1st Infantry Division (United States)

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Toast of the Army,
Favorite Son! Hail to the brave
Big Red One! ~ Donald T. Kellett

The 1st Infantry Division is a combined arms division of the United States Army, and is the oldest continuously-serving division in the Regular Army. It has seen continuous service since its organization in 1917 during World War I. It was officially nicknamed "The Big Red One" (abbreviated "BRO") after its shoulder patch and is also nicknamed "The Fighting First." The division has also received troop monikers of "The Big Dead One" and "The Bloody First" as puns on the respective officially sanctioned nicknames. It is currently based at Fort Riley, Kansas.

We take the field, A grand sight to see.
Pride of the Infantry. ~ Donald T. Kellett


  • The First Infantry Division Museum tells the story of the Army's most storied division. Formed in 1917, the First Division has carved its name into the annals of our nation's military history. Campaigns from the trenches of World War I to the beaches of North Africa, Sicily and Normandy begins this story of service and sacrifice. The jungles of Southeast Asia, the rough terrain of the Balkans and the deserts of Southwest Asia are settings for the more recent history of the Big Red One.
    • 1st Infantry Division Museum[1]
  • The Ramrods were part of the legendary 1st Infantry Division. Movies have been made on the Big Red One for its actions on D-Day and through Europe during World War II. The Fighting First fought in nearly every major American battle of World War I; it saw combat for five years in Vietnam before being forward deployed to Germany to face the Warsaw Pact/Soviet threat during the final decades of the Cold War. The Big Red One is the backbone of the American infantry. These days, it is sometimes overshadowed by the airborne divisions in the popular press. The 1st Infantry Division, with the Ramrods at the top of the spear, has won every battle it has fought since 1918.
    • David Bellavia, Remember the Ramrods: An Army Brotherhood in War and Peace (2022), Boston: Mariner Books, hardcover, p. xii-xiii
  • Toast of the Army,
    Favorite Son! Hail to the brave
    Big Red One!
    Always the first to thirst for a fight.
    No foe shall challenge our right to victory.
    We take the field, A grand sight to see.
    Pride of the Infantry.
    Soldiers of a great division,
    Courage is our tradition,
    Forward the Big Red One!
    • Donald T. Kellett, Big Red One Song, also quoted at [2], originally composed during World War II. One word in one line, "Soldiers of a great division," originally read "Men of a great division," but was changed in the 2010s to reflect the co-ed status of the U.S. Army.