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3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized)

The 15th Infantry was initially organized on 16 July 1798 in response to the "quasi-war" then being fought with France. The regiment was deactivated in 1800 and reactivated in 1812 for service in Canada. The 15th Infantry fought in the capture of Toronto and Fort George in April and May of 1813, and covered the retreat of militia troops from Fort George in December 1813. It was during this retreat that the 15th Infantry earned a reputation for not losing a single man through capture, despite receiving heavy casualties. The 15th Infantry fought in the Champlain Valley campaign in autumn 1814, and participated in General Dearborn's offensive in Ontario in October, and participated in many smaller battles that same year. The Regiment vanished in the Army reorganization of 1815.

On 11 February 1847, the 15th Infantry was reactivated for service in Mexico. As companies of the 15th arrived at Vera Cruz, they moved inland to join General Winfield Scott's army advancing on Mexico City. The Regiment fought with distinction in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco, as well as smaller engagements before storming the walls of Chapultepec in Mexico City itself. Following garrison duty in Mexico City cnd Cuernavaca, the Regiment returned to the United States for deactivation in August 1848.

The 15th Infantry was reactivated on 3 May 1861 with its headquarters in Newport Barracks, Kentucky. Before the end of the Civil War, the Regiment fought 22 major engagements, including Chattanooga, Chickamauga, Murfreesborough, and Atlanta. The Regiment's crest includes the acorn, the symbol of General Thomas's XIV Corps, and the mountains of stone to symbolize the Corps' firm stand as the "Rock of Chickamauga." The 4 acorns represent the 4 major engagements.

Following the Civil War, the 15th Infantry served on occupation duty in Alabama until 1869. The Regiment redeployed to the West, serving in Missouri, New Mexico, the Dakotas, and Colorado. The 15th Infantry participated in campaigns against the Ute Indians of Colorado and against the Mescalero Apaches before relocating to Fort Sheridan in January 1891.

With the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the regiment moved to Huntsville, Alabama, on 12 October 1898 for intensive training. It sailed from Savannah, Georgia, on 27 November 1898 for Nuevitas, Cuba, for occupation duty. On 5 January 1900, the Regiment sailed home to be posted throughout upper New York State and Vermont.

On 16 August 1900, most of the Regiment arrived in Tientsin, China, for service against the Boxer Rebellion. The 3rd Battalion was ordered to Manila in September 1900 to assist in suppressing the Aguinaldo Insurrection. By April 1902, the balance of the Regiment joined the 3rd Battalion in the Philippines and saw considerable action against the insurgents. In September 1902 the Regiment sailed for Monterey, California, where it built the Presidio.

In 1905, the Regiment was again posted to the Pilippines. When the 15th Infantry returned to the United States in 1907, it was assigned to Fort Douglas, Utah. In November 1911, however, the 2nd Battalion returned to Tientsin, China, as part of the international peace-keeping mission designed to protect civilians during the Chinese Revolution. The remainder of the Regiment followed in 1912. Much of the 15th Infantry's tradition comes from the 26 years in China. The dragon on the regimental crest and the pidgin English motto "Can Do" symbolize the China service.

The regiment left China for Fort Lewis, Washington, on 2 March 1938. On 12 January 1940, the Regiment was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division. On 24 October 1942, the 15th Infantry and the 3rd Infantry Division sailed from Norfolk, Virginia, bound for French Morocco. For the next 31 months, the regiment fought with absolute distinction through French North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany. By 9 May 1945, the 15th Infantry had 16 recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. World War II casualties included 1,633 killed, 5,812 wounded, and 419 missing in action.

On 1 December 1948, the 15th Infantry was transferred from occupation duty in Germany to Fort Benning, Georgia. As part of the 3rd Infantry Division, the Regiment sailed for Korea on 31 August 1950. The Regiment covered the withdrawl of X Corps from Chosin Reservoir in 1950, fought north to the 38th parallel in 1951, and fought in the Kumsong sector until the armistice was signed. At the time of the truce, the 15th Infantry had seen action in 8 major campaigns and added 3 more Medal of Honor recipients.

On 3 December 1954, the regiment returned to Fort Benning. In 1957, the 1st and 2d Battalions were assigned to Germany as part of the 3rd Infantry Division. The 3rd and 4th Battalions were deactivated in December 1965.

The 15th Infantry Regimental Headquarters and the 3rd Battalion were reactivated at Fort Stewart, Georgia, on 25 August 1989, as part of the 24th Infantry Division. The 4th Battalion was reactivated at Fort Knox, Kentucky, as part of the 194th Separate Armor Brigade. From 20 August 1990 through 22 March 1991, the 3rd Battalion participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm to free Kuwait from Iraqi oppression. In 1993, the 3rd Battalion deployed 3 companies to Mogadishu, Somalia, to conduct combat operations in Operations Restore and Continue Hope. In 1994, the 2nd Battalion deployed to Macedonia to deter Serbian aggression while the 3d Battalion deployed one company to Haiti to support Operation Uphold Democracy.

The 3-15th Infantry deployed as part of the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, operating until 2004, when it returned to Fort Stewart, Georgia. The 3-15th Infantry deployed again to Iraq in 2005, returning to Fort Stewart in 2006.

On 6 September 2006, as part of the ongoing transformation of the 3rd Infantry Division to the US Army's modular force structure, the 3-15th Infantry was inactivated and its personnel reflagged as 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized).

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:25:30 ZULU