‘Iron Horse’ Division celebrates 100 years of excellence

The 4th Infantry Division celebrated its centennial Dec. 10, 2017, marking 100 years of excellence and dedication to the nation and its allies.

The “Iron Horse” Division’s history began as America entered World War I in 1917. The 4th Division was founded Dec. 10, 1917, at Camp Greene, North Carolina. Following the battles of the Great War, the division participated in World War II, the Vietnam War and in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Our history binds us together and gives us a shared understanding that is essential to combat formations,” said Maj. Gen. Randy A. George, commanding general, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson. “We will always strive to maintain the outstanding reputation this division has earned through its exceptional performance in combat over the past 100 years.”

And that exceptional performance over the last 100 years has epitomized the 4th Inf. Div. Soldier.

“I feel like I’m walking on the shoulders of giants when you look at the sacrifices that our Soldiers have made,” said Division Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy L. Metheny. “During Vietnam for example, when despite having a draft and not having a professional noncommissioned officer corps, the 4th Infantry Division was a very well trained and professional organization. Today, we remain well disciplined, well trained, and professional. And there’s nobody in the Army that has the capabilities that we have.”

The 4th Inf. Div. is the only balanced division in the Army, comprised of an armored, an infantry, and a Stryker brigade combat teams, along with a combat aviation brigade, sustainment brigade and division artillery.

George, a former “Ivy” Division company and brigade commander, has witnessed the organization’s growth during his time assigned to the unit.

 

READY THEN — The 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions jumped into the areas behind Utah Beach early in the morning June 6, 1944, with the mission of disrupting the German defenses in advance of the invasion. The Airborne Soldiers were completely surrounded until the 4th Infantry managed to fight its way inland from the beaches. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Center of Military History)

 

 

 

“I have been impressed by the division’s desire to continuously grow and its focus on consistent improve­ment,” he said. “Every organization in this formation strives to get better every day. We are fortunate to have dedicated Soldiers and leaders who embrace the uncertainty and strive to be ready to meet the evolving challenges that our nation needs from us.”

Remaining ready is a staple within the division.

“Our Soldiers work tirelessly on whatever mission we are assigned, that has never changed,” he said. “Whether it is fighting a counterinsurgency, preparing for a near-peer threat, testing concepts for the Army, deploying in support of natural disasters, deploying to demonstrate our resolve to our allies or deploying to established theaters, Ivy Soldiers continue to prove that they are the best trained and ready force for any mission,” George said.

Soldiers of the “Iron Horse” Division have always served with distinction. Despite equipment shortfalls and constant change in mission set, Soldiers persevered and fought bravely, and the same is expected today.

“The requirements haven’t really changed since 1917; we still must be experts in our craft, athletes to meet the challenges of the combat and disciplined in our execution of our mission,” said the 62nd commanding general of the 4th Inf. Div. “It’s the environment that has changed. The battlefield has become significantly more complex, operating at a more rapid pace for extended periods of time. The effects of cyberwarfare … precision long-range fires have significantly increased the complexity of our fight and the tools required to fight it. We will continue to focus on being ready … we will continue to succeed when our nation calls on us.”

Although technology has changed how the division operates, the mindset of the brave men and women who continue to train and fight to defend the nation’s interests remains the same.

 

 

READY NOW — Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conduct squad movements for the combined arms live-fire exercise portion of Getica Saber, July 14, 2017, in Cincu, Romania. Getica Saber 17 is a U.S.-led fire support coordination exercise and combined arms live-fire exercise that incorporates six allied and partner nations with more than 4,000 Soldiers and runs concurrent with Saber Guardian 17, a multinational exercise that spans across Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania with over 25,000 service members from 22 Allied and partner nations. (Photo by Spc. Antonio Lewis)

“The courage and heart of our individual Soldiers is the biggest constant,” George said. “Our history is full of the actions of junior Soldiers who go above and beyond, risking their lives for their comrades. Those Soldiers made the difference in every conflict that this division has under­taken. They will continue to make the difference in the missions that we will be called on to undertake.”

The 4th Inf. Div.’s roots began with developing well-trained warriors, and that focus has carried over throughout decades of conflicts and an ever-changing mission set that has helped Iron Horse Soldiers remain “Steadfast and Loyal” against any crisis or threat.

“Our Soldiers need to be experts at their trade and this starts with the basics of soldiering,” said Metheny. “The goal should be 100 percent. Soldiers should strive for a 300 on their Army Physical Fitness and 40 out of 40 on their marksmanship. We’re a blue collar division. We’re not here to look fancy, we’re here to do a job when called upon — to fight and win.”