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101st Airborne Division beats 82nd Airborne Division to win online unit pride title

101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Public Affairs Staff

Fort Campbell KY - 101st Airborne DivisionFort Campbell, KY – The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) defeated the 82nd Airborne Division in the finals of an online unit pride competition, on April 22nd, 2020.

The Screaming Eagles and their supporters around the world cast 93 more votes than the All Americans to win the sports bracket-style competition and bragging rights as the Unit Madness 2020 Challenge winners. In all, participants cast more than 98,000 votes on Facebook and Twitter in the final round alone.

“It was no surprise that two of the most iconic symbols of freedom were the finalists in the competition. Both patches, as well as all of the others in the competition, have a rich proud legacy that we strive to build upon every day until our next rendezvous with destiny,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Bryan Barker, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) command sergeant major.

Unit Madness 2020 Challenge winner, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
Unit Madness 2020 Challenge winner, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

Both the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and the All Americans of the 82nd Airborne Division were activated at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana in August 1942, and they have a combined 44 Medal of Honor recipients.

The online competition generated nearly 1.5 million total votes for 16 different Army units during the 20-day event.

“Thank you to everyone who voted the Screaming Eagles #1!,” said Lt. Col. Charles Barrett, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) public affairs officer. “I want to congratulate the All-American Division on a hard-fought contest that went back and forth, ultimately coming down to the wire. This contest helped to show just how much pride we have for the Army, regardless of what unit we’re in or what units we have served with.”

The idea for the online event came from the 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office, the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, and a desire for healthy competition while adhering to strict social distancing.

“With our social media being consumed by COVID-19 Coronavirus at the end of March, we started brain storming ways we could get away from it but not look insensitive to the issues at hand,” explained Master Sgt. Andrew Porch, division public affairs non-commissioned officer in charge, 25th Infantry Division. “At first, we were going to do just our battalions, but we thought such a large amount of people love sports; and maybe it would catch on.”

Porch said he and his section wanted to fill the sports void from a military standpoint using unit patches through a favorite patch competition. However, it “morphed” into a unit pride phenomenon, he said.

A combination of Facebook and Twitter vote totals determined which units advanced as results of the one-on-one faceoffs in both brackets. Leading up to the final round, voting for every individual matchup took place within a one-day period. For the finals featuring the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions, however, 25th Infantry Division PAO extended the voting period to three days, April 19th-22nd.

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