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3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized)
"Cottonbalers"

The 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, was originally constituted on 11 January 1812 in the Regular Army as a company of the 8th Infantry. It was organized in 1812 in Tennessee, Georgia, or the adjacent territories. It was consolidated between May and October 1815 with a company of the 24th Infantry (originally constituted on 26 June 1812) and a company of the 39th Infantry (originally constituted on 29 January 1813) to form a company of the 7th Infantry. It was designated on 21 August 1816 as Company C, 7th Infantry.

It was consolidated on 26 May 1869 with Company C, 36th Infantry, which was itself constituted on 3 May 1861 in the Regular Army as Company C, 3rd Battalion, 18th Infantry, and organized on 16 October 1861 at Camp Thomas, Ohio. It was reorganized and redesignated on 26 December 1866 as Company C, 36th Infantry, and consolidated on 26 May 1869 with Company C, 7th Infantry, with the consolidated unit designated as Company C, 7th Infantry.

The newly consolidated unit was assigned with the 7th Infantry on 21 November 1917 to the 3rd Division (later redesignated as the 3rd Infantry Division).

In 1948 the 7th Infantry Regiment was stationed at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, where it remained until alerted for the Korean War in the summer of 1950. Landing in Wonsan, North Korea in November 1950, the 7th Infantry Regiment sped northward to establish blocking position to help in evacuation of US Marines and the other US Army elements caught in the vicious attacks by the Chinese forces. Within a short period of time the 7th Infantry earned the distinction of spending more days in combat in Korea than any other regiment. Its fighting men earned 8 Medals of Honor and over 2,000 other awards for valor in 23 months of combat action.

The unit was inactivated on 1 July 1957 at Fort Benning, Georgia, and relieved from assignment to the 3rd Infantry Division. It was concurrently redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battle Group, 7th Infantry. The unit was withdrawn on 11 May 1959 from the Regular Army, allotted to the Army Reserve, and assigned to the 102nd Infantry Division (with its organic elements were concurrently constituted).

The Battle Group activated on 1 June 1959 with Headquarters at Danville, Illinois. It was inactivated on 1 April 1963 at Danville, Illinois, and relieved from assignment to the 102nd Infantry Division. It was redesignated on 23 March 1966 as the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry and concurrently withdrawn from the Army Reserve, allotted to the Regular Army, and assigned to the 199th Infantry Brigade (Seperate).

The unit was again activated on 1 June 1966 at Fort Benning, Georgia. 3-7th Infantry with attached units found itself waging 11 campaigns in Vietnam, which included the Tet Offensive in 1969, as part of the 199th Infantry Brigade (Seperate). It was inactivated on 15 October 1970 at Fort Benning, Georgia, and relieved from assignment to the 199th Infantry Brigade (Seperate).

It was reassigned on 21 March 1973 to the 197th Infantry Brigade (Seperate) and activated at Fort Benning, Georgia. It was inactivated on 16 October 1987 at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was relieved from its assignment to the 197th Infantry Brigade (Seperate).

The unit was assigned on 16 December 1987 to the 24th Infantry Division and activated at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Elements of all 3 battalions of the 7th Infantry Regiment saw action in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Storm, Kosovo and more recently Iraqi Freedom. It was relieved on 16 February 1996 from assignment to the 24th Infantry Division and reassigned to the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division.

2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 7th Infantry Regiment assigned to 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) liberated Iraq from the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Regiment's most notable achievements included seizing crossing sites over the Euphrates River and seizing the Iraqi regime's most prized possessions, Baghdad International Airport.

The 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry, was reassigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division in 2004, upon the creation of that new unit. Prior to that, the 3-7th Infantry had been assigned to the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. This was a product of 3rd Infantry Division transforming to the new modular Brigade concept after its return from Iraq in late 2003. 2-7th Infantry remained with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, while 3-7th Infantry joined the new 4th Brigade Combat Team.

After a tough train-up period during 2004, the reorganized 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 7th Infantry Regiment deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom III with their respective Brigade Combat Teams (1st and 4th Brigade Combat Teams). The 3rd Battalion assumed responsibility of Western Rashid in Baghdad, an area encompassing more than 800,000 Iraqis. The 7th Infantry Regiment's most notable achievement was ensuring the security of over 100 polling sites during 2 Iraqi National Elections.

The Battalion redeployed to Fort Stewart, Georgia in January 2006. In 2007 the 4th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) was alerted for deployment to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in late 2007. The 4th Brigade, including the 3-7th Infantry, continued to serve in that country into 2008.




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