The 82nd Airborne Division wants to share its rich history as it celebrates its 100th birthday this year.

The Army's elite airborne infantry division kicked off a podcast this week — the first two of almost 20 weekly episodes.

The All-American Legacy Podcast will describe the 82nd's history "through the perspective of the people who lived it," said Lt. Col. Joe Buccino, the division's spokesman.

The free podcast, available through iTunes and Google Play, will feature interviews with veterans from the division's campaigns, as well as historians.

"We started talking to paratroopers from World War II," Buccino said. "From there we decided to tell the whole story. We reached out to our veterans from Panama, the Dominican Republic, all of our campaigns. Then to some of the descendants of our World War I vets."

In this photo provided by the U.S. Army Signal Corps, U.S. paratroopers fix their static lines before a jump before dawn over Normandy on D-Day June 6, 1944, in France. The decision to launch the airborne attack in darkness instead of waiting for first light was probably one of the few Allied missteps on June 6, and there was much to criticize both in the training and equipment given to paratroopers and glider-borne troops of the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions. Improvements were called for after the invasion; the hard-won knowledge would be used to advantage later. (AP Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps)
In this photo provided by the U.S. Army Signal Corps, U.S. paratroopers fix their static lines before a jump before dawn over Normandy on D-Day June 6, 1944, in France. The decision to launch the airborne attack in darkness instead of waiting for first light was probably one of the few Allied missteps on June 6, and there was much to criticize both in the training and equipment given to paratroopers and glider-borne troops of the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions. Improvements were called for after the invasion; the hard-won knowledge would be used to advantage later. (AP Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps)

Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division prepare for a parachute assault into St. Mere-Eglise, France, on D-Day.

Photo Credit: Army


So far, the division has completed podcasts chronicling the unit's history through 1965. The episodes lead up to All-American Week 100, a celebration that runs May 22-25 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. 

The 82nd Airborne Division's actual birthday is Aug. 5, but All-American Week 100 will feature athletic, sporting and tactical competitions. About 50,000 people are expected to attend the festivities.

Buccino said the division public affairs team spent about five months finding the right voices to share the history and producing the episodes.

He said the team found people to interview through social media and the 82nd Airborne Division Association — two places that can connect them to alumni.

"We have a lot of alumni that are not combat vets but served in the division for years and years and have 100 or more jumps," he said.

Buccino said the 82nd Airborne's story is one that needs to be honored.

"We have this incredible culture and this incredible legacy that's been handed to us, and we live up to it every day here," he said.

The 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, and 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, are also celebrating the 100-year milestone this year.


Charlsy Panzino covers the Guard and Reserve, training, technology, operations and features for Army Times and Air Force Times. Email her at cpanzino@militarytimes.com .