Rock Of The Marne Remembered: 2023 Army-Navy Uniform To Honor The Soldiers Of The 3rd Infantry Division
Published: 22 November 2023
via the Rock of the Marne Football (Army West Point Athletics) web site
Rock of the Marne: The 30th and 38th U.S. Infantry Regiments of the 3rd Division in action near Mezy, France during World War I, July 1918. Painting by Mal Thompson.
The 2023 Army-Navy uniform tells the story of the soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division during the opening phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Marne Division’s participation in the initiation of offensive operations in Iraq, the longest and most rapid armored advance since the Second World War.
The 3rd Infantry Division was activated on November 21, 1917, and organized at Camp Greene, North Carolina prior to arriving in France in April 1918 for service in World War I as part of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF).
The division saw combat in France on the Western Front, distinguishing itself in July 1918 during the Second Battle of the Marne, earning the nickname “Rock of the Marne” and its motto, “Nous resterons Là” (we shall remain there). Elements of the division, positioned on the banks of the Marne River, held back advancing German forces near Château-Thierry that were driving rapidly towards Paris. The division was instrumental during the subsequent St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives, aiding in the defeat of Imperial Germany.
During World War II, the division served in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Germany, and Austria, experiencing some of the fiercest combat in the Mediterranean and European Theaters of Operations. The division participated in four amphibious operations during the war, demonstrating its capability as an organization in a variety of conditions and environments.
As the Cold War turned hot on the Korean Peninsula, elements the 3rd Infantry Division, known as the “fire brigade” of the Eighth Army, was called upon to stem the advance of communist aggression from North Korea and China from 1950 until the Korean War’s conclusion in 1953. Elements of the division were integral during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 as part of the Allied Coalition that successfully defeated Iraqi forces after their invasion of Kuwait in 1990.