Entry found in the diary of a German officer killed at Anzio about the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment:
"American parachutists -- devils in baggy pants -- are less than 100 meters from my outpost line. I can't sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know when or how they will strike next. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere..."
And, via SapperMike at US Paratroopers.org, comes a voice intercept in Iraq is given by the battalion commander, "BlueDevil6", of the 3-504th PIR as it's colors were cased last May to become the 1-508th PIR:
You know one of my favorite stories to tell is that of our time in Haqliniya three or four tough days after our insertion….no one had had much sleep, still reeling from the casualties we had already taken and wondering why it was the enemy had not yet struck back with a VBIED, suicide attack or the like, we knew they were there, we had found some ….we knew we were being successful but hadn’t had time to really consider how successful…then I was handed the intell report that told me what I should have already known.
They (insurgents) said to each other:
"...these guys are special, they aren't Marines, These are crack troops, you cant get close to them, they are everywhere, why is it different here?...they really have us by the balls...they are merciless"
"…can you get us out of here?"
The Blue Devils had dominated the city in a way the insurgents’ were not prepared for. Totally disrupted in their operations for the first time, though they had been fighting Marines for over a year, they knew something was different,
How did the enemy know we were different, why did they say we were crack troops?
Did they see any jump wings? Did the see the billboard on I -95? Had they heard the All American chorus? Did they see CNNs Katrina coverage featuring the 82d in berets?
No all they saw to be different was you….you warriors…..warriors who sought something different, sought bigger boots to fill who volunteer to join the Army and reenlist in an Army at war, volunteer to go to ABN school, volunteer to go to the 82d, volunteer to go to Ranger school, work to be an absolute expert in their job, work to remain in position to deploy and be put in harm’s way, you are what was different…you are the 82d Airborne!
And it is the quality of trooper in this battalion, who allowed us to break the mold of what then enemy had experienced.
Our distinctive Modus Operandi, to go where other units could not, do what other unit would not do…which was controlled, disciplined but relentless pursuit, dismounted, close quarter fighting that not only dominated the battlefield but moved the battlefield from the IED fight on the roads of coalition convoys to the living rooms and bedrooms of insurgent homes.
This was not possible without the special drive, individual initiative and unstoppable spirit of the American Paratrooper…that was the rule in 3-504 and will be the rule in 1-508.
As we close the history book likely forever on the 3-504 and open this new chapter in the history of the 1-508, we all know the work of the American Paratrooper is not done. The enemy we fight is like no other, he has a plan…world domination, complete destruction of our way of life by the numbers…1/3 converted to radical Islam, 1/3 enslaved, 1/3 slaughtered, his foot soldiers embrace death as an escape from a life without purpose, a perverted, sociopath to road immortality…
Who stands in there way?
Only the American fighting man, personified by the American Paratrooper stands in there way. America is the indispensable nation, the paratrooper an indispensable component to its survival. Paratroopers of the 1-508, your days of sacrifice and loss are not over, your nation will again call upon you to go into harms way in a foreign land. To go where other will not go, do what other will not do…just like paratroopers always have…
I propose a toast to the 1-508 PIR…
Men of valor, Men of Honor, Different men