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1st Battalion, 131st Infantry (AASLT)

The 1st Battalion, 131st Infantry Regiment, is an air assault infantry battalion which has units in six eastern and central Illinois communities. It is organized similarly to a World War II infantry battalion, with four rifle and mortar companies and one heavy weapons or anti-armor company. The unit falls under the stateside command and control of the 66th Brigade.

The 1st Battalion, 131st Infantry Regiment, was originally organized on 4 May 1861 at Chicago as four separate infantry battalions. It consolidated and was mustered into federal service on 17 June 1861 at Chicago as the 19th Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry; and mustered out of federal service on 9 July 1864 at Chicago IL.

They reorganized between 1870-1875 in the Illinois Militia at Chicago as independent companies. It consolidated on 21 December 1875 in the Illinois State Guard as the 2d Infantry Regiment. The Illinois Guard was redesignated on 1 July 1877 as the Illinois National Guard, and consolidated in early 1878 with the 6th Infantry Battalion (Illinois National Guard) and the consolidated unit was designated as the 2nd Infantry Regiment.

It consolidated on 14 March 1877 with the 1st Cavalry Regiment (Illinois National Guard) and the consolidated unit designated as the 2nd Infantry Regiment. It was mustered into Federal service on 16 May 1898 at Springfield, IL, as the 2nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry and mustered out of Federal service on 6 April 1899 at Camp McKenzie, GA.

It was mustered into Federal service on 25 June 1916 at Springfield, IL, and mustered out of Federal service on 5 October 1916 at Springfield, IL. The unit was drafted into Federal Service on 5 August 1917, before being reorganized and redesignated on 12 October 1917 as the 132d Infantry and assigned to the 33d Division. It demobilized on 31 May 1919 at Camp Grant, IL.

The unit reorganized between 1920-1921 in the Illinois National Guard at Chicago as the 2nd Infantry while its Headquarters was Federally recognized on 7 July 1921 at Chicago. It was redesignated on 31 December 1921 at the 132nd Infantry and assinged to the 33rd Division. It was inducted into Federal Service on 5 March 1941 at Chicago, IL. It was relieved on 14 January 1942 from assignment to the 33d Division and assigned to Task Force 6814, from which it was relieved on 27 May 1942 to be reassigned to the Americal Division. It inactivated on 26 November 1945 at Fort Lewis, WA.

Relieved on 5 July 1946 from assignment to the Americal Division and assigned to the 33d Infantry Division, it was reorganized and Federally recognized on 11 February 1947 at Chicago. It consolidated on 15 March 1954 with the 131st Infantry and the consolidated unit was designated as the 131st Infantry, an element of the 33d Infantry Division.

The 131st Infantry reorganized on 1 March 1959 as a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System, to consist of the 1st Battle Group, an element of the 33d Infantry Division. It reorganized on 1 April 1963 to consist of the 1st Battalion, an element of the 33d Division; on 1 December 1965 to consist of the 1st Battalion; and on 1 February 1968 to consist of the 1st Battalion, an element of the 33d Infantry Brigade.

The 1st Battalion was ordered into active Federal service on 7 April 1968 at Chicago. It was released from active Federal service on 11 April 1968 and reverted to state control. It was withdrawn on 5 February 1987 from the Combat Arms Regimental System and reorganized under the United States Army Regimental System with Headquarters in Chicago.

Company C of the 1st Infantry Battalion deployed from May to October 2000 to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, to take part in Operation Desert Spring. While there, the units from Joliet and Kankakee provided security for Patriot missile batteries.

The 1st Battalion, 131st Infantry Regiment, deployed to Iceland to take part in the 2001 Northern Viking exercise.



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