Engineer Brigade - 34th Infantry Division
[ex 164th Engineer Group]
The Mission of the 34th Engineer Brigade (Mechanized) is to provide mobility, countermobility, survivability, topographic, and limited sustainment engineering support to the 34th Infantry Division (RED BULL) in wartime and during operations short of war.
The 34th Engineer Brigade headquarters is located in Bismarck, ND. The headquarters has 72 personnel assigned to it, both traditional Guardsmen and full-time support staff. Primary equipment used in the headquarters includes the M577 Command Post Carrier and the M988 High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Hummer). The following units are subordinate to the 34th.
The 34th Engineer was previously designated as the 164th Engineer Brigade. The unit traces its lineage back to 1885 when its parent unit was organized from new and existing companies as the 1st Regiment, Dakota Militia, Dakota Territory. It was redesignated on the 2nd of November 1889 as the First Infantry Regiment.
One month after the Spanish-American War began an expeditionary force sailed from San Francisco to the Philippine Islands. Because most of the Regular Army was in Cuba and Puerto Rico, three-quarters of the first 10,000 U.S. Army troops to arrive in the Philippines were National Guardsmen, most of them from the West and Midwest. The Spanish surrendered quickly, but the Guardsmen soon had another enemy: Filipinos fighting for their independence.
In the spring of 1899 the 1st north Dakota Infantry was part of an expedition to clean our Insurgent strongholds north of Manila. When a civilian named Henry Young organized an elite scouting and reconnaissance force, 16 North Dakotans were selected for this detail, which also included four men from the 2d Oregon. Of Young and his 25 Scouts one historian wrote "Always in front of the main column, the scouts bore the brunt of the advance, reconnoitering and maintaining contact with the enemy."
On May 13, a reconnaissance party ran into a band of about 300 Insurgents. Without hesitation 11 Scouts charged the Filipinos and routed them; Young himself was mortally wounded. Three days later, while reconnoitering for water, the Scouts discovered that the Insurgents had set an important bridge on fire. Knowing the river below as unfordable, the 22 Scouts rushed the bridge and put out the flames, despite an enfilading fire from some 600 Insurgents. Supported by the 2d Oregon, the Scouts then drove the Insurgents from their trenches.
Fourteen Guardsmen were awarded the Medal of Honor during the first year of the Philippine Insurrection. Of that 14, ten were members of Young's Scouts, decorated for their actions on 13 and 16 May 1899. Seven men were from the 1st North Dakota and three from the 2d Oregon. Today, the 1st North Dakota is perpetuated by the 164th Engineer Group and the 141st Engineer Battalion North Dakota Army National Guard, and the 2d Oregon by the 162d Infantry Regiment Oregon Army National Guard.
The regiment was mustered into Federal service for World War I on 15 July 1917. It was redesignated on 4 October 1917 as the 164th Infantry and assigned to the 41st Division. The headquarters was demobilized on 28 February 1919 at Camp Dix, New Jersey. On 16 May 1923 the unit was reorganized and Federally recognized and assigned to the 34th Infantry Division.
The 164th was called to Federal service for World War II on 10 February 1941 with the 34th Infantry Division (RED BULL). On the 8th of December 1941 it was relieved from assignment to the 34th ID and assigned to the Americal Division on the 24th of May 1942 in New Caledonia. The unit saw action in the Pacific and was inactivated on 24 November 1945 at Fort Lawton, Washington.
The 164th was next ordered to active duty from 16 January 1951 to 2 December 1954, and again from 15 October 1961 to 9 August 1962.
Under the leadership of the 164th Engineer Group, North Dakota Army National Guard, 56 soldiers constructed health clinics in Bolivia in conjunction with the Bolivian Ministry of Health. The Bolivia deployment provided quality training for Army National Guard engineer units and increased regional civil-military cooperation there. The operation concluded late May 1997.
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