101st Airborne Division celebrates 80 years for Eagle Week

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Officials from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell will focus on the unit’s 80th anniversary this year, when “Eagle Week” begins May 20-26.

Under the theme “80 years of success with the 101! “, visitors will be able to observe and participate in many events celebrating the history of the 101st.

Activated Aug. 16, 1942, at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, the 101st’s inaugural commanding general, Maj. Gen. William C. Lee, is credited with saying his division had “no history,” but that She had a ‘rendezvous with fate’ and would usually be called into action when the need was ‘immediate and dire’ – falling on enemies ‘like a thunderbolt from heaven’.

The first “Eagle Week” was held in May 1973 and was organized by Major General JH Cushman, just one year after the division returned from the Vietnam War. It was first planned as a celebration of the division’s combat readiness – and even then it featured unit-to-unit displays, tours, reviews and competitions of military skills.

May 20, 6:30 a.m. – Division Run.
The 101st Abn. Div will run a full-scale race as a division. The race course encompasses several routes on the facility.

May 20, 3 p.m. – Boot Display Opening Ceremony at 101st Abn. Div. Headquarter.
The fallen since 9/11 are represented by nearly 8,000 boots lining the lawn of division headquarters. Senior leaders will deliver remarks at this event.

May 21, 1:30 p.m. – Air assault demonstration and static displays.
This event features a live demonstration of air assault tactics involving both aircraft and soldiers. It will take place at the Sabalauski Air Assault School.

May 21, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Outdoor festival and concert.
Singer-songwriter Cassadee Pope will be a very special guest at the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert at Fort Campbell’s Division Parade Field. The event is open to DOD ID card holders and authorized guests.

May 23, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Rededication Ceremony of the Soldier Recovery Unit Eagle Warrior Memorial Garden.
A memorial plaque with the names of those lost since the last rededication ceremony will be rededicated and unveiled during the ceremony at SRU Garden, 2311 Kentucky Avenue, Fort Campbell.

May 23 – 24, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Culinary competition.
Soldiers from across the division will compete in a live cooking contest featuring required ingredients, judging and elimination rounds. The contest starts at 9 a.m.

May 24, 9:30 a.m. – Gold Star Family Memorial Ceremony.
A memorial ceremony will be held to honor the families of our fallen soldiers. The ceremony will take place in front of the Dreyer Field House at 2699 Kentucky Avenue, Fort Campbell.

May 25, 1:30 p.m. – 101st Abn. Div. Mass re-engagement ceremony.
Maj. Gen. JP McGee, commanding general of the 101st Abn. Div., will recommit more than 100 troops to the Sabalauski Air Assault School.

May 25 (several times throughout the day) – Finals of boxing competitions and combative finals.
This event involves both boxing and army fighting, which is similar to mixed martial arts. The final battles will take place that day.

May 26, 9:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m. – Division review.
The 101st Abn. Div. will conduct a review ceremony involving a large number of soldiers on the division parade ground. During this event, the winners of the Division’s Best Air Assault Competition and Commander’s Cup will be announced.

May 26, 2 p.m. – Air Assault Honorary Awards Ceremony.
The 101st Abn. Div. will present Vietnam Veterans then assigned to the division with an honorary award recognizing their service. The ceremony will take place at the Sabalauski Air Assault School.

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