6 Must-Know Facts about the 4th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army

By Sydney Johnson

Formed in 1917 for World War I, the 4th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army celebrates its birthday on December 10. 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.

Photo credit DVIDS/Maj. Michelle Lunato

U.S. Army instructor works with 4th Infantry Division on marksmanship techniques at Fort Carson, CO.

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.

4th Infantry Division liaison officer patches in a soldier at a patching ceremony at Fort Carson. | Photo credit DVIDS/Sgt. Anthony Bryant

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.

Photo credit DVIDS/Spc. Jason Dangel

4th Infantry Division soldiers salute the brigade colors during a ceremony.

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

President Obama presents the Medal of Honor to retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg during a ceremony at the White House. | Photo credit DVIDS/Eboni Everson-Myart

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.

-This story was originally published on USO.org in 2020. It has been update in 2021.

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