3rd Armored Division Inactivation Ceremony
Fort Knox, Kentucky, 17 October 1992
Remarks by Lt. Gen. Frederick M. Franks,
Commander, U.S. 7th Corps, 1989-91, including the
Sullivan, Gen. Joulwan, Gen. Kerwin, LTG Rutherford, MG and Mrs.
Funk. Fellow general officers, former division commanders, leaders,
and soldiers of Spearhead, members of the Association of the
Spearhead Division, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
CSA asked that this ceremony be held here at Fort Knox, the home
of cavalry and armor. I am privileged to say a few words.
This is a day filled with emotion. For me and for all those who
have been associated with - who have fought with - this division.
Proud colors, rolled up and cased, ready to serve again when
called. Misty eyes. Proud hearts. Memories rich in service, heroism,
and duty to our nation. Soldiers' emotion. Soldiers' emotion
driven by a blue-flame pride in knowing here was something special.
Something special. That's it.
This splendid 3d Armored Division. This Spearhead Division. A
great division with a great history. It is not about M4 tanks
or M1A1 tanks. It's about pride and soldiers, and victory in
battle. It's about heart and teamwork. Soldiers' heart and teamwork.
The spirit of an army and of a great division.
You all know the official history - it's there in the program
and many here helped write it. A great history. It's told in
the many battle streamers attached to the colors out there. Those
pieces of cloth represent the soldiers who lived, trained, fought
and died with the Spearhead Division. That's the heart and soul
of the 3rd Armored. Great commanders and leaders in this Division,
some are here with us today.
But the real heart and soul of this Division - what that flag
and those streamers and those soldiers out on that field under
BG Larry Jordan represent - are Spearhead soldiers. Soldiers
and their leaders whose actions, heart and spirit gave this division
The World War II NCO, Sgt Lafayette Pool, named outstanding tank
commander in the European Theater as he and his crew destroyed
hundreds of enemy vehicles.
The soldiers who kept the peace in the Fulda Gap along the frontiers
of freedom throughout the Cold War, training in the mud of Hohenfels
or the rain of Grafenwoehr. And who won.
It was my privilege to command elements of this great division
in the V Corps cavalry force in the Fulda Gap as the 11ACR Commander
during the Cold War, and as Commander VII Corps during Desert
Storm. Let me give testimony to what I saw.
During Desert Storm, the Spearhead Division, part of the VII
Corps again - the main attack - like they were during World War
II - took the fight to the Iraqi Army.
The Republican Guard Tawalkana, the 10th and 12th Iraqi divisions
of the Jihad Corps, and elements of several other armored formations.
This division drove the spearhead right through the best the
Iraqi army had - day and night, in sandstorms and rain. They
took the fight to the enemy. When it was over, after 90 hours
of intense ground and air mounted combat, they had written another
superb chapter in the Division's history.
The Spearhead soldier who said to me, as I was explaining the
VII Corps plan on the eve of the Desert Storm ground war, "Don't
worry, general, we trust you." That one statement summed
up Spearhead training, teamwork, and trust - so important on
During the 90 hours of Desert Storm, the soldiers and leaders,
leaders out front, from Division Commander and CSM Joe Hill to
the platoon level of this Spearhead Division, attacked over 250
kilometers. They were relentless. In their wake, Spearhead soldiers
could count over 1000 turretless tanks and other Iraqi combat
vehicles. Magnificent it was fast, but it was not easy. Do not
equate swiftness with ease.
And when the war was over, Spearhead soldiers turned their attention
to humanitarian assistance in and around the Iraqi town of Safwan.
Remaining there until the U.N. assumed control and over 8,400
Iraqi men, women, and children were moved by C130's into Saudi
Arabia. Magnificent. Disciplined. Tough American soldiers and
Soldiers and their NCO's and officer leaders made the Spearhead
Division great. The eloquence of their battlefield heroism speaks
volumes to us all. Silence is the best testimony to their heroism.
It pays tribute to those who aren't here to share the memories
- those we remember today and every day, and their families.
Gen. Sullivan, thank you for bringing this ceremony here where
those proud and distinguished colors will wait until our nation
calls them to service again. I am proud to have served among