Rakkasans hold ceremony as they prepare to deploy to Afghanistan from Fort Campbell


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FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky — Some 101st Airborne Division soldiers are leaving soon for Afghanistan, and a ceremony recognizing their departure is scheduled Wednesday at Fort Campbell.

Members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team known as "Rakkasans" will hold a color-casing ceremony at the post along the Kentucky-Tennessee line to officially recognize the deployment.

The Rakkasans' nickname came after World War II from a Japanese translator who used the word that translates to "falling down umbrella men" for the paratroopers.

It is tradition for deploying troops to "case colors" before leaving. The "colors," or flag, represents the unit on the battlefield, and casing it symbolizes the unit is prepared for movement.

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