AIRBORNE! All the Way!

AIRBORNE! It’s more than just a saying, or a fancy maroon beret and jump boots. It’s a way of life. Since its creation in the 1900s, becoming a paratrooper was a dream that many young children wanted to and still want to fulfill. As the saying goes, in order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you came from.

U.S. paratroopers fix their static lines before a jump before dawn over Normandy on D-Day June 6, 1944, in France. The decision to launch the airborne attack in darkness instead of waiting for first light was probably one of the few Allied missteps on June 6, and there was much to criticize both in the training and equipment given to paratroopers and glider-borne troops of the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions. Improvements were called for after the invasion; the hard-won knowledge would be used to advantage later. (AP Photo/Army Signal Corps)

U.S. paratroopers fix their static lines before a jump before dawn over Normandy on D-Day June 6, 1944, in France.  (AP Photo/Army Signal Corps)

The 82nd Airborne Division, known then as the 82nd Infantry Division, was constituted in the National Army on Aug. 5, 1917 with the unit being organized at Camp Gordon, Georgia on Aug. 25. The double-A symbol we see today was adopted by the unit to stand for “All-American,” as members of the airborne unit were drafted from all 48 states.

In the spring of 1918, the division deployed to France, and in nearly five months of combat action, the 82nd fought in three major campaigns, and is attributed with helping to break the fighting spirit of the German Imperial Army.

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After World War I, the 82nd was demobilized, but with the outbreak of World War II, the division was reactivated at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana on March 25, 1942.

On August 15, 1942, the 82nd Infantry Division became the first airborne division in the U.S. Army, and the All-American Division was redesignated as the 82nd Airborne Division.

And the rest is history.

From North Africa to Italy to England, the paratroopers of the 82nd got plenty of chances to not only see the world, but make a difference. Through conflicts such as Operation Neptune of the Normandy Invasion, and fighting off the Germans offensive through the Ardennes Forest, the 82nd proved themselves time and time again.

Upon returning to the United States in January 1946, instead of being demobilized, the 82nd claimed their permanent home at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where they have been ever since.

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Life in the 82nd during the 1950s and 60s heavily concentrated on intensive training exercises in numerous environments and locations such as Alaska and Panama.

With missions spanning from the 1960s until after the attacks of 9/11, the 82nd Airborne Division has always been “All the Way!”

Blog post submitted by Tazanyia ‘Taz’ Mouton, Public Affair Specialist, Department of the Army Internship Program

Originally posted here:

AIRBORNE! All the Way!