The 82nd Airborne Division is an elite parachute nit of
the U.S. Army whose home base is at Ft Bragg, North Carolina. The Division has
the ability to begin combat operations anywhere in the world within eighteen
hours of notification. The primary mission of the airborne is airfield and
seaport seizure. Once entry is obtained by parachute, helicopter, vehicle, or
by foot, the terrain is secured to rapidly receive additional combat forces.
Every soldier in the 82nd Airborne Division is jump qualified and almost every
piece of combat equipment assigned to the Division can be dropped by parachute
onto the battlefield.
The 82nd Division was organized on March 25, 1917 at Camp
Gordon, Georgia. Members of the Division came from all over the country so the
unit was given the nickname of "All American." This is the reason for the
on the unit's shoulder patch. Less than a year after its formation the Division
was deployed to France to fight in World War I. In less than five months of
combat the 82nd participated in three major campaigns. The famous hero of WWI,
Alvin York was a member of the 82nd Division. Sergeant York was awarded the
Medal of Honor for attacking a German machine gun and killing twenty enemy
soldiers and capturing one hundred and thirty-two others. After the war the
82nd was demobilized in May of 1919.
The Division would gain its reputation in the next war.
Recalled for World War II in March of 1942, the Division was re-designated the
82nd Airborne Division the following August. The 82nd was the first airborne
division in the United States Army. During WWII the Division conducted
parachute assaults into Sicily, Salerno, Normandy, and Holland. At the battle
of Anzio in Italy, a German officer gave the paratroopers one of their many
nicknames when he referred to them as "those devils in baggy pants."
The 82nd Airborne Division was not sent to the Korean War,
but rather began its use as America's strategic reserve and rapid deployment
force. In January of 1968, during the Tet Offensive, the 3rd Brigade, 82nd
Airborne Division was alerted and en route to Chu Lai within 24 hours. The 82nd
stayed in Vietnam for 22 months of combat. The All-Americans fought in the
Hué - Phu Bai area, and then later fought battles in the Mekong Delta,
the Iron Triangle, and along the Cambodian border. The 3rd Brigade returned to
Fort Bragg in December of 1969.
As the most highly trained light infantry division in the
world, the 82nd Airborne has participated in practically every potential combat
deployment of the U.S. Army since Vietnam. This includes Grenada in 1983,
Honduras in 1988, the invasion of Panama in 1989, Operation Desert
Shield/Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and into Iraq in 1990-91, Bosnia in 1995,
Kosovo in 1999, Afghanistan in 2002, and the invasion of Iraq in early 2003. As
of 2007, elements of the 82nd Airborne Division are on rotation to Iraq in
support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The 82nd Airborne Division also carries the moniker of
"America's Guard of Honor." They are the nation's strategic offensive force,
maintaining the highest state of readiness. Generations of veterans have lived
up to the Division's motto. They truly went "All the way!"
82nd Airborne Division Gift Shop:
Shop for 82nd Airborne
Gift Items and T-Shirts in our store »