1st Battalion (Mechanized), 8th Infantry Regiment
The mission of the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 8th Infantry Regiment, "Fighting Eagles," is to maintain combat readiness to deploy, fight, and win in any theater of operations.
The 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 8th Infantry Regiment was originally organized on 1 July 1838 as a detachment of recruits at Detroit, Michigan. It was designated on 5 July 1838 as Company A, 8th Infantry, and concurrently constituted in the Regular Army. The unit served with the rest of the 8th Infantry in the Mexican-American War, participating in 8 campaigns: Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Churubusco, Molino del Rey, Chapultepec. It then served with the Union Army in the American Civil War, participating in another 12 campaigns: Peninsula, Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wildernessm Atlanta, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Texas 1861.
Company A, 8th Infantry was consolidated in May 1869 with Company A, 33rd Infantry. Company A, 33rd Infantry was first constituted on 3 May 1861 in the Regular Army as Company A, 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry. It was organized by March 1864 at Fort Adams, Rhode Island. It was reorganized and redesignated on 21 September 1866 as Company A, 33rd Infantry. After consolidation with Company A, 8th Infantry, the consolidated unit was designated as Company A, 8th Infantry.
Along with the rest of the 8th Infantry, the unit participated in 6 campaigns of the Indian Wars leading up to the turn of the century: Seminoles, Apaches, New Mexico 1858, New Mexico 1860, Montana 1872, Arizona 1876. It also deployed to Cuba during the Spanish-American War, participating in the Santiago campaign. In 1901 it was sent to the Philippines as part of the Luzon campaign to suppress the insurgency there.
The 8th Infantry as a whole was assigned on 17 December, 1917 to the 8th Division. The unit was awared a streamer without inscription for World War I. The 8th Infantry was subsequently relieved on 24 March 1923 from assignment to the 8th Division and reassigned to the 4th Division (later redesignated as the 4th Infantry Division).
With the 4th Infantry Division, the unit participated in 5 campaigns in the Second World War: Normandy (streamer with arrowhead indicating participation in the initial assault), Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe. After the Second World War, Company B, 8th Infantry along with the rest of the Regiment was inactivated on 25 February, 1946, at Camp Butner, North Carolina. In World War II, the 8th Infantry Regiment was cited twice in the order of the day by the Belgian Army, the first for action in the Belgian Campaign, and later for action in the Ardennes. The Belgian Government subsequently awarded the regiment the Belgian Fourragere. The Regiment as a whole was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation during World War II on 6 June 1944, for action on the beaches of Normandy.
Company A, 8th Infantry was reactivated on 15 July 1947 at Fort Ord, California. It was reorganized and redesignated on 1 April 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battle Group, 8th Infantry, and remained assigned to the 4th Infantry Division with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated.
The Battle Group was reorganized and redesignated on 1 October 1963 as the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry. The 1-8th Infantry deployed to Vietnam from 1966 to 1970, participating in Operations Sam Houston, Francis Marion, Don Quin, and Paul Revere III. The unit served in 9 campaigns in Vietnam with the 4th Infantry Division: Counteroffensive Phase II, Counteroffensive Phase III, Tet Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase IV, Counteroffensive Phase V, Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, Winter-Spring 1970. After returning from Vietnam, the unit was inactivated on 10 April 1970 at Fort Lewis, Washington. The Battalion was awarded two Presidential Unit Citations in Vietnam, one for actions in Pleiku Province and another for operations in Dak To District. Companies A and C were awared a separate Presidential Unit Citations for operations in Kontum Province. They were awarded a cluster to their presidential unit citations for extraordinary heroism in the Republic of Vietnam. Companies A and C sought out, engaged and decisively defeated an overwhelmingly larger force by deploying small, isolated patrols and conducting company and platoon size reconnaissance-in-force operations. The South Vietnamese Government awarded the Battalion the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm and the Civil Action Medal First Class.
The Battalion was reactivated on 13 September 1972 at Fort Carson, Colorado.
The Battalion was relieved on 16 December 2004 from assignment to the 4th Infantry Division and assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. This reassignment was part of the transformation of the 4th Infantry Division to the US Army's new modular force structure. The Battalion was redesignated on 1 October 2005 as the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment.
As of 1 January 2006, the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, an element of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division was participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom as part of the larger Task Force Band of Brothers, which was led by 101st Airborne Division commanding general, Major General Thomas Turner. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team's mission included training the Iraqi Security Forces, assisting in the rebuilding of the Diyala Province infrastructure, as well as continuing to root out the anti-Iraqi forces that inhabit the region.
The 4,000 troops in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, which included 1-8th Infantry, had 9 forward operating bases (FOBs) spread across 1,500 square miles of Iraq north of Baghdad, from Samarra to Taji. The headquarters were at Logistics Support Area Anaconda, a logistics support area about 12 miles from FOB Eagle.
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