Fort Hood, Texas

...The Great Place


History of “Old Ironsides”

The start of the 1960s, inaugurated a period of military renewal. Important changes in organization, doctrine, and equipment stemmed from the realization that the Army must be prepared to fight anytime, anywhere.

In 1962, the 1st Armored Division was brought back to full strength and reorganized. Brigades replaced Combat Commands, and the Division's aviation assets doubled. Intense training followed the reorganization. In October 1962 the 1st Armored Division was declared combat ready, just in time for the Cuban Missile Crisis. In response to the Soviet stationing of missiles in Cuba, Old Ironsides deployed from Fort Hood, Texas to Fort Stewart. The entire operation took just 18 days.

For the next six weeks, the 1st Armored Division conducted live-fire training and amphibious exercises on the Georgia and Florida coasts. One highlight was a visit from President John F. Kennedy on November 26, 1962. Shortly thereafter, tensions eased and the 1st Armored Division returned to Ft. Hood.

Headquartered in Germany today, the 1st Armored Division's commitment to the civic and military values for which "Old Ironsides" has been renowned for half a century remains relentlessly strong today.

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