History of the 10th Mountain Division

A short post this time.  I’ve always been partial to the 10th Mountain Division as it ties my “two homes”, Colorado and Upstate New York together.


The history begins in Colorado in 1939 when the president of the National Ski Patrol was concerned that the army was not prepared to fight in tough winter conditions.   He lobbied the war department to put in place the necessary training and in 1941 the first mountain unit was activated in Washington State.  In 1943 the 10th Mountain Division came into being at Camp Hale Colorado.  This link is a detailed history through the end of WWII.  Here’s a google search page with all kinds of information about the 10th Mountain Division most of it pertaining to WWII.  If you scroll down just a little bit, you’ll find a couple YouTube videos.  The one at 9:44 is interesting, thorough and not overly long. They had a great deal of success and many casualties in Italy and fought in circumstances that their unique training made possible. 

Upstate New York

After the war they were moved and commissioned and decommissioned several times.  In 1985 it was announced that Fort Drum in upstate New York would be their new home.  Their detail history from that period to the present can be found on the Wikipedia page.  They’ve had many deployments and ups and downs of readiness.  In more recent times they’ve been to Irag and Afghanistan many times.  I  included a map here to show where Fort Drum is located. That’s Canada right across the river and it’s COLD up there. I’m sure they see -30F every winter. It’s not ruggedly mountainous, but just living up there will get them ready for winter survival.  They also have a an interesting website with pictures and human interest stories.  It’s very nicely done and engaging.

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