1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division
1st Brigade (Heavy), 34th Infantry Division
The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division is capable of supporting the US Army with a trained and ready combat force. Additionally, the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, a Minnesota Army National Guard brigade is prepared to support the State of Minnesota with troops capable of assisting civil authorities in a disaster. The Brigade Combat Team is headquartered in Bloomington, Minnesota.
The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division was originally organized in the Minnesota Enrolled Militia at Stillwater. Minnesota as the Stillwater Guards. The unit was mustered into Federal service on 29 April 1861 at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, as Company B, 1st Regiment, Minnesota Volunteers. The 1st Regiment, Minnesota Volunteers, was reorganized and redesignated in April 1864 as the 1st Battalion, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. It was expanded, reorganized and was redesignated on 23 February 1865 as the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. The 1st Regiment was mustered out of Federal service on 14 July 1865 at Jeffersonville, Indiana. During the Civil War, the unit participated in 12 campaigns: Bull Run, Penninsula, Valley, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Petersburg, Virginia 1861, Virginia 1862, Virginia 1863, Virginia 1864, and Virginia 1865.
Company B, 1st Regiment, Minnesota Volunteers was reorganized in 1883 in the Minnesota National Guard as Company K, 1st Infantry Regiment, and redesignated on 4 May 1898 as Company K, 13th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. It was mustered into Federal service on 7 May 1898 at Camp Ramsey, Minnesota and mustered out of Federal service on 3 October 1899 at San Francisco, California. During this period the unit served in the War with Spain during the Manila campaign and in the Luzon and San Isidoro campaigns of the following Philippine Insurrection.
It was reorganized in 1900 in the Minnesota National Guard at Stillwater, Minnesota as Company K, 1st Infantry Regiment. It was redesignated between 1912 and 1916 as Company K, 3rd Infantry Regiment and mustered into Federal Service on 30 June 1916 at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, before being mustered out of Federal service there on 19 December 1916.
The unit was drafted into Federal Service on 5 August 1917. It was converted and redesignated on 1 October 1917 as Battery F, 125th Field Artillery, an element of the 34th Division. It was demobilized on 22 January 1919 at Camp dodge, Iowa. The unit recieved a campaign streamer without inscription for its service during the First World War.
The unit was expanded, reorganized, and was Federally recognized on 27 May 1921 in Minnesota National guard at Stillwater, Minnesota as Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, and the Howitzer Company, 1st Infantry. It was redesignated on 21 November 1921 as Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, and the Howitzer Company, 135th Infantry, elements of the 34th Division (later redesignated as the 34th Infantry Division).
Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion was reorganized and was redesignated on 2 May 1925 as Company A, 135th Infantry. The Howitzer Company was reorganized and redesignated on 31 August 1939 as Company D, 135th Infantry.
Companies A and D, 135th Infantry, were inducted into Federal Service on February 1941 at Stillwater, Minnesota. The units were inactivated on 3 November 1945 at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia. The unit had participated in 6 campaigns in the Second World War: Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, North Appenines, and Po Valley. The 135th Infantry as a whole was relieved on 19 June 1946 from assignment to the 34th Infantry Division and assigned to the 47th Infantry Division.
The unit was reorganized and Federally recognized on 12 November 1946 at Stillwater, Minnesota, as Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, and the Antitank Company, 135th Infantry. The Antitank Company was redesignated on 1 November 1948 as the Heavy Mortar Company, 135th Infantry. Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, and Heavy Mortar Company, 135th Infantry, were ordered into Active Federal service on 16 January 1951 at Stillwater, Minnesota. The Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 135th Infantry; and Heavy Mortar Company, 135th Infantry were organized and federally recognized on 16 January 1953 at Stillwater, Minnesota. They were released on 2 December 1954 from active Federal service and reverted to state control. Federal recognition was concurrently withdrawn from Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 135th Infantry, and Heavy Mortar Company, 135th Infantry.
Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, and Heavy Mortar Company, 135th Infantry were consolidated on 22 February 1959 and the consolidated unit was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters Company, 1st Battle group, 135th Infantry, an element of the 47th Infantry Division. It was again reorganized and was redesignated on 1 April 1963 as Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 135th Infantry, on 1 February 1968 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade, 47th Infantry Division, and on 10 February 1991 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division.
Prior to the modular transformation, the 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division was located throughout Minnesota with its Headquarters located in Stillwater, Minnesota. The size of the Brigade was approximately 3,000 soldiers and was, as of early 2002, organized under an Armor Heavy Modified Table of Organizational Equipment or MTOE. Under an Armor Heavy MTOE, the 1st Brigade had 2 M1A1 equipped armor battalions, one Bradley Fighting Vehicle equipped mechanized infantry battalion, and a brigade reconnaissance troop along with its Headquarters and Headquarters Company. Also associated with the 1st Brigade were the 1-125th Field Artillery, the 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 134th Forward Support Battalion. These additional battalions gave the Brigade the ability to conduct combat operations on the battlefield.
As part of the transformation of the Army as a whole to the modular force structure, the 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division. The 1-125th Field Artillery was made organic to the new 1st Brigade Combat Team, as was the reorganized and redesignated 134th Brigade Support Battalion. A Special Troops Battalion was also activated, while G Troop, 113th Cavalry was inactivated. The 1st Battalion, 194th Armor and the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry were reorganized and redesignated as combined arms battalions. 2nd Battalion, 194th Armor was converted and redesignated as the 2nd Squadron, 194th Cavalry and assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team.
In total there were 7 major units in the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division: 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry, headquartered in Moorhead, Minnesota; 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor, headquartered in Brainerd, Minnesota; 2nd Squadron, 194th Cavalry, headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota; 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery, headquartered in New Ulm, Minnesota; 134th Brigade Support Battalion headquartered at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, Minnesota; the Brigade's Special Troops Battalion, headquartered in Stillwater, Minnesota; and the Brigade's Headquarters and Headquarters Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division was involved in several missions, including those supporting the Global War on Terrorism after the events of 11 September 2001 (later renamed Overseas Contingency Operations). The Brigade had participated in Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia, Operation Joint Guardian in Kosovo, the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in Egypt, Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq, as well as, homeland defense missions for Operation Noble Eagle. The Brigade was also involved in Joint Exercises, Division and Brigade Warfighter Exercises, Overseas Deployments to Europe, Central America, and Southwest Asia, Combat Maneuver Training Center rotations, the Norwegian Exchange and Officer and NCO Exchanges with the United Kingdom and Germany.
1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division had the distinction of being the first Brigade Combat Team deployed to a combat zone using the modern Army modular system. In 2005 the 1st Brigade Combat Team deployed with 4,000 Citizen-Soldiers from several states, including 2,600 from Minnesota, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The tour was extended in support of the successful "Troop Surge" in Iraq, and they ultimately returned in August 2007, earning the distinction of serving the longest combat tour of any military unit in Iraq.
By 11 January 2011, the 2nd Squadron, 194th Cavalry Regiment had been reflagged as the 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry Regiment, a unit that had been assigned to the pre-modular 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division as the 1st Battalion, 94th Armor Regiment. It was subequently converted and redesignated. The 1st Brigade Combat Team also gained the 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment, previously a Minnesota Army National Guard battalion assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry Division, an element of the Iowa Army National Guard.
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