What Makes the 10th Mountain Division the Toughest Division in the Military
By Bradley J. Burt
The cold weather and subzero elements make for a miserable nine months per year at Fort Drum, N.Y., the home of the 10th Mountain Division. The toughest division in the military is located at the basin of record snowfall dumps of lake effect snow. Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division and their 12-mile runs around Riva Ridge Loop endure temperatures ranging from -20 to sometimes -60 below. Never-the-less, they suit up, they show up, they gear up, their frozen eyes tear up to embrace the suck for the duration of their service to America while stationed at Drum.
So, what makes the 10th Mountain Division so tough?
They are the most deployed division in the United States military who spends most of their time training for war through programs like the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La. They never forget those who are deployed who use programs to adopt platoons at Forward Operating Base Fenty in Afghanistan. Their gallantry above the call and their guts are met by their dedication to wear the mountain tab. They carry their American colors on their right shoulder, who carry warrior honor with them for the rest of their lives. Their dedication to democracy and freedom in Afghanistan extends the warrior threshold unmet by any other division. Those who have served at Fort Drum know full well the level of sacrifice and dedication it takes to serve the 10th Mountain Division. They earn the right to share their equity of honor and integrity in America who should be recognized as the toughest division.
The 10th Mountain Division motto: “Climb to Glory.”
Their determination and guts are like no other division. They train cadets at Gen. George Washington’s elite West Point United States Military Academy. Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division who share the honor of being cadre build 100,000 sandbag fortified positions. Their instruction is of the highest quality and standard formulated under intense scrutiny carried out by the heritage of their West Point commanders. Their standards must meet the highest inspection through the Department of Defense to meet this criterion. While all the other divisions sleep at night, they eat, breathe, carry and present the torch of the truest of all virtues not found on any other base. They are the 10th Mountain Division. They do not waiver. They hold their virtues they swear at Reveille to leave no warrior behind. They are brave. They never surrender.
The forging of a 10th Mountain Division warrior requires high standards. The only way through the gauntlet of becoming a 10th Mountain warrior is by setting the physical fitness standard. The 10th Mountain Division hosts “Fit to Fight” that will not settle for the minimal U.S. Army wimp standard of a 180 P.T. score. All those who serve the frontlines must hold a 240 P.T. score, which sets the 10th Mountain Division’s combat-ready standard high above the regular Army garrison standard. Those who earn the mountain tab never miss a day at the gym.
The 10th Mountain Division always picks up its wounded. What separates a member of the 10th Mountain Division above all the other divisions is their distinguished character. They do not stop until every piece of equipment, members of their platoons and squads, all who have perished and their families are accounted for. Their family may leave the military with the burden of grief, but the 10th Mountain Division always finds ways to support them long after they return home. They build their legacy from the ground up by adopting platoons in Afghanistan who write about their accomplishments long after they leave the military. They never stop training and protecting their communities. They become American Legion, DAV and VFW National Commanders to continuously search for all of those who are lost. They are the founders of Outpost 422. They never stop making their nation’s safety the highest standard as veterans. They are the 10th Mountain Division—the Toughest Division in the Military. They earned this title being thee most deployed division. They meet each day with the call above and beyond their duty. They Climb to Glory.