Q: The first divisional army unit created to fight in World War I is celebrating its 100th anniversary this week. What's the name of this outfit and where is it headquartered?
A: The Big Red One or First Infantry Division / Fort Riley
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division, also known as the "Fighting First" and the Big Red One, currently headquartered at Fort Riley. The 1st Infantry Division was initially constituted as the First Expeditionary Division in May 1917 before being officially organized in New York City on June 8, 1917, under the command of Brigadier General William L. Siebert. Though the Army had used temporary divisions since the Civil War, the Big Red One was the first divisional unit created to fight in World War I. The Big Red One, or BRO, is also the oldest continuously serving division in the regular army.
To celebrate this 100th anniversary milestone, soldiers stationed at the fort went on a four-mile run on June 8! Every unit at the fort took part and then celebrated with a Victory with Honors ceremony afterwards. The ceremony included the firing of an old cannon called "Old Thunder." The divisional run was led by Brigadier General Patrick D. Frank, Fort Riley's acting senior commander.
The Big Red One is one of the most storied army divisions in the history of the United States military and has participated in nearly every major American conflict since its creation (all conflicts but the Korean War). #MyKPR salutes the brave men and women of the Fighting First for 100 years of keeping America free and safe!
Fun Fact: Fort Riley, known as the cradle of the U.S. Cavalry, is where George Armstrong Custer formed his famous 7th Cavalry Regiment in 1866.