State News

Bragg unit to march in Obama parade

Posted January 13, 2009 1:23 p.m. EST
Updated January 13, 2009 3:37 p.m. EST

— Paratroopers from the famed 82nd Airborne Division are preparing to march in the inaugural parade for President-elect Barack Obama.

The division said Tuesday that the 1st Battalion of the division's 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment was selected to march in next week's parade.

More than 80 members of the battalion will rehearse for the event Thursday afternoon at Fort Bragg.

The battalion commander, Lt. Col. Xavier Brunson, said the soldiers will participate in a change of command ceremony, as well as a peaceful exchange of power that is "the hallmark of democracy."

The infantry regiment, also known as the 1st Brigade Combat Team, was activated in 1942 at Fort Benning, Ga. Later that year, the 82nd Airborne Division was created when the 82nd Infantry Division, created in World War I, was given its new designation.

The division's widely recognized "AA" uniform insignia stems from its nickname as the All American Division, which it was dubbed because it had units from all states when it was formed.

The 504th's nickname is "Devils in Baggy Pants," which the Army notes was what a German officer called them after fighting in Italy in World War II.