Since 2003, the 3rd Infantry Division has played a significant role in the Global War on Terrorism. Although it deployed several units to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, the bulk of the division’s fighting in the GWOT has been as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

As of 2017, the division had earned credit for participation in seven OIF campaigns and had been awarded a Presidential Unit Citation and two Meritorious Unit Commendations for its performance in Iraq. Just how extensive the division’s efforts have been in prosecuting the GWOT are revealed in the fact that in 2007 it became the first Army division to serve three tours in Iraq.

One of the division’s finest moments came during in 2003 when it executed what came to be known as “Thunder Runs.” On 3 April 2003, just two weeks after the opening salvos of the invasion of Iraq, the division’s 1st Brigade captured Saddam International Airport, located about ten miles west of downtown Baghdad. Two days later, units from the division launched an armored drive that began south of the city, travelling along main roads and into the airport to determine what type of resistance could be expected from Iraqis facing such a brazen show of strength. On April 7, the 2nd Brigade launched another arrived from the same starting point, but instead veered east toward downtown Baghdad and its governmental districts, seizing the area and dramatically hastening the end of Iranian resistance.

If you’re purchasing the 3rd Infantry Division unit patch, you might also be interested in picking up the division’s Distinctive Unit Insignia (unit crest) or Combat Service Identification Badge (CSIB), which is worn exclusively on the ASU and Mess Dress uniforms.

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