By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Thousands pack Donovan Field for Fort Stewart's 'Salute to Summer'
TI performs 1
Rapper T.I. performs to a crowd of thousands at Fort Stewart's Donovan Field.

The 3rd Infantry Division (3rd ID) soldiers warmly welcomed friends, family and the surrounding community to one of their largest annual events, Salute to Summer.

The two-day celebration, held June 17-18, not only marked the beginning of the season, but also served to thank the military families and community members who support 3rd ID and its soldiers throughout the year.

The grand finale to Salute to Summer was a concert at Donovan Field where prominent music artists took the stage, featuring American rapper T.I., country singer Riley Green and DJ Rock.

After the concert, T.I. shared some words on overcoming adversity and why it’s important to him.

“It’s important for every human being in the time it's called for to dig deep and push past the limitations of our expectations of ourselves,” he said. “Sometimes comfort and convenience just ain’t the option; you can't just stop and lay down and give up there, you gotta push past and find the spirit and the energy, inside of you from somewhere, to get to the finish line.

“I think that those of us who’ve done it before in whatever means we’ve done it, in whatever way we’ve found a way to do it, is important to pass that message and that energy along because somebody’s going to need to do it again,” he added.

Following the morning bugle call to start the festivities June 17, cannon fire pierced the air kicking off a division run led by Maj. Gen. Christopher R. Norrie, commander of 3rd ID and Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Reffeor, senior enlisted advisor of 3rd ID.

After the run, Norrie addressed the soldiers and stressed unity, division spirit and commitment to excellence.

“What you do is real,” said Norrie. “When your lights turn on, there is no game, there is no substitute, the American people expect us to win, and mornings like this morning, in your own time, out in the field and deployed, in the dirt in the dark, there is no hope for recognition, no red carpet for Dogface Soldiers, your sacrifice means the world, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you, to every one of you.”

Throughout the day, guests had the opportunity to attend multiple seminars as part of a leader professional development series. These sessions featured guest speakers, including former Marne senior leaders, who shared their experiences and insights. Their stories offered guidance and inspiration to younger soldiers and guests.

"You are all the flagpole," said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Hendrex, former 3rd ID senior enlisted advisor. "You are the ones who those working under you will either complain about or will learn from and understand what your intent is. How do you do that? You go out there and you go to their environment.”

“Even within each battalion, you have dramatically different environmental operations that will change. Each one of your companies will have a culture of its own, whether you realize that or not. You need to understand that culture to make sure it’s all synchronized across your battalion."

The first day concluded with “Twilight Tattoo”, a ceremonial event that highlighted 3rd ID's rich military history. This tradition not only honors the past, but also serves as a reminder of the division's enduring legacy and the sacrifices made by its members.

Families and guests watched a historical narrative of the 3rd ID while enjoying the musical ensemble of the 3rd ID Band.

The second day of Salute to Summer started with flag football and golf scramble events. These activities provided a fun and competitive atmosphere where families and soldiers could interact and enjoy the day through sports.

The 3rd ID’s Salute to Summer event highlights the division's dedication to recognizing the vital role that families and the local community play in supporting their soldiers.

Riley Green 1
Country star Riley Green takes the Donovan Field stage.
T.I. performs 2
T.I. delights the crowd as Fort Stewart's "Salute to Summer" concluded with the annual concert.
Sign up for our e-newsletters