Since May 2015, the Association has been busy commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1st and 2nd Battalions’ participation in the Vietnam War. That commemoration will continue until April 2020, the 50th anniversary of the departure of our two battalions from the conflict. Since last spring, we have also commemorated the Regiment’s participation in World War I and will continue that effort until September 2019, the 100th anniversary of the 16th Infantry’s return from its occupation duties in Germany. The Regiment’s participation in both of these wars have added celebrated chapters to our Regiment’s noble history and 18 campaign streamers to our colors. It is with great pride that we continue to recognize the achievements and sacrifices of our forebears of the Great War as well as those of our current Vietnam veterans.
This year, the Association will participate in a number of events which will also celebrate our Regiment, its members, and its history. I encourage you all to attend when possible. The first of these will be the change of command for the 1st Battalion at Fort Riley. On 2 March 2018, our current commander, LTC Jon Meredith, will hand over the colors to LTC Drew Conover. Our Honorary Colonel, Ralph Kauzlarich, will conduct the 2018 investiture ceremonies for our new DMORs at Fort Riley or the annual reunion (TBD). The reunion of the Society of the 1st Infantry Division will take place at the Westin Lombard in Lombard, IL, 1-5 August 2018. Finally, a small commemoration party from the Association plans to attend the 100th Anniversary of the Regiment’s liberation of Fléville in France this fall. More to follow on this event.
Semper Paratus! Always Ready!
SFC (R) Edward Walding
When the 5th Battalion was deployed to Saudi Arabia for DESERT SHIELD in 1990, he functioned as a platoon master gunner. For DESERT SHIELD/STORM, his company was cross-attached to the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor. After his battalion’s return from DESERT STORM, Walding was assigned as the platoon sergeant of 3rd Platoon, D Company. During his time in this position, his platoon was awarded the title of “Division Honor Platoon” for achieving the highest score in the 1st Infantry Division on Bradley Platoon Table XII. He went on to serve for a time as the acting First Sergeant in D Company before leaving Fort Riley in 1992.
SFC Walding is a member of the 16th Infantry Association. As such, he maintains a webpage for Desert Storm members of the 5th Battalion, 16th Infantry and helps coordinate the bi-annual reunion of the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division’s DESERT STORM veterans. He also attends events as he is able such as the dedication of the commemorative plaque for the 25th Anniversary of the 16th Infantry’s participation in Operation DESERT STORM in February 2016 at Fort Riley.
The Memorials Program is one of the 16th Infantry Regiment Association’s oldest programs.
Department of Defense Commemorative Partner for the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration and the United States World War I Commemorative Commission