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Production shot of Andrew Gilbert at Fort Bragg

Production shot of Andrew Gilbert at Fort Bragg

“I am not as consumed in the process of making images but more in the people and places in which I tell the story. I really believe that is the only way to fuel the passion that drives my work.”
— Andrew Gilbert

about the 82nd airborne division

The Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, an elite division specializing in air assault, turns 100 this year.

Based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 82nd Airborne soldiers (easily recognizable by their maroon berets and “AA” arm patches) have been involved in virtually every U.S. military conflict since World War I.

The “AA” arm patch, worn by all 82nd soldiers, stands for “All American,” the nickname given to the division when it was first formed at Camp Gordon, Georgia, in 1917.

During World War I, many units created nicknames for themselves to build camaraderie and boost morale. Shortly after its inception, the newly-formed 82nd, in partnership with the Atlanta Georgian newspaper, held a contest to collect nickname ideas for the division. The winning nickname, “All American,” was submitted by Vivienne Goodwyn and was chosen for its embodiment of the 82nd’s unique makeup. Unlike other divisions at the time, a diverse group of men from all 48 states served in the 82nd.

On any given month, roughly 10,000 training jumps are conducted by soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg.

Fort Bragg, the home of the 82nd Airborne, is home to 57,000 service members and 11,000 civilian employees, making it the most populated U.S. military installation.