Distributed on March
(3 days after combat had ended)
To: Soldiers of the 3rd Armored Div.
From: Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk
Here in the middle of this great Spearhead Division, positioned
along in the Iraq/Kuwaiti border, I am thankful to be among you
-- superb war fighting soldiers with whom I am privileged to
The real story here is not the generals, Saddam Hussein, or
other politicians, but our soldiers. You, the troopers of our
army of the United States and your brethren from the Air Force,
performed superbly. At the height of the battle, we [the 3rd
Armored Division] were 32 battalions and 20,533 strong.
In battle you showed great courage, iron discipline and skill
beyond description. Combat soldiers, I am convinced, have never
performed better. Spearhead soldiers fought with the heart, tenacity
and fearlessness of a Montana grizzly bear, the guts of an Army
mule and the compassion of Bambi's mother. This last point bears
expansion. I am talking about the kindness and compassion with
which you treated the Iraqi enemy prisoners of war.
Early on, as we fought our way north, we had enemy soldiers
fire at our scout aircraft, but when they saw the gunships, the
Iraqi's gave up. Our soldiers let them go rather than slaughter
them. Our ground forces captured prisoners who were very hungry
and thirsty. You gave them your own rations and water, sometimes
going short yourselves. Later, when we fought the Republican
Guard in heavy combat, you showed the same discipline.
Knowing the history of these thugs and hoodlums of the so-called
"elite" Republican Guard, I am quite certain that they
never would have treated us so well. In fact, what is left of
the Republican Guard are killing their own people in cities like
I know that some folks wonder about what we get from the Army
for our hard-earned tax dollars. I can only say that I believe
that over the last eight to ten years we have become the best
army in the world. I also believe that because of the crucible
of combat, the Spearhead Division can now be judged as truly
great. This didn't happen overnight. It didn't happen without
a lot of effort. Certainly, our training at Hohenfels Combat
Maneuver Training Center and Grafenwoehr Training Area has been
immensely helpful. In addition, our doctrine and our equipment
have been vindicated. This includes the M1A1 Abrams tank, the
Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the Apache attack helicopter, as
well as other combat support to and combat service support equipment.
But above all, it is our quality soldiers in the 3rd Armored
Division who account for our success. This is a citizen's army,
and you can all be very proud of it.
As Lieutenant General Franks, Commander of VII Corps says,
"This fight was quick, but it wasn't easy." He is absolutely
right. The "elite" Republican Guard fought the 3rd
Armored Division hard, but you drove in the pickets of the Tawakalna
Division, overwhelmed them and routed them. In fact, the troopers
of the Spearhead Division made it impossible for anyone to ever
again refer to the Republican Guard as "elite".
Thanks also to all the families and friends who supported
us during these times of uncertainty. Clearly without their love
and prayers, our mission would not have been successful. God
bless everyone of the 3rd Armored Division family.
Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk