III Corps celebrates 100 years of service

Posted at 7:31 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:20:11-04

III Corps celebrated 100 years of service on Wednesday. 

There are roughly 95,000 III Corps soldiers serving all over the world. 

Over 14,000 of those Phantom Warriors, including their commanding general, are currently deployed on behalf of our nation.

"III Corps was born out of necessity on May 16, 1918. The world was in the throes of the Great War."

"We had a chance to reflect on all that these soldiers and their families have been through for the last 100 years. It's a storied history," Retired Major General Ken Cox, former III Corps Deputy Commanding General, said. 

Soldiers dressed in period uniforms and walked those in attendance through the history of III Corps. 

"To sit here and kind of watch the period uniforms and hear about all the things they participated in, many of us take it for granted. But, as a soldier, we know our success is born on the shoulders of those that served before us," MG (Ret) Cox added. 

Five former III Corps Commanding Generals and/or Command Sergeant Majors were in attendance at Wednesday's III Corps 100th birthday celebration. 

"You never get it all done, and so that's the legacy as we kind of fade into the background, the new leaders come on board, and they've carried it on very, very well," Retired Lieutenant General Paul "Butch" Funk, former III Corps Commanding General, said. 

Those leaders joined Major General JT Thomson in cutting the birthday cake with the traditional saber. 

"All of us, I mean, we just represent everybody else. The thing about rank is, as I said, is it doesn't have its privileges, it has its responsibilities... and our responsibilities are to represent those men and increasingly women," LTG (Ret) Funk added.    

While soldiers on Fort Hood paused to reflect on III Corps history, LTG Paul E. Funk II, the current III Corps Commanding General, held a similar celebration in Iraq.

"III Corps has and continues to operate across the globe during this time of uncertainty, complexity and instability," MG Thomson said. 

LTG Funk and his staff are in the midst of III Corps sixth deployment in the last 14 years. 

"They still took the time out, despite the fact that they're in that critically important mission, to recognize and honor our legacy of 100 years of III Corps history... and that's really important number one, to honor those who have served before us, and number two, to show the soldiers of today the important traditions and legacy that we expect them to live up to every day," COL Todd Fox, III Corps Chief of Staff, said.  

"I'm Thomson, and I'm proud as hell to be a Phantom Warrior. Happy 100th Birthday and thank you," MG Thomson added. 

Former III Corps commander Robert Shoemaker passed away about a year ago, and Wednesday, his wife Tuke, was in attendance to celebrate III Corps' 100th birthday. 

Congressman Roger Williams who represents III Corps, that is headquartered on Fort Hood, one of the largest United States military installations in the world, made the following statement regarding III Corps reaching its 100th birthday:

Headquartered on Fort Hood, III Corps is a major formation of the United States Army Forces Command. Known as the Phantom Warriors, these brave soldiers are an asset to the great State of Texas, as well as the nation. Representing them is my greatest honor in Congress, and I would like to congratulate them on reaching 100 years of pure patriotism and unwavering dedication to this country. I am humbled to fight on their behalf in Washington, and I thank them for all that they sacrifice every day for our freedoms. I am proud of you, this country is proud of you, and we will stand with you. Phantom Ready, Phantom Strong!

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