By Sgt. Matt Kuzara
U.S. Army Central
100 years ago, the world was in turmoil. For four bloody years the Central and Allied powers waged a war of attrition that at the time was the deadliest conflict in human history, with nearly 19 million soldiers and civilians dead. In the closing days of this conflict arose the United States’ Third Army.
Since its creation Third Army, now U.S. Army Central, has forged a legacy of excellence through the hard work, valor and sacrifices of its Soldiers.
That legacy was displayed at the USARCENT Centennial celebration held at Patton Hall, November 7. As part of the celebration, the organization welcomed civic leaders, Third Army veterans, and General Patton’s grandson George Patton Waters.
“I think he would be so proud.” said Waters, referring to his grandfather, “Third Army has done nothing but get bigger and better. He was just the conduit to get it started. My whole family, we still talk about the Third Army.”
The celebration saw the work of the living historians from the Third Army Historical Society who brought to life General Patton and his command team along with displaying numerous World War 2 era pieces of equipment ranging from vehicles to communications gear.
Adding showmanship to the event, the living historians reenacted a command briefing with General Patton. As part of the briefing, guests saw how General Patton planned for the relief efforts during the Battle of the Bulge as they were made in December 1944.
There are many units that will go by the wayside that will never compare to Third Army...
Two special guests to the centennial celebration also helped to bring to life the events displayed in the reenactment. Gerald White and Vernon Brantley served with Third Army during the Battle of the Bulge. As some of the last remaining living links to this storied part of U.S. Army Central’s history, the two veterans shared their impressions of the legacy of USARCENT with many of the attendees.
“It will never lose its history.” Said Gerald White, “It is so well known, that there are many units that will go by the wayside that will never compare to Third Army.”
Every activity in the Middle East for the last 30, 40 years has been spearheaded by folks that continue to wear the A inside an O patch.
The story of USARCENT continues to this day, with more recent accomplishments as part of the War on Terror. USARCENT’s Commanding General Lieutenant General Michael Garrett stated “Every activity in the Middle East for the last 30, 40 years has been spearheaded by folks that continue to wear the A inside an O patch.” And as every new day arises U.S. Army Central and the men and women who serve under this storied unit continue to build upon the legacy of honor that began 100 years ago.
“To borrow a quote from Patton,” said Wayne Coulter, Gulf War and Third Army Veteran, “as long as they give us the mission, and the supplies to perform that mission, Third Army will always have a need to exist.”
U.S. ARMY RESERVE
DEPT. OF DEFENSE
U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY
BEST WARRIOR COMPETITION