Fort Stewart, Ga.
Our beloved moniker dates back more than 90 years to a fighting position on the Marne River along the Western Front. During World War I’s Second Battle of the Marne in the summer of 1918, German forces attempted to split Allied lines and move into Paris. The German firepower overran French troops, who began to retreat, yet Soldiers of the 7th Machine Gun Battalion, Third Infantry Division, were rock-solid defending the river banks, an effort that helped turn the tide of the battle and the war.
The world remembers our efforts with our nickname, “The Rock of the Marne.”
Today kicks off “Marne Week,” five days of activities and ceremonies dedicated to current and former Marne Soldiers, Family Members, communities and retirees. Events begin with the Division Run Monday morning, kicking off a day full of sporting competitions that will continue throughout the week.
But whether you’re paintballing, skeet-shooting, Cross-Fitting, bowling, barbequing or participating in a Triathlon (be it traditional or battle-focused), take a moment to remember those Marne Soldiers who earned us that name and those who have ornamented it. Marne Soldiers like Maj. Audie L. Murphy, Medal of Honor recipient and the most decorated Soldier of World War II, or Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith of the 11th Engineer Battalion, awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously during Operation Iraqi Freedom for acts of gallantry under attack from a company-sized enemy force.
This week is a celebration of the history that gave us our name and our pride, of the present Soldiers who embody that legacy, and of the stories yet to be written in the annals of the Third Infantry Division. Have fun, but never forget.