FORT RILEY, Kansas – U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John V. Meyer III and Command Sgt. Maj. Derek Noyes, command team of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley, announced the ‘Year of Victory’ campaign during a kickoff ceremony held on Jan. 11, 2024.
The kickoff event marks the beginning of the next chapter in the ongoing effort to recount the history of the division, recognize its victorious past and honor former and current Soldiers as it continues to develop future leaders and achieve success throughout its ranks.
“In the end, I think all of us if we live by the motto, duty, honor, country, there will be victory,” said Meyer. “All of us as Soldiers have to define what that is.”
Throughout the year, the division and its Soldiers will discuss what it means to be victorious, what role the 1st Inf. Div. has played in the history of the United States and how it will continue playing a pivotal role in the country’s future.
“Hopefully, [victory] doesn’t mean that we’re going to fight the enemy tomorrow or the next day,” said Noyes. “What it should mean in this organization right now is what can I do in my little slice of this pie to make myself better and my Soldiers better.”
“This organization has a long history of victory,” said Noyes. “Before WWII this division was not fully equipped, it wasn’t fully manned, it wasn’t fully resourced and what did they do? They were the first division in the United States to go to combat, go onto shore in North Africa, go into Sicily and then land on Normandy on the first day.
“They didn't have the most resources, they didn’t have the most people and a lot of leaders probably thought, ‘we’re not ready for this,’ but what did they do? They got on the boats, they dismounted and they took the beach and created a victory.”
In recounting the history of the Big Red One., the ‘Year of Victory’ campaign looks to highlight the achievements of Soldiers and reflect upon the ideals that helped create such a storied division.
“What is victory to me? It’s doing your duty,” said Meyer. “It’s in our division motto. It's what the Soldiers have been doing in this division since 1917. We have done our duty. We did our duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as we were ordered to do. We served with honor.”
Over the course of the next year, the division will focus on sending accomplished Soldiers to compete in Army-wide competitions in order to build camaraderie amongst the ranks. Milestones for the Year of Victory will include the 80th D-Day Anniversary Ceremony and the Victory Week celebration, as well as ongoing guest speaker and leadership professional development opportunities.