Duty First: Peacekeeping

Briefly defined as “enforcing peace agreements between hostile groups,” from 1996 to 2003, 1 ID soldiers served with peacekeeping forces in Bosnia and Kosovo. The missions were neither simple nor safe. Peacekeeping tests a soldier’s training and discipline. Soldiers might guard checkpoints, confiscate weapons or resolve disputes. Above all, they must remain neutral—even in the most hostile environments—to avoid disrupting a fragile peace.

Yugoslavia’s breakup in the 1990s led to the Balkan Wars and the worst ethnic violence in Europe since World War II. Vicious fighting between religious and nationalist groups prompted international intervention.

Peacekeeping in the Balkans

In this theme-section learn that part of the division’s responsibilities included guarding the Brcko bridge—linking Bosnia and Croatia—from rioters. Through digital interviews and artifacts visitors can learn about the pressure and stress soldiers experienced on this mission. You can also view an artifact demonstrating how 1 ID soldiers creatively interacted with children to help protect them in an environment saturated with landmines. The FDM has a Superman Comic Book warning kids of the dangers of unexploded ordnances.