By Sydney Johnson
Formed in 1917 for World War I, the 4th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army celebrates its 103rd birthday in 2020. Here are some facts you should know about the “Steadfast and Loyal” division’s tradition and history:
It’s based in Ft. Carson, Colorado
The 4th Infantry Division was originally organized in North Carolina at Camp Greene but has been relocated several times in the last century. They have been stationed in Georgia, California, Washington and Texas, just to name a few of the division’s past home states. Most recently in 2009, after calling Ft. Hood, Texas, home for 14 years, the division moved back to Ft. Carson, Colorado, where it had been previously stationed from 1970 to 1995.
The 4th Division has some clever nicknames
The division is often referred to as the “Ivy Division” because the roman numeral for four – IV – looks like the letters “I” and “V,” which, read together, sound like “ivy.” Pretty clever, huh?
It is also referred to as the “Iron Horse Division,” which is an allusion to the speed and power of the division and its service members.
Its shoulder patch is closely related to its nickname
The 4th Division shoulder patch is also a reference to its nickname the “Ivy Division.” The patch features four green ivy leaves on a khaki background with stems that intersect to form a cross in the middle of the patch. This insignia was adopted by the division’s first commanding general, Maj. Gen. George H. Cameron.
It was chosen to lead on D-Day
The 4th Infantry Division played a large role in World War II, as it was chosen to spearhead operations on D-Day, the day Allied forces invaded the beaches of Normandy. The division was sent to England on January 26, 1944, to train and prepare for the invasion, which called for the division to attack Utah Beach. When June 6 rolled around, the troops were ready to carry out their mission. For the 4th Infantry Division, D-Day was a huge success; they quickly captured the beach for the Allies.
The 4th Division is credited with the capture of Saddam Hussein
In December of 2003, American soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division captured Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq. In collaboration with a special operations unit, Operation Red Dawn, the name of the capture mission, was a success.
Medal of Honor recipient and USO Tour Veteran Florent Groberg served in the Division
In 2015, retired Army Capt. Florent “Flo” Groberg received the Medal of Honor for the heroic actions he exhibited during a tour in Afghanistan. He bravely tackled a suicide bomber, risking his life and throwing the enemy off their plan. Although several American soldiers lost their lives that day, Groberg’s courageous act saved many more. Since then, he has received additional awards, including the Purple Heart, and has toured with the USO.
More Stories Like This
What to Know About the 3rd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army
On November 21, the 3rd Infantry Division celebrates a birthday. Here are six important facts to know upon this anniversary.
6 Need-to-Know Facts About the 7th Infantry Division
In celebration of the 7th Infantry Division’s birthday on December 6, here’s six need-to-know facts about the unit.
More from the USO
Jan 17, 2021
Giving Back to Their Communities Through the USO: Volunteer Stories of Service
In every moment they dedicate to the USO, the organization’s roughly 30,000 volunteers embody the ideals of service, selflessness and community improvement. Get to know a group of stand-out volunteers who've gone above and beyond the call of duty.
Jan 14, 2021
Ahead of the Inauguration, National Guard Troops in D.C. Can Lean on USO
As members of the National Guard answer the call of duty in our nation’s capital in the coming days for the 59th presidential inauguration, the USO is there to strengthen and support them as they carry out their mission.