FORT KNOX, Ky. –
The 83rd United States Army Reserve Readiness Training Command commemorated its lineage by marking the 100th anniversary of the 83rd Infantry Division in a ceremony at the General George Patton Museum of Leadership on Aug. 25, 2017. The unit formed in August of 1917 at Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Ohio, and one of its units, the 332nd Regiment, fought on the Italian front in World War I.
According to Colonel Kathleen Porter, the Commander of the 83rd USARRTC, “The Centennial of World War I presents the opportunity for greater understanding of the Army and the 83rd USARRTC history. We honor the American men and women who fought for freedom during World War I by building the most capable, combat-ready and lethal Federal Reserve force in the history of the Nation.”
Colonel Porter went on to note that the advent of World War I ushered into the Army the formation of the modern division, the advent of armored forces, the Army Air Service, several modern branches, much of the modern staff structure, and many installations. The ceremony for the 83rd is just one of many taking place across the nation as units celebrate their 100th anniversary, and the commemoration period for World War I will culminate next year with the dedication of a National World War I Monument in Washington, D.C. on Veteran’s Day.
Guest speaker Dr. Leo Daugherty III, Senior Command Historian for U.S. Army Cadet Command, presented “And They Thought We Wouldn’t Fight: Mobilization and Training of the Ohio and Kentucky National Guard and Army Reserve in the World War, 1917-1918.” The son of World War II veteran and 83rd ID member, PFC T.S. Thomason, followed with a remembrance of his father and appreciation for the 83rd Infantry Division Association that still holds events to honor the unit.
At first in 1917 the 83rd drew soldiers primarily from Ohio, but drew them from all states for World War II. Again the unit deployed to Europe for that conflict, where they adopted the division nickname of “Thunderbolts” in 1944.
Today the 83rd USARRTC prepares Soldiers and Civilians to prevail in complex and uncertain environments through education and training in the areas of leadership, sustainment, security, and readiness.