Col. Jason Williams, 10th Mountain Division (LI) Artillery commander, speaks to attendees during a rededication ceremony June 19, 2020, at Fort Drum, New York. The DIVARTY headquarters building was renamed as Ruffner Hall after Maj. Gen. David L. Ruffner, who commanded the unit during WWII. Right: The colors of the 10th Mountain Division Artillery from World War II now hang on the wall in the conference room of Ruffner Hall on Fort Drum. They were restored, cleaned, and placed in a 5- by 7-foot frame, flanked by plaques telling the flag and the unit’s history. (U.S. Army photos by Pfc. Anastasia Rakowsky, 27th Public Affairs Detachment)
10th Mountain Division Artillery Soldiers rededicate headquarters, honor history
Pfc. Anastasia Rakowsky
27th Public Affairs Detachment
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (June 22, 2020) – Leaders of the 10th Mountain Division (LI) Artillery gathered June 19, 2020, to rededicate their headquarters building as Ruffner Hall on Fort Drum. The hall was dedicated to Maj. Gen. David L. Ruffner, who served as DIVARTY's first commander during World War II.
Col. Jason Williams, DIVARTY’s current commander, praised his predecessor in front of a crowd of leaders, Soldiers, friends, and family.
“I believe he would feel right at home in the new Fort Drum,” Williams said.
Williams went on to describe the man as tough, determined, and a person whom all 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers should try to emulate.
Ruffner, who was a brigadier general at the time, led 10th Mountain Division Artillery Soldiers across the battlefields of Italy in WWII. During his 35-year career, Ruffner also served as commander of the 45th Infantry Division in Korea. Ruffner earned several awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, and the Legion of Merit.
DIVARTY’s American flag that was carried during WWII was recently returned to the unit and is now displayed in Ruffner Hall as a reminder of the unit’s history.
The colors did not have an easy journey to Fort Drum, though. After DIVARTY was inactivated in 2004, the flag resided above the fireplace mantle of retired Capt. Chuck Thompson, who served at Fort Drum from 2001 to 2005. Along with the flag, Thompson was given charge of more than 100 of the unit’s historical artifacts.
Thompson returned the colors to DIVARTY in 2019, but the flag was only recently put on display. It took nearly 18 months to get the colors properly cleaned and restored so that they may hang now as proudly as they did all of those years ago.