Friday, October 08, 2004

Missed the debate, so I can't really comment on it as yet. Turned the news on and immediately I caught Larry King interviewing Paul Begala and Ann Coulter (whew--beauty and brains are DEFINITELY NOT mutually exclusive).


Begala was apparently talking about Bin Laden and said something to the effect that we couldn't catch him in Tora Bora even with the 10th Mountain Division, "the finest mountain division in the world".

Umm, Paul, the 10th retains the "mountain" designation only as a matter of unit heritage. Just as the 101st retains the "airborne" designation. The 101st is not an airborne division. Hasn't been since the mid-late '60s. But they retain the designation for purposes of unit heritage. The 10th was deactivated back in WWII because they sustained such horrific casualties that they could no longer exist as a division. As a true mountain division they were given high risk missions requiring mountain skills and they performed those missions heroically (Bob Dole was in the 10th and sustained injuries that haunt him to this day, such as his withered arm). But they were devastated in the process and deactivated.

The 10th was reactivated some years ago as a "light" division. Not a mountain division. But as a matter of unit heritage, the patches were issued with the "mountain" tab.

I'm not sure if they campaigned in Tora Bora, to be honest. I know that the 101st did. But even if the 10th did, Begala's comment is still utterly uninformed. They are not mountain troops.

To the best of my knowledge, the only real mountain troops extant in the US Army is my old unit, the 10th Special Forces Group.

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