The Vail Daily reports that hundreds of troops from the 1st Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, became one of only three mountain infantry battalions in the U.S. Army.
It marks the return of Colorado to the 10th Mountain Division, originally organized during 1942 to train soldiers for mountain combat by holding rigorous training exercises in the harsh alpine conditions around Leadville.
During the event, division troops scaled cliffs surrounding the camp, some wearing replicas of the original ski trooper uniforms, recognizable for their bright white gear and heavy rucksack.
The World War II soldiers counted numerous victories, including their vertical assault against German fortifications in Italy's Northern Apennines in 1945.
"After their legendary service during the war, many of the soldiers of the 10th Mountain chose to stay in Colorado and helped found our mountain culture and ski communities," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. John Hancher, battalion commander. The soldiers set a standard for mountaineering, he said.
The battalion has units in Alamosa, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Fort Lupton and Windsor.