in the US Army
which became specialized during WWII
. This unique organization came into being on July 13, 1943, at Camp Hale, Colorado
. The division’s year long training at the 9,200 foot high Camp Hale honed the skills of its soldiers to fight and survive under the most brutal mountain conditions. Possibly its most famous veteran
from that time is Senator Bob Dole
, who served as a lieutenant and was crippled in Italy (losing the use of his right arm). When the US decided to commit troops to Haiti
to maintain order, it was the 10th Mountain Division that they sent. Troops from the 10th are already deployed in the middle east in support of Operation Enduring Freedom
. The 10th is particularly well suited to fighting irregular opposition.
The designation "Mountain
" comes from the fact that they are trained and equipped to operate in rough terrain. Although mechanized
(as are all US infantry divisions now) they don't require it to the same extent that other infantry divisions do, and units of the 10th are capable of operating in mountains without mechanized support. All troops are trained to move on skis
(skis to the 10th are like parachutes
to the 82nd
) and are also trained to climb with ropes and pitons; the 10th can move rapidly over terrain which would defeat any other unit except Airborne
, and when they arrive they will be much more heavily armed than Airborne would be (because Airborne are light troops; the 10th emphatically is not).
The 10th Mountain Division has six infantry battalions
, two artillery
battalions, four attached air units (attack and transport helicopters
), four support battalions (logistics
), plus attached battalions to take care of administration
, signals and communication
, and air defense, There's also a battalion of Military Police
, whose job is to protect all the non-combat elements and also to protect supply dumps and communications (i.e. roads in the rear) and to take care of prisoners
and to keep the peace among civilians
in captured areas.
The shoulder patch
for the 10th was approved on January 7, 1944. The patch has a blue background with a pair of crossed bayonet
s. The bayonets also form a Roman number "X" (10) representing the unit’s number. The patch is Red, white and blue (our national colors). The word "MOUNTAIN" is white on a blue tab affixed directly above the patch.
Sources: http://www.drum.army.mil/cmd.htm, http://denbeste.nu/, and http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/agf/agf23.htm