Nicknamed the Vanguard Battalion, the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division was constituted on 16 September 2004 and activated at Fort Drum in New York. In addition to its own Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) and a Militar Police platoon attached to it, the Battalion also included the Brigade’s HHC, and an Engineer, Signal, and a Military Intelligence Company.

Over the coming decade, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team was deployed four times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, providing the Vanguard Battalion—also sometimes referred to as 3rd Brigade Special Troop Battalion, or 3rd BSTB—with ample opportunities to show just seriously they took the unit motto of “FORTITUDO ET ARTIS" ("Strength And Skill"). The Battalion and/or one or more of its component units was recipient of two Meritorious Unit Commendations, as well as a Valorous Unit Award it garnered during the 3rd BCT’s final deployment before it was inactivated on 14 August 2014. The 3rd BSTB was subsequently inactivated in October of the same year, but the in February 2015 the 3rd BCT began a new chapter in its history when the 10th Mountain Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team was inactivated and reflagged as the 3rd BCT.

The Distinctive Unit Insignia (unit crest) of the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd BCT, 10th Mountain Division borrows the crossed swords and from the Division’s own Distinctive Unit Insignia, which recalls the Roman numeral “X” for the Division’s numerical designation. Crossed gauntlets and a crossed lightning flash and ice axe echo this theme.

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