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ARMY, NIKE TEAM UP FOR 2017 ARMY-NAVY GAME UNIFORM TO HONOR THE SOLDIERS OF THE 10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION

 

CONQUER THE LAND

The 2017 Army-Navy Uniform tells the story of the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division and their birth in the winter warfare of World War II. The specialty of the 10th Mountain Division is to conquer the land. They fight on the harshest terrain, in any climate, anywhere in the world, to protect and defend the United States of America. We honor the past by re-telling the story of the “Climb to Glory.” A story of valor, courage, and sacrifice. Inspired, humbled, and motivated by the soldiers that came before us, we don their patches, adopt their mottos, and hold their deeds close to our hearts.  

HISTORY

Uniquely trained in Colorado to eventually fight in the Alps, the 10th Mountain Division was essential in ending Nazi resistance in Northern Italy. The division's exceptional training combined with the specialized alpine skills of its members allowed the division to succeed over terrain that was thought impassable.


CLIMB TO GLORY!

harsh terrain, in any climate, anywhere in the world

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ALPINE ORIGINS

After Finnish soldiers on skis annihilated two Soviet tank divisions, the President of the National Ski Patrol, Charles Minot (Minnie) Dole lobbied the War Department to train troops in mountain and winter warfare. On December 8th, 1941 General George C. Marshall activated the Army’s first mountain unit. The 87th Mountain Infantry Battalion provided the nucleus for what would eventually become the 10th Mountain Division.
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THE CLIMB TO GLORY

On February 18th, 1945 at 0117, teams of expert climbers began to ascend Riva Ridge, scaling the 1500 meter cliff to overcome German forces who had thought themselves secure. The 10th Mountain Division turned terrain to their advantage, setting up the allies for a decisive victory in Italy.
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PANDO COMMANDOS

The 85th, 86th and 87th Infantry Regiments joined together in Pando, Colorado on July 13, 1943 to form the 10th Light Division (Alpine). Soldiers at Camp Hale trained at 9,200 feet, honing their skills to fight and survive in the most brutal mountain conditions.
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PANDO COMMANDO PATCH 

The panda bear is the mascot of Camp Hale, Colorado. The Railroad stop at Camp Hale was officially Pando, Colorado. While the division was at Camp Hale, this unofficial insignia appeared everywhere on signs, buildings, and even the division newspaper. Since the design was a cartoon, it was not accepted by the Army’s heraldry office.
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THE WEASEL (M29C)

The M29C nicknamed the "Weasel" made by Studebaker Corporation was one of the first snowmobiles used to carry troops through the snow. The 2017 uniform number design is modeled after the font used to stencil the bumper numbers on the vehicles and the pattern comes directly from the pattern on the Weasel.
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CROSSED SKI PINS

While in Italy, some soldiers bought insignia made by local craftsmen. Some enterprising soldiers had unofficial insignia featuring crossed skis made to reflect the division's alpine origins. Some pins also carried the sub-unit identifier as well. We replicated this insignia on the front of the helmet with an assortment of sub-units assigned or attached to the 10th Mountain Division during its time in Italy.
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WHITEWASHED HELMET

While operating in the mountains of Italy, the olive drab uniforms and helmets worn by the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division were very conspicuous. Bedsheets were a popular option as makeshift camouflage, but quickly soiled. Some soldiers acquired white paint and painted their helmets white, then removed the paint during warmer months. Because the paint was hastily applied, it was not durable. As the helmet was dropped or otherwise scratched, the white paint would wear away, exposing the OD paint above. A close examination of the football helmets reveal this detail as well.

FOLLOW ME

During World War II, a vertical white bar was often worn by many officers so that soldiers could identify leadership during the confusion of battle, and were commonly called 'follow me bars.' Non-commissioned officers wore a horizontal bar of the same dimensions. Acknowledging that every member of the Army team will eventually commission in the Army - some in a few short months - this feature was incorporated into the uniform.
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FEATURED UNITS 

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The 10th Mountain Division had at least eighteen different units attached to it at one time or another in Italy.  The division even enjoyed the company of the 1st Battalion of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force for a short time.  We are honoring many of the division's organic units such as the 85th, 86th, and 87th Mountain Infantry Regiments, and the 126th Mountain Engineer Battalion.

 

 

 

WWII ERA FLAG

The flag is accurate for the World War II era featuring 48 stars for the number of states during the time (Alaska and Hawaii were officially added as states in 1959). During the invasion of North Africa in 1942, U.S. forces wore the American flag on their left shoulders with the blue field forward to identify themselves to the Vichy French as Americans. By the end of North Africa and before Sicily, units began wearing divisional insignia on their left shoulders. This necessitated moving the American flag to the right shoulder, however the design was not changed.
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THE INFLUENCE OF THE 10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION


MEDAL OF HONOR

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Private First Class John D. Magrath, from East Norwalk, Connecticut, assigned to Company G, 2d Battalion 85th Infantry, is a Medal of Honor recipient from the division. Pfc. Magrath went beyond the call of duty when his company was pinned down by heavy artillery, mortar, and small arms fire, near Castel d'Aiano, Italy. Volunteering to act as a scout, armed with only a rifle, he charged headlong into withering fire, killing two Germans and wounding three in order to capture a machine-gun. Magrath went on to neutralize several other machine-gun nests firing on his company. 

Pfc. Magrath fearlessly volunteered again to brave the shelling in order to collect a report of casualties. Heroically carrying out this task, he made the supreme sacrifice.. a climax to the valor and courage that are in keeping with highest traditions of the military service.


INNOVATION 

The equipment matters, the uniform matters, the soldiers matter. The Army needed to adapt to winter warfare at one of the key points of World War II. Innovation plays a key role in the United States Army’s effort to respond and disrupt emerging threats. With that, the National Ski Patrol recruited for the division, one of first snowmobiles the “Weasel” was built while parkas, winter caps and snowshoes were incorporated into the uniform and equipment lists.
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SKI INDUSTRY

Veterans of the 10th Mountain Division were in large part responsible for the development of turning skiing into a big-name sport and popular vacation industry after World War II. Ex-soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division laid out ski hills, built ski lodges, designed ski lifts and improved ski equipment. They started ski magazines and opened ski schools. Vail, Aspen, Sugarbush, Crystal Mountain, and Whiteface Mountain are but a few of the ski resorts built by 10th Mountain veterans.
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TWEET US YOUR STORY

Do you have a relative or someone close to you who served with the 10th Mountain Division? Tweet @GoArmyWestPoint using #ClimbToGlory and your post may be featured! Photos are encouraged. Beat Navy!

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