82nd Airborne Division Association

Who we are...

The 82nd Airborne Division Association is for anyone who ever served in the 82nd Airborne Division, and anyone who is currently serving on active duty on jump status; or, has ever served in any of the uniformed services on either jump or glider status and was honorably discharged. The Association was organized in England, prior to the Normandy invasion (1944). We have members who have served with the 11th, 13th, 17th, 82nd, 101st Airborne Divisions; 187th, 503rd, 508th Airborne Regimental Combat Teams; 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate) as well as troopers from Special Forces, Airborne Rangers, Marine Corps Recon, Navy SEALS, and Air Force Special Tactics personnel.

Our Mission Statement

  • Further develop the bond between current and past Airborne forces of the U.S. Military
  • Maintain a record of the history and accomplishments of Airborne Troopers.
  • Maintain a close liaison with active Division.
  • Support the 82nd Airborne Division Memorial Museum.
  • Provide scholarships through the Association Educational Fund to recently separated Active Duty Troopers and Dependent Children of Veterans, and Active Duty Troopers.
  • Honor the Jumpmaster, NCO & Trooper of the Year
  • Provide support to Veteran and Active Wounded Warriors of the Division.
 

walters way (4)

https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518119/size1.jpg 446w, https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518119/size2.jpg 342w, https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518119/size3.jpg 150w, https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518119/size4.jpg 100w" alt="Pfc. Frank Crary in the Republic of Vietnam" />
https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518120/size1.jpg 446w, https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518120/size2.jpg 342w, https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518120/size3.jpg 150w, https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518120/size4.jpg 100w" alt="Maj. Gen. Robert P. Walters Jr., Commander of U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, presents Mr. Frank Crary, with the Distinguished Service Cross for his extraordinary heroism during the Vietnam War." />
https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518121/size1.jpg 446w, https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518121/size2.jpg 342w, https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518121/size3.jpg 150w, https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518121/size4.jpg 100w" alt="Lt. Col. Andrew Kiser, Commander of 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry presents Mr. Frank Crary the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry." />
https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518122/size1.jpg 446w, https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518122/size2.jpg 342w, https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518122/size3.jpg 150w, https://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2018/05/23/518122/size4.jpg 100w" alt="Command Sgt. Maj. Warren K. Robinson, Command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, congratulates Mr. Frank Crary on his receipt of the Distinguished Service Cross." />

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. - At a ceremony held at Fitch Auditorium May 22, Maj. Gen. Robert P. Walters Jr., Commander of U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, presented Mr. Frank Crary, a Tucson resident, with the Distinguished Service Cross for his extraordinary heroism during the Vietnam War.

Fifty-two years ago, on April 7 in the Republic of Vietnam, Pfc. Crary was assigned as a senior rifleman assigned to D Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. Crary's battalion reconnaissance platoon was in pursuit of North Vietnamese regulars when it encountered a numerically superior force in camouflaged fortified positions. Members of the reconnaissance platoon were pinned down and taking heavy casualties from intense enemy fire, including a crew served machine gun.

Crary identified the location of the machine gun and began returning fire, attempting to suppress the advantage of the enemy. Then, on his own initiative, and with total disregard for his own personal safety, he jumped up and ran towards the machine gun position. In doing so, Crary exposed himself to counter-fire from nearby North Vietnamese camouflaged positions, which he methodically engaged and neutralized. Continuing his one man assault, he flanked the enemy machine gun, attacking and killing the enemy. Crary's valiant actions turned the battle, allowing the remainder of the reconnaissance platoon to neutralize the other enemy positions.

Crary's actions that day had members of his unit wondering if he had just lost his mind, but Crary sees it a different way. 

"I was just doing my job," said Crary. "Some may have thought it was a little crazy at the time, but I saw what needed be done and I did it."

During the ceremony the current command team from 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, presented additional awards to Crary. Lt. Col. Andrew Kiser, Commander of 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment presented Crary the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. Command Sgt. Maj. Shelly Jenkins, Command Sergeant Major of 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, presented Crary the Expert Rifle Marksmanship Badge and the Presidential Unit Citation.

The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest military award that can be given to a member of the United States Army and is given for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force.

"I never expected to receive this medal, and I was overwhelmed when Maj. Gen. Walters called me and asked if they could host the ceremony at Fort Huachuca," said Crary. "What a thankful addition to my life."

By Randall Baucom

Read more…

 

The engineers from Company A, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, row as hard as the can across McKellars Lake during the Crossing of the Waal re-enactment competition. All four engineer companies from division competed in the event.
The engineers from the 82nd Airborne Division all paddle across McKellars Lake during the Crossing the Waal River re-enactment race on Sept. 18. All four engineer companies from the four combat brigades participated in the event.
Two engineers from Company A, 2 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, swim towards their boat after falling overboard during the Crossing of the Waal re-enactment race at McKellars Lake.
The 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Team engineers push their boats into McKellars Lake at the start of the Crossing of the Waal River re-enactment competition on Sept. 18. All four engineer companies from the 82nd Airborne Division competed in the event.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Running two miles with a boat overhead, then frantically paddling across a lake might seem like an exhausting feat, but for the engineers of the 82nd Airborne Division, it's just a fun way to pay tribute to the past.

To honor one of the most famous feats in combat engineer history - the crossing of the Waal River by pontoon boat into Germany in 1944 - engineers from the four combat brigades of the 82nd Airborne competed in a re-enactment of the crossing on Sept. 18. 

Each of the engineer companies participating in the event ran with a 14- man boat to a launch point at Mackellar's Lake. Once launched, the Paratroopers then raced each other twice across the lake. 

This year the 1st Brigade Combat Team engineers won the competition. 
"It feels awesome to win it," said 1st Brigade's Sgt. 1st Class Randolph Delapena, a Miami native, while holding onto the oar that was presented to the company for winning the competition. 

The engineers try to stage the Crossing of the Waal re-enactment every year on the anniversary of the operation, reflecting its status as an important part of 307th Engineer Battalion and 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment history. 

During World War II, the Paratroopers made five trips across the Waal River at Nijmegen during daylight and under heavy enemy fire on Sept. 20, 1944. Crossing the Waal played a crucial role in the 504th PIR seizing occupied German bridges.

The re-enactment is always a good time for the engineers, and this year proved no exception. Through out the morning the engineers remained loud and rambunctious, from screaming at the top of their lungs during the run to voluntarily jumping into the lake to help push off the boats. 

The event was attended by several past and present commanders who got a kick out of the engineer's enthusiasm.

"This competition is live and loud," said Col. Christopher Gibson, the 2nd BCT commander. "I know we're going to have a great competition for years to come."

"You all did a great thing here today," said Lt. Col. Frederic Drummond, the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion commander, addressing the engineers. "It's a great way to honor our distant past."

A lot of the engineers who competed in this year's event were not new to the Crossing of the Waal re-enactment, like three time contender Staff Sgt. Rich Gerzmehle. Even though Gerzmehle, a Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., native, has competed several times, he was quick to mention that this year's event stood out from the past. 

"This was by far my favorite," said Gerzmehle, a platoon sergeant for Co. A, 2nd BSTB. "It seemed like all the Brigades were into it," he said in a voice barely audible over the screaming and hooting Paratroopers in the background. 

Even though the engineers exerted a lot of energy during the competition there were no signs of exhaust after.

"Nobody's tired, the adrenaline is still kicking," Delapena, a platoon sergeant from Co. A, 1st BSTB, 82nd Abn. Div, said of the engineers. 

Although the event was a competition, a lot of the engineers just enjoyed being together and catching up with old friends.

"We don't see each other on a day to day basis like we used to," said Sgt. 1st Class James Gaw, a platoon sergeant from Co. A, 1st BSTB, referring to when all the engineers were in the same battalion. "Today is a reunion."

Read more…

The history of the “AA” arm patch

The Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, an elite division specializing in air assault.

Based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 82nd Airborne soldiers are easily recognizable by their maroon berets and “AA” arm patches. They have been involved in virtually every U.S. military conflict since World War I.

The history of the “AA” arm patch

The “AA” arm patch, worn by all 82nd Airborne soldiers, stands for “All American,” the nickname given to the division when it was first formed at Camp Gordon, Georgia, in 1917.

During World War I, many units created nicknames for themselves to build camaraderie and boost morale. Shortly after its inception, the newly-formed 82nd, in partnership with the Atlanta Georgian newspaper, held a contest to collect nickname ideas for the division. The winning nickname, “All American,” was submitted by Vivienne Goodwyn and was chosen for its embodiment of the 82nd’s unique makeup. Unlike other divisions at the time, a diverse group of men from all 48 states served in the 82nd.

Listen to this podcast by the 82nd Airborne Division for more information about its “All American” nickname:

Read more…

Walter Scherr Letter to 82nd Airborne

82nd Airborne Association:

Thank you very much for letting myself and my wife along with our team attend this year's 100th Anniversary of the 82nd Airborne.  It had been an honor to witness the pride and at times the pain that saturated the room as the memorial and banquet had unfolded that weekend.  I myself was unable to attend but had seen many photos and videos of the event and it humbled me. 

I would like all of you to visit my website WaltersCommunity.com and see the photos and videos of this great event as it was captured throughout the weekend.  Many have already viewed the videos published on my YouTube and Facebook sites, I thank you for that.

One way of giving back to you at the 82nd, I had offered over 500 award winning books to you as my thanks for the gracious invitation to your celebration.  If you were fortunate enough to have taken "Walter's Way", I hope you had the chance to read the book; I look forward to your reviews.     

In the coming weeks I will again reach out to you and explain how to take advantage of the contributions I have put in place to benefit many of you great people of the United States Airborne.  This gift was put in place to help you the individuals and your families overcome obstacles you face every day; such as education, rehabilitation, and disabilities that you may be struggling with.  Most of all to help this great nation of ours "The United States of America" to continue to be the best in the World with the best people in the World; you our nation's military!

Thank you,

Walter J. Scherr   

Read more…

Click on The Picture To Access FREE Chapters.