It wasn't the tune associated with most birthdays, as a room full of soldiers sang The Dog Faced Soldier to commemorate a milestone. But the 94 years of Third Infantry history aren't typical either. Division Commander Maj. Gen. Robert Abrams used the birthday to remind a group of commanders of the unit's birth in 1917 and almost immediate action in France during World War I.
"On that day, the units on their left and right decided they'd had enough and they decided to leave. Our division commander at the time said 'we'll just stay right here.' And the 3rd Infantry Division held at the Marne River. It was in fact a turning point that brought about the armistice a few months later. That's the start of the legacy of the Third Infantry Division," Abrams recalled.
He also talked about their vital roles in World War II, Korea and more, all the way to more recent history in the fighting the War on Terror.
"One, at first, division led the assault into Iraq and 23 days later was in Baghdad and the regime was gone. That was led by nobody but Dog Faced Soldiers and some of whom are in this room," the general said as he gestured to his audience.
"Each and every time, Dog Faced Soldiers stepped up and showed that same toughness, courage, commitment, dedication," he added. "Everyday I'm inspired by you and those you represent to go forward and write the next chapter in the Third Infantry Division's history."
A history that calls the Coastal Empire home no matter where in the world it's written.