4th Infantry Division
4th Infantry Division (Mechanized)
"Ivy Division" / "Iron Horse"
The mission of the 4th Infantry Division is to deploy and sustain brigade units of action and, on order, conduct decisive full-spectrum combat operations in order to accomplish combatant commander objectives. The 4th Infantry Division's nickname, the "Ivy" Division, came from the design of its shoulder patch: 4 green ivy leaves joined at the stem and opening at the 4 corners. Ivy leaves were symbolic of tenacity and fidelity and were the basis of the Division Motto, "Steadfast and Loyal." The word "Ivy" was also a play on the Roman numeral 4, "IV." The 4th Infantry Division was also known as the "Iron Horse" Division.
The Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Infantry Division was first constituted on 19 November 1917 in the Regular Army as Headquarters, 4th Division. The Headquarters were organized 10 December 1917 at Camp Greene, North Carolina and the Division was commanded by Major General George H. Cameron. Over the following 87 years, more than 540,000 soldiers wore the distinctive patch of the Ivy Division on their uniforms. They established a legacy of dedicated service to the nation that spanned more than 9 decades since its inception to fight in the "Great War," World War I. Among the 540,000 soldiers, the Division had seen 16 Medal of Honor recipients, including Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of President Theodore Roosevelt.
The 4th Division went into action in the Aisne-Marne campaign in July 1918, at which time its units were piecemealed out and attached to several French infantry divisions. Almost a month later, the 4th Division was reunited for the final days of the campaign. During the next 4 months, the 4th Division saw action on the front lines and as reserves. Suffering over 11,500 casualties in the final drive for the Allied victory, the 4th Division was the only division to serve in both the French and British sectors of the front. The Division was inactivated on 21 September 1921 at Camp Lewis, Washington after returning from its service in Europe.
The Division was reactivated on 1 June 1940 at Fort Benning, Georgia. Its Headquarters was reorganized and redesignated on 1 August 1942 as Headquarters, 4th Motorized Division and again on 4 August 1943 as Headquarters, 4th Infantry Division. The American people once again called upon the 4th Infantry Division to serve in World War II. From staging areas in England, the Division trained for its major role in Operation Overlord (D-Day), the amphibious invasion of Europe on 6 June 1944.
The Division's 8th Infantry Regiment was the first Allied unit to assault German forces on the Normandy Coast. It went ashore on Utah Beach and, for 26 days, pushed forward until reaching its objective and being relieved by the 101st Airborne Division. During this month long operation, the 4th Infantry Division sustained over 5000 casualties.
Breaking out of the beachhead and expanding operations well into France, the Division was given the honor of being the first American unit to participate in the liberation of Paris. The Division quickly moved into the Hurtgen Forest and fought what was to be its fiercest battle. The 4th Infantry Division held its ground during the Battle of the Bulge. It then crossed the Rhine, then the Danube, and finally ceased its advance at the Isar River in southern Germany. Again, after returning from Europe the Division was inactivated on 12 March 1946 at Camp Butner, North Carolina.
Though reactivated on 15 July 1947 at Fort Ord, California, it would be 2 decades passed before the Division would again see combat. Its Headquarters was reorganized and redesignated on 13 June 1960 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Infantry Division. The 4th Infantry Division arrived in Vietnam in September 1966 and immediately its brigades were deployed to different locations. With the 1st Brigade near the South China Sea, 2nd Brigade in the central highlands, and the 3rd Brigade in the Mekong Delta, the 4th Infantry Division took part in 11 major campaigns during its 5 years in Vietnam.
The 4th Infantry Division returned from Vietnam in December of 1970 and settled at Fort Carson, Colorado, where it reorganized as a mechanized unit and remained for 25 years. It was during the Division's time at Fort Carson that its nickname transitioned from the "Ivy" Division to the "Ironhorse" Division. The Ironhorse nickname was in recognition of the Division's readiness for contingency deployment worldwide.
Under the 10 division redesign from the Secretary of the Army, the 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas cased its division colors and was reflagged as the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) in December 1995. A few months prior to that ceremony, the 2nd Armored Division was tagged as the Army's Experimental Force (EXFOR). At the reflagging event, the new EXFOR flag was added to the 4th Infantry Division's color guard. The 4th Infantry Division was subsequently tasked with leading the Army as the "Digitization Division" in the Advanced Warfighting Experiment (AWE). The Division was constantly testing new equipment and ways of fighting.
The 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) moved its colors to Fort Hood, Texas, in December 1995 to become the Army's first Force XXI division. When the 4th Infantry Division participated in the EXFOR Army Warfighting Experiment in March 1997, the digital communications packages were installed as appliques on the 1st Brigade's M1 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Eventually, the Division replaced these vehicles with improved M1A2 SEP (system enhancement program) tanks and M2A3 SEP Bradleys. The vehicles had the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) digital command and control systems built in. FBCB2 was the empowering device in these platforms that allowed one to see where one was, where the enemy was, where allies were. The Division's AH-64D Apache Longbows were also equipped with FBCB2. FBCB2 was a software program that drove the information gathering and communications systems. While it was generations ahead of the applique versions, it was still evolving. Later versions were expected to increase the decision-making abilities of warfighters.
The 4th Infantry Division also became involved in the US Army's teaming initiative in the late 1990s. Division teaming began in 1998 as a pilot program, pairing the Texas National Guard's 49th Armored Division with the 1st Cavalry Division headquartered at Fort Hood, Texas, and the California National Guard's 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized) with the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), also headquartered at Fort Hood. This original division teaming was announced at the 1998 National Guard Association conference by then Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dennis J. Reimer. It was part of a program to integrate the active and reserve components, or AC/RC integration. Under division teaming, one division would have the lead in certain areas, and the divisions would share resources. When one division deployed, the other would mobilize to provide replacement operations.
The 4th Infantry Division was thoroughly involved in the training, testing, and evaluation of 72 initiatives to include the Division Capstone Exercise (DCX) I held at the National Training Center (NTC) in Fort Irwin, California in April 2001, and culminating in the DCX II held at Fort Hood, Texas in October 2001.
The April 2001, the Division Capstone Exercise highlighted the Army's newest battlefield technology in brigade-sized maneuvers against the National Training Center's opposing force. The 4th Infantry Division had days of force-on-force maneuvers followed by live-fire exercises. The Army's first digitized division was to demonstrate what combat forces linked by the internet could bring to the battlefield at the Division Capstone Exercise between 1 and 14 April 2001 at the National Training Center, at Fort Irwin, California. A mechanized brigade from the 4th Infantry Division brought new M1A2 Abrams tanks and other heavy equipment to the training event. The 4th Infantry Division's Aviation Brigade and its AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters also participated. About 7,000 division soldiers were involved in the exercise. The exercise removed the 4th Infantry Division from Army's experimentation program.
Trained and ready, on 1 November 2001 the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) entered a new era of service to the nation and its elements assumed the Army's mission of Division Ready Brigade. The 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) was at that time the Army's first digitized division. The new division was smaller, on paper, going from an authorization of nearly 16,700 to slightly over 15,000. Also, there were 24 percent fewer combat platforms in the Division, most of those reductions occurring in the armor and infantry battalions. Although smaller in number of personnel and vehicles, increased combat lethality, survivability and speed were achieved through information age technologies and logistic efficiencies.
On 20 January 2003, press reports began to surface indicating that the entire 4th Infantry Division had been ordered to deploy to southwest Asia in preperation for an attack on Iraq. This deployment would include the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Brigades and would total some 17,000 troops. In March 2003, 4th Infantry Division deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Division headquarters was established in Tikrit and the Division's brigades were located over a large Area of Operations in the "Sunni Triangle." 4th Infantry Division soldiers conducted numerous raids and patrols seeking the remainder of Saddam Hussein loyalists and terrorist operatives in the area. On 13 December 2003, the Division was responsible for finding and capturing Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president.
After returning from Iraq in 2004, the 4th Infantry Division became involved in the transformation of the US Army to the modular force structure. On 16 December 2004, the 4th Infantry Division formally moved into a new era of organization and effectiveness when it officially became the Army's newest modular division. The transformation of the 4th Infantry Division from a "legacy" division to a "modular" configuration was in tune with the dramatic changes being felt throughout the Army as it carried through and adopted a strategic vision for the future.
The Army designed the traditional legacy divisions as the basic building blocks for a Cold-War Army. The 4th Infantry Division under the modular force structure contained 4 self-sustaining brigade combat teams, otherwise known initially as units of action, which were the basic building blocks for modular units. The legacy divisions were each unique in their designs and capabilities. That uniqueness was changed so that units would subsequently mirror one another in their designs and capabilities. The new organization meant that the 4th Infantry Division was again at the forefront of the Army's changes.
The transformation to modular organizations affected nearly every aspect of the way the 4th Infantry Division was organized and the way the division trained, lived, and deployed. Eighty-eight percent of the division had moved offices or barracks and nearly 5,000 new soldiers were to be assigned to the Division before the transformation is complete.
Major additions to the division included the 4th Brigade Combat Team, with about 3,700 soldiers, and nearly doubling the Aviation Brigade, subsequently designated as Combat Aviation Brigade. The reorganized general support aviation battalion included CH-47 Chinook helicopters, their first appearance in the Division in 30 years. In addition to the new helicopters, the Division completed the fielding of M1A2 Abrams System Enhancement Package (SEP) tanks. It also added M2A2 Bradley Fire Support vehicles. The Division additionally had upgraded its M109A6 Paladin howitzers, M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, M3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicles and numerous command and control systems.
Also during the transformation, 2 of the Division's 4 brigades were designated as lifecycle-managed units. This meant that soldiers would be assigned to the same brigade for 3 years. The units would form together, train together, and deploy together as an effective fighting formation backed up by a strong support group at home.
The modular division now consists of a more robust Division Headquarters, which was capable of functioning as a joint task force headquarters. The headquarters had greater command and control abilities with increases in critical staff functions. After the transformation, the Division consisted of 4 brigade combat teams, a fires brigade, an aviation brigade, and a support brigade. The design of the different types of modular brigades was consistent across the Army: a heavy brigade in 4th Infantry Division would be the same as a heavy brigade at 3rd Infantry Division.
Each of the brigade combat teams consisted of 2 combined arms battalions, a reconnaissance squadron, an artillery battalion, and attached special troops and support battalions. The combined arms battalions each have 2 armor companies, 2 infantry companies, an engineer company and a headquarters and headquarters company.
As a result of the transformation, 2 battalions and a company cased their colors and no longer served as active units in the division. These were the 124th Signal Battalion, the 104th Military Intelligence Battalion, and the 4th Military Police Company. These functions were integrated into the special troops battalions in each brigade combat team, and elements of these units were appropriately reflagged. The Division also saw the departure of the 1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery as it left Fort Hood, Texas and transformed into the 1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Missile Artillery at Fort Bliss, Texas.
The 1st, 2nd and 4th Brigade Combat Teams were stationed on Fort Hood, Texas while the 3rd Brigade Combat Team transformed to modular design at Fort Carson, Colorado.
The 4th Infantry Division was deployed for its second rotation in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in November 2005. Most of the units spent a few weeks in transit at Camp Buehring in Kuwait, training and preparing for operations before arriving in Iraq. The majority of the 4th Infantry Division reached central and southern Iraq by January 2006, while a detachment of 350 4th Infantry Division support brigade troops were deployed earlier, in September 2005, to coordinate the transfer of the Division's equipment.
Following their return from Iraq in late 2006, the 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division moved from Fort Hood, Texas to Fort Carson, Colorado. This was as part of larger realignment of US Army units. This was part of a planned realignment of US Army units both in the United States and deployed abroad. As part of this realignment, the Fires Brigade, 4th Infantry Division was inactivated in 2007. The Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division was redesignated as the 4th Sustainment Brigade and reassigned to the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command at Fort Hood, Texas.
The 4th Infantry Division Headquarters and the 4th Brigade Combat Team moved to Fort Carson, Colorado in 2008, leaving only the Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. There the units formed a relationship with the 43rd Sustainment Brigade, also at Fort Carson, and the 214th Fires Brigade at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The Combat Aviation Brigade was expected to join the rest of the Division following its return from supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2010.
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