10th Mountain Division (United States Army)

The 10th Mountain Division was created from 1939 during the invasion of Finland by the troops of the Soviet Union , when the efforts of the Soviets were frustrated after the destruction of two armored divisions by the Finnish troops on skis. . Seeing the effectiveness of these troops, Charles Minot Dole , the president of the National Ski Patrol , began to pressure the US War Department to create a similar unit in the US Army; the troops would be trained to fight in winter and in war in the mountains.

In September 1940 , Dole was able to present his case to General George C. Marshall , Chief of Staff of the United States Army , who agreed with Dole’s assessment, deciding to create a mountain unit.


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  • 1 History
    • 1 World War II
    • 2 Italy
    • 3 Demobilization
    • 4 Cold War
    • 5 Reactivation
    • 6 Operation Restore Hope
    • 7 Operation Restore Democracy
    • 8 Task Force Eagle
  • 2 War on Terrorism
    • 1 Controversy
    • 2 The initial deployment
    • 3 Reorganization and deployment of Iraq
    • 4 Recent deployments
  • 3 Honors
  • 4 Legacy
  • 5 Organization
  • 6 Sources


The 10th Mountain Division ( Light Infantry ) (is a light infantry division of the United States Army based at Fort Drum , New York . It is a subordinate unit to the XVIII Airborne Corps . The division maintains the denomination of mountain for reasons historical, but in reality it is organized as a light infantry division.

Activated in 1943 , the 10th Mountain Division was the last of the currently active divisions to enter combat during World War II . The 10th Division fought in the mountains of Italy on some of the most difficult terrain in the country. After the war, the division was briefly redesignated as the 10th Infantry Division, a training unit, it was deployed to Germany before deactivation.

Reactivated in 1985 , the division was deployed in numerous contingencies throughout the 1990s . Elements of the division participated in the infamous operations Desert Storm , Restore Hope , Restore Democracy , Task Force Eagle. They were also deployed in relief efforts after Hurricane Andrew . Since 2001 , the division and its four combat brigades have been deployed numerous times to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the infamous Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

The 10th Infantry Division active in the US Army during World War I , redesignated Panama Canal Division after the war, does not share any relationship with the 10th Mountain Division active during World War II.

Second World War

The 10th Light Division (Alpine) was formed on July 10 , 1943 and activated two days later at Camp Hale , Colorado . The division was made up of the 85th, 86th, and 87th infantry regiments. The 604th, 605th, and 616th Field Artillery Battalion, 110th Signal Company, 710th Ordnance Company, 10th Quartermaster Company, 126th Engineer Battalion, 10th Medicine Battalion, and 10th Intelligence Detachment. The 10th Light Division was the only division in the army with three battalions of field artillery instead of four. In 1943 and 1944 the troops of the 10th Mountain Division moved to Seneca Rocks in West Virginia.to start training in artificial climbing, and drowned hammer python. During the training there would probably be many openings of the climbing routes, although very few were recorded. During his stay the army used more than 75,000 pythons on the cliffs of Seneca Rocks and nearby Champe Rocks and Nelson Rocks, many of them still remain. The division continued its training at Camp Hale at 2,800m altitude. The soldiers trained to fight and survive in the worst conditions and to sleep in the snow without tents. On June 22, 1944, the division was dispatched to Camp Swift , Texas , to prepare for maneuvers in Louisiana., which were eventually canceled. A period of acclimatization to low altitude and hot weather was needed. On November 6, 1944, the 10th Division was renamed the 10th Mountain Division. That same month, the word Mountain was authorized on the new badge.


The division sailed for Italy in late 1944, arriving in Italy on January 6 , 1945 . It was the last US Army Division to enter combat in World War II. He immediately entered combat near

Cutigliano and Orsogna . Preliminary defensive actions were followed on 19 of February of 1945 in the Battle of Monte Castello , together with troops of the Brazilian Expeditionary the Force.

The unit carries out concerted attacks on Monte Della Torraccia-Monte Belvedere , the area was cleared after several days of heavy fighting. At the beginning of March the division continued its advance towards the north of Canolle reaching about 24 km from Bologna . After three weeks holding positions, the division got under way again, capturing the city of Montegiorgio on April 20 , entering the Po Valley , and seizing the strategic points of Pradalbino and Bomporto . On April 23 they crossed the Po, reaching Verona on April 25, met with strong opposition in the Nago-Torbole . After crossing Lake Garda , Gargnano and Tremosine were secured . On April 30 , the German resistance in Italy ended. With the German surrender in Italy on May 2, 1945, she was in charge of security and the location of German units that could be hidden in the occupation areas of Trieste , Kobarid , Bovec and Log pod Mangartom , ( Slovenia ) until Victory in Europe Day .


Originally, the division was to be sent to the Pacific Theater to participate in Operation Downfall, the invasion of Japan. However, Japan surrendered in August 1945 after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki . The division returned to the United States. Two days later, she was demobilized and discharged on November 30, 1945 at Camp Carson ( Colorado ).

The 10th Division’s casualties during World War II were 992 killed and 4154 wounded in action in the 114 days of combat. A Medal of Honor ( John D. Magrath ), three Distinguished Service Crosses , one Distinguished Service Medal , 449 Silver Stars, seven Legions of Merit , 15 Soldier’s Medals , and 7,729 Bronze Stars were awarded . The same division has the right to display two campaign ribbons on its flag.

Cold War

In June 1948, the division was rebuilt at Fort Riley , Kansas to serve as a training division. Baptized as the 10th Infantry Division, a name that it would carry for the next ten years. The division was training a large number of recruits. This mission was expanded with the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 . By 1953 , the division had trained 123,000 new Army recruits at Fort Riley.

In 1954, the division became once again a combat division, although it did not regain Mountain status. Using equipment from the deactivated 37th Infantry Division, the 10th Infantry Division was deployed to Germany, to replace the 1st Infantry Division stationed in Würzburg , which as part of the NATO defensive force . The division remained in Germany for four years, until it was relieved by the 3rd Infantry Division, moved to Fort Benning, Georgia, and was deactivated on June 14 , 1958 .


The 13 of February of 1985 , the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum reactivated, New York. In accordance with the plan to transform the United States Army, the division would no longer focus on regiments, instead two brigades were activated. The 1st Brigade, based at Fort Drum, and the 2nd Brigade, based at Fort Benning, moving to Fort Drum in 1988 . He was also assigned a brigade of the Army National Guard , the 27th Infantry Brigade. It was specially designed as a light infantry division capable of rapid deployment, it was geared towards downsizing for mobility reasons at both a strategic and tactical level. In 1990, the division sent 1,200 soldiers to Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. Most of these units belonged to the 548th Supply and Services Battalion, with almost 1,000 soldiers, supporting the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized). Following the cessation of hostilities in March 1991 , soldiers began returning to Fort Drum in June of that year.

On August 24, [[[1992]], Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida, killing 13 people, leaving another 250,000 homeless and causing more than $ 20 million in damage. On September 27, 1992, the 10th Mountain Division assumed responsibility for relief efforts as Task Force Mountain. Soldiers set up camps, distributed food, clothing, medicine and building materials, helped rebuild homes and clear debris. The last of 6,000 soldiers deployed to Florida returned home in October 1992.

Operation Restore Hope

The 3 of December of 1993 , the headquarters of the division was designated as the seat of all the Armed Forces of the Unified Task Force (UNITAF) for Operation Restore Hope. Major General Steven L. Arnold , Division Commander, was appointed Commander of the Army Forces. The mission of the 10th Mountain Division was to secure the main cities and roads to facilitate the safe passage of supplies to the Somali population suffering from the effects of the Somali Civil War. Task Force Ranger personnel comprised of Ranger , Delta Force , and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regimentthey were pinned down during a raid in what was later known as the Battle of Mogadishu , the 10th Mountain Division was dispatched to rescue them. During the fighting, which produced the longest sustained firefight by US regular Army forces since the Vietnam War , two soldiers from the 10th Division were killed. In February 1994, a gradual reduction of forces began in Somalia and the last soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of the 22nd Infantry Regiment returned to the United States in March 1994 .

Operation Restore Democracy

The division formed the nucleus of the Multinational Force for Haiti and Joint Task Force 190 (JTF 190) in Haiti during Operation Restore Democracy. More than 8,600 soldiers from the division were deployed during this operation. On September 19, 1994, the 1st Brigade of the Army carried out the first air assault from an aircraft carrier. This force consisted of 54 helicopters and about 2,000 soldiers. They occupied the Port-au-Prince International Airport . This was the largest aerial operation the Army carried out from an aircraft carrier since the Doolittle Raid in WWII.

The division’s mission was to create a safe and stable environment so that the government of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, elected in democratic elections , could be restored . Having achieved this objective to the 10th Division, it handed over control of the multinational force in Haiti to the 25th Infantry Division on January 15 , 1995 . The last of his soldiers to serve in Haiti returned home on January 31 , 1995.

Task Force Eagle

In the fall of 1998 , the division received notice that it should serve as IFOR’s main headquarters.

Providing a peacekeeping force in a joint operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina . The 3,000 soldiers began to deploy in late summer. Following the successful completion of their mission in Bosnia, units in the division gave up on transferring the authority of their assignments to the soldiers of the 49th Armored Division of the Texas National Guard.

But in the late summer of 2000 all of the division’s soldiers returned to Fort Drum.

War on Terrorism


During the 2000 Presidential Campaign, the availability of the 10th Mountain Division became a political issue, when George W. Bush claimed that the division was not ready to work. He attributed the division’s low availability to frequent deployments throughout the 1990s, with no time between the division’s elements to recycle and prepare. A report of the US Government Accountability Office prepared in July 2000He also noted that, although the entire 10th Mountain Division was not deployed in all contingencies at once, the deployment of essential components – especially its headquarters – makes this division unavailable for deployment elsewhere in the United States. case of a major war. The Heritage Foundationa conservative group, agreed with these sentiments, denouncing that the US military was not prepared for war due to the post-Cold War. The Army responded that although the 10th Mountain Division had been readied from deployment as Task Force Eagle, the unit was fully combat ready by late 2000 despite being decimated. However, the Army placed the 10th Division lower on the deployment list, allowing it time to retrain and prepare.

In 2002 , columnist and decorated military veteran David Hackworth again criticized the 10th Division for being physically unprepared due to lack of training, low morale and low leadership abilities and that the division was no longer prepared for the war in the mountains.

The initial deployment

Following the attacks in the November of September of 2001 , elements of the division, including the Battalion Troops Special and the 1st Battalion of the 87th Infantry Regiment are deployed in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in late 2001. These forces They remained in the country until mid-2002, participated in important operations such as Operation Anaconda , Battle Mazari Sharif , and the Battle of Qala-i-Jangi . The division also participated in the fighting in the Shahi Khot Valley in 2002 . After the battalions returned, they were received and praised by President Bush.

In 2003 , the division’s headquarters, together with the 1st Brigade, returned to Afghanistan . During that time, they operated in the country’s border regions, such as Paktika province , and in areas never before touched by war in pursuit of the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces. Fought in several small-scale conflicts, such as Operation Avalanche, Operation Mountain Resolve, and Operation Mountain Viper, the division maintained a strategy of small mobile units through remote regions of the country to interact directly with the population and expel the insurgents. The 1st Brigade also undertook a series of humanitarian missions.

Iraq reorganization and deployment

Following the return of headquarters and the 1st Brigade, the 10th Division began the process of transformation into a modular division. The 16 as September as 2004 , the transformation was complete, adding the Special Troops Battalion. The four brigades of the division also underwent a transformation, 1st Brigade became 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT), and 3rd Brigade Combat Team is activated for the first time. In January 2005 , the 4th Brigade Combat Team was activated at Fort Polk, Louisiana. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team would not change its name pending an Iraq deployment. In late 2004, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team was dispatched to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 2nd Brigade conducted combat operations in western Baghdad, returning to the US at the end of 2005. At that time, the 1st Brigade was redeployed to Iraq, remaining in the country until 2006 .

Recent deployments

The division headquarters, the 3rd Brigade and two battalions of the 4th Brigade are deployed to Afghanistan in 2006, remaining in the country until 2007 . Headquarters and the 3rd Brigade served in the eastern region of the country, along the border with Pakistan , fulfilling a similar role as they did during their previous deployment. After a year-long hiatus, the 10th Division headquarters was dispatched to Iraq for the first time in April 2008 . The headquarters served as the command element for southern Baghdad, while the 4th Brigade (BCT) operated northeast of Baghdad under the command of the 4th Infantry Division from November 2007 to January 2009.. The 10th Division participated in larger-scale operations such as Operation Phantom Phoenix .

The deployment of the 3rd Brigade to Iraq was scheduled for 2009, but it was canceled and sent to eastern Afghanistan to Lawgar and Vardak provinces , to relieve the 101st Airborne Division, as part of a new build-up of US forces in that country. . The brigade was responsible for expanding the Forward Operating Bases, as well as reinforcing the US military presence in the region.

2nd (BCT) was sent to Iraq in the fall of 2009 as part of the rotation 2009- 2010 . The 1st BCT was deployed to Afghanistan in the spring of 2010. The Army is expanding its home at Fort Drum, hoping to move the 4th BCT headquarters from Fort Polk to Fort Drum by 2013 .


The 10th Mountain Division was awarded two campaign pennants in WWII and four in the War on Terror and two Commendations of Merit.


The 10th Division was the subject of the 1996 film “Fire on the Mountain,” which documented their exploits during World War II. The 10th Division is also an important element of the book and movie Black Hawk Down , which portrays the Battle of Mogadishu and the division’s involvement in that conflict. Other appearances by the division are Tom Clancy’s novel Impending Danger , and the 2005 science fiction film Manticore . Some soldiers who served in the 10th Mountain Division have achieved great notoriety in other fields. Among them are the mathematician Franz Alt , the United States Congressman Les Aucoin, Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman and presidential candidate Bob Dole .

Additionally, two members of the division have been awarded the Medal of Honor. John D. Magrath for his actions during World War II in 1945. And Jared C. Monti during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009.


The 10th Mountain Division is made up of four Combat Brigades, a Combat Aviation Brigade, and a Special Troops Battalion.

  • 10th Mountain Headquarters & Headquarters Battalion
  • Headquarters and Headquarters Company
  • Network Support Company
  • Band of the 10th Mountain Division
  • 1st Brigade Combat Team Warrior
  • 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment
  • 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment
  • 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment
  • 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment
  • 1st Battalion Brigade Special Troops
  • 10th Brigade Support Battalion
  • 2nd Brigade Combat Team Commandos
  • 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment
  • 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment
  • 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment
  • 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment
  • 2nd Battalion Brigade Special Troops
  • 210th Brigade Support Battalion
  • 3rd Brigade Combat Team Spartans
  • 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment
  • 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment
  • 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment
  • 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment
  • 3rd Battalion Brigade Special Troops
  • 710th Brigade Support Battalion
  • 4th Brigade Combat Team Patriots
  • 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment
  • 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment
  • 3rd Squad, 89th Cavalry Regiment
  • 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment
  • 4th Battalion Brigade Special Troops
  • 94th Brigade Support Battalion
  • Combat Aviation Brigade Falcons
  • 1st Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment
  • 2nd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment
  • 3rd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment
  • 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment
  • 277th Aviation Support Battalion
  • 10th Sustainment Brigade Muleskinners
  • 10th Sustainment Brigade Troops Battalion
  • 548th Combat Service Support Battalion
  • 7th Battalion of Sappers (ADCON Minus)
  • 91st Military Police Battalion (ADCON Minus)
  • 63rd Explosive Ordanance Battalion (ADCON Minus)


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