Newest Airborne Division

| May 11, 2022

The 11th Airborne Division has made a comeback. U.S. Army Alaska will become the “Angels” of World War II fame.

Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth announced that the U.S. Army Alaska headquarters would be redesignated as the 11th Airborne Division, and the 1st and 4th Brigade Combat Teams of the 25th Infantry Division would be redesignated as the 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Teams of the 11th Airborne Division.

David and Skippy send.

First Look at the Army’s New Patch for its Newest Airborne Division

By Steve Beynon

U.S. Army Alaska will be redesignated as the 11th Airborne Division this summer, and the force will be reintroducing the patch used decades ago, but with an Arctic twist.

The original unit, deactivated in 1965 and nicknamed “Angels,” fought in the Pacific theater in World War II. It was eventually turned into an air assault test unit as the Army was drawing up helicopter tactics. Alaska’s upcoming patch is identical to the old patch used until the division was disbanded, but with an “Arctic” tab on top of the airborne tab.

Right now most of U.S. Army Alaska’s 12,000 soldiers wear the 25th Infantry Division patch. That division is based in Hawaii and is commonly associated with its specialty in jungle warfare, the opposite of Alaska’s mission, gearing for combat in subzero environments.

This isn’t happening in a vacuum. Thanks, gentlemen.

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Cool! My Dad served in the 505 PIR from 1948~53 when he went over to the 77th SFG. He earned both jump wings and gliderman wings in March 48.

Dad&Mom-505 PIR-ca 1950.PNG

Everyone gets a tab!

Green Thumb


The 172 was brought back. With a new tab. Gotta love.

Green Thumb

Hang in the 25th for 16-17 years and pop smoke!


Tabs for all


Might I suggest a nickname since they are no longer part of the 25th Infantry “Tropic Lightening”?
11th Airborne The Frozen Chosen 😜 


I second

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

Instead of a lightning bolt, they can use an icecicle.


Too close to “Frozen Chosin”


Sooo, A new whiz bang blast from the past patch, of a unit with a proud history of being full of Warriros, will overcome a lack of replacement uniforms, working assault vehicles, and a propensity for suicide? These deficiences have been caused by a “lack of a clear identity”. (FTA) Oh wait there’s more…It also comes with a participation tab for all. Our North Western Border is now safer and securer. /s/

W.E.B. Griffin, in his “Brotherhood of War” series, along with LTG Hal Moore and Joseph Galloway in their “We Were Soldiers…and Young” book/movie, touched extensively on the history of the 11th Air Assault (Test) and some of the politics of the time that went into changing that designation/retiring the 11th Airborne to the FIRST Air Cav.

When 5/77 FA became 1/333 FA (political nod to a WWII Black FA Unit) we didn’t get a new whiz/bang patch. Still in V (Chrysler) Corps/V Corps Arty.

Last edited 2 years ago by KoB

King, have you ever read this?

Lieutenant General Hal Moore, RIP – American Thinker

I think I’ve posted it here previously, but hell, at this point in my long life, I can’t remember what I had for breakfast–or even if I had breakfast.

But I still remember this man blowing into my life for a short but crucial period on that long-ago battlefield.

BTW, Joe Galloway loved my tribute.

Last edited 2 years ago by Poetrooper

Always good for a re-read, Poe. The lessons on the value of indirect fire, learned by LTC Moore, were passed on to us Young Gun Bunnies by MG Moore, during AIT at Ft Sill. Believe his entourage was passing thru to Ord and he wanted to layover and/or meet with some of the Cadre that had served the guns from LZ Falcon and Columbus. ALL of our DS were Viet of the Nam Vets and several had served in 1st/21st FA during the IA Drang LZ X-Ray fight. As a teenager I heard the static filled radio broadcast and fuzzy TV pics from the Columbus GA Stations when the AP Wire reports started coming in.

Damn shame that the All Volunteer Armed Forces that Gnrl Moore help design and create is being driven into despair by the “woke” crowd.



We’ve lived through some history, KoB. I’ve told Miz Poe in the past that I’ve had a few Forrest Gump situations in my life and that was surely one of them.

Our battalion was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for that battle, the first since WWII, which was another tribute to COL Moore. The battalion commander was a ruggedly handsome, dashing old warhorse from WWII and Korea, but he’d developed a serious drinking problem over the years. We were damned lucky Moore came in and took over the battle management–otherwise things might have ended much differently (and far worse) for the good guys.


Just learned something: 2LT Hal Moore, fresh out of the Officer Basic Course at Ft. Benning in 1945, was sent to Sapporo, Japan where he attended the 11th Airborne Jump School and was then assigned to the 187th Glider Infantry Regiment, one of the 11th’s units.


The 11th Artic Airborne Division–well, that’s just making this old Airborne trooper grin from ear to ear. Back in 1959 when young Poe attended jump school, there were still a few senior NCO’s at Fort Campbell sporting 11th Airborne combat patches, guys who’d made that Corregidor jump.

In 1964, the Army began raiding the NCO ranks of the 101st at Campbell to create a cadre for the newly re-formed 11th at Ft. Benning, but young Poe, a very junior buck sergeant after a two-year break in service, wasn’t senior enough for them. Kept him from going to Nam with the 1st Cav after the 11th Airborne morphed initially into the 11th Air Assault and then the 1st Cav Airmobile.

The idea of Alaskan-based Airborne units being part of a Hawaii-based division called Tropic Lightning has never made much sense to this old soldier.

Artic Airborne–a cool move… 👍  👍  👍 


Forgive the old brain lapse–that was the 503rd Regimental Combat Team that jumped on the “Rock” not the 11th.


When I saw this the other day I looked up the unit’s history. Lots of action in the Pacific Theater of WWII. Among their members was Rod Serling. He was wounded in action, but for a few years after the war made money by testing parachutes and ejection seats for the Army.


The company first sergeant of my unit in Germany, the 2nd Bn/509th Inf. served in the 11th Abn Div. when it was garrisoned in Germany in the 1950’s. He had some great stories about his battalion or brigade’s operation of a punishment platoon known as “the Goon Platoon.” Once a screw-up was sent to this punishment unit, he couldn’t get out of it until he has proven himself as a model soldier and been promoted to act as an effective squad leader in the platoon. Each morning this platoon had to road march with full packs over ten miles into the countryside for breakfast, march back to the Kaserne, have a full field inspection in the quad, train the rest of the day, and repeat the following day. Top said once you received a man back from the Goon Platoon, he was a model soldier who was never a discipline problem or screw-up again.


this is perfect US Army thinking. Instead of the mechanized or stryker based division required to defend Alaska from potential Chinese invasion, we get a short airborne division.

Instead of the heavy fires brigade, we get towed howitzers.

Decisions like this are peak Army.

While bringing the 11th back is cool and all, the Russians or Chinese are not going to invade Alaska from Canada across a mountain range.


My reaction was that this is more along the lines of “rearranging the desk chairs on the Titanic”.

Creating another “divisional HQ” without adding additional troops (indeed, while cutting overall authorized end-strength) doesn’t exactly increase combat power, regardless of the type of division involved.

Last edited 2 years ago by Hondo

Don’t you think it’s likely that the future planning calls for both divisions to pick up a third active brigade or be augmented with the addition of National Guard brigade combat team like some other active divisions are?

Last edited 2 years ago by Poetrooper

Entirely possible. And also entirely irrelevant.

We now have another division – on paper. However, we do not have any additional troops (it was created by renaming existing units), so we do not have any additional combat power associated with the creation of said new division. Creating it IMO was thus little more than eyewash or a “feel good exercise”.

It did, however, create a new Division Commander billet – along with two new ADC slots, as well as primary division command/staff positions (CoS/G1/2/3/4/5/6/DIVARTY/DISCOM – not sure if it will have an Avn Bde). Those positions will thus be more attractive to promotion boards than the corresponding USAR-Alaska positions – because “divisions are major combat formations,” while USAR-Alaska was an admin HQ. Whoopee!

In short: this was nothing more than a PR move that did little other than to make a few lucky Colonels more competitive for promotion.

Last edited 2 years ago by Hondo



“It did, however, create a new Division Commander billet – along with t…”

And a nifty parade/ceremony to honor the occasion.


USARAK already has a two star as the USARAK Commander. From what we are being told, the USARAK Commander is going away and becoming the 11th’s Commander.


Understood, Twist. But a Division Command billet is far more attractive than an admin HQ command – even if it’s commanding the exact same troops and doing the exact same missions.

Feel-good PR exercise. Nothing more, nothing less.


But, but look on the bright side. It creates a division HQ, with all those slots for some generals, colonels, and a bunch of majors, plus all their boot lickers.

Slick Goodlin

From an old 101st and 82nd Airborne Trooper –
In my opinion, the 11th had the best Airborne Division song.

Down from heaven comes Eleven
And there’s hell to pay below
Shout Geronimo! – Geronimo!
Hit the silk and check your canopy
And take a look around
The air is full of troopers
Set for battle on the ground
Till we join the stick of Angels
Killed on Leyte and Luzon
Shout Geronimo! – Geronimo!
It’s a gory road to glory
But we’re ready – here we go
Shout Geronimo! – Geronimo!


Resurrecting an old WWII Airborne Division? Why not the 13th? Great unit patch, the Golden Unicorns, although I suspect the new woke Army would deed it too phallic a symbol.




Please don’t give DA/DoD any more “good ideas”. We just might end up with a reactivated 13th Airborne Division, complete with patch modified to show the unicorn as “Rainbow Dash” from My Little Pony. (AKA the “Brony Division”, perhaps?)

Given the level of “wokeness” and political correctness in today’s DoD, don’t say it can’t happen. Can you say USNS Harvey Milk?

Last edited 2 years ago by Hondo

This is the second day I have gotten a good laugh at your “Rainbow Dash” comment. What an image! Thanks.