123rd Signal Battalion
"Voice of the Rock"/"First Voice Heard"
In 2004 the 3rd Infantry Division began transformation to the US Army's new modular force structure. As a result various habitually attached Division level support units was inactivated and their elements reactivated as part of reorganized and redesignated units with the Division and its line brigades. As a result, the 123rd Signal Battalion was deactivated in early 2004. A Company was reflagged as the Signal Company of 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. B Company was reflagged as the Signal Company of 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. C Company was reflagged as the Signal Company of 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
The mission of the 123d Signal Battalion was to, on order, deploy rapidly to a contingency area by air, sea, and land to provide the division command and control communications and computer systems in support of mobile, combined arms, offensive, and defensive operations worldwide.
The Battalion was originally constituted on 1 July 1916 in the regular Army and organized on 26 June 1917 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas as the 4th Field Battalion, Signal Corps. The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 3 August 1917 as the 5th Field Signal Battalion and was assigned to the Division on 12 November 1917. The Battalion arrived in France on 11 March 1918 with the 3rd Division, the "Rock of the Marne," and supported the Division in 6 campaigns during World War I. For it's efforts, the Battalion received the French Croix de Guerre with Silver Star.
The Battalion return to Camp Merritt, New Jersey on 15 August 1919 and then moved to Camp Pike, Arkansas on 31 August 1919, where it was reorganized and redesignated as the 3rd Signal Company on 14 February 1921. The 3rd Signal Company then moved to Camp Lewis, Washington and was inactivated on 1 February 1925.
The unit was again activated on 1 July 1935 at Fort Lewis, Washington and moved to Camp Ord, California, Fort Hunter Liggett, California and Camp Pickett, Virginia prior to departing from New York on 12 December 1942. The unit arrived at Felbala, French Morocco on Christmas Day 1942. All told during World War II, the 3rd Signal Company performed yeomen service with the Division during ten campaigns and received the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Presidential Unit Citation (for action at Colmar) the French Croix de Guerre with Palm (for Colmar) and the French Fourragere.
The unit left Bremerhaven, Germany and moved to Camp Campbell, Kentucky for 2 years before moving to Fort Benning, Georgia on 1 December 1948. The 3rd Signal Company would again deploy overseas to enter the Korean War, arriving in Japan on 15 September 1950. From Japan the unit landed in Korea on 15 November 1950 and supported the Division in 8 campaigns. The Battalion was awarded 2 Meritorious Unit Commendations, the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation (for Korea and the Iron Triangle), and the Bravery Gold Medal of Greece (for action in Korea). The unit then left Korea via Inchon on 30 October 1954 traveling back to Fort Benning, Georgia. While there, the unit was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company 123rd Signal Battalion on 1 July 1957. The Battalion would eventually relocate to Hindinburg Kaserne in Wurzburg, Germany.
On April 1996, the Colors of the 123rd Signal Battalion were transferred from Wurzberg to Fort Stewart, Georgia, the new home of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized).
The unit deployed to Exercise Bright Star 97. Soldiers from the unit also deployed in February 1998 to provide upport the 3rd Infantry Division communications links as part of Operation Southern Watch.
The 123rd Signal Battalion deployed in late 2000 to Eagle Base, Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in support of Stabilization Force (SFOR) operations there. The unit was tasked with providing FM radio coverage, linking tactical and commercial phones together, and catering for multichannel satellite, the whole involving voice and data.
Around 18 September 2002, elements of the 123rd Signal Battalion departed for Kuwait as part of the Operation Desert Spring rotation.
In 2003, elements of the 123rd Signal Detachment deployed in support of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mecahnized) as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2004 the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) began transformation to the US Army's new modular force structure. As a result the 123rd Signal Battalion was inactivated. Its companies, previously habitually assigned to support either the Division as a whole or the Division's 3 pre-modular line brigades, were reflagged as the signal component of newly activated Division and Brigade Special Troops Battalions. A Company was reflagged as the Signal Company, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team.
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