Tag Archives: grit

“You Want to Prove Yourself and You Want to Fight”

Fort Bragg Paratroopers ruck marched through the chilly January night in remembrance of their battalion’s fallen heroes and in honor of their distinguished heritage.

Paratroopers from the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division conducted the inaugural “Vandervoort Mile” overnight from January 24 to 25.

Maj. Glenn Burkey, Operations Officer of the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division reads a vignette describing the battalion’s participation in D-Day during the inaugural “Vandervoort Mile” on January 24.

“We’ve never done this before and you are starting a new tradition in the battalion. We are calling this the Vandervoort Mile and we want this to be a special event,” said Lt. Col. Graham White, the 2-505th PIR’s commander in his briefing to the Paratroopers.

From their battalion’s headquarters, 297 volunteers from the battalion began the 25.05 road march  with their weapon, body armor and packing list around 7:00 p.m. on January 24th. Along the route, leaders read vignettes highlighting historical events, past conflicts and elements of soldiering to participants as temperatures fell below freezing.

Paratroopers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division tend to their feet and refuel at the midway point of the inaugural “Vandervoort Mile” on January 25.

“We want you to have decided to take part in this because you are part of the team, you want to sacrifice for the team, you want to honor the past, you want to prove yourself and you want to fight,” said White.

The ruck march commemorated the legacy of Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort, commander of the 2-505th PIR when it participated in the D-Day parachute assault into Normandy, France, ultimately breaking his ankle upon landing. Despite the pain, Vandervoort led the battalion through fierce fighting and the defense of the French town of St. Mere Eglise against vicious Nazi counter-attacks.

While commemorating the battalion’s distinguished history, the paratroopers also ruck marched in honor of the battalion’s fallen; 186 in WWII, 1 in the Dominican Republic during Operation Power Pack, 56 as part of the Golden Brigade in Vietnam, 22 during the Global War on Terror and 8 paratroopers killed in training.

Paratroopers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat ruck march during the inaugural “Vandervoort Mile” on January 24.

The first 2-505th PIR paratroopers completed the “Vandervoort Mile” at 4:30 a.m.  on Friday, January 25th; taking a total of nine and a half hours to complete the teambuilding event. Two hundred and seventy-one finished the 25.05 mile trek and signed their names into a special ledger, solidifying their legacy in the battalion’s history.

2-505th PIR Conducts Inaugural “Vandervoort Mile”

Paratroopers from 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment honored an Airborne legend Thursday, January 24 and Friday, January 25.

The 2P paratroopers ruck marched 25.05 miles overnight on Fort Bragg in honor of Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort, the 2-505th PIR’s commander during the Normandy Invasion.

Fury, 2PARA Paratroopers Conduct Day, Night Live Fire Exercises in Kenya

Fort Bragg-based paratroopers and British paratroopers recently conducted day and night live fire exercises in Kenya, Africa.

A paratrooper from 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment patrols November 19, 2018 in Kenya, Africa for a simulated enemy during a live-fire exercise alongside British paratroopers of 2PARA, 16 Air Assault Brigade.

Paratroopers from the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division conducted the live fire exercises along with British paratroopers from 2PARA, 16 Air Assault Brigade in Kenya, Africa in mid-November, 2018.

Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment patrol November 19, 2018 in Kenya, Africa for a simulated enemy during a live-fire exercise alongside British paratroopers of 2PARA, 16 Air Assault Brigade.

The live-fire exercises were part of Operation Askari Storm, a multinational training exercise occurring in Kenya, Africa between U.S., British and other partner-nation forces.

Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment patrol November 17, 2018 in Kenya, Africa for a simulated enemy during a nighttime live-fire exercise alongside British paratroopers of 2PARA, 16 Air Assault Brigade.

The training focuses on increasing the readiness and interoperability of the participating forces while placing them in tough, realistic scenarios against simulated near-peer adversaries.

Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment patrol November 17, 2018 in Kenya, Africa for a simulated enemy during a nighttime live-fire exercise alongside British paratroopers of 2PARA, 16 Air Assault Brigade.