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1st Battalion (OPFOR), 4th Infantry Regiment

The mission of the 1st Battalion (OPFOR), 4th Infantry Regiment is to, in a forward deployed environment, conduct combat operations throughout the full spectrum of the contemporary operational environment in order to provide realistic joint and combined arms training conditions focused on developing soldiers, leaders, and units for success on existing and future battlefields throughout US Army Europe (USAREUR). It would also, on order, deploy combat forces to conduct combat operations in support of the global war on terrorism.

The mission of the 1st Battalion (OPFOR), 4th Infantry Regiment was previously to, in a forward deployed environment, conduct combat operations replicating opposing force doctrine contained within US Army Field Manual 7-100 to prepare USAREUR brigade combat teams to fight and win throughout the full spectrum of conflict. 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment played Opposing Force (OPFOR) to the training units at each rotation at the Joint Multinational Readiness Group in Hohenfels. The soldiers in the Battalion usually wore all-black battle dress uniforms, leading to the battalion being dubbed "the Men in Black," but depending on the type of rotation, they might don the traditional dress of Iraq, for example. Swathed in robes, they added a realistic aura by hiding in caves or sauntering along the streets of their fabricated villages.

The 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry served in the defense of the United States for almost 200 years. The Battalion traced its history the formation of the 4th Sub-Legion on 4 September 1792, only 4 years after the adoption of the Federal Constitution. The Infantry of the 4th Sub-Legion fought at Miami Rapids in 1794. In 1796 it was redesignated the 4th Regiment of the Infantry. The Regiment existed for 10 years, but due to a reduction in the Army the Regiment was disbanded in 1802.

The 4th Infantry returned in 1808 in order to meet the growing threat posed by the Indian nations, which lived on the western boundaries of the United States. The 4th Infantry was sent, under the leadership of William H. Harrison, into the Northeast Territories, which included Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. They were sent to eliminate the threat posed by a union of Indian tribes from the surrounding area. The hostile actions of these tribes was effectively stopping settlement of this vast area. General Harrison, who was later to become a United States President, led the 4th Infantry and a force of volunteers into battle against the Indians at Tippecanoe. During this famous battle, the American forces completely routed the Indians. This brought peace to the area, but at a cost of 188 dead or wounded soldiers. Due to the complicated process by which the Historical Department of the Army determines a unit's history and lineage, the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry's colors do not bear the campaign streamers of some of the battles it participated in before 1812.

Within months after Tippecanoe, the 4th Infantry marched into Canada in the opening days of the War of 1812. The 4th Infantry Regiment was officially first constituted on 11 January 1812 in the Regular Army as the 14th Infantry. 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment traces its lineage and honors to when it was first constituted on 11 January 1812 in the Regular Army as a company of the 14th Infantry. The Company was organized in 1812.

On 12 July 1812, General Hull crossed with his command into Canada, and made camp at Sandwich, Canada, just on the Canadian border. The first engagement for the 14th Infantry during the War of 1812 was during a resupply mission near what became Detroit, Michigan (then known as Camp Detroit). The 14th Infantry was ambushed at Maguage, 14 miles below Detroit, by a far superior force of British troops and their Indian allies. Responding to the enemy initiative the 14th Infantry soldiers attacked the enemy breastworks and positions, wounded the famous Indian chief Tecumseh, and completely routed the attackers.

Although never defeated in battle, the Fourth Infantry was surrendered as part of a larger force later during the War of 1812 by the Commanding Officer, General Hull. For this General Hull was tried and found guilty of "Cowardness" and "Neglect of Duty." President Monroe, mitigating the court-martial sentence, that General Hull be shot, ruled: "The rolls of the Army shall no longer be debased by having upon them the name of Brigadier General Hull". The 14th Infantry colors taken by the British and kept in the Tower of London until 1889.

After remaining several months in Canada as prisoners of war, the officers and men were returned under parole to Boston and given furloughs until exchanged for British prisoners of war. Early in 1813 the exchange was effective and the Regiment reassembled and recruited to strength. It fought at La Cole Hill, Canada and at Plattsburg in 1814.

At the Conclusion of the War of 1812, Congress demanded, and got, a vast reduction in strength of the United States Army. Many of the infantry regiments were consolidated in order to realize a smaller number of regimental organizations. The 14th Infantry, along with 4 other regiments, was reduced in strength and then formed as the 4th Infantry Regiment in 1815. The 14th Infantry was consolidated between May and October 1815 with the 18th and 20th Infantry (both first constituted on 11 January 1812) and the 36th and 38th Infantry (both first constituted on 29 January 1813) to form the 4th Infantry. The Company of the 14th Infantry that the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry draws its lineage and honors from was consolidated with during this period with a company from each of these Regiments to form a Company of the 4th Infantry. The company was designated on 21 August 1816 as Company A, 4th Infantry.

In the 1820s, American settlers were pushing south into the southeastern areas of the country. The Creek and Seminole Indian tribes were attempting to stop this settlement of their homelands. The 4th Infantry was commanded by General Andrew Jackson, a future president, and was selected to stop the continuous engagement with these tribes. The enemy used raids and surprise ambushes extensively in the swampy, jungle-like areas of the South. However, the Indian tribes were finally defeated. The direct result of these campaigns was that immigrants that the states of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida were opened to the influx of immigrants that were coming to America at that time.

In 1842, the Regiment was ordered to its first regular post, Jefferson Barracks, in Missouri. However, war with Mexico threatened the United States in 1844, so the 4th Infantry was moved to Western Louisiana to await orders. When the war started, the 4th Infantry sailed for Corpus Christi, Texas (then part of Mexico), as part of General Zackary Taylor's invasion force. The Regiment took part in all the major battles of the Mexican War, including Palo Alto, Vera Cruz, Monterey, and Chaputtepec. General Ulysses S. Grant was another of the several future presidents who serve with the 4th Infantry during this war. He was to remember his service in the 4th Infantry later during his command of the Union forces in the Civil War.

At the conclusion of the war, the 4th Infantry was transferred to New York, and spread out along the Great Lakes. The 4th Infantry performed garrison and guard duties until 1852 when once again expanding America looked to the 4th Infantry for aid in the western settlements. The 4th Infantry was ordered to the Pacific Coast. Since there was no other transportation, the Regiment traveled by ship to Panama and then crossed on foot to the Pacific side. By the time the Regiment reached Benicia on the western side, disease had killed one officer and 106 soldiers.

On arrival on the Pacific Coast, the Regiment was distributed among many small forts and outposts, including Hopkins, Humbelt, Boise, Reading, Yashill, Oxford, Walla Walla, and Vancouver Barracks. In the 1850s, the Regiment played a major part in the suppression of the Indian tribes of Oregon and Washington. While no large battles were fought, many fierce skirmishes with the Indians marked the opening days of the areas settlement. At the close of the northwestern Indian Wars, 3 companies of the 4th Infantry reinforced a company of the 9th Infantry in occupying the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington. These islands were then claimed by the British. In 1861, the 4th Infantry returned to Washington DC, to become part of the garrison in the defense of the Capitol.

The Regiment's first engagement of the Civil War was in 1862 during the Siege of Yorktown. Among other actions, the 4th Infantry participated in the Battles of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Cedar Mountain. It was also present at Appomattox for Lee's surrender. The former Lieutenant U.S. Grant, then commanding the armies of the Union, never forgot the 4th Infantry with which he had served in Mexico and the many Indian wars. As recognition of its valor during the Civil War, he named the 4th Infantry as the guard unit at his headquarters for the surrender ceremony.

In 1867, the Regiment again came west to deal with hostile Indian tribes. It fought with General Cook's Little Big Horn Expedition and then after 1882, assumed garrison duties in the Pacific Northwest. Company A, 14th Infantry was consolidated on 31 March 1869 with Company A, 30th Infantry. Company A, 30th Infantry had been first constituted on 3 May 1861 in the Regular Army as Company A, 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry and organized on 23 December 1865 at Fort Hamilton, New York. It was reorganized and redesignated on 7 December 1866 as Company A, 30th Infantry before being consolidated with Company A, 4th Infantry. The consolidated unit was designated as Company A, 4th Infantry.

In 1898, the Spanish-American War started. The 4th Infantry became part of a large American force that went to Tampa, Florida, prior to sailing for Cuba. The Regiment participated in the Battle of El Caney and in the occupation of Santiago. Tropical fever disseminated the command, and when the campaign ended, the 4th Infantry returned to New York to recruit new troops.

Again at full strength in 1899, the Regiment sailed for Manila, the capitol of the Philippines, where the war still raged. The 4th Infantry was the first Army infantry unit to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The 4th Infantry and its Companies fought in the Battles of La Loma Church, Mariquima, Dismarineas, Imus, Puerto Julien, and elsewhere throughout the Philippines. After capturing the enemy's general, the Regiment set sail and returned to San Francisco.

After another tour in the Philippines, 1903-1905, the Regiment returned to Wyoming to stop a Ute Indian uprising. This battle was the last of its Indian campaigns. Then in 1908, the 4th Infantry again returned for garrison duty in the Philippines and remained there for 5 years.

Trouble with Mexico caused the Regiment to be stationed on the Texas border in 1913. In 1914 it took part in the occupation of Vera Cruz. The Regiment camped an the same grounds as it had in the Mexican War of 1847.

In 1917 when the United States entered World War I, the Fourth Infantry was stationed at Fort Brown, Texas. The 4th Infantry was assigned on 1 October 1917 to the 3rd Division. After recruiting and extensive training, it left for France in 1918. At this time, the German Army was at its peak and the Allied Forces were staggering under its blows. The 4th Infantry disembarked at Brest, France, in 1918, prepared to do battle. The entire Regiment was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for participation in the defensive actions at Aisne, Chateau, Thierry, Chapagne-Marne, and in the offensive actions at Aisne, St Michael, and Meusse-Argonne.

Having lost almost 80 percent of its men due to constant artillery fire, the Regiment was relieved by the 60th Infantry for a rest period. During this rest period, the German Army surrendered and World War I was ended. The 4th Infantry served as part of the Army of Occupation until 1919. Returning to the States, the Regiment was divided by sending companies to Fort Wright, Washington; Fort Missoula, Montana; and Fort Lawton, Washington.

In 1940, the Regiment was earmarked for the formation of the Alaska Defense Command. The 4th Infantry was relieved on 15 May 1940 from assignment to the 3rd Division. Company A, 4th Infantry arrived at Seward, Alaska, the same month France fell to the German Army. The rest of the Regiment arrived shortly after and started building Fort Richardson.

The Japanese, looking toward a future invasion of Alaska, started building up forces on the southern-most Alaskan Islands. The major battle of the war for the 4th Infantry was the Battle of Attu, a Japanese occupied island. On Attu Isand, the Company A fought the Japanese at altitudes of 2000 feet on snow covered mountains. After 5 straight days of strong enemy position, the Company A hooked up with other American forces who had landed on the opposite side of the island. After a day's rest, Company A was given the task of clearing entrenched Japanese defenders from the high peaks of Fish hook Ridge. Covered only by mortar and machine gun fire, troops of Company A scaled the steep cliffs while facing heavy enemy fire. Observers watching the action from a distance were fascinated by the spectacle. Small groups of soldiers were clearly visible as they slowly inched their way up to the enemy held peaks. One observer later said that the scene resembled a Hollywood adventure movie rather than the reality it was. Many were wounded or killed, but the Company took the peaks. For all practical purposes, the Japanese were defeated in that sector of the battle. The Presidential Unit Citation was awarded to Company A for its heroism during the attack on the peaks.

The next day, the American invasion force engaged and defeated 1,000 Japanese in a suicide attack near Sarana Valley. This was the last engagement with the Japanese for the Regiment. The Japanese had been driven from Alaska's Aleutian Islands, and the 4th Infantry had accomplished its mission. In 1943, the 4th Infantry returned to the United States and remained at Fort Lewis, Washington, for one year. Then in 1944, it was transferred to Fort Benning, Georgia, where it acted as demonstration troops for the Infantry School.

The Regiment was assigned on 1 November 1945 to the 25th Infantry Division. The 4th Infantry then moved to Japan as part of the Army of Occupation along with the 25th Infantry Division. Company A and the rest the 4th Infantry were inactivated on 31 January 1947 in Japan. 4th Infantry was relieved on 1 February 1947 from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division.

Company A and the rest of the 4th Infantry were reactivated on 1 October 1948 at Fort Lewis, Washington. The 4th Infantry was assigned on 10 October 1954 to the 71st Infantry Division. The 4th Infantry Regiment was relieved on 15 September 1956 from assignment to the 71st Infantry Division, becoming a regimental combat team at Fort Benning, Georgia.

In 1957, the Army adopted a concept which favored smaller, more mobile battle groups, referred to as the Pentomic force structure. Company A, 4th Infantry was reorganized and redesignated on 15 February 1958 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battle Group, 4th Infantry, and assigned to the 2nd Infantry Brigade with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated. The Battle Group sailed for duty in Germany in 1958. At ceremonies in Bamberg, Germany, 24 May 1958, the Battle Group Infantry accepted its new NATO mission. The Battle Group subsequently returned from Germany and was inactivated on 2 April 1962 at Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

The Battle Group was redesignated on 18 April 1963 as the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry and concurrently relieved from assignment to the 2nd Infantry Brigade and assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division. The Battalion was activated on 5 June 1963 in Aschaffenburg, Germany as an element of the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. There the Battalion took part in the many Return of Foreces to Germany (REFORGER) training exercises.

In May 1983, 1-4th Infantry began to reorganize under the Army of Excellence program, being tasked with gaurding the Pershing missiles sites in Germany. The reorganization caused the Battalion to expand to 4 rifle companies, an anti-armor company and a very large Headquarters and Headquarters company. In May 1984, the 1-4th Infantry began to transition to the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. The transition was completed in August 1984. In the late 1980's the Government again began to reduce the armed forces and 1-4th Infantry was listed for inactivation, which took place on 16 December 1987 and the unit was concurrently relieved from assignment to the 3rd Infantry Division.

The 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment was reactivated on 16 November 1990 and assigned to the Combat Maneuver Training Center, 7th Army Training Command in Hohenfels, Germany as the Opposing Forces (OPFOR) battalion for Army units stationed in Europe, as well as international military units. OPFOR missions included: conducting an attack, conducting a defense, and conducting insurgent operations. OPFOR capabilities included: organic anti-tank fires, area and zone reconnaissance, employment of combat security outposts, air-mobile operations, deliberate and hasty breaches, insurgent cell replication, complex ambushes, and IED attacks. The battalion was manned by tankers, as well as infantrymen, along with all other MOSs in a normal battalion sized organization. The 1-4th Infantry Battalion consisted of a headquarters and headquarters company, 3 rifle companies (A-C Companies), and a tank company (D Company).

The Battalion trained units deploying to Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraqi, and Afghanistan during High Intensity Conflict Rotations, and Mission Readiness Exercises. In addition to its OPFOR mission, the Battalion had the same training requirements as other infantry battalions in the Army. The Battalion executed squad external evaluations, tank gunnery, AT gunnery, MOUT training, marksmanship training, and live fire exercises. Between 2004 and 2006, the Battalion had also deployed on 3 separate company level rotations in support of OEF / ISAF under the .

The Battalion deployed forces in 2004 to take part in training exercises for security forces for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. In August 2004, the Battalion deployed Company A to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Team Apache served with distinction as the only US force in the International Security Assistance Force from August to December 2004 and operated under the tactical command of a Romanian infantry battalion. Task Force 1-4th Infantry was the operation force for Seventh Army Training Command and the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during the first democratic Afghan national election.

Team Apache was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation for its outstanding performance of duty. The MUC citation reads: During the period of 31 August to 12 December 2004, Company A, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry distinguished themselves while in support of the International Security Assistance Force operations led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Afghanistan. They provided superb support to coalition forces supporting a safe and successful Afghanistan National Presidential Election. Throughout the operation the company performed as a lethal, responsive, and relevant combat force directly responsible for supporting security and stabilization forces in theater. Their ability to respond to crisis was superb. Company A, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry's efforts reflect great credit upon themselves, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the United States Army.

In August 2005, the Battalion deployed Company D to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Team Dragon was used as a Force Protection Company for the newly formed Afghanistan elections. Team Dragon was awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation for its outstanding performance of duty. After a successful mission most of Team Dragon returned November of 2006.

On 9 October 2005, 2 Signal Support System Specialists were deployed from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-4th Infantry, attached to V Corps, and stationed Djibouti, Africa, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Both acted as Radio Operators for the J-6 Communications Detachment. The Radio Operators were attached to Field Intelligence, Civil Affairs, Force Protection, and Range Control teams. The 2 soldiers received Joint Service Achievement Medals. Both soldiers returned on 24 October 2006.

Soldiers of Company D, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade, returned from deployment in Afghanistan in November 2005. Team Delta Dragon left Hohenfels, Germany in September 2005. Though they normally served as Opposing Forces at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, they left OPFOR duties behind for a real-world mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. There, they assisted with security for elections as part of the NATO International Security Assistance Force.

Elements of the Battalion also deployed to Afghanistan in 2006. These soldiers returned in January 2007. Another company from the Battalion left for Afghanistan on 10 January 2007.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:18:35 ZULU