Americal 2024

FROM THE LEFT: First Sergeant Michael Arndt, Master Sergeant Roger Sargent, Command Sergeant Major Chris Olsen, Town Councilor Bob Vincent, VSO Dave Mangan, Paul Cancelliere, and Dale Findlay. (Photo courtesy of Tracy Vincent)

WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Town Council recently accepted the donation of an Americal Division flag as a gift to the town from resident Town Councilor Robert E. Vincent II. After updating the Wakefield Flag Policy, the Town Council then approved the timely flag request of the Americal Division Flag at the Americal Civic Center.

Vincent, currently serving on the Wakefield Town Council, gifted the Americal Flag to the Town of Wakefield in his capacity as a Wakefield citizen. Stated Vincent: “I am humbled that I can make a difference and  hope my flag request can help build bridges within the community.”

On Friday, April 12, the Americal Division Flag was raised by Councilor Vincent, Wakefield Veteran Service Officer David Mangan, along with various members of the Veteran Advisory Board, Town Administrator Steve Maio, WPD Chief Steven Skory, and WFD Chief Michael Sullivan. In addition, there were three very special guests proudly attending: Master Sergeant Roger Sargent 182 IN Ops, Command Sergeant Major Chris Olsen, and First Sergeant Michael Arndt, HHC.

At one time in its storied history, the Wakefield armory was a 101 IN armory.  When that armory disbanded, the 182 IN absorbed its lineage and immersed it with its own.  Before the armory was a 101 IN armory, it was a 6th Massachusetts armory.  Coincidentally, the 182 IN traces its own lineage to the 6th MA.

The building has a long history of serving the country, the State of Massachusetts, and community.  After years of proud service as a National Guard Armory, in 1975, the building was de-accessioned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; the town of Wakefield took the opportunity to purchase the building for the sum of $1.00.  Forty-eight  years ago today, on April 21, 1976, the Americal Civic Center was named in honor of the 23rd Infantry Division of the United States Army, more commonly known as the Americal Division. The 182nd was one of its original Americal battalions  during WW II.  The 182nd has deployed at least twice as “Task Force Americal”, including a deployment as recently as last year.

In addition to more than 17 Medal of Honor recipients, some other notable former members of the Americal Division include:  

Tracy Kidder: 1968–69; Pulitzer Prize winning author

Colin Powell: 1968–70, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former 65th United States Secretary of State

Tom Ridge: 1969–70; former Pennsylvania Governor and  Former US Secretary of Homeland Security

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf: 1969–70; former Commander of the US Central Command under Pres. George H. W. Bush.

Americal 2024

FROM THE LEFT: First Sergeant Michael Arndt, Master Sergeant Roger Sargent, Wakefield Police Chief Steven Skory, Dale Findlay, Paul Cancelliere, Town Councilor Bob Vincent, VSO Dave Mangan, Town Administrator Steve Maio, and Wakefield Fire Chief Michael Sullivan. (Photo courtesy of Tracy Vincent)