Back to Attractions

A century of service

7th ID introduces "100 for 100"

Within Harrison Hall, the history of the century-old 7th Infantry Division’s headquarters is on display. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

Ambition in the service of education is a desirable mission statement. This endeavor is commendable as the 7th Infantry Division turns a century old.

"We're commemorating the one hundred years of the division's establishment as a division headquarters," explained Lt. Col. Frederick Williams, the division's public affairs officer, "in order to honor the legacy of the Bayonet soldiers who have gone before and continue to serve."

The division's centennial celebration began Dec. 5, 2016, and will end this year on Dec. 6.  

Williams' office recently began the "100 for 100" outreach, an attempt to register 100,000 "Likes" on the division's Facebook page.

"While we celebrate, we will be focused on educating soldiers on the rich history of this division," continued Williams.

"It is a proud history."

The division's history began when it was activated on Dec. 6, 1917, at Camp Wheeler, Georgia.

Tempered in the fields of France during the First World War, the Bayonet Division went on to serve in the cold and barren Aleutian Islands, the atolls and island of the South Pacific in World War II, and the rugged mountains and rice paddies of Korea during the Korean War.

After the Korean War, the division remained in Korea until 1971, returning to the U.S. and then Fort Lewis for the first time since 1943.  In short order, the unit was inactivated.

In October 1985, the division was resurrected as the 7th Infantry Division (Light) at Fort Ord, California.

The "Lightfighters" were called to duty in Honduras in 1998 for Operation Golden Pheasant and to Panama in 1989-1990 for Operation Just Cause.

In August 1993, the division returned to then Fort Lewis and inactivated in June 1994.  The division was again inactivated in August 2006.  In October 2017, the division was reactivated at its present home, Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

There is a year's worth of history here.

"Each month there are tentatively planned a series of events for soldiers to learn about the division," emphasized Williams.

While the line of soldiers - 17 of whom received the Medal of Honor - who have served in the 7th ID, is long and distinguished. One who will be featured in March is retired Lt. Gen. William Harrison.

He commanded the 7th Infantry Division and later then Fort Lewis' I Corps and later served as the city of Lakewood's first mayor.

It should come as no surprise that the 7th ID is headquartered in Harrison Hall, dedicated to Harrison Sept. 5, 2014, for his service to the country and his community.

"His service stands as the standard bearer for all 7th Infantry Division soldiers," reads the last line of the bronze plaque, just inside the front door.

"This division feels good about what it has done and what it continues to do in the Pacific," noted Williamson.

"We will not lose sight of our history."

Start "Liking" this celebration on the division's Facebook page.

Read next close

News Front

Texas actor plays Navy SEAL in "SIX"

comments powered by Disqus