2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment
The modern 2nd infantry Regiment traces its lineage to 12 April 1808. It was organized between May and July 1808 in Pennsylvania, New York, or New Jersey. It was on this date that the 2nd Regiment of Infantry was constituted in the regular Army as a Company of the 6th Infantry. Soon after its birth, the Regiment was baptized by fire during the War of 1812. In the years that followed, the 2nd Infantry fought in the Seminole War and numerous other Indian Campaigns. During the Mexican War, the 2nd Infantry Campaigned from the Rio Grande to Vera Cruz to Mexican city.
2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment traces its lineage to a company of the 2nd Infantry. The unit was consolidated between May and October 1815 with a company of the 16th Infantry (first constituted 11 January 1812), a company each of the 22nd and 23rd Infantry (both constituted 26 June 1812), and a company of the 32nd Infantry (first constituted 29 January 1813) to form a company of the 2nd Infantry. It was subsequently designated as 22 May 1816 as Company B, 2nd Infantry.
In 1843, LTC Riley, who commanded the 2nd Infantry through the Seminole and Mexican Wars, presented the Regiment with a drum major's baton, made from a ramrod, with a silver knob inscribing the date of presentation, the name of the officer giving it, and the regimental motto, "Noli Me Tangere." After a heroic assault to capture the fortress at Chapultapec, the flagstaff from that fort was used to make another baton with the silver mountings transferred to it. The baton was the symbol of the battalion nickname: "Ramrods."
Returning to the United States in 1848, the Regiment moved to California to quell Indian uprisings, a mission which continued through the West until the beginnings of the Civil War. During the Civil War the 2nd Infantry fought in 23 major engagements.
On 18 April 1869 the unit was consolidated with Company B, 16th Infantry, and the consolidated unit was designated as Company B, 2nd Infantry. Company B, 16th Infantry was first constituted on 3 May 1861 in the Regular Army as Company B, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry and was organized on 21 August 1861 at Camp Slemmer, Illinois. The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 21 September 1866 as Company B, 16th Infantry.
From 1877 to 1898, the 2nd Infantry fought in a series of Indian campaigns in the Pacific Northwest. In 1898 the regiment fought in the Spanish-American War, participating in the battles of Santiago and San Juan Hill, where it fought side by side with teddy Roosevelt's "Rough Riders." In 1899 the 2nd Infantry went to the Philippines to deal with the Philippine insurrection. Four years later, the regiment returned to duty in the western United States, only to be re-deployed to the Philippines in 1906.
The 2nd Infantry was assigned on 27 July 1918 to the 19th Division and relieved on 14 February 1919 from this assignment. World War I found the regiment on duty in the Hawaiian Islands, and the war ended just as the regiment was about to deploy to France. It was assigned on 24 March 1923 to the 6th Division and relieved on 16 October 1939 from this assignment and assigned to the 5th Division (later redesignated as the 5th Infantry Division).
In World War II, the 2nd Infantry Regiment fought as part of the 5th Infantry Division in Patton's famous Third Army, leading the way in the breakout from the beaches of Normandy in operation Cobra, capturing the ancient capital of Rheims and seizing Metz after a major battle at Fort Driant. The 2nd Infantry Regiment forced a crossing of the Sauer River and attacked into the Seigfried Line. The Regiment Crossed the Rhine River near the Oppenheim and secured crossing for other Third Army units. The unit then spearheaded the attack into Czechoslovakia and was located near the town of Voltray when the word came to cease all forward movement at 0831 hours on 7 May 1945.
The unit was inactivated on 20 September 1946 at Camp Campbell, Kentucky, only to be activated again on 15 July 1947 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. It was again inactivated on 30 April 1950 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and then activated on 1 March 1951 at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, Pennsylvania. It was inactivated yet again on 1 September 1953 at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, Pennsylvania.
On 25 May 1954 the unit was activated in Germany. It was reorganized and redesignated on 15 February 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battle Group, 2nd Infantry, relieved from assignment to the 5th Infantry Division, and assigned to the 1st Infantry Division with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated. It was relieved on 28 January 1959 from assignment to the 1st Infantry Division and assigned to the 24th Infantry Division. It was again reorganized and redesignated on 19 February 1962 as the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry, and concurrently relieved from assignment to the 24th Infantry Division and assigned to the 5th Infantry Division.
On 12 July 1965 the unit was relieved from assignment to the 5th Infantry Division and assigned to the 1st Infantry Division. Later in 1965 2-2nd Infantry again answered the call to duty and deployed to Vietnam. The 2-2nd Infantry fought initially as light infantry in the North and West of Saigon. Major operations included: Junction City, the largest operation conducted at that time, Lam Son II, Paul Bunyon, An Loc and An Loc II, plus numerous smaller operations. The 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry received 3 Valorous unit awards and two awards of the Republic of Vietnam Cross of gallantry, with Palm, for its distinguished service. Following its return from Vietnam 2-2nd Infantry was inactivated on 15 April 1970 at Fort Riley, Kansas.
The 2nd battalion, 2nd Infantry was relieved from assignment to the 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) and reassigned to the 9th Infantry on 21 March 1973. The unit was inactivated on 15 May 1991 at Fort Lewis, Washington, and relieved from assignment to the 9th Infantry Division.
The 2nd battalion, 2nd Infantry was reassigned to the 1st Infantry Division and reactivated on 15 February 1996 at Rose Barracks, Vilseck Germany. The Battalion successfully deployed to Bosnia in support of operation Joint Guard, where the Unit was awarded the Amy Superior Unit Award for actions such as Brcko riots and Hill 562. The 2nd battalion, 2nd Infantry redeployed to Vilseck in October 1997. On 24 November 1999, the Battalion deployed to Camp Monteith, Kosovo to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1244, the Kosovo Protection Corps Agreement, the basic law and order in order to create a safe and secure environment for the local populace. The Battalion redeployed to Rose Barracks, Vilseck on 7 June 2000.
The unit was redesignated on 1 October 2005 as the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment. It was relieved on 16 April 2007 from assignment to the 1st Infantry Division and assigned to the 3d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
In June 2008, the unit deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan, where it continued to serve into 2009.
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