D-Day

by Laura Boyd

It is my honor to write my first post for the National Museum of the United States Army marking the anniversary of D-Day. On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France and turned the tide of World War II.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY AAFES!

by Laura Boyd

Today the Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) – also known as the Exchange – celebrates 118 years of providing goods and services to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. Just last month, our future home, Fort Belvoir celebrated the opening of a brand new Exchange. As I walked through the doors of this 270,000 square-feet complex, I was amazed to see how large the store was. To be honest if it weren’t for the Exchange logo over the front door, I would have thought it was a mall. To say that I was impressed would be an understatement. Although it was bigger than any of the Exchanges I had visited in the past, the store brought back fond memories of when I used to hide in the center of the circular clothes racks as a child.


THE HISTORY OF U.S. ARMY RANGERS

by Laura Boyd

This week Army Rangers from around the world are massing at Fort Benning, Georgia for Ranger Rendezvous, an event spanning several days where Army Rangers show off their skills. More than 10,000 spectators attend this four-day event, which includes an airborne operation. This event has been held every two years (in conjunction with Regimental Change of Command) since 1987, but the history of Rangers in America stretches back to the seventeenth century.


THE AISNE-MARNE CAMPAIGN

by Laura Boyd

Today the Army commemorates the 95th anniversary of the Allied counter-offensive known as the Aisne-Marne Campaign. The campaign, also known as the Second Battle of the Marne, began on 15 July 1918 when 23 German divisions attacked the French Fourth Army east of the city of Reims, France. British, French and American troops held the Germans back for three days at the Marne River. To this day, the Third Infantry Division is known as the “Rock of the Marne,” a nickname they earned during the defense of the Marne. These troops were able to stall and weaken the German advance.


THE MEDAL OF HONOR

by Laura Boyd

On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Army Medal of Honor into law. I recently discovered that Congress approved an amendment in the annual defense bill that could lead to a Union artillery officer receiving the Medal of Honor for his heroism at Gettysburg a century and a half ago.