The 4th Infantry Division is a division of the United States Army based at Fort Carson, Colorado. It is composed of a Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, three brigade combat teams (1st Stryker BCT, 2nd Infantry BCT, and 3rd Armored BCT), a Combat Aviation Brigade, the 4th Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, and a Division Artillery.
The 4th Infantry Division's official nickname, "Ivy", is a play on words of the Roman numeral IV or 4. Ivy leaves symbolize tenacity and fidelity which is the basis of the division's motto: "Steadfast and Loyal". The second nickname, "Iron Horse", has been adopted to underscore the speed and power of the division and its soldiers.
|4th Infantry Division|
The 4th Infantry Division's combat service identification badge
|Branch||United States Army|
|Part of||III Corps|
|Nickname(s)||"Ivy Division", "Lost Lieutenants", "Ivy"|
|Motto(s)||Steadfast and Loyal|
|Engagements||World War I Operation Atlantic Resolve|
|MG Randy George|
|MG Paul LaCamera GEN Raymond Odierno|
Distinctive unit insignia
Shoulder sleeve insignia (1918–2015)
The 4th Division was organized at Camp Greene, North Carolina on 10 December 1917 under the command of Maj. Gen. George H. Cameron. It was here they adopted their distinctive insignia, the four ivy leaves. The ivy leaf came from the Roman numerals for four (IV) and signified their motto "Steadfast and Loyal". The division was organized as part of the United States buildup following the Declaration of War on 6 April 1917 and the entry of the United States into the war on the side of the British and French.
For the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, the division moved into an area south of Verdun as part of the First United States Army. General John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) on the Western Front, had gotten the French and British to agree that the AEF would fight under its own organizational elements. One of the first missions assigned to the AEF was the reduction of the St. Mihiel salient. The 4th Division, assigned to V Corps, was on the western face of the salient. The plan was for V Corps to push generally southeast and to meet IV Corps who was pushing northwest, thereby trapping the Germans in the St. Mihiel area.
The 59th Infantry Regiment moved into an area previously occupied by the French, deploying along a nine kilometer front. On 12 September, the first patrols were sent forward by the 59th. The 4th Division attack began on 14 September with the 8th Brigade capturing the town of Manheulles. All along the front, the American forces pressed forward and closed the St. Mihiel salient.
On 26 September, the last great battle of World War I, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, began. Moving under the cover of darkness for secrecy, the Americans had moved into their sector of the front following the completion of their mission in the St. Mihiel area. Three United States Army corps were assigned sectors along the United States part of the front. III Corps held the extreme right (eastern) part of the front with V Corps to their left. The 4th Division was assigned to III Corps. The III Corps sector had the 33rd Division on the right, the 80th Division had the center, and the 4th was assigned the left, with the 79th Division of V Corps on their left.
The 7th Brigade was moved to the line in the trenches around Hill 304. The division plan called for one brigade to fight until exhausted and then send the other brigade forward to press the attack. The attack of 26 September was made through a narrow valley. The 7th Brigade moved through the valley and, while taking large numbers of German prisoners, reached the second line of defenses by 09:00 near the town of Cuisy. The Germans provided a formidable opposition, but the 39th Infantry overcame them and moved through Septsarges. During this first day, the 7th Brigade had captured 1700 prisoners, and more than 40 guns. Division headquarters was moved forward to Cuisy.
On 27 September the attack resumed with an artillery barrage. The 39th Infantry followed the barrage until they encountered withering machine gun fire from the Bois des Ogons where they were held up. The 8th Brigade was brought forward on 29 September to take the place of the 39th on the line. The 8th Brigade moved through the Bois de Brieulles but met increasing machine gun fire from the Bois des Ogons. Very little progress was made over the next four days as the terrible condition of the roads at the rear hampered re-supply and reinforcement efforts. By 3 October, Phase I of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive was over.
Through the strenuous efforts of the supply and ammunition trains, enough materiel had been acquired to resume the attack by 3 October. The division plan was to fight its way through the many forests surrounding the city of Brieulles and capture the city. On the morning of 4 October, the 8th Brigade moved out of the foxholes and moved across open ground under the cover of heavy fog. As the fog lifted the Germans opened fired from the front, the left and the right. The 58th fought forward wearing gas masks since many of the projectiles contained gas, finally managing to gain a foothold in the Bois des Fays. The line was able to advance no further for the next 4 days enduring constant shelling and German night patrols attempting to infiltrate their lines. Forward movement was again ordered on 9 October with the 7th Brigade attacking. The 8th Brigade was withdrawn for rest. The 39th Infantry was designated as the assaulting unit. The order to attack came just at sundown. With difficulty, the men stumbled forward in darkness wearing gas masks and under fire. Little progress could be made. The 39th withdrew to resume the attack at 07:00 on 10 October. 2/39th led the way and incurred heavy losses. Many of the officers in the 39th were killed or wounded, including all of the majors.
Another attack was ordered and by 17:30 2/39th had fought through the Bois de Peut de Faux. The men dug in for the night. Early on the morning of the 11th, the entire regimental staff of the 39th was gassed and LTC Troy Middleton, 47th Infantry was ordered to take command of the 39th. Attacking on the morning of 11 October, the 7th Brigade pushed through the Bois de Foret. The orders for 12 October were to clean out the last pockets of German resistance in the Bois de Foret. Patrols were sent out to the north side of Hill 299. On 13 October, 4th Division units were relieved by the 4th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Division.
On 10 October MG John L. Hines was selected to command III Corps. MG George H. Cameron was returned to the 4th Division as its commander. The 4th was withdrawn from the front on 19 October. During their 24 days of combat they had paid a heavy price with 244 officers and 7,168 men killed or wounded. They had fought their way over 13 kilometers and captured 2,731 enemy prisoners. The division relocated to Lucey as part of Second Army. MG Cameron received a new assignment to return to the United States to train new divisions on 22 October. Command passed temporarily to BG Benjamin, Commander, 7th Brigade before MG Mark L. Hersey arrived to assume command on 31 October.
The Armistice ending the war became effective at 11:00, 11 November 1918. The last casualties in the division were suffered by the 13th Field Artillery at 14:00 on that day.
Under the terms of the Armistice, Germany was to evacuate all territory west of the Rhine. American troops were to relocate to the center section of this previously German occupied area all the way to the Koblenz bridgehead on the Rhine. The 4th marched into Germany, covering 330 miles in 15 days where it was widely dispersed over an area with Bad Bertrich as Division headquarters. The division established training for the men as well as sports and educational activities. In April 1919 the division moved to a new occupation area further north on the Rhine.
The division went north to Ahrweiler, Germany, in the Rheinland-Phalz area. In July the division returned to France and the last detachment sailed for the United States on 31 July 1919.
The 4th Division was stationed at Camp Dodge, Iowa, until January 1920. After that date, it was stationed at Camp Lewis, Washington. On 21 September 1921, the 4th Division was inactivated due to funding cuts, but was represented in the Regular Army by its even-numbered infantry brigade (the 8th) and select supporting elements. The division headquarters, as well as most of the other inactive units of the division, were authorized to be staffed by Organized Reserve personnel and designated as Regular Army Inactive units. The division headquarters was occasionally reassembled, such as for the September 1936 U.S. Third Army command post exercise at Camp Bullis, Texas, or for the August 1938 maneuvers in the De Soto National Forest in Mississippi.
The 4th Division was reactivated on 1 June 1940 at Fort Benning, Georgia, under the command of Major General Walter Prosser. Commencing in August the formation was reorganized as a motorized division and assigned (along with the 2nd Armored Division) to I Armored Corps, being officially given its motorized title in parenthesized style and then formally as the 4th Motorized Division effective 11 July 1941. The division participated in Louisiana maneuvers held during August 1941 and then in the Carolina Maneuvers of October 1941, after which it returned to Fort Benning. The division transferred to Camp Gordon, Georgia, in December 1941, the month America entered World War II, and rehearsed training at the Carolina Maneuvers during the summer of 1942. The division, now under the command of Major General Raymond O. Barton, then moved on 12 April 1943 to Fort Dix, New Jersey, where it was again reconfigured and redesignated the 4th Infantry Division on 4 August of that year. The division participated in battlefield maneuvers in Florida starting in September and after this fall training exercise arrived at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, on 1 December 1943. At this station the division was alerted for overseas movement and staged at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, beginning 4 January 1944 prior to departing the New York Port of Embarkation on 18 January 1944. The 4th Infantry Division sailed to England where it arrived on 26 January 1944.
The 4th Infantry Division assaulted the northern coast of German-held France during the Normandy landings, landing at Utah Beach, June 6, 1944. The 8th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division claimed being the first surface-borne Allied unit (as opposed to the parachutist formations that were air-dropped earlier) to hit the beaches at Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944. Relieving the isolated 82nd Airborne Division at Sainte-Mère-Église, the 4th cleared the Cotentin peninsula and took part in the capture of Cherbourg on 25 June. After taking part in the fighting near Periers, 6–12 July, the division broke through the left flank of the German 7th Army, helped stem the German drive toward Avranches, and by the end of August had moved to Paris, and gave French forces the first place in the liberation of their capital. During the liberation of Paris, Ernest Hemingway took on a self-appointed role as a civilian scout in the city of Paris for his friends in the 4 ID. He was with the 22nd Infantry Regiment when it advanced from Paris, northeast through Belgium, and into Germany. J. D. Salinger, who met Hemingway during the liberation of Paris, was with the 12th Infantry Regiment.
The 4th then moved into Belgium through Houffalize to attack the Siegfried Line at Schnee Eifel on 14 September, and made several penetrations. Slow progress into Germany continued in October, and by 6 November the division entered the Battle of Hurtgen Forest, where it was engaged in heavy fighting until early December. It then shifted to Luxembourg, only to meet the German Army's winter Ardennes Offensive head-on (in the Battle of the Bulge) starting on 16 December 1944. Although its lines were dented, it managed to hold the Germans at Dickweiler and Osweiler, and, counterattacking in January across the Sauer, overran German positions in Fouhren and Vianden. Halted at the Prüm River in February by heavy enemy resistance, the division finally crossed on 28 February near Olzheim, and raced on across the Kyll on 7 March. After a short rest, the 4th moved across the Rhine on 29 March at Worms, attacked and secured Würzburg and by 3 April had established a bridgehead across the Main at Ochsenfurt. Speeding southeast across Bavaria, the division had reached Miesbach on the Isar on 2 May 1945, when it was relieved and placed on occupation duty. Writer J. D. Salinger served with the division from 1942–1945.
The division returned to the United States in July 1945 and was stationed at Camp Butner North Carolina, preparing for deployment to the Pacific. After the war ended it was inactivated on 5 March 1946. It was reactivated as a training division at Fort Ord, California on 15 July 1947.
On 1 October 1950, it was redesignated a combat division, training at Fort Benning, Georgia. In May 1951 it deployed to Germany as the first of four United States divisions committed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during the early years of the Cold War. The division headquarters was at Frankfurt. After a five-year tour in Germany, the division redeployed to Fort Lewis, Washington in May 1956.
The division was replaced in Germany by the 3rd Armored Division as part of an Operation_Gyroscope deployment. The division was reduced to zero strength, the colors were transferred to Fort Lewis, Washington, and the division was reestablished by reflagging the 71st Infantry Division (which itself had just returned from Alaska) on 15 September 1956.
On 1 April 1957, the division was reorganized as a Pentomic Division. The division’s three infantry regiments (the 8th, 12th and 22nd) were inactivated, with their elements reorganized into five infantry battle groups (the 1-8 IN, 1-12 IN, 1-22 IN, 2-39 IN and the 2-47 IN).
On 1 October 1963, the division was reorganized as a Reorganization Objective Army Division (ROAD). Three Brigade Headquarters were activated and Infantry units were reorganized into battalions.
The 6th Tank Battalion of the 2d Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas, was sent to Korea during the war to serve with the 24th Infantry Division. The lineages of the tank companies within the battalion are perpetuated by battalions of today's 66th and 67th Armor Regiments in the 4th Infantry Division.
The 4th Infantry Division deployed from Fort Lewis to Camp Holloway, Pleiku, Vietnam on 25 September 1966 and served more than four years, returning to Fort Carson, Colorado on 8 December 1970. Two brigades operated in the Central Highlands/II Corps Zone, but its 3rd Brigade, including the division's armor battalion, was sent to Tây Ninh Province northwest of Saigon to take part in Operation Attleboro (September to November 1966), and later Operation Junction City (February to May 1967), both in War Zone C. After nearly a year of combat, the 3rd Brigade's battalions officially became part of the 25th Infantry Division in exchange for the battalions of the 25th's 3rd Brigade, then in Quảng Ngãi Province as part of the division-sized Task Force Oregon.
|Pleiku||SEP 1966||FEB 1968|
|Dak To||MAR 1968||APR 1968|
|Pleiku||APR 1968||FEB 1970|
|An Khe/Pleiku||APR 1970||APR 1970|
|An Khe||APR 1970||DEC 1970|
Throughout its service in Vietnam the division conducted combat operations ranging from the western Central Highlands along the border between Cambodia and Vietnam to Qui Nhơn on the South China Sea. The division experienced intense combat against People's Army of Vietnam regular forces in the mountains surrounding Kontum in the autumn of 1967. The division's 3rd Brigade was withdrawn from Vietnam in April 1970 and deactivated at Fort Lewis. In May the remainder of the division conducted cross-border operations during the Cambodian Incursion. The "Ivy Division" returned from Vietnam on 7 December 1970, and was rejoined in Fort Carson by its former 3rd Brigade from Hawaii, where it had re-deployed as part of the withdrawal of the 25th Infantry Division. One battalion remained in Vietnam as a separate organization until January 1972.
Returning to the US, the division resumed training and Cold War missions, the division remained stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado from 1970 through 1995. During this period, the division was converted to a mechanized division and frequently sent units to Europe to REFORGER, to continue the Cold War mission of standing against Communist threats. It was during their time in Fort Carson that the division assumed the nickname, "Ironhorse".
In December 1995, the Ivy Division was moved to Fort Hood, Texas when the 2nd Armored Division was deactivated as part of the downsizing of the Army. Combining five armor battalions of the 2nd Armored Division with four mechanized infantry battalions of the 4th Infantry Division, the division became an experimental division of the Army, as it had been in the early 1940s. Until completing the mission in October 2001, 4ID led the Army into the 21st century under Force XXI, the Army's modernization program. The division tested and fielded state-of-the-art digital communications equipment, night fighting gear, advanced weaponry, organization, and doctrine to prepare the Army for the future.
Alerted on 19 January 2003, the 4th Infantry Division was scheduled to take part in the Iraq War in the spring of 2003 by spearheading an advance from Turkey into northern Iraq. The Turkish Parliament refused to grant permission for the operation and the division's equipment remained offshore on ships during the buildup for the war (see below). Its original mission, holding 13 Iraqi divisions along the "Green Line" in northern Iraq, was executed by joint Task Force Viking.
Order of battle ìn Iraq War:
As stated above, the Turkish situation kept the division from participating in the invasion as originally planned, instead joining the fight as a follow-on force. After quickly organizing materiel and manpower at ports in Kuwait, the division moved to positions around Baghdad in April 2003. After all divisional assets were established in Iraq, the Brigade combat teams attacked selected areas. The main avenues of attack for the division pushed north through Tikrit and Mosul. Headquartered in Saddam Hussein's former palaces, the 4th ID was deployed in the northern area of the Sunni Triangle. The 4th Infantry Division was spread all over Northern Iraq from Kirkuk to the Iranian border and as far south as Al Wihda, southeast of Baghdad. The Division Headquarters was located at FOB Ironhorse in the old Saddam Presidential Complex in Tikrit while the 1st Brigade Combat Team headquarters was at FOB Raider south of the city. To the south in the volatile Diyala Province was the 2nd Brigade Combat Team headquarters at FOB Warhorse just northeast of Baqubah, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team at FOB Anaconda at the Balad Air Base northwest of Khalis and DIVARTY, along with elements of the 1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment at FOB Gunner, Al Taji airfield. To the far north stationed at an air field just on the outskirts of the city of Kirkuk were elements of the division's 4th Artillery Brigade and attached units until mid-September when it was moved back to Tikrit. The 4th Infantry Division also disarmed the MEK warriors in Northern Iraq in July–August 2003.
On 13 December 2003, elements of the 1st Brigade Combat Team participated in Operation Red Dawn with United States special operations forces, who captured Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq.
The division rotated out of Iraq in the spring of 2004, and was relieved by the 1st Infantry Division.
Some have been critical of the division under its then-commander Maj. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, calling its stance belligerent during their initial entry into Iraq after the ground war had ceased and arguing that the unit's lack of a 'hearts and minds' approach was ineffective in quelling the insurgency. In his unit's defense, Odierno and others have argued that enemy activity in the 4th ID's area of operations was higher than in any other area of the country because of the region's high concentration of Sunni resistance groups still loyal to Saddam Hussein's regime. His unit was headquartered in Hussein's hometown and this environment necessitated a different approach from those of units located in the more peaceful regions in the south and the north of the country.
The division's second deployment to Iraq began in the fall of 2005. The division headquarters replaced the 3rd Infantry Division, which had been directing security operations as the headquarters for Multi-National Division – Baghdad. The 4th ID assumed responsibility on 7 January 2006 for four provinces in central and southern Iraq: Baghdad, Karbala, An-Najaf and Babil. On 7 January 2006, MND-Baghdad also assumed responsibility for training Iraqi security forces and conducting security operations in the four provinces.
During the second deployment, 3rd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division was assigned to conduct security operations under the command of Task Force Band of Brothers, led initially by the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
In March 2008 the 1st Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq and was stationed in Baghdad. The 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment was detached from the brigade and attached to the 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division which was stationed at FOB Rustamiyah in Al Amin, Baghdad. The brigade returned home to Fort Hood, Texas in March 2009 and immediately began preparing for reassignment to Fort Carson, Colorado.
In these three deployments to Iraq:
July 2009 saw another division change of command as MG David Perkins took command to become the 56th Commanding General of the 4th Infantry Division. With this change of command, even more significant events happened as the 4ID completed 14 years calling Fort Hood, TX home and returned to Fort Carson, CO, where they had served from late 1970 through late 1995. It was at this time that the 4th Division headquarters and the 1st Brigade Combat Team transferred to Fort Carson, Colorado. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Brigades had already relocated and the 4th Infantry Division's Aviation Brigade stayed at Fort Hood, Texas.
In May 2009 the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom X for a 12-month combat rotation. The 1st Battalion 12th Infantry Regiment deployed to Regional Command South. Task Force 1-12 operated in Maiwand district and Zhari district, namely the Arghandab River Valley, west of Kandahar City. Referred to as "The Heart of Darkness" for its notoriety as the birthplace of the Taliban, the soldiers of Task Force 1-12 operated in a very complex combat environment. Much of the fighting was conducted in notoriously dense grape fields, which insurgent forces used as cover and concealment for a variety of complex attacks on coalition forces. The 2nd Battalion 12th Infantry Regiment deployed in to Regional Command East and was based in the Pech River Valley, Kunar Province, home to the Korangal Valley, Waygal, Shuriak, and Wata Pour Valleys. During its rotation, the 2nd Battalion saw heavy combat throughout the area.
The 3rd Squadron 61st Cavalry Regiment was also deployed to Regional Command East and served during its rotation in Kunar and Nuristan Provinces. Task Force Destroyer saw intense combat, namely the Battle of Kamdesh in which a combat outpost was attacked by over 300 insurgents in a complex attack 20 miles from the Pakistan border. Some reports indicate that the US soldiers of 4th ID did not maintain their efforts in the fight and withdrew inside of buildings to wait for QRF to arrive from elements of 10th Mountain Division. In May 2010, elements of the 4th Brigade Combat Team began to redeploy to Fort Carson and immediately began assisting and training sister units for future contingency operations, as well as training for its own future combat deployments. 38 soldiers from the brigade died during the deployment. For its actions 4th Brigade Combat Team was awarded the Valorous Unit Award, the second highest unit decoration awarded to United States Army units.
Upon 4BCT redeploying to Fort Carson, the rest of the division was set to deploy to Afghanistan. The 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Teams also served in Afghanistan building on the efforts that were initiated by 4BCT. The 4th BCT has once again deployed in an advise and assist capacity, fulfilling the mission of training and preparing the Afghan Security Forces for the handover of all combat operations in the upcoming years.
Soldiers assigned to the 4th Infantry Division completed a nine-month deployment to Iraq in 2015, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. This operation supported the military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
In February 2015, troops from the division’s 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team were deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria.
In October 2015, the US Army announced that 1,000 troops from 4th Infantry Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade would be sent to Afghanistan sometime in winter, with another 1,800 soldiers from the 4th ID’s 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team deploying to Afghanistan in the spring 2016. On August 12, 2016, a U.S. Soldier from 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th ID died from a noncombat-related injury in Kandahar.
On November 3, 2016, the U.S. Army announced Thursday that it will deploy about 4,000 soldiers from 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team to Europe in winter in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve - to help deter possible Russian aggression. The brigade will arrive in Poland and will fan out across the continent, one battalion with M1 Abrams tanks will cover the Baltic region of Estonia and Latvia, while another will operate in Germany. A mechanised infantry battalion with M2 Bradley troop carriers and M1 Abrams tanks will have a foothold in the Romanian and Bulgarian region, whilst Brigade headquarters will remain in Poland, along with an armoured cavalry unit and a field artillery battalion wielding self-propelled M109 Paladin howitzers.