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Big Red One to mark 96th birthday with Victory Week

By The Mercury

The Big Red One will celebrate its 96th birthday next week with a 13,000-person run and other special events.

The annual Victory Week activities honoring the Army’s oldest unit, the 1st Infantry Division, begins with a 4-mile run at 6:30 a.m. Monday at Fort Riley’s Custer Hill. Nearly 13,000 of the 18,000 soldiers assigned to the division are expected to take part.

On Tuesday, officials will have a ceremonial birthday-cake cutting at division headquarters.

An annual Victory Park ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday outside the division headquarters building. The event honors soldiers who have died in combat while assigned or attached to the 1st Infantry Division. This year, officials will add 10 bricks to the existing 541, each representing a soldier’s sacrifice.

Various sporting and entertainment events will also take place throughout the week. Big Red One soldiers are to compete in a variety of events including volleyball, weight-lifting, CrossFit, skeet shooting, water polo, archery, golf and the videogame Call of Duty. At 11 a.m. on Thursday, the division will have a Victory Cup ceremony to award units that won those events.

The battalion with the highest overall score at the end of the week will earn the Victory Cup.

The 1st Infantry Division is known as the Big Red One for its distinctive shoulder patch. It was established by the Army in 1917.

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