Field of Honor at Manhart Field Memorial Dedicated

FORT CARSON, Colo. – From left, Jim Rice, Iron Horse Chapter, 4th Infantry Division Association; Gerry Howard, 4th Infantry Division Association; Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson; John Carson, great-grandson of Kit Carson; and Chris Williams, president, Balfour Beatty Communities, pose for a photo after unveiling memorial pillars representing each campaign the 4th Infantry Division participated in a at the Field of Heroes at Manhart Field on Fort Carson during a dedication ceremony Dec. 14.

FORT CARSON, Colo. – Fort Carson leaders, community leaders, and Family and friends of the 4th Infantry Division came together to unveil the Field of Honor at Manhart Field, dedicated to all 4th Infantry Division Soldiers, on Dec. 14.

Ground was officially broken for the monument July 26, with construction beginning in mid October.

The memorial consists of five marble pillars, each emblazoned with bronze campaign medals, campaign streamers and plaques highlighting the significant contributions and achievements during each of the five conflicts the division participated in: World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, Operation Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, and Operation Enduring Freedom.

“The Field of Honor was conceived and funded by our residential community’s initiative partner, Balfour Beatty Communities,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson. “BBC is committed to honoring all of our military personnel, from our active duty members to our wounded warriors and fallen heroes and our veterans, by creating a place for communal gatherings and a place to reflect on the unselfish contributions and sacrifices that our Soldiers have made on behalf of our great nation.

“We are proud to dedicate this field for that exact purpose today, and we thank BBC for their thoughtfulness, generosity, and partnership,” Anderson said. “This memorial will pay tribute to the 4th Inf. Div. role in World War I and II, Vietnam, Operation Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, and Operation Enduring Freedom. The 4th Inf. Div. turned 95 years old on Dec. 10, so what a fitting tribute this memorial is to a storied unit.”

Balfour Beatty Communities has built and manages Family housing on Fort Carson and other installations. BBC leaders said they donated the monument in appreciation and respect for the 4th Inf. Div. Soldiers.

“We are here today to honor the great sacrifice and dedication of former and current members of the 4th Inf. Div.,” said Chris Williams, president, Balfour Beatty Communities Foundation and Balfour Beatty Communities, LLC. "And to honor the brave young men and women who served throughout the great history of Fort Carson, so that future generations will remember the great sacrifices and dedication of these Soldiers, and how precious freedom and peace really are.”

During WWI the 4th Inf. Div. fought with distinction across France and received great praise for its heroic efforts during the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne campaigns. They were the only division to serve in both the French and British sectors. They earned five campaign streamers during the war.

During WWII the 4th Inf. Div. was sent to England in January 1944 for amphibious training prior to D-day. They were first ashore, landing at Utah Beach June 6, 1944. They earned five campaign streamers during the war.

In the Vietnam War the 4th Inf. Div. was called to action in the fall of 1966. They were awarded 11 campaign streamers and 12 of the division's Soldiers earned the Medal of Honor for their heroic actions during the war.

The 4th Inf. Div. went back to combat in April 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In December 2003 they spearheaded the task force that captured Saddam Hussein. They earned seven campaign streamers for their war efforts.

The 4th Inf. Div. deployed to Afghanistan in May 2009, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Over 70 4th Infantry Division Soldiers have died in the ongoing war.

The Campaign Monument is surrounded by paved walkways and garden-benches. Visitors will have the opportunity to stop at this memorial and reflect on the role the 4th Inf. Div. played in history and remember the ultimate sacrifice made by so many brave Soldiers in the name of freedom.

“Balfour Beatty Communities Foundation, Fort Carson Command, conceived this memorial as a lasting tribute to those Soldiers,” Williams said. “It is our hope that the Families and friends of these valiant men and women, as well as anyone who visits this memorial, will have a place to reflect and consider their selfless acts as they answered the call without hesitation, when our country needed them the most.”

The dedication also celebrated the 70th Anniversary of Fort Carson, which was established as Camp Carson training center for WWII recruits in January 1942. The installation was named after Soldier and Frontiersman Kit Carson. By February, 1942, construction was underway at the 60,000 acre site to provide facilities for 35,000 Soldiers. Fort Carson was one of several sites reviewed the previous year, and with the intense lobbying efforts, land and financial support from the Colorado Springs community, led to its selection.

In 1970 4th Inf. Div. replaced the 5th Infantry Division. The 4th soon went under mechanization and became known as the Iron Horse Division. Another plus was the addition of the 235,000 acre Pinion Canyon Maneuver site in 1985. A major reorganization of the Army in 1990 resulted in changes and challenges for Fort Carson.

In 1995 it was announced that the famous 4th Inf. Div., stationed here since 1970, would depart, leaving the post without a division presence for the first time since 1954. The post retained the 43rd Support Brigade and 3rd Brigade, 4th Inf. Div., and acquired the 10th Special Forces Group and 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. With these combined units Fort Carson retained a large and effective force.

In June 1999 Fort Carson again became a division post following the arrival of the 7th Infantry Division. The 7th Inf. Div. remained until 2006, serving as a training and evaluation command for Army National Guard brigades.

Following the inactivation of the 7th Inf. Div., the 1st Army Division West Command was established at Fort Carson, and remained until 2009. During the late 1990s and the early 2000s the post focused on superior training, and this was validated following the invasion of Iraq in 2003, when Fort Carson prepared and deployed thousands of Soldiers in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As the Army fought the War on Terrorism, a new Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission was established in 2005, to better station and coordinate Army assets. Fort Carson was again at the forefront when it was announced that the 4th Inf. Div. would return to its former home. The colors of 4th Inf. Div. were uncased in the fall of 2009.

Throughout its history, Fort Carson’s Soldiers and Units have provided for and supported numerous events and programs. As Fort Carson continues to transform to meet the challenges of the 21st century, one constant hasn’t changed in more than 70 years; the Mountain Post is the best place to live and train in the Army.

“Fort Carson and the 4th Inf. Div. have played a critical role during our country’s most challenging times,” said Williams. “The Field of Honor will memorialize and honor those contributions forever.”

John Carson, the great grandson of Kit Carson, the famous Army scout who explored the West during the 1800s and who the post is named after, came to celebrate the unveiling of the 4th Inf. Div. Field of Honor at Manhart Field and the 70th Anniversary Celebration. John Carson spoke about the indomitable will and spirit of his great-grandfather, and wished for everyone to keep their eyes on the horizon, and most of all, to stay safe.