“Currahees” Screaming once again

101st Airborne reactivates historical unit

The 506th Regiment has been reactivated. I’d been keeping my fingers crossed on this one ever since the plans to go from three to four brigades per division were announced.

The 506th was among the first to land in Normandy during World War II. The Army deactivated and reactivated the unit several times, sending its soldiers to Korea and Vietnam, where the unit was critical to winning the battles on Hamburger Hill.

1st Sgt. Edward Lawrence, the brigade’s rear detachment commander, said the reactivation brings instant identity to a brigade whose current members have yet to be tested.

“It gives these young soldiers the history that they know about. It gives them something to base all further accomplishments on,” he said.

While long famous for its missions inside the military, little was known about the unit until Stephen E. Ambrose published “Band of Brothers” in 2001. The book was later adapted for an HBO miniseries.

Armchair Generals (okay, Armchair 2nd Lieutenants…) like me eat this sort of stuff up.

Does it matter any to the guys serving in the units? Do they care a whole lot about unit history?

Comments

  1. You absolutely better believe it murdoc. I’m a Canadian Forces soldier in the Royal Winnipeg Rifles Regiment, and for all soldiers, tradition, honour, and history is everything. ALl the talk about war being about helping the buddy next 2 you is in terms of people of the same unit. Its closer than a family, and there are traditions like regimental coins, which you have to always carry around, and other things. People will test the fresh recruits of their unit history knowledge, and u don’t want to mess up on that. You must know stuff like battle honours, brief descriptions of all the battles that the unit fought in, general military tradition and history, first co of the unit, and medal winners, and thats just the bare minimum. For soldiers, we don’t have much to cling on to, and its all about the tradition.

  2. BFalcon: I totally believe it and have never doubted it. But what I really mean is does re-activating an old unit, one in which no one currently in it has ever served, has the same effect? There aren’t any old-timers to keep the newbies in line. No one was there when any of the great deeds were done. I just wonder how strong the pull of tradition is on the guys. And, for the record, I’m not doubting it. I just don’t know so I’m asking.

  3. Oh I wasn’t offended at all Murdoc. Well, its an interesting point about the old-timers. I still believe that there will be the strong tradtitional sense, because, they’ve all been in the army for at least a while and have served in the 101st which is a division to be proud of (although a group of 250 canadian reg forces schooled over 1500 of em on an ex last year, 😉 I think that enough of them will be interested in military history to care and start the traditions.

  4. my son is currently in the 101 st airborne screeming eagles, when he told us about the restating of the 506th band of brothers, he was very very proud to be able to carry on the tradition, knowing he is the best trained warrior the military has to offer.he is proud to fight and defend his country, america loves him and he love america