonets on the patch represent the fighting instruments of the infantry, and they are crossed like the Roman numeral 10. The shape of the patch is a powder keg to symbolize the explosive power of the division. Above the patch is the Mountain tab.
“The Mountain makes us special,” Beagle said. “I thank our families, our community teammates and our partners who got us to where we are today. We live in this community but we are also part of this community. Without our families and without you, there is no us.”
The Salute to the Nation ceremony concluded with the singing of the 10th Mountain Division and Army songs, after which attendees returned to the Mountainfest area for food, games and attractions. The evening ended with the AmeriCU Salute to the Troops Concert featuring country artists Justin Moore and Lauren Alaina.