1st Armor Division of the United States Army, also known as Old Ironsides. This is the first Armored Division of the U.S. Army to see battle in World War II. It has its base of operations in Wiesbaden Army Airfield, Germany. This unit’s first major battle was in Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of Northwest Africa.”Old Ironsides” was thought up by its first commander, Major General Bruce R. Magruder, after he saw a picture of the U.S.S. Constitution, which was also called “Old Ironsides”.

1st Armor Division Combat Teams

The large 1 at the top represents the numerical designation of the division. The insignia is used as a basis for most other sub-unit insignias. The cannon and tracked vehicle symbols represent the mechanized role of the division. The three colors, red, yellow, and blue represent the Artillery, Armor, and Infantry Branches respectively, which are the colors of the three original combat arms which, when forged into one, created the field of Armor. This pyramid of power was devised by the order of then-Lieutenant Col. George S. Patton, Jr. in Bourg, France in early 1918. The Division consists of four Brigade Combat Teams and a Combat Aviation Brigade. US Army Rings are made for all units.

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1st Armored Division consists of the following elements:

  • Division Special Troops Battalion—Iron Sword
  • 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team—Ready
  • 2nd Brigade Combat Team—Heavy Metal
  • 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team— Bulldogs
  • 4th Heavy Brigade Combat Team— Highlanders
  • 5th Brigade Combat Team (5th Brigade is an Army Evaluation Task Force (AETF), that conducted equipment tests of the Army’s now cancelled Future Combat Systems (FCS).
  • Combat Aviation Brigade,
  • 1st Armored Division.

army rings of pride 1st armor divisionThe 1st Armor Division was ordered to Fort Dix on 11 April 1942 to await their deployment overseas. The division’s port call required them to board the RMS Queen Mary at the New York Port of Embarkation at the Brooklyn Army Terminal on 11 May 1942. They arrived at Northern Ireland on 16 May 1942, and trained on the moors until they moved on to England on 29 October 1942. 1st Armored Division returned to the New York Port of Embarkation on 24 April 1946, and was inactivated at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey on 25 April 1946.

It was reactivated on 7 March 1951 at Fort Hood during the build-up of the Korean War after World War II. It was the first Army unit to receive the new M48 Patton tank. A few units fought in the Vietnam War, and were returned to the division after the war. The 3d Brigade deployed to Chicago, Illinois to restore order after Martin Luther King Jr.’s marches. At that time, the division was based in Fort Hood, Texas.

Vietnam War

As the Vietnam War wound down, there was a fundamental reorganisation of the Army. As part of this reorganisation, the 1st Armored Division was moved to Germany in 1971. In August 1990, the Army units were dispatched to protect Saudi Arabia. 1st Armored Division was one of four American heavy divisions assigned to VII Corps in theater. In the ground attack of the Gulf War, the Division led the VII


Corps’ flank attack on the Iraqis. It had the duty of destroying the elite Iraqi Republican Guard units. In eighty nine hours, the division moved 250 kilometers, destroyed 768 vehicles, and captured 1,064 prisoners of war, at the cost of four dead. It returned to Germany on 8 May 1991. In 1999, the unit was once again deployed, this time to Kosovo, for Operation Allied Force, and Operation

Joint Guardian

The 1st Armor Division was called to serve once again, this time in the Balkans. Old Ironsides was ordered to Bosnia-Herzegovina and part of Operation Joint Endeavor on December 14, 1995. Task Force Eagle assumed control of its area of responsibility during a ceremony with United Nations forces at Eagle Base in Tuzla on December 20th. The 1st Armored Division began its participation in the global war on terrorism when it received deployment orders to the U.S. Central Command on March 4, 2003.

The Division’s 3rd Brigade was deployed to Iraq once again for Operation Iraqi Freedom III in January of 2005, this after only eight months at home. They were attached to the 3rd Infantry Division as part of Task Force Baghdad. In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission determined that the 1st Armored Division should leave their home bases in Germany and move to Fort Bliss, Texas.

The entire 1st Armor Division is scheduled to arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas between 2008 and 2011. It will replace the outgoing air defense artillery units, primarily Patriot missile battalions, currently stationed at Fort Bliss. The 1st Armored Division carries with it the traditions and military values for which Old Ironsides has been known for over half a century. They also are the standing armor division of the United States Army, on the cutting edge of technology and tactics, who remain relentlessly strong today. Both active soldiers and veterans are proud to wear the 1st Armored Division patch and say, “I was with Old Ironsides.”

1st Armor Division Military Rings
Our unit rings are a great way to celebrate service with a particular Unit. Each ring includes the particular unit insignia, they can also be inscribed with the soldier’s name, rank, even details of overseas deployments.

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