Activated on 15 July 1940 at the 1st Armored Division first saw combat in 1942 during the Allied invasion of North Africa, where it fought against Rommel's Afrika Korps in the famous battle of Kasserine Pass. It also played a key role in the liberation of Naples and Rome following the Allied invasion of the Italian mainland in 1943. While two units of the 1st Armored served in Vietnam, it wasn't until November, 1990 that the entire division saw combat again, this time as part of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Since then, the 1st has been deployed in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1995) and Kosovo (1999), and played an essential role in the success of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The 1st Armored Division's nickname, “Old Ironsides,” was the brainchild of its first commander, Bruce R. Magruder. Inspired by Patton's naming of the 2nd Armored as “Hell on Wheels,” Magruder announced a contest to come up with a similar name. When he found nothing to his liking among the entries, he settled on the moniker because of the similarities between the early development of the tank and the nascent days of the U.S. Navy, when the U.S.S. Constitution earned fame and the now-famous nickname. The division's motto, "Iron Soldiers!", is found in the first line of the song "The Iron Soldier March:"
Iron Soldiers
Old Ironsides
We serve with honor
We serve with pride
The 1st Armored Division Combat Service Identification Badge, unit crest (Distinctive Unit Insignia), and unit patch (Shoulder Sleeve Insignia) for the 1st Armored Division all employ a pyramidal design with a "1" at the top and the "Old Ironsides" nickname emblazoned at the bottom.

Related Items
1st Armored Division Patch (SSI)
1st Armored Division Unit Crest (DUI)

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