The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) continued a time-honored tradition by holding their first Pass In Review of 2021 on the Parade Field on Thursday, June 24.
The event also honored veterans of Operation Desert Storm.
“I believe this is the first division of the army post-covid to do such a thing. The reason we can do that is because the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell has taken the lead in fighting against this (virus),” Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell Maj. Gen. Jp McGee said.
“What you see before you and on this post is the most vaccination division in the entire United States Army.”
Commander of Troops and Staff for the event was Chief of Staff Colonel Stephen Shrader.
His responsibilities for the Division Review included calling all of the commands to the bugler and conducts the formations so that the Commanding General can be a part of the reviewing party.
“There is nothing that can replace an event like a division review to start working on the cohesion that we are going to so badly need to survive in future conflicts,” McGee said.
Shrader explained that the Division Review provides the opportunity for the division to show discipline, capability and skills that are required.
He stated that there are roughly 20,000 soldiers in the division.
“We are leading the charge for the Army as the first division doing a Division Review,” Shrader said. “We’re the highest vaccinated division in the Army and that gives us the ability to come out here on the Parade Field and do it safely.”
Three awards were given out during the ceremony before the marching of the brigades.
Maj. Gen McGee and CSM Veronica Knapp presented the Commanders Cup to Commander Col. Ed Matthaidess III and CSM Charles D. Walker of the Second Brigade.
The Commander and CSM of 1st Battalion 187 Infantry Regiment, Lt. Col. Michael Harrison and CSM James Boersma received the Week of the Eagles Honor Battalion Champion Cup.
The Army’s Best Sapper Competition and Division Best Air Assault Competition were also presented during the event.
Cpt. Patrick Richardson and Cpt. Darius Javan received division coins for winning the Army’s Best Sapper Competition.
First Lt. Ryan Burke and Sean Farrell won the Division Best Air Assault Competition.
After the presentation of the awards, Maj. Gen. McGee was accompanied by two World War II veterans of the 101st, Private 1st Class Ben Esperanza and Sgt. Dan McBride while inspecting troops.
McBride made his first combat jump with 502nd Parachute Infantry in Normandy during the D-Day Invasion.
He was awarded three Purple Hearts for his service.
During his service, Esperanza spent 144 days in combat and was ultimately awarded two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars.
While in combat, he used a helmet full of beer to aid wounded soldiers.
Retired Commanding Generals 47th Maj. Gen. Brian Winski, 39th Gen. Richard Cody, 38th Lt. Gen. Robert Clark, 34th Gen. Binford Peay III, Assistant Division Commander Gen. Gary Luck and CSM Steven Wise stood next to McGee as the brigades marched past.
Veterans of Desert Storm, followed by Vietnam veterans, began the marching aspect of the division review as part of the events honoring the 30th anniversary of the operation.
Retired CSM Robert Nickel led the marching veterans. He was the first brigade CSM during the Gulf War.
An Aviation Unit performed a flyover to conclude the review.