The 82nd Airborne Division is a highly trained and specialized division of the US Army that can be rapidly deployed to any location worldwide within 18 hours. These soldiers are experts in conducting forcible entry parachute assaults and other military operations. Let’s read several stories that make this unit one of the most awesome units in the United Stats Army:
The 82nd Developed The Concept of the IRF/GRF
The IRF is a force that can be deployed quickly by the Army and Air Force. It comprises a Brigade Combat Team from the 82nd Airborne Division. This team has been used for several quick deployments, even in the modern era. Their most recent case was in Afghanistan, where they secured the main airfield while the United States conducted evacuations of personnel.
The “AA” Patch is One of the most recognized Patches in the World
The 82nd Infantry Division was looking for a nickname that would help build unit camaraderie and morale. They held a contest in partnership with the Atlanta Georgian newspaper, and the endearing nickname was "All American," submitted by Vivienne Goodwyn.
This is why the 82nd Airborne Division has been nicknamed the "All American" Division because of its history and the diversity of the soldiers who have served in it. The podcast goes into more detail about the nickname and the soldiers who have proudly carried it.
They Regularly Reenact World War II Maneuvers
In a tribute to their fallen comrades, combat engineers from the 82nd Airborne Division compete yearly in a reenactment of the World War II Waal River pontoon boat crossing. This bold combat maneuver enabled the Allies to liberate the Dutch city of Nijmegen at a great cost. Forty-eight U.S. service members from the 82nd were killed during the historic 1944 crossing and are honored today by 48 street lamps positioned along a recently built bridge over the Waal River. In addition, the conduct Operation Market Garden jumps and DDay jumps every year in Europe and the United States.
They’ve Earned the Title of “Paratrooper”
The 82nd Airborne is a highly trained group of soldiers ready to jump into action immediately. They are constantly training and preparing for battle, taking their name very seriously with roughly 10,000 training jumps made by soldiers at Fort Bragg, home to the 82nd Airborne Division and 11,000 civilian employees, making it one of the more populous U.S. military installations.
They’ve Been Featured in Several Movies
The 82nd Airborne Division has been featured in several films and television shows. Some of the most notable examples include the film "The Longest Day," which chronicles the events of D-Day, and the television show "Band of Brothers," which tells the story of Easy Company during World War II. Though Band of Brothers was focused on 101st Airborne Division, the 82nd Airborne Paratroopers were shown throughout the film.
The former was a classic from 1962 and had a great cast, including John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and Sean Connery, winning two Academy Awards in 1963. The former won four Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, Outstanding Art Direction - Miniseries, Movie or a Special, and Outstanding Directing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie.
Their portrayal in various media and propagation of beloved terms and cornerstone military operations makes the 82nd Airborne one of the most awesome units the U.S. has ever seen. So the next time you rewatch “The Longest Day,” “Band of Brothers,” or remember our airborne troops, always think of the All Americans, the 82nd Airborne Division.