All American Legacy | The History of the 82nd Airborne Division

By 82nd Airborne Division

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Exploring the 100 year history of the 82nd Airborne Division as told by the Paratroopers who lived it.

Episode Date
50 - Airborne Leader l A Discussion With A Paratrooper Turned Statesman

Chris Gibson had been an All American Paratrooper for two decades.  He commanded All American Paratroopers in Iraq in 2005 and later commanded our Falcon Brigade, leading the brigade into Haiti in response to the catastrophic earthquake there.

He ended a promising career headed toward the top of our Army to run for elected office, representing a district in New York for eight years.

Chris shares his story with us, describes what drove him to run for office, and how the values and attributes of the 82nd Airborne Division carried him in his post-military life.

Mar 06, 2018
49 - America’s 911 - The Global Response Force

Episode 49 of the All American Legacy podcast examines the 82nd Airborne Division’s current role as the Global Response Force - the rapid reaction force on call at all times for the Nation.

We learn what it means for our units and Paratroopers to serve on the knife’s edge of readiness and what it takes to maintain the Global Response Force.

The All American Legacy podcast is produced by the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office and tells the story of America’s greatest Division.  Please subscribe to the podcast on Apple podcasts and tell others about the program.


Feb 20, 2018
48 - The Are Only Gone If They Are Forgotten l Memories of the 505th

Steve Zaley spent three decades listening to his father’s stories about fighting in World War II with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment.  He spent another decade writing a full anthology about his father’s experience.  That book, “They Are Only Gone If They Are Forgotten,” is the subject of episode 47 of the All American Legacy podcast.

Steve walks in his father’s shoes, taking us through the formation of th 505th in 1942, then onto North Africa, Sicily, Normany, and Holland.  D Day, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge: his father was actually there.  This a story Steve simply had to tell and we’re glad he did.  We must forever maintain the legacy of the men who defeated Nazsim and kept Europe free.

Feb 13, 2018
47 - Airborne Leadership l A Discussion with Mentors For Military

In this episode of the All American Legacy podcast, we’re joined by two special guests: Mike Pritts and Robert Gowin of the Mentors for Military podcast to discuss the differences between leadership in airborne units versus the conventional Army.

Jan 30, 2018
46 - Watershed l Lessons Learned in Grenada

Thirty four years ago the United States invaded the Caribbean island of Grenada, rescued some medical students, and rounded-up a gang of thugs and criminals, along with their Cuban communist backers. The 82nd Airborne Division, in a display of its rapid response capability, led the charge.  If you did not know or do not remember this, you’re not alone.  In fact, more than a few people back then had a hard time pronouncing the name of the place or even locating it in the right hemisphere.

The conflict was wrapped up in a matter of weeks and America moved. But in the 82nd’s 100-year history the invasion of Grenada turned out to be a very big deal.  This was a critical moment in the life of the Division, one that would shape the way we organize for combat and prepare to deploy today.  

This episode, featuring the voices of All American Paratroopers who fought in Grenada, is a postmortem of that operation and the role of America’s Guard of Honor with [...]

Jan 09, 2018
45 - The Brave Ones l A Discussion with Mike MacLeod

All American Paratrooper Mike MacLeod had an interesting journey to America’s Guard of Honor.  Already a professional photographer and journalist with a wife and teenage children, he enlisted in the Army and ended up in the 82nd Airborne Division at age 41 during a critical moment in our War on Terror.  He deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with our legendary Devil Brigade, the forebears of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

During his time with the Division, Mike became one of the most published photographers in the Army, winning many military journalism awards, including Military Journalist of the Year in 2012.  His images of our Devil Brigade Paratroopers have been published online and in print all over the country; many are prominently displayed in the Division headquarters today.  Mike is also a recipient of a Bronze Star and a Meritorious Service Medal.  He is the author of the 2016 book “The Brave Ones: A Memoir of Hope, Pride, and Military Service, [...]

Dec 19, 2017
44 - A New Parachute I Transition to the T-11

The 82nd Airborne Division must be able to drop thousands of Paratroopers into a contested area from the air.  For most of the Division’s life, our Paratroopers relied on the T-10 Parachute for delivery from aircraft to ground.  Beginning in 2013, however, the All Americans began transitioning to a new system: the T-11 Advanced Tactical Parachute System.  The T-11 was intended to prevent Paratrooper injuries with a slower, less forceful opening and a slower rate of descent.  The change was not without its challenges and Airborne leaders from the past and present discuss those challenges in this episode.

If you are or ever wanted to be an All American Paratrooper or an Army Jumpmaster, this is an important episode that describes how we train airborne operations, why we transitioned to the T-11, and why airborne proficiency training is so critical.

The All American Legacy podcast is created by the 82nd Airborne Division.  We ask that you subscribe to the podc [...]

Dec 05, 2017
43 - Boots On the Ground l The 2003 Invasion of Iraq

On episode 43 of the All American Legacy podcast, host Joe Buccino speaks with reporter Karl Zinsmeister.  Karl has written several books about the war in Iraq over the years, but this discussion focuses on his 2003 book “Boots on the Ground: A Month with the 82nd Airborne in the Battle for Iraq.”  As the title implies, Karl was embedded with the 82nd Airborne Division during the early days of that war; in fact, this was the first book published by an embedded reporter after the invasion.

The world has changed since 2003, the All Americans have deployed to Iraq many times since, and that invasion seems like lifetimes ago.  Karl and Joe discuss all this and place the push to Baghdad in its proper context in the lifespan of that conflict.  Karl explains how he experienced war as an embedded journalist and about the men he experienced it with.  He discusses the planned airborne assault into what was then known as Saddam International Airport and how the All Ame [...]

Nov 21, 2017
42 - Armistice l The Story of Veterans Day

Veterans Day, a national holiday observed every year on November 11th, honors the accomplishments of American Veterans from all of our nation’s wars. Veterans Day is a celebration of the men and women who keep us free. But, it wasn’t always so. Veterans Day began as a commemoration of the end of World War I and, due to that war’s brutality, was a somber reflection of the costs of combat. Our understanding of Veterans Day has changed as has our understanding of the nature of war.

After World War II, the holiday became appropriately festive and less silent. In 1950, World War Two was still fresh in America’s collective mind. America was moving toward a new prosperity and didn’t fully understand a new conflict in Korea. For the first time, Veterans Day was largely ignored. Vietnam veterans served in combat during a troubled time for our nation. Those Soldiers returned from war to a country divided. Veterans Day during the Vietnam War often featured argument and pr [...]

Nov 11, 2017
41 - Revisiting Alvin York l A Closer Look at the Myths Surrounding the Greatest Legend in All American History

Along with Jim Gavin, Sergeant Alvin York looms as the largest figure in the 100-year history of the 82nd Airborne Division.  His evolution from drunken troublemaker to Christian pacifist to God of war to philanthropist is told all over the country and in many parts of France. In fact, we’ve already covered his personal journey in episodes 3 and 4 of this program.  Among historians, however, great controversy remains about York’s heroics during World War I.  For decades questions have lingered: How many Germans did York really capture? Has he been credited with the actions of other Soldiers from the 82nd?  How fierce was the fighting that day?

In this episode we bring in two of our favorite historians, Dr. Phil Nash and Dr. Joe Coohill, to discuss exactly what we know about what occurred in the Argonne Forest on October 8, 1918.  We explain the controversy that has followed this story, separate fact from myth, and leave you with a clear understanding of what we know [...]

Nov 07, 2017
40 - Hot in the Cold War l DomRep, 1965

It was the spring of 1965: the height of the Cold War.  In a post-World War II economy, the United States was soaring, the clearly-identified head of the free world.  With the Soviet Union its greatest adversary, the spread of communism was considered the biggest threat to national security.  When communist-inspired groups initiated a civil war in the Dominican Republic, President Lyndon Johnson was concerned about communism spreading from the Caribean nation throughout the Western Hemisphere. 

The United States launched Operation Power Pack, an invasion of the Dominican Republic, spearheaded by the 82nd Airborne Division, to restore order in the Dominican Republic. This is the story of the men on that deployment, in their own words.

The All American Legacy podcast is produced by the 82nd Airborne Division. Please susbscribe on iTunes (

Oct 24, 2017
39 - Line in the Sand l War in the Desert

Before the shale oil boom in the United States, Americans were reliant on the flow of oil through the Persian Gulf.  The tiny Emirate of Kuwait was a reliable partner for us and a major oil producer in the region.  When the country of Iraq invaded Kuwait in the summer of 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush launched the 82nd Airborne Division as the initial American ground force in the Persian Gulf under Operation Desert Shield.  President Bush explained that he was “drawing a line in the sand” by inserting the All Americans with their light M551 Sheridans, TOW missiles, and AH-64A Apache helicopters.

The United States quickly assembled an allied coalition of forces around the 82nd Airborne Division and committed to the largest military deployment since Vietnam. Air strikes against Iraq began on January 16th and the ground phase of the war, Operation Desert Storm, began on February 24th.

The 82nd Airborne conducted airmobile and mounted operations, [...]

Oct 17, 2017
38 - Natural Disaster l Earthquake in Haiti


In January 2010, a catastrophic magnitude 7 earthquake hit Haiti, with the largest impacts just outside the capital of Port-au-Prince. The damage was unthinkable: tens of thousands of buildings destroyed or severely damaged and hundreds of thousands of people killed in the already impoverished country. Many who survived were trapped in rubble or in need of first aid or food and water.

Within 48 hours of the initial earthquake the 82nd Airborne Division’s Falcon Brigade, Second Brigade Combat Team, then the Nation’s Global Response Force, was on the ground in Haiti providing security, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance to the local government and aid organizations.

Under Operation Unified Response, our Falcon Paratroopers worked with joint forces and international organizations providing medical aid in the blazing tropical sun and dist [...]

Oct 10, 2017
37 - Paid in Blood l A Story of Partnership, A Story of Victory

Last week our Falcon Brigade, the Second Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division, returned from a nine-month combat deployment to Iraq and Syria.  While there, they supported their Iraqi partners in retaking Mosul, the “caliphate” of the Islamic State, from ISIS.  Our Paratroopers, along with the Iraqi Security Forces, then very quickly, very violently reclaimed the city of Tal Afar, the last ISIS holdout in Iraq.

Having defeated ISIS in Iraq, the Falcon Paratroopers return having added to the All American Legacy.  As their forebears did in the Argonne Forest, Normandy, the Dominican Republic, the Mekong Delta, and many other places, they killed our Nation’s enemies when called upon to do so.  We will forever remember the three Falcon Brigade Paratroopers killed in combat during Operation Inherent Resolve; they are remain a permanent part of this Division.

In episode 37 of the All American Legacy podcast, we speak with the Paratroopers who fought i [...]

Oct 03, 2017
36 – Longest War l Devil Brigade in Afghanistan, 2017

Less than one month ago, President Trump announced that America will “fight to win” in Afghanistan with a revised approach that includes a larger military presence and an emphasis on counterterrorism over nation building.  Central to this new strategy is the 82nd Airborne Division.

Over this past week, the remainder of our 1st Brigade – the legendary “Devils in Baggy Pants” of World War II – departed Fort Bragg to join their fellow Paratroopers already engaged in combat in Afghanistan.  On episode 35 of the All American Legacy Podcast, we allow the Paratroopers in Afghanistan and there t to tell their stories.

Our Devil Brigade Paratroopers are adding to the legacy of America’s Guard of Honor and this episode documents this critical moment in America’s longest war.

In this episode you will also hear the story of two of our Fallen, Specialist Christopher Harris and Sergeant Jonathon Hunter, killed in a suicide bombing on August 2nd, from a Para [...]

Sep 26, 2017
35 - War on Terror l Baghdad 2003

In the aftermath of 9/11 President George W. Bush declared a Global War on Terror.  Following the invasion of Afghanistan in October, 2001, U.S. forces invaded Iraq, believing president Saddam Hussein sponsored terrorist groups and possessed weapons of mass destruction.  As it was in Saint Mihiel, Normandy, the Dominican Republic, and Kuwait, America’s Guard of Honor was at the forefront of the initial assault in 2003.

Episode 35 of the All American Legacy podcast, “War on Terror: Baghdad, 2003,” is the story of the Paratroopers who participated in the initial moments of Operation Iraqi Freedom in their own words.  

The All American Legacy podcast is produced [...]

Sep 19, 2017
34 - The Battle Against ISIS l Falcon Brigade in Iraq and Syria

For the past eight months, Falcon Brigade, the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, has been a critical part of the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.  The Falcon Paratroopers assisted Iraqi forces in the fierce fight to liberate Mosul of ISIS. Just last week, Falcon Brigade assisted in the liberation of Tal Afar, the last remaining Iraqi ISIS stronghold.

This podcast, recorded in Iraq over the past two weeks, does not present our history; our Paratroopers are adding to our legacy in Iraq and Syria today.  As Falcon Brigade’s is fighting ISIS in the streets of Iraq right now, we are publishing this episode outside of our normal release schedule.  This is an evolving story, one that virtually all of the national media has ignored.  The fight in Tal Afar was ISIS’ last stand in Iraq; this was a critical battle for our Nation and the 82nd Airborne Division was at its leading edge.

We’ll resume our bimonthly release schedule a [...]

Sep 07, 2017
33 - A Violent, Complicated Place l Success and Tragedy in Kosovo, Part 2

In Episode 33, part 2 of our 2 part series, “A Violent, Complicated Place,” the story of our paratroopers in Kosovo takes a dark turn as a shocking war crime threatens the progress made by the All Americans. The fallout is immediate, rocking the region and our paratroopers.  It was a moment the men who served their will never forget and here they tell their stories.

This episode contains descriptions of graphic sexual violence and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

The All American Legacy podcast is produced by the 82nd Airborne Division. This two part series was produced by Josh Harrison.  Please subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating and review, as these help others find the program.

Sep 05, 2017
32 - A Violent, Complicated Place l Success and Tragedy in Kosovo, Part 1

In 1999, the eyes of the world once again turned to the 82nd Airborne Division.  With the breakup of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Balkans collapsed into a vision of hell; decades of hatred between Serbs and Albanians boiled over and the region exploded into an orgy of violence. Lawlessness prevailed, innocents were massacred, the streets ran red with blood. Torture chambers and mass grave sites were more prevalent than schools and police stations.  President Bill Clinton declared an emergency, sending America’s Guard of Honor to the region to protect both sides and to allow a semblance of civilization. 

The Division’s mission was not entirely clear and often oscillated between policing and governing.  It was a confusing time for our Paratroopers, with the threat of widespread ethnic violence always lying just beneath the surface.

In part one of “A Violent, Complicated Place,” a two-part series, we hear the story of the All Americans in Kosovo in [...]

Sep 05, 2017
31 - Hourglass

Although constituted August 5, 1917, the 82nd Airborne Division was officially manned 20 days later on August 25. This is the day on which we celebrate its birth. One-hundred years later, we are still All American, All the way. We are ready to jump tonight and win tomorrow’s fight as we honor the legacy passed down by those who paved the way for us since our inception.

In Episode 31, Joe Buccino and Kenneth Clarke bring the conversation they had in episode 30 about the Division’s Century of Service, full circle. They address the essence of what it means to be a Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division then, now and in years to come.

The All American Legacy Podcast is produced by the 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs Office.  Please subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, YouTube, or where ever you listen to podcasts. Leave a rating and a review, as they help others find the All American Legacy Podcast. Please share this podcast with your friends.


Aug 22, 2017
30 - A Century of Service

The All American Division was born in August, 1917 at Camp Gordon, Georgia for entry into World War I. Since its designation as an airborne unit, the Division has played a critical role in almost every major conflict involving U.S. forces, from WWII to the Global War on Terror.

One-hundred years after its constitution, we celebrate a legacy we have inherited by the many who paved the way for us during this Century of Service. Always ready to jump, fight and defend our Nation’s interests and freedom, the 82nd Airborne Division is what it always has been: America’s Guard of Honor.

We are All American, All the way!

In episode 30, “A Century of Service”, you will hear key points about the Division’s history, who we are today, and why.

The All American Legacy Podcast is produced by the 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs Office.

Please subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, YouTube, or where ever you listen to podca [...]

Aug 15, 2017
29 - Jump Scratched l The Combat Jump That Never Happened

Episode 29 - Jump Scratched I The Combat Jump That Never Happened

On the evening of September 18, 1994, almost 3,000 All American Paratroopers were packed, rigged, armed, and ready.  Loaded down with M16s, ammunition, water, flashlights, and parachutes, they were stuffed in the back of C-130s and two hours away from an airborne invasion into Haiti.

For many, this would be their first taste of combat.  They were carried by adrenaline, by dreams of airborne glory, by a vision of a return to the Division’s D-Day glory.  They were two hours away from a valorous mission, a lifetime of stories, and a gold combat star in the middle of their airborne wings.

Two hours was as close as they would get.

These men were to form the initial assault force for an operation to remove that country’s dictator. The mission, Operation Restore Democracy, would be the airborne assault that never was.

In episode 29 of the All American Legacy podcast we hear [...]

Aug 08, 2017
28 - Paratroopers on Fire l Disaster at Green Ramp
The March 23, 1994 collision of an F-16 and a C-130 at Fort Bragg’s Green Ramp is among the deadliest accidents in U.S. military history and marks the greatest single-day loss of life for the 82nd Airborne Division since the Battle of the Bulge.

On this episode of the All American Legacy podcast, we honor the 24 All American Paratroopers killed on Green Ramp that day and tell stories of the courageous first responders who prevented many more deaths.

Those who died are immortalized on the 82nd Airborne Division Training Death Memorial outside the 82nd Airborne Division War Museum on Fort Bragg.  

On episode 28, “Paratroopers On Fire I Disaster at Green Ramp” we let the survivors of this tragedy tell their own stories.

The All American Legacy Podcast is produced by the 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs Office. A new episode on the 100-year legacy, culture, and history of the 82nd Airborne Division is released every

Aug 01, 2017
27 - Victory l The End and Life after WWII

World War II is coming to an end and the 82nd Airborne Division is making its final push into Germany. In this episode we discuss the closing days of the war, joining our All Americans in Rhiems, France where the deeply weathered Paratroopers receive replacements and equipment and begin training for a potential jump into Germany. During one of their training jumps, an aircraft malfunction leads to tragedy

Only days before the war’s end, the All Americans discover one final horror of war: the Wobbelin Concentration Camp.

After Victory in Europe is declared, the Division remains in Berlin on occupation duty and struggles with post-war discipline. In spite of these problems, the 82nd fulfills a key piece in its legacy by forming an honor guard. In this epsiode we will debunk a common myth surrounding the development of the Division’s title “America’s Guard of Honor.”

Finally, the All Americans come home with a flourish and are spared [...]

Jul 25, 2017
26 - Brutal War l The Battle of the Bulge
We’ve almost made our way through World War II. For this episode, we hear from Paratroopers who fought in some of the fiercest conditions of the war.  During the final German offensive that began in December 1944, the Battle of the Bulge, the 82nd was rushed into combat with little food, ammunition, and winter clothing. The Paratroopers held their ground against German tanks and artillery, pushing back and by February 1945 had pushed into Germany.

We also dig into who actually said the famous quote, “Looking for a safe place? Well, buddy, just pull in behind me - I’m the 82nd Airborne and this is as far as the bastards are going.”
The All American Legacy Podcast is produced by the 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs Office. A new episode on the legacy, culture, and history of the 82nd Airborne Division is released every Tuesday.

Jul 11, 2017
25 - The French Hat I The History of the Maroon Beret
Within the culture of the 82nd Airborne Division, few symbols are more recognizable than the maroon beret, the odd-looking hat of the 19th century French peasant that has come to represent the American Paratrooper.  In this episode of the All American Legacy Podcast, we uncover the history of our distinctive headgear.  We found that our use of the maroon beret has a surprisingly complicated history and once served as the source of an Army-wide controversy.  

For this episode, we spoke with a number of people across a wide spectrum of experiences, to include a New York Times fashion writer, a historian, and a beret maker who has been outfitting members of the 82nd Airborne Division with the headgear for decades.  Through these discussions we gained perspective on the maroon beret and what it means both inside and outside the Division and identified why it is so important to our culture and legacy.

The All American Legacy Podcast is produced by the 82 [...]

Jun 27, 2017
24 - Riot in the Streets I The All Americans Respond to the 1968 DC Riots
When you study the 82nd Airborne Division through the lens of American history over the past one hundred years you find that all the important occasions - the defining events that shaped our Nation - are somehow touched by the All Americans.  On this episode of the All American Legacy podcast, we bring you back to a time when the 82nd Airborne Division deployed to restore order.  This time, not in some far-off country.  This time, the mission for the All Americans was in America.

On this episode of the All American Legacy Podcast we discuss a dark period for our Nation. Amidst the racial strife of 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination touched off a firestorm of riots in Washington, D.C.  The 82nd Airborne Division was called upon to control the chaos.   On this episode, we bring you the voices of the Paratroopers who were there on the ground during those riots.

The All American Legacy Podcas [...]

Jun 20, 2017
23 - Guerilla War I The 82nd Airborne in Vietnam

Today we move forward in the chronology of All American history to a dark period for our country: the Vietnam War.  This was a time of domestic strife; the war was unpopular, anti-war protests were held all over the country, and there was national opposition to the draft instituted to support the conflict.  In February, 1968, against this backdrop of turmoil, a brigade of Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division was ordered to Vietnam as an emergency measure in response to the Communist Tet Offensive.  Our Paratroopers were attached to the 101st Airborne Division marking the first time these two famed divisions fought together since D Day.

This was a brutal, confusing conflict against guerilla forces that hid in jungles and villages; Vietnam was a very different kind of combat than that experienced by the 82nd in World Wars I or II.

In this episode of the All American Legacy podcast we give voice to the All American Paratroopers who fought in Vietnam.  We spok [...]

Jun 13, 2017
22 - Sanctuary l A Commemoration of D Day

Episode 22 — Sanctuary l A Commemoration of D Day The All American Division formed in Georgia, reformed in Louisiana and is now headquartered in North Carolina. But the All American Legacy really started in Sainte-Mère-Église, the town we liberated on D Day. It was this town, popularized in the movie “The Longest Day,” that introduced the 82nd Airborne Division to the imagination of the western world. Sainte-Mère-Église was merely a point on a map for our Paratroopers on the night of June 5th, 1944. Today, the town of Holy Mother Church is sanctuary for the 82nd Airborne Division, a place dedicated to preserving the memory of an extraordinary moment. In episode 22 of the All American Legacy podcast, released on the 73th anniversary of D Day, we visit this revered site and speak with World War II Paratroopers and the citizens who witnessed history here. The All American Legacy Podcast is produced by the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office and tells th [...]

Jun 06, 2017
21 - The Next One Hundred Years l All American Week 100 Through the Looking Glass

All American Week 100 is behind us.  The celebration, the running, the competition.  It’s all over.  In this episode we take a look back at the highlights, the best moments, and the most somber reflections of 100 years of All American history. 

This episode features interviews with All American Legends from World War II, veterans from our Cold War deployments, and current Paratroopers.  In “The Next One Hundred Years” we also look forward to the future of America’s Division.

We place All American Week 100 in perspective, culturally, socially, and historically, and project the future of America’s Guard of Honor. 

The All American Legacy Podcast is produced by the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office and tells the story of the 100-year history of our Nation’s most honored combat unit. We encourage listeners to leave a rating and a review of our podcast on iTunes; these things help other listeners find the program. A new episode on th [...]

May 30, 2017
20 - A Celebrated Tradition l The History of All American Week

All American Legacy Podcast Ep. 20 - A Celebrated Tradition l The History of All American Week

All American Week is a part of our grand mythos but it is a relatively new phenomenon in the lifespan of the 82nd Airborne Division. In this short episode of the All American Legacy Podcast, Joe Buccino gives you the history of one of our most well-known traditions. Find out how it all started and learn about some of the controversies associated with All American Week.

The All American Legacy Podcast is produced by the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office and tells the story of the 100-year history of our Nation’s most honored combat unit. We encourage listeners to leave a rating and a review of our podcast on iTunes; these things help other listeners find the program. A new episode on the legacy, culture, and history of the 82nd Airborne Division is released every Tuesday.

You can contact the All American [...]

May 23, 2017
19 - The Longest Podcast l A Review of an All American Classic

We here at the All American Legacy Podcast know history.  We don’t know movies.  So, we brought in an expert to help us break down the 1962 classic “The Longest Day,” about the Allied D Day invasion of Normandy.

Brian Gill, movie critic, self-described pop culture nerd, and co-host of the popular podcast “Mad About Movies” joins Joe Buccino to talk about the movie that introduced the Division to millions of Americans.

“The Longest Day” stars John Wayne as Lieutenant Colonel Ben Vandervoort, one of the 82nd Airborne Division’s real WWII heroes and it is required viewing for Paratroopers entering the Division.

Joe talks to Brian about what the movie gets right and what it gets wrong historically.  Brian provides a perspective on the film’s place in the pantheon of American war movie classics.  The two then describe their dream lineup for a current-day remake.

Brian and Joe hit it off in a light-hear [...]

May 16, 2017
18 - Little Groups of Paratroopers I Life, Love, and Legacy in the 82nd Airborne Division

For more than 70 years, the concept of Little Groups of Paratroopers; LGOPs for short; has been a foundational principle in the way the 82nd Airborne Division is organized to fight. We meet on the objective and, with little command direction, move to the sound of the guns. LGOPs is a concept of speed and disciplined initiative. It is heavily reliant on trust: trust between Airborne leader and Paratrooper, trust between Jumpmaster and chalk, trust between Airborne buddies. That trust save lives during training operations and it ensures we efficiently kill our enemies during combat operations.

Episode 18 of the All American Legacy Podcast explores the unique bond that this trust instills between All American Paratroopers. The LGOPs concept extends outside of combat and even beyond completion of service in the Division.

Critical to LGOPs are the symbols and traditions unqiue to the All Americans. In today’s episode we discuss some of those symbols and traditions a [...]

May 09, 2017
17 - Celebrating a Century of Service | A Conversation with AA9

Known by the call sign “All American 9,” Command Sgt. Maj. Michael D. Green, the senior enlisted leader for the 82nd Airborne Division, joins Master Sgt. Dan Bailey on the All American Legacy Podcast to discuss a variety of topics.

With more than 25 years of service in the Army, 15 of those in the Division, Green provides a preview of what visitors can expect at All American Week 100 from May 22nd through 25th on Fort Bragg, North Carolina, reflects on his favorite memories from previous years and what it means to serve as the Division Command Sergeant Major during the 82nd’s Centennial.

After the All American Week discussion, Green and Bailey talk about two of the Division’s newer initiatives: Paratroopers for Life and the Airborne Integration Course. Both programs revolve around setting Paratroopers up for success in their lives and careers, whether they are just entering America’s Guard of Honor or preparing to leave the Division.

< [...]
May 02, 2017
16 - At the Movies! | A Review of “A Bridge Too Far”
Operation Market Garden, the failed September 1944 Allied invasion of Holland, was the largest airborne operation in world history.
The 1977 star-filled blockbuster movie “A Bridge Too Far,” depicting the 82nd Airborne Division’s valiant efforts to take the Nijmegen Bridge, made Market Garden legendary.
But, is it accurate?  And, is it actually a good movie?
The All American Legacy Podcast’s Lt. Col. Joe Buccino sits down with historian Dr. Phil Nash in this episode to discuss.  

Phil and Joe talk about the Allied hubris and bad intelligence that served as the impetus for Market Garden.  They talk about the 504th crossing of the Waal River.  They also discuss their dream for a remake of the film starring Matt Damon.  History meets pop culture in a fun episode of the All American Legacy podcast.

As always, this podcast is presented by the 82nd Airborne DivisionR [...]

Apr 25, 2017
15 - World War II Paratroopers In Their Own Words | Voices of All American Legends
We’re working our way through World War II and over the last few episodes we’ve given you the history, the places, the generals, and the strategy.

In this episode, you hear from the Paratroopers themselves.  Their stories in their own words.

Here our Paratroopers share stories of war at its most intense, of humanity of its most violent.  These are memories of fear, courage, and love.

Our World War II Paratroopers have something to say.  Not just about the 82nd Airborne Division and about our spirit, culture, and values, but about our Nation and its best attributes.
We’ll hear from Paratroopers who stormed the beachhead at Anzio, survived brutal winds jumping into Sicily, and fought through the Normandy hedgerows on D Day.

We don’t have very many World War II Paratroopers left. The ones we have left may not be with us for too much longer.  We must cherish them, their accomplishments for our world, and their stories.

The Al [...]

Apr 18, 2017
14 - The Day Before the Day | Part II
This is the second of our two-part series on the 82nd Airborne Division on D Day. If you have not yet heard part one (episode 13), please stop, go back, and listen to that one first.

In part two we hear from our Paratroopers who landed in the small village of Sainte-Mère-Église, Normandy on the night of June 5th, 1944, charged with one of the most important missions in American history. We’ll also hear from Maurice Renaud, the son of the village’s mayor during the war, about his memories from that day. Finally, historian Ed Ruggero presents some stories of valor and courage from our All American Paratroopers.

D Day is perhaps the most important moment in All American history and in this two-part series we pay tribute to the men who participated in it.

The All American Legacy Podcast is produced by the 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs Office and hosted by Lt. Col. Joe Buccino, Master Sgt. Dan Bailey, and Sgt. 1st Class Alex Burnett. A new ep [...]

Apr 11, 2017
13 - The Day Before the Day I Part 1

Ep. 13 - “The Day Before the Day | Part I”

Operation Neptune, the World War II Allied assault into Normandy, France, was among the grandest and boldest military operations our civilization has ever undertaken. D Day — Tuesday, June 6th, 1944 — changed the course of the war, helped saved the world from tyranny, and is honored throughout Europe and the United States. Over the course of the next two episodes we tell the story of our Paratroopers who went into Normandy one day prior to spearhead the D Day invasion.

This is part 1 of “The Day Before the Day,” a special two-part series on the 82nd Airborne Division in Normandy. In this episode, we bring you the real story of Gen. Jim Gavin, the Division’s assault force commander, and his plan for the airborne assault.

We’ll hear from his daughter Chloe and we’ll hear from “Jumpin’ Jim” in his own words.

Operation Neptune would make the 82nd [...]

Apr 04, 2017
12 - Paratrooper for Life | Staff Sgt. Travis Mills

On today’s episode of the All American Legacy Podcast, we talk with retired Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, a quadruple amputee who served with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

Despite losing portions of both arms and legs from an IED while on active duty in Afghanistan, Mills is still a Paratrooper, who continues to overcome life’s challenges, breaking physical barriers and defying odds.

On April 10, 2012, Mills was critically injured on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive device while on patrol, losing portions of both legs and both arms. He is one of only five quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries.

Now Mills is a recalibrated warrior, motivational speaker, actor, author and an advocate for veterans and amputees. In September 2013, he founded the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit organization, formed to benefit and assist combat-injured veterans.

Mills lives [...]

Mar 28, 2017
11 - Devils in Baggy Pants | 504th PIR earns a nickname

The Devils in Baggy Pants.  It’s one of the most storied nicknames and one of the most prestigious units in American military history. 

On Episode 11 we revisit the moment that made the black-hearted devils, the 82nd Airborne Division’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, legendary.

In January of 1944, in an effort to strike a decisive blow against the Germans, the 504th made a seaborne assault on Anzio. What followed was some of the most barbarous, grinding combat of World War II. Neither side would claim victory but the 504th would be feared for the rest of the war.

We spoke with the Paratroopers who fought with the 504th at Anzio. James “Maggie” Megellas, who turned 100 [...]

Mar 21, 2017
10 - Fire in the Sky | The 82nd’s First Combat Jump
Episode 10 - “Fire in the Sky | The 82nd’s First Combat Jump”

On today’s episode of the All American Legacy Podcast, we talk about Operation Husky and its aftermath.

The 82ndAirborne Division was still largely an experiment by July 9, 1943 when the Allies invaded Sicily. The invasion, codenamed Operation Husky, was a critical moment for the Division. The fog of war blanketed the island and the airborne assault quickly disintegrated into chaos and then tragedy.

Our Paratroopers were dropped miles away from their designated drop zones. A catastrophic friendly fire incident cut down aircraft and Paratroopers. Once on the ground, the All Americans formed small groups and displayed initiative and courage, allowing the Allies to seize the island.  Within this bloody crucible the American Paratrooper Legacy was born.  

After Operation Husky, General Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, had to make a critical decision about [...]

Mar 14, 2017
9 - The Best Damn Fighting Outfit in the World | The 82nd AIRBORNE Division

In “The Best Damn Fighting Outfit in the World” we learn about the history of airborne operations in the U.S. Army and how the 82nd Infantry Division because reorganized as the 82nd Airborne Division.

Sgt. 1st Class Alex Burnett joins us to talk about the history of airborne operations in Russia and Germany and how they would influence and shape the Army’s decision to stand up the first Airborne unit in the United States Military.

Major William Lee, the man credited with spearheading the concept of the airborne for the US, searches far and wide for ways to refine this concept including talking to the Smokejumpers in the Pacific Northwest and even using a 200-foot parachute tower from the New York State Fair to teach soldiers how to fall.

From there, the initial Parachute Test Platoon from the 29th Infantry Regiment would train and conduct the first airborne operation on August 16th, 1940 – known today as National Airborne Day.

In our second segme [...]

Mar 07, 2017
8 - An Army at Peace | The All American Division 1919-1942
The All American Division redeployed to the United States in April and May of 1919, demobilizing in New York.  The Division status and role in the period between World Wars I and II is the subject of this week’s episode of the All American Legacy Podcast.

The time between world wars was an odd one for the 82nd.  America was exhausted with war and did not know exactly what to do with its military.   Suddenly, the United States was a global power, but its citizenry had no appetite for the implementation of more force around the world.
With no clear mission, the 82nd waned.  For two years the division existed on paper only.  The Division retained its core structure but with virtually no Soldiers.  According to the Division’s official history, recorded by Chief of Staff Lt. Colonel G. Edward Buxton, Jr in 1919.: “The 82nd Division has passed into history but it will forever live on in the hearts of its men.”

Feb 28, 2017
7 - War’s End | Post-WWI Reintegration + Myths

The Armistice of November 11, 1918 brought an end to the Great War. The 82nd Infantry Division returned to the United States in April, 1919. The nation was at peace, but the doughboys of the 82nd returned to a country in turmoil.  

This week we speak with Dr. Jennifer Keene, professor of history and chair of the history department at Chapman University in California. Dr. Keene has a Ph. D in History from Carnegie-Mellon University and is a specialist in the American military experience during World War I. She has published three books on the subject, including the 2001 book “Doughboys, the Great War and the Remaking of America.” Dr. Keene speaks about the return of the All Americans to the United States after the war and how the American experience in World War I changed the country forever.

Historian Dr. Joseph Coohill has made a career out of debunking historic myth. In fact, his alias is Professor Buzzkill and that is also the name of his popular [...]

Feb 21, 2017
6 - Hardcore All American History | A Discussion with Dan Carlin

America’s best history teacher doesn’t work in a school - and he’s joining us today on the All American Legacy Podcast! Dan Carlin, host of the most popular history podcast in the country: Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, is a man of deep intellect, passionate opinion, and a remarkable grasp of global history.  He’s engaging, inquisitive, sharp and never boring.   We suspected he would make for a riveting interview about the history of the All American Division and we were right.

Dan’s also the host of Commons Sense with Dan Carlin and is an iconic voice in American politics and history.  Over the last ten years, Dan has built a podcasting empire out of his ability to breathe life into the events that shaped the modern world.

Dan doesn’t present history so much as he does history.  He focuses not on what happened but on why it happened and how it was experienced.  His storytelling style allows the listener to feel epochal [...]

Feb 14, 2017
5 - The Triple Nickle | America’s First Black Paratroopers

In celebration of the first week of African American/Black History Month, we’re jumping ahead from World War One all the way to 1941 to tell a story that deserves to be told across the country.

It is a little known fact that the 82nd was the first racially integrated division in our Army; and it is our duty to honor the generations of African Americans that have contributed to the great legacy of the All American Division.  So this week, we bring you the incredible story of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, known as the Triple Nickle. The 555th was the Army’s FIRST all-black Airborne unit and the first all-black unit integrated into the regular Army.

Staff Sgt. Will Reinier takes us back to 1941 to see how racial tensions before WWII shaped the types of jobs available to black soldiers in the war. When the Army decided to stand up an airborne unit comprised of only black soldiers, many of them saw it as an opportunity to leave their jobs as cooks, [...]

Feb 07, 2017
4 - An Army of One pt. 2 | The Story of Sgt. Alvin York

STOP! If you haven’t heard  “Army of One part 1″ - go back and listen to it now!

This week, Alvin York returns to America after his valorous actions in the Argonne Forest. We meet Gerald York, Alvin’s grandson, who spoke about Alvin’s life after the war. York reluctantly assumed the title of hero and did not originally want the attention that was given to him. Instead of using his name for personal gain, he focused on improving the educational opportunities of the children in his hometown of Pall Mall, Tennessee. He spent his own money to fund a new school with the proceeds of his numerous books and engagements.

However, York fell on hard financial times after the war. It was through the contributions and generosity of others that he was able to keep the school in his hometown running.

Late in his life, York became a strong supporter of the U.S. involvement in WWII. We’ll bring you audio from his address to the newly-forme [...]

Jan 31, 2017
3 - An Army of One pt. 1 | The Story of Sgt. Alvin York

In an Army of One part 1, we meet Sgt. Alvin York, the Division’s second Medal of Honor recipient. Master Sgt. Patrick Malone takes us to the hills of Appalachia in Tennessee to learn about the man who would single-handedly capture more than 130 German soldiers in a single battle in World War 1.

A pacifist, York originally did not want to fight in the Great War. He wanted to stay in the mountains of Tennessee. However, York found himself in the Argonne Forest in October 1918.

Lt. Col. Joe Buccino takes us to the Argonne and explains the situation that our Soldiers found themselves in. They were lost, outnumbered, less-trained, and less-experienced for the fight that lay ahead of them. York and his men appeared to have no chance of fighting their way out.

Finally, we meet Col. Douglas Mastriano, a military historian from the U.S. Army War College who dedicated more than 10 years to researching the events that transpired on October 8th, 1918. He spent more th [...]

Jan 24, 2017
2 - First Contact | The 82nd in WWI

In this week’s All American Legacy Podcast, we discuss the Division’s entry to the Great War.

In our first segment, Master Sgt. Patrick Malone talks to Division Historian and All American Legacy co-host, Lt. Col. Joe Buccino, about how the Division’s legacy in WWII over-shadows our service in WWI. To help shed some light on that service, Malone discusses the composition of the Division in 1917 and their movement to Europe to train to enter the war.

Jonathan Casey, archivist at the National WWI Museum, tells us about the first days of the 82nd Division in the war. Learn more about the National WWI Museum by visiting their page at   
The second segment takes us to St. Mihiel, where the 82nd was baptized into the horrible crucible of warfare.

Lt. Col. Joe Buccino reminds us that the Division’s service in St. Mihiel was the first major milestone in the war and shou [...]

Jan 17, 2017
1 - Birth | The Origins of the All American Division

In August of 1917, in a sleepy Georgia outpost called Camp Gordon, a new unit forms for entry into the Great War.  This inaugural episode of the All American Legacy podcast dispels some myths about the creation of the 82nd and explains the origins of our country’s most celebrated unit.

Master Sgt. Patrick Malone introduces us to the All American Division while discussing how the unit got its name and where the origins of the unit’s famed-Double A patch comes from. 82nd War Memorial Museum Director, John Arsen joins us to talk about the history of the patch and how it came to look the way it does.

Hosts Staff Sgt. Will Reinier and Lt. Col. Joe Buccino discuss episode one and discuss the origin of the nickname “All Americans” as well as the history behind some of the Division’s early commanders.

Learn more about the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum by visiting their website at

Jan 17, 2017
46 – All American Leadership l The Culture of America’s Guard of Honor

While this podcast is traditionally dedicated to describing the 100-year legacy of the 82nd Airborne Division, episode 46 discusses the Division’s current culture.

In this episode of the All American Legacy podcast, host Joe Buccino talks with Robert Gown and Mike Pritts from the Mentors for Military podcast, a top-rated show that presents conversations with veterans and provides resources to those leaving military service.  Robert and Mike provide guidance and advice for veterans or Soldiers preparing to transition.   

Jan 09, 2017
All American Legacy Podcast Preview

An exclusive preview of the All American Legacy Podcast where we’ll take a look back at the people, places, and battles that shaped the first 100 years of the famed-82nd Airborne Division. The All American Legacy Podcast will be available to download on iTunes, Google Play, and where ever you get your podcasts starting January 17th.


Dec 21, 2016