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State Historical Society of Iowa

Iowa Soldiers at the "Rock of the Marne" Holding the Sign "Happy New Year to the Folks at Home," 1951

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Seven uniformed, smiling, relaxed soldiers from Iowa are seen seated on an army jeep. They hold a sign that reads: “Rock of the Marne • Happy New Year • To The Folks at Home.” The background is a wooded hillside with a large amount of sandbags stacked up.
Courtesy of State Historical Society of Iowa, 1951


Iowa soldiers serving with the 3rd Division's "Rock of the Marne," are shown in this photograph sending a New Year's greeting from Korea in 1951. The 3rd Division's "Rock of the Marne" was known as a rapid-response unit and even nicknamed the "Fire Brigade," and while their last Korean combat was in 1953, the division remained in Korea until 1958.

Source-Dependent Questions

  • The soldiers in this photo are from Iowa in the 3rd Division "Rock of Marne." This division was a rapid-response unit, meaning they could respond to a situation quickly. Why would it be a good idea for military units involved in war to specialize in certain areas, like this rapid-response unit? What are the drawbacks?
  • This unit stayed in Korea for five years after the armistice was signed. Why would a military presence remain in Korea five years after the conflict was over?