2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment
In 2007, the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment was reactivated as part of the 5th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington. Previously, it had been assigned to the 172nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. There its mission had been to, on order, deploy worldwide, secure a lodgment, and conduct combat operations in support of US national interests.
The 1st Infantry Regiment draws its lineage from a distinguished line of post Revolutionary War Infantry Regiments. The 1st Infantry Regiment was originally constituted in the Regular Army as the 2nd Infantry Regiment in March 1791. 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment traces its lineage back to a company of the 2nd Infantry. The 1st Infantry was redesignated in 1792 as the 2nd Sub-Legion, with the unit becoming a company of that formation. The 2nd Sub-Legion then took part in the battle of Fallen Timbers, the first victory for the post-Revolutionary Army. After the Legion system was disbanded the Regiment once again became the 2nd Infantry Regiment on 31 October 1796. In the War of 1812 the 2nd Infantry Regiment, as well as the 7th and 44th Infantry Regiments, fought in the southern theater to include the Battle of New Orleans with General Jackson.
In 1815 the Army underwent a draw-down. Between May and October 1815, the 2nd, 7th, and 44th Regiments were consolidated into the 1st Infantry Regiment. On 21 August 1816 the company that 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry traces its lineage to was designated as Company B, 1st Infantry. In the ensuing years the Regiment was primarily concerned with Indian conflicts. The 1st Infantry was involved in the Black Hawk War of 1832 and the Second Seminole War from 1839 to 1842. During this time the Regiment was commanded by one of its most famous commanders, Colonel Zachary Taylor, who would later become the 12th President of the United States.
When War broke out with Mexico in 1846 the 1st Infantry Regiment was sent across the border with General Zachary Taylor's Army and participated in the storming of Monterrey where the Regiment fought house to house in savage hand to hand combat. From Monterrey the Regiment was transferred to General Winfield Scott's command and participated in the first modern amphibious landing in American history at Vera Cruz in 1847.
Following the Mexican War, the Regiment campaigned in the Texas area against the Comanches until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. After escaping from rebel forces in Texas, the Regiment returned to the Mid-west and fought in the Mississippi area of operations. The Regiment fought in one of the first battles of the Civil War at Wilson's Creek, Missouri in 1862. The 1st Infantry then campaigned with General Grant against Vicksburg in 1863. The end of the War found the Regiment garrisoning New Orleans.
After the Civil War the Regiment was sent West to fight the Indians once again. Company B, 1st Infantry was consolidated in April 1869 with Company B, 43rd Infantry, Veteran Reserve Corps (which had been first constituted 21 September 1866), and the consolidated unit remained designated as Company B, 1st Infantry. The 1st Infantry campaigned against the Sioux in the 1870's and 1890's and against the Apache, led by Geronimo, from 1882 to 1886. After the end of the Indian wars the Regiment was occupied with quelling labor disputes in California.
War was declared with Spain in 1898 following the sinking of the USS Maine. The 1st Infantry was quickly sent to Florida where it embarked on ships and was sent to Cuba. While in Cuba the Regiment took part in the storming of the San Juan Heights and the capture of Santiago.
In 1900, following occupation duty in Cuba, the Regiment was preparing for shipment to China to save foreigners threatened by the Boxer Rebellion. Instead, the Regiment was detoured to deal with the rebellion on the Philippine Islands, which had also been captured by the United States in the Spanish-American War. The Regiment would fight in this vicious guerrilla war in the jungles of the Philippines from 1900-1902 and again from 1906-1908.
The 1st Infantry was assigned on 11 September 1918 to the 13th Division and relieved on 8 March 1919 from assignment to the 13th Division. It was then assigned on 27 July 1921 to the 2nd Division. It was relieved on 16 October 1939 from assignment to the 2nd Division and assigned to the 6th Division (later redesignated as the 6th Infantry Division).
The Regiment's next action came in World War II as part of the 6th Infantry Division. The 1st Infantry participated in the destruction of Japanese forces on New Guinea in 1943, winning a Presidential Unit Citation for its action at Maffin Bay. The Regiment then participated in MacArthur's celebrated return to the Philippines in January 1945. After the war the Regiment was sent to Korea for occupation duty until it was deactivated on 10 January 1949.
In 1950, the Regiment was reactivated at Fort Ord, California as a training regiment for units being sent to the fight in Korea. In 1956 the Regiment was assigned to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Company B, 1st Infantry was inactivated on 15 May 1958 at West Point, New York, relieved from assignment to the United States Military Academy, and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battle Group, 1st Infantry with its organic elements concurrently constituted. The Battle Group was assigned on 17 March 1958 to the 2nd Infantry Division and activated on 14 June 1958 at Fort Benning, Georgia. The unit was inactivated on 10 May 1963 at Fort Benning, Georgia, and relieved from assignment to the 2nd Infantry Division.
The unit was redesignated on 10 September 1965 as the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, and assigned to the 196th Infantry Brigade (Separate). It was activated on 15 September 1965 at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. In 1966, 2-1st Infantry was shipped to Vietnam with the rest of the 196th Infantry Brigade (Separate) where it would fight for the next 6 years. During this time the Regiment fought in 14 campaigns to include the bloody Tet Offensive. The unit was relieved during its service in Vietnam on 15 February 1969 from assignment to the 196th Infantry Brigade (Separate) and assigned to the 23rd Infantry Division. It was later relieved on 1 November 1971 from assignment to the 23rd Infantry Division and assigned back to the 196th Infantry Brigade (Separate).
Following its tour of duty in Vietnam the Battalion was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington, where it became part of the 9th Infantry Division on 21 July 1972, having been relieved from assignment to the 196th Infantry Brigade (Separate).
On 16 February 1991, the Battalion became part of the 199th Infantry Brigade (Separate) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, where it remained until inactivation in 1994. At that time it was relieved from assignment to the 199th Infantry Brigade (Separate). On 16 December 1995 the Battalion was reactivated at Fort Wainwright as part of the 6th Infantry Division (Light). It was relieved on 16 April 1998 from assignment to the 6th Infantry Division and assigned to the 172d Infantry Brigade (later redesignated as the 172nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team).
The unit was redesignated on 1 October 2005 as the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment. It was inactivated on 16 December 2006 at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, and relieved from assignment to the 172nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. It was assigned on 17 April 2007 to the 5th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, and activated at Fort Lewis, Washington. In July 2010, 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division was inactivated and reflagged as the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, to which 2-1st Infantry was assigned.