Military


1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment

In June 2006, the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment was reactivated as part of the activation of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to its inactivation in April 2006 it had been assigned to the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). There its mission had been to execute Basic combat Training Program Of Instruction (POI) to standard in order to produce the best Soldiers prepared for Advanced Individual Training (AIT).

The 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry was first constituted on 15 May 1917 in the Regular Army as Company A, 38th Infantry. It was organized 1 June 1917 in Syracuse, New York. The 38th Infantry was assigned on 1 October 1917 to the 3rd Division (later redesignated as the 3rd Infantry Division). The Regiment took part in the French Campaigns of 1918 in the 3rd Division. Its most remarkable feat was at Chateau Thierry on the Marne, on 15 July 1918, where it broke the point of the German attack. This Division was shown by the broken chevron, the rock and motto. The Divisional insignia forms the base of the shield.

The Distinctive Unit Insignia was a gold color metal and enamel device 1 7/32 inches (3.10 cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Azure, in chief a chevron reversed rompu point enhanced Argent, in base three bendlets sinister of the last. Above the shield was a wreath of the colors a boulder Proper. Attached below the shield was a gold motto scroll inscribed "THE ROCK OF THE MARNE" in blue letters. The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 25 November 1922. The coat of arms was approved on 7 July 1921. The coat of arms included a shield, crest, and motto. The shield: Azure, chief a chevron reversed rompu point enhanced Argent, in base 3 bendlets sinister of the last. The crest: On a wreath of the colors (Blue and White) was a boulder Proper. The motto was "The Rock of the Marne."

The Company A, 38th Infantry was inactivated on 1 October 1933 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. It was reactivated on 1 May 1939 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The 38th Infantry Regiment was relieved 16 October 1939 from assignment to the 3rd Infantry Division and assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division, which was later redesignated as the 2nd Infantry Division.

Organic to the 2nd Infantry Division when it was alerted for deployment to Korea in early July 1950 were the 9th, 23rd, and 38th Infantry Regiments, some of the most famous in the Army. The Division was short an estimated 5,000 soldiers, mostly in the Infantry regiments and Field Artillery battalions. This shortage was made up by reassigning soldiers from the depots, service schools, and nondeploying units. By the time the Division embarked it was at full strength, but the Army did not have a functioning replacement system to meet its growing requirements in Korea.

On 25 December 1953 the 38th Infantry Regiment repelled Chinese forces during an intense battle, the Battle of T-Bone Hill. T-Bone Hill was a mountain in the western part of North Korea about 15 miles above the 38th parallel. It was named by the GIs who fought and died there. At the ending of the war the Communists erected an arch of tree limbs and called out for UN troops to "come over and we will walk through the arch as brothers." This area was defended by the 3rd Infantry Division.

Corporal Ronald E. Rosser, Infantry, United States Army, a member of Heavy Mortar Company, 38th Infantry Regiment, assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty on 12 January 1952, in the vicinity of Ponggilli, Korea. While assaulting heavily fortified enemy hill positions, Company L, 38th Infantry Regiment, was stopped by fierce automatic-weapons, small-arms, artillery, and mortar fire. Corporal Rosser, a forward observer was with the lead platoon of Company L, 38th Infantry, when it came under fire from 2 directions. Corporal Rosser turned his radio over to his assistant and, disregarding the enemy fire, charged the enemy positions armed with only carbine and a grenade. At the first bunker, he silenced its occupants with a burst from his weapon. Gaining the top of the hill, he killed 2 enemy soldiers, and then went down the trench, killing 5 more as he advanced. He then hurled his grenade into a bunker and shot 2 other soldiers as they emerged. Having exhausted his ammunition, he returned through the enemy fire to obtain more ammunition and grenades and charged the hill once more. Calling on others to follow him, he assaulted 2 more enemy bunkers. Although those who attempted to join him became casualties, Corporal Rosser once again exhausted his ammunition obtained a new supply, and returning to the hilltop a third time hurled grenades into the enemy positions. During this heroic action Corporal Rosser single-handedly killed at least 13 of the enemy. After exhausting his ammunition he accompanied the withdrawing platoon, and though himself wounded, made several trips across open terrain still under enemy fire to help remove other men injured more seriously than himself. This outstanding soldier's courageous and selfless devotion to duty was worthy of emulation by all men. He contributed magnificently to the high traditions of the military service.

The unit was redesignated 8 November 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battle Group, 38th Infantry, and relieved from assignment to the 2nd Infantry Division. It inactivated 4 March 1958. Its organic elements were constituted on 26 January 1962, and the Battle Group was assigned 19 February 1962 to the 2nd Infantry Division. It was concurrentl reactivated at Fort Benning, Georgia. It was reorganized and redesignated on 10 May 1963 as the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry.

The 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry was inactivated on 16 December 1986 in Korea and relieved from assignment to the 2nd Infantry Division. Headquarters transferred 28 August 1987 to the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command and activated at Fort Benning, Georgia. The mission of the 1-38th Infantry was to execute Basic Combat Training Program Of Instruction (POI) to standard in order to produce the best Soldiers prepared for Advanced Individual Training (AIT). The Battalion was redesignated 1 October 2005 as the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment. Its Headquarters was inactivated on 27 April 2006 at Fort Benning, Georgia, and withdrawn from the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command.

The 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry was assigned on 1 June 2006 to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, and activated at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Soldiers from Fort Lewis, Washington assigned to Task Force Blaze put their wildland firefighting training into action for the first time 19 August 2006 by taking on the wildfires burning in the state of Washington. Following 3 days of classroom and field instruction from experienced wildland firefighters, the Soldiers were ready to face the flames. Soldiers on the fire teams who have been in combat fire fights overseas said that they are now part of a different kind of fire fight. Nearly 500 Soldiers from Fort Lewis spent the day performing mop-up operations on forest fires in the Tripod Complex in north central Washington. The arduous work required a high level of physical fitness and has an undeniable element of danger, conditions to which US Soldiers were accustomed.




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