173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team (United States)
Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team
caption=173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team shoulder sleeve insignia
dates=1917-08-05 – January 1919 1921-06-24 – 1945-09-24 1947-05-12 – 1951-12-01 1963-03-12 – 1972-01-14 2000-10-16 – Present
country=United States of America
role=USAREUR quick response force
command_structure= 7th Army
current_commander= *COL Charles Preysler
*CSM Isaia T. Vimoto
Caserma Ederle(Vicenza, Italy)
nickname= Sky Soldiers
World War I World War II:
Central Europe Campaign Vietnam War:
Operation Junction City
Battle of Dak To Iraq War:
*Operation Iraqi Freedom I
Operation Northern Delay
Operation Option North
Operation Peninsula Strike
Operation Bayonet Lightning
Operation Enduring Freedom VI
John R. Deane, Jr.
Johnnie E. Wilson
identification_symbol_label=Distinctive Unit Insignia
The 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team is an airborne
infantry brigade combat teamof the United States Armybased in Vicenza, Italy. It is the United States European Command's conventional airborne strategic response force for Europe.
Activated in 1915, the 173rd Airborne Brigade saw service in both
World War Iand World War II, and is best known for its actions during the Vietnam War. The brigade was the first major United States ground formation deployed in Vietnam, serving there for six years and losing almost 1,800 soldiers. Noted for its roles in Operation Humpand Operation Junction City, the soldiers of the 173rd received over 7,700 decorations, including more than 6,000 Purple Hearts. The brigade returned to the United States, where it was inactivated in 1972.
Since its reactivation in 2000, the brigade has served three tours of the
Middle East. The 173rd participated in the initial invasion of Iraqduring Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, and two tours in Afghanistanin support of Operation Enduring Freedom; one from 2005 to 2006, and another deployment that began in 2007 and ended in mid 2008. The brigade returned from duty in eastern Afghanistan in July of 2008.
A decorated unit, the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team has received 20
campaign streamers and several unit awards, including the Presidential Unit Citation for its actions during the Battle of Dak Toduring the Vietnam War.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade currently consists of 3,300 soldiersSchogol, Jeff. [http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=40612&archive=true DOD: 173rd Airborne headed back to Iraq] , Stars and Stripes. Retrieved on 2008-05-02.] in six prime component battalions.Aird, Brandon. [http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/read.php?story_id_key=9586 173rd Airborne Brigade becomes a brigade combat team] , US Army News Service. Retrieved 2008-05-02.] The unit's two
paratrooperinfantry battalions are the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 503rd Infantry Regiment, an association that can be traced back to the unit's World War II service. The 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment serves as the brigade's mechanized reconnaissance unit. The 173rd Airborne Brigade also has a detachment of field artillery, the 4th Battalion of the 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment.
In support of the regular combat forces are the 173rd Special Troops Battalion and the 173rd Support Battalion. [cite web|url=http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/173abnbde-spt.htm |title=173rd Support Battalion |publisher= GlobalSecurity |accessdate=2008-04-24] All of these units including the 4/319th Field Artillery are airborne qualified, making the 173rd Airborne Brigade one of the largest airborne formations in the
United States Army, behind the 82nd Airborne Division.
The 173rd Infantry Brigade was constituted on August 5, 1915 as an
infantry brigadeand organized on August 25 at Camp Pike, Arkansas, as an element of the 87th Division.cite web|url=http://www.asomf.org/rollcall/unithistories/ABNInfantry/173rd_AirborneBrig.htm |title=173rd Airborne Brigade (Sky soldiers) |publisher= Airborne and Special Operations Museum |accessdate=2008-04-24] The brigade deployed to France as part of the 87th Division, but it did not participate in any named campaigns. After returning to the United States, the brigade was demobilized in January 1919 at Camp Dix, New Jersey.
On June 24, 1921, the unit was reconstituted as the
Headquarters and Headquarters Company("HHC"), 173rd Infantry Brigade, and was assigned to the Organized Reserve Corps and the 87th Division at Shreveport, Louisiana. It was reorganized in December 1921 at Mobile, Alabama, redesignated on March 23, 1925 as the HHC 173rd Brigade, and redesignated as HHC 173rd Infantry Brigade on August 24, 1936.
During World War II, brigades were eliminated from divisions. Consequently, the HHC 173rd Infantry Brigade was designated as the 87th Reconnaissance Troop in February 1942 and activated on December 15, 1942. It entered combat in 1944 and fought in three European campaigns in
central Europe, the Rhinelandand Ardennes-Alsace. The maneuver battalions of the Vietnamera 173rd trace their lineage to the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, which successfully assaulted the fortress island of Corregidorin the Philippinesby parachute and waterborne operations, thereby earning the nickname "The Rock".cite web|url=http://www.173abnbde.setaf.army.mil/history.htm |title=History |publisher= 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team |accessdate=2008-01-22] After the war, the troop reverted back to reserve status and was posted at Birmingham, Alabamafrom 1947 until 1951. On December 1, 1951, the 173rd was inactivated and released from its assignment to the 87th Infantry Division.
On March 26, 1963, the 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate) was assigned to the regular army and activated on
Okinawa. Brigadier General Ellis W. Williamson took command of the unit,Ham, p. 132.] which was chartered to serve as the quick reaction force for the PacificCommand.cite web|url=http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/173abnbde.htm |publisher=GlobalSecurity |title=173d Airborne Brigade "Sky Soldiers" |accessdate=2008-01-18] Under Williamson, the unit trained extensively, making mass parachute jumps. They earned the nickname "Tien Bien," or "Sky Soldiers," from the Taiwanese paratroopers. During their time in Okinawa, they prided themselves as the "toughest fighting men in Okinawa, if not the entire US Armed Forces". They took their theme song from the television series "Rawhide".
The brigade's deployment in May 1965 made it the first major ground combat unit of the United States Army to serve in Vietnam.cite web|url=http://www.skysoldier.org/history.php |publisher=173d Airborne Brigade Association |title=History |accessdate=2008-01-18] Williamson boldly predicted on arrival that his men would defeat the Viet Cong quickly and that they "would be back in Okinawa by Christmas". The brigade was the first unit sent into
War Zone Dto destroy enemy base camps, introducing the use of small Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols. On November 8, 1965, the 173rd took part in Operation Hump, just north of Bien Hoaon the outskirts of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam. They were ambushed by approximately 1,200 Viet Congfighters, suffering 48 deaths. Throughout their six years in Vietnam, they served under the command of the II Field Force, Vietnam. [cite book| last=Stanton |first=Shelby |title=Vietnam Order of Battle |publisher=Stackpole Books |location=Mechanichsburg, Pennsylvania |year=2003 |isbn=0-89193-700-5] The unit fought in the Iron Triangle, a Viet Cong stronghold north of Saigon,Ham, p. 131.] [Tucker, p. 65.] seeing many engagements with enemy forces during that time. They participated in Operation Crimpin 1966, a failed attempt to root out enemy forces from the Cu Chi tunnels. [Tucker, p. 88.] The 1st and 2nd Battalions, 503rd Infantry were the first Army combat units from the 173rd sent to the South Vietnam, accompanied by the 3rd Battalion, 319th Artillery. They were supported by the 173rd Support Battalion, 173rd Engineers, Troop E, 17th Cavalry and Company D, 16th Armor. The 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regimentand the 161st Field Battery of the Royal New Zealand Artillerywere later attached to the brigade in 1965. [Tucker, p. 32.] Late in August 1966, the 173rd received another infantry battalion, the 4th battalion, 503rd Infantry from Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The 3rd battalion, 503rd joined the brigade at Tuy Hoa Provincein September 1967 following the former's reactivation and training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The 173rd was also assigned Company N, 75th Ranger Regiment. At its peak of its deployment in Vietnam, the 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate) comprised nearly 3,000 soldiers.
On February 22, 1967, the 173rd conducted
Operation Junction City, the only combat parachute jump of the Vietnam War. [Tucker, p. 199.] Tucker, p. 8.] During the summer and fall of 1967, the unit blocked North Vietnamese Armyincursions at Dak Toduring some of the bloodiest fighting of the war, culminating in the capture of Hill 875.Tucker, pp. 90–91.] Elements of the brigade conducted an amphibious assaultagainst North Vietnamese Armyand Viet Congforces as part of an operation to clear the rice-growing lowlands along the Bong Song littoral.
The intense fighting during the
Battle of Dak Toin November 1967 took a heavy human toll on the 173rd. While several of its units, including the 2/503rd and A/3/319th were ordered to Tuy Hoato repair and refit,Tucker, p. 153.] the 173rd was transferred to the An Kheand Bong Son areas during 1968, seeing very little action while the combat ineffective elements of the brigade were rebuilt. The unit then served in An Khe until mid-1969, seeing little in the way of heavy fighting. From April 1969 until its withdrawal from Vietnam in 1971, the brigade served in Binh Dinh Province.cite web| url=http://www.skysoldier.org/ops.php |publisher=173rd Airborne Brigade Association |title=Operations in Vietnam] |year=2007 |accessdate=2008-01-18] From April until August of 1971, the unit underwent the process of redeployment back to Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
During more than six years of continuous combat, the brigade earned 14
campaign streamers and four unit citations. Sky Soldiers serving in Vietnam received 13 Medals of Honor, 32 Distinguished Service Crosses, 1,736 Silver Stars and more than 6,000 Purple Hearts. The 173rd incurred 1,533 deaths and around 6,000 wounded. [Ham, p. 160.] The brigade was inactivated on January 14, 1972 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Assets from the brigade were used to form the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, a parachute component within the helicopter-landed 101st. The 3rd Brigade went off jump status on April 1, 1974, the same date on which the Airmobile Badge (Air Assault as of October 4, 1974) was introduced.
Reactivation and the War on Terror
The 173rd Airborne Brigade was reactivated on June 12, 2000 at
Caserma Ederlein Vicenza, Italy, where it now serves. It was previously designated the SETAFInfantry brigade. On March 26, 2003, 954 soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, commanded by Colonel William C. Mayville, conducted a combat jump onto Bashur Airfieldin Northern Iraqas part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, [cite web| url=http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/2004/onpoint/ch-4.htm | title=The March Up-Country |publisher=GlobalSecurity.org|Global Security] |date=2005-04-27| accessdate=2008-04-24] in an assault known as Operation Northern Delay. They jumped from aircraft of the 62d Airlift Wingand the 728th Airlift Squadronalong with the 786th Security Forces Squadron.
The unit advanced to
Kirkukduring Operation Option North, seizing oil fields and military airfields in and around the city, suffering nine casualtes. During the operation, some of the troops discovered at least two caches of Iraqi gold, totaling more than 2,000 bars. [cite news| url=http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/South/05/27/sprj.irq.iraq.gold/index.html |title=U.S. forces find suspected gold cache in Iraq
CNN|accessdate=2008-01-18] The unit then took part in Operation Peninsula Strike, quelling Ba'athparty members and other insurgent groups. [cite web| url=http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/peninsula_strike.htm |title=Operation Peninsula Strike |publisher=GlobalSecurity |accessdate=2008-02-03] Comprising the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regimentunder the command of Lieutenant Colonel Dominic Caraccilo; 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regimentunder the command of Lieutenant Colonel Harry Tunnell; 173rd Combat Support Company; 74th Infantry Detachment; Delta Battery, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment(later expanded to the 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment), and 501st Forward Support Company(now the 173rd Airborne Brigade Support Battalion); the brigade served mainly in Kirkuk until February 21, 2004. During its service, the brigade was involved in what later became known as the " Hood Event", arresting Turkish special forces soldiers, believing them to be plotting attacks against local civilian officials in northern Iraq. [ cite news |url=http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/07/06/turkey.us/index.html |title= U.S. releases Turkish troops |publisher= CNN|date=2003-07-06 |accessdate=2008-01-22] The Turks were eventually released. The brigade also participated in Operation Bayonet Lightningin 2003, capturing weapons and materials that the Department of Defense claimed were possibly for use against coalition forces. [cite news|url=http://www.defendamerica.mil/iraq/update/dec2003/iu121803.html |title=Enemy, Arms Captured During Operation Bayonet Lightning |publisher= U.S. Department of Defense|accessdate=2008-01-01]
The 173rd Airborne Brigade deployed to
Afghanistanin March 2005 under the command of Colonel Kevin Owens, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Brigade, organized as Task Force Bayonet, assumed control of Regional Command-South (RC South), comprising Zabol, Kandahar, Helmand, and NimruzProvinces in southern Afghanistan. The 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment ("The Rock") conducted combat operations in Zabol Province under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Mark Stammer. The 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment provided humanitarian assistance/combat operations in eastern Afghanistan under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Timothy McGuire. The 3rd Battalion, 319th Artillery of the 82nd Airborne Division, TF Gun Devil commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Bert Ges, was attached to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, organized as a maneuver Task Force and conducted combat operations in Kandahar Province. Its elements included Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry [82nd Airborne Division] , Bravo Company, 1st battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry [173rd Airborne Brigade] , a Military Police Platoon, Headquarter and Headquarters Company of the 3rd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery, and an Afghan National Army Company advised by French Special Forces. The 173rd Support Battalion (Airborne), commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Cynthia Fox, and the 173rd Combat Support Company provided logistical support from Kandahar, while sending individual soldiers to assist at other Forward Operating Bases. [cite news |url=http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2005/06/mil-050628-arnews01.htm |publisher=GlobalSecurity |date=2005-06-28 | first=Jacob |last=Caldwell |accessdate=2008-01-28 |title='Diablo' weakens Taliban mountain stronghold] The brigade returned to Italy in March 2006. Seventeen soldiers from the brigade were killed during this deployment.
On October 11, 2006, the 173rd Airborne Brigade was redesignated as the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team (ABCT), as part of the Army's "Unit of Action" modularized unit force restructuring. This was a significant change as the "Combat Team" designation signifies the ability for the brigade to deploy its forces and sustain itself with its newly integrated support teams. By integrating these support MOSs, the unit became able to maintain its fighting forces with all that is required to keep the ground soldiers supplied and moving. While most of the brigade remains in Vicenza, Italy, three battalions have been stood up in
Bambergand another in Schweinfurt, Germany until additional facilities are constructed in the Vicenza area; The 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry was reflagged as 1st Battalion, 503rd Airborne Infantry to resume the Vietnam-era lineage of the 503rd Infantry battalions under the 173rd Airborne Brigade. The 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry colors were moved to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.cite web|url=http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/Abn/173AirborneBrigadeCombatTeam.htm |publisher=The Institute of Heraldry |title=173D Airborne Brigade Combat Team | accessdate=2008-01-18] Immediately after its transformation, the brigade began intensive training to prepare itself for future deployments. [Millham, Aimee. [http://www.defendamerica.mil/articles/oct2006/a101306sj1.html Infantry Training Reinforces Combat Skills] , DefendAmerica.mil press service. Retrieved on 2008-05-02.]
In 2006, the brigade was slated for a second tour of duty in Iraq during 2007-2008, but its deployment plan was changed to Afghanistan in February 2007 when the
Pentagonannounced that it would relieve the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Divisionalong with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. In the spring of 2007, the 173rd ABCT again deployed to Afghanistan, as Task Force Bayonet, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom(OEF 07–09),cite news |url=http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/02/AT173rd070214/ |publisher= Army Times|date=2007-02-16 | first=Melissa |last=Vogt |accessdate=2008-04-24 |title=173rd Airborne heading to Afghanistan] their first deployment as a fully transformed brigade combat team. The brigade is dispersed throughout the east of the country, with units currently operating in Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kunar, and Laghman Provinces (N2KL). The 173rd ABCT officially relieved the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Divisionon June 6, 2007.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade participated in various operations with the objective of ensuring security and subduing insurgents in the mountainous regions along Afghanistan's border with
Pakistan, one of these being Operation Rock Avalanchenear the Hindu Kush. Throughout their 15-month deployment, the brigade participated in over 9,000 patrols throughout the region. [http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=56252 Commander: Media reports on Afghanistan outpost battle were exaggerated] , Mark St. Clair, "Stars and Stripes". Retrieved 2008-07-20] The brigade's tour ended in July of 2008, and the entire brigade returned to Italy from Afghanistan by the end of the month. [ [http://www.abcnews.go.com/International/Story?id=5373104&page=1 Taliban Flexing Muscle in Afghanistan] , Luis Martinez ABC News. Retrieved 2008-07-14.] Only two weeks before the pullout, a platoonof 45 soldiers from the 173rd Ariborne stationed in the Dara-I-Pech districtwas caught in an ambush by 100-200 insurgents, the Battle of Wanat.cite web|url = http://abcnews.go.com/International/Story?id=5373104&page=1 |title = ABC News: Even 500 Lbs Bombs Couldn't Stop Taliban |accessdate = 2008-07-16] The fight resulted in 9 soldiers killed and 16 wounded; the deadliest attack on troops in the country since 2005. [cite web|url = http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/07/14/afghan.violence/index.html |title = 'Heroic' fighting repels Afghan militants - CNN.com |accessdate = 2008-07-16] The brigade repositioned the base three days later. [cite web|url = http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25698636/ |title = U.S. troops quit remote Afghan base after attack |accessdate = 2008-07-16]
The 173rd's service, particularly in Vietnam, has been featured several times in popular culture. The most prominent of these is the 2006 single released by the country music duo
Big & Rich, entitled " 8th of November". The song was based on the story of Niles Harris, a member of the 173rd, during Operation Hump. On July 1, 2006, a documentary inspired by the song and based on the brigade's actions during the operation premiered on the GAC Channel. [cite news|publisher=Scripps Howard News Service |url=http://www.shns.com/shns/g_index2.cfm?action=detail&pk=GACBEAT-MUSIC-06-26-06 |title=Big and Rich talk about inspiration behind their '8th of November' |first=Ronna |last=Rubin |accessdate=2008-01-22 |date=2006-06-26]
Captain Willard, a character portrayed by
Martin Sheenin the 1979 film " Apocalypse Now" was a member of the 173rd assigned to Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group ("MACV-SOG" for short). He was depicted as being in the "505th battalion", although no such unit was ever part of the 173rd. Throughout the movie, he wears the Vietnam era mustard yellow "subdued" Shoulder Sleeve Insigniaworn by 173rd paratroopers on their BDUs throughout the Vietnam conflict.cite news| url=http://www.pressrepublican.com/0214_guest%20Column/local_story_302231534.html |title=Moving forward with the 173rd Airborne |date=2007-10-29 |publisher= Press-Republican|accessdate=2008-02-22] In the 1987 movie " Lethal Weapon", the patch worn by Danny Glover's character Roger Murtaughduring a retrospective of his time in Vietnam was that of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. [cite episode |title= Lethal Weapon| credits= Shane Black| network= Warner Bros.|airdate=1987] In the 1998 movie " The Siege", Major General William Devereaux, played by Bruce Willis, states that he was in the 173rd Airborne Brigade at the same time that SAIC Anthony Hubbard was in the 82nd Airborne Division. [cite episode |title= The Siege| network= 20th Century Fox| credits= Lawrence Wright|airdate=1998]
Numerous servicemen from the 173rd, mostly from the Vietnam era, gained notability after their military careers ended. These include
Congressmen Duncan Hunterand Charlie Norwood, [cite web|url=http://www.house.gov/hunter/biography.shtml |publisher= United States House of Representatives|title=Congressman Duncan Hunter |accessdate=2008-02-01] [cite web|url=http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/vacancies_pr.html?pr=house&vid=2 |title=Office of the Clerk |publisher= United States House of Representatives|accessdate=2008-02-03] Archbishopof Baltimore Edwin Frederick O'Brien, [cite web| url=http://www.milarch.org/archbishop/arch_bio.html| publisher= Archdiocese for the Military Services|title=Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien |accessdate=2008-02-03] Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robert M. Kimmitt, [cite web |url=http://www.treas.gov/organization/bios/kimmitt-e.html |publisher=United States Department of the Treasury |title=Robert M. Kimmitt |accessdate=2008-02-03] business owner Barney Visser,cite web|url=http://www.denverpost.com/motorsports/ci_9482873|title=Furniture Row boss races into NASCAR|last=Chambers|first=Mike|date=2008-06-04|publisher= Denver Post|accessdate=2008-06-27] activist Stan Goff, and Sergeant Major of the Army Gene C. McKinney. [cite web|url=http://www.army.mil/leaders/leaders/sma/former/mckinney.html |publisher=United States Army |title= Gene C. McKinney |accessdate=2007-02-03]
Fifteen soldiers have been awarded the
Medal of Honorfor service with the 173rd Airborne Brigade; John A. Barnes III, Michael R. Blanchfield, Glenn H. English Jr., Ray E. Eubanks, Lawrence Joel, Terry T. Kawamura, Carlos J. Lozada, Lloyd G. McCarter, Don L. Michael, Charles B. Morris, Milton L. Olive III, Larry S. Pierce, Laszlo Rabel, Alfred Rascon, and Charles J. Watters. [Cite web| url=http://www.173abnbde.setaf.army.mil/medal_of_honor_recipients.htm | publisher=173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team |title=Medal of Honor Recipients |accessdate=2008-01-18] [Cite web| url=http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/vietnam-a-l.html | publisher=United States Army |title=Medal of Honor Recipients - Vietnam (A-L)|accessdate=2008-04-24] [Cite web| url=http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/vietnam-m-z.html | publisher=United States Army |title=Medal of Honor Recipients - Vietnam (M-Z)|accessdate=2008-04-24]
*cite book| first=Paul |last=Ham |authorlink=Paul Ham |title= |year=2007 |publisher=
*cite book|title=Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War| first= Spencer C. |last=Tucker |year=2000 |publisher=
* [http://www.173dairbornememorial.org/ The 173rd Airborne Memorial Foundation]
* [http://themeshuggener.livejournal.com/ Blog of a former Sky Soldier, with numerous entries during OIF (March 2003 to March 2004)]
* [http://www.173d.com/ 173d.com] (note: multimedia front page – slow loading)
* [http://homepage.mac.com/greenaire/iMovieTheater11.html/ Casper platoon photo movie]
* [http://homepage.mac.com/greenaire/iMovieTheater20.html/ Casper Platoon home movies]
* [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0804105626 Blood on the Risers: An Airborne Soldier's Thirty-five Months in Vietnam by John Leppelman]
* [http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0006XT656 Soldier by LTC Anthony Herbert, USA (Ret), commander of the 2nd Bn (Abn), 503rd Infantry in Vietnam] .
* [http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/01/afghanistan200801 Vanity Fair article from Spring '08 focusing on 2-503 in Afghanistan, "Into The Valley of Death"]
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/magazine/24afghanistan-t.html New York Times article from Spring '08 focusing on 2-503 in Afghanistan, "Battle Company Is Out There"]
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