Fort Jackson unit to march in inaugural parade - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Fort Jackson unit to march in inaugural parade

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Fort Jackson's 81st Infantry Division to march in President's inaugural parade Fort Jackson's 81st Infantry Division to march in President's inaugural parade
FORT JACKSON, SC (WIS) -

Dr. John Boyd couldn't be more excited about marching in the inaugural parade.

"I've put in requests to March in an inaugural parade since 1992," he said. "When I got the call I was so much more prepared for rejection than acceptance."

As the resident historian of the 81st Infantry Division, Boyd is more than happy to show off the unit's story.

They were the first soldiers to set foot on what used to be Camp Jackson. They were also the first division in the Army to have their own patches, bearing a wildcat. The year was 1917.

"At that moment other divisions in the field, members of the guard and regular army, designed, distributed and sewed on their own divisional patches," said Boyd.

Monday, ten soldiers will proudly present their patches in President Obama's second inaugural parade.  They're wearing vintage uniforms that are 100% wool.


"Hot," said Thomas White. "And a little uncomfortable."

"My friends and family get to see me on TV, that's probably the coolest thing," he said. "That and my soldiers get to see their first sergeant dressed up in a uniform which is unique."

Unique uniforms with a history that Boyd is happy to show off.

"It's really important that we remember the achievements of our brave soldiers of every generation," said Boyd. "It's a great feeling to represent the Army. We hope the public is equally supportive of what they see."

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