The 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley will host the next Big Red One Year of Honor event Tuesday, March 16. The day’s theme is “Victory.” Honoring three Medal of Honor recipients, the day’s events provide an opportunity to increase the ability of the division’s personnel to serve, lead and live honorably.
The day begins with a 9 a.m. commemoration ceremony at Victory Park honoring 1st Lt. Walter Will and Staff Sgt. George Peterson, both of whom earned the Medal of Honor in March 1945, and 2nd Lt. Robert Hibbs who earned the award during the Vietnam conflict. Maj. Gen. D.A. Sims, 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley commanding general, will speak at the ceremony, relating their battlefield gallantry as examples for today’s Army personnel.
Soldiers and civilian employees will then participate in Victory Leadership Panels combining live and virtual appearances by prominent NFL and NCAA coaches. The panel will be moderated by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Christy A. Salmond, a Big Red One Soldier who coaches Fort Riley’s Army 10-Miler Team. The panel will discuss perseverance, leadership and inclusion as components of victory on the athletic field, but more importantly, as aspects of honorable living in everyday life.
Participating coaches include Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks, Lori Locust of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jennifer King of the Washington Football Team; Kansas State University coaches Chris Klieman (football) and Pete Hughes (baseball); Kansas University tennis coach Megan Falcon, and Army West Point sprint football coach Mark West.
In the afternoon Fort Riley will unveil new street signs in honor of the March Medal of Honor Recipients. Details of their gallantry may be found on the First Division Museum website: https://www.fdmuseum.org/about-the-1st-infantry-division/medal-of-honor-recipients/.
The Big Red One Year of Honor is a year-long observance of the 37 service members who earned the Medal of Honor while serving with the 1st Infantry Division. By extension, the campaign will enhance esprit-de-corps, foster leader development, and increase unit morale and cohesion through authentic examples of virtue, leadership, and living a life of honor.
Due to COVID, attendance at the Big Red One Year of Honor Commemoration Ceremony will be limited. A live stream is available via Facebook at 9 a.m.: https://www.dvidshub.net/webcast/25750
The Street Memorialization Ceremony takes place at 4 p.m. and will also be live streamed: https://www.dvidshub.net/webcast/25752