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72nd Infantry Brigade

The lineage and honors of the 72nd Brigade, 49th Armored Division, can be traced back to the first iteration of the 36th Infantry Division, which was originally organized at Camp Bowie (Fort Worth), TX, on 18 July 1917, and which drew from units of the Texas and Oklahoma National Guard. After taking part in operations in France during World War I, the unit was reorganized into 2 separate units, an "all Texas" division, while its Oklahoma units sub-components joined to form part of the 45th Infantry Division.

The Division was mobilized on 25 November 1940, and placed on active duty station at Camp Bowie, before transferring overseas to North Africa and Italy. In the process, the 72nd became the first American combat division to land in Europe. Taking part in combat operations in Italy and Southern France, the unit had accumulated seven campaign streamers, taken part in two assault landings and had 14 of its members receive the Medal of Honor.

Upon its return home, the unit was reorganized as part of the Texas National Guard and was deactivated in 1968. With the reactivation of the 49th Armored Division, the 72nd Brigade assumed the lineage and honors of the 36th Infantry Division.

Eighty-two members of the Texas National Guard took the oath of reenlistment 26 July 2004 at the cradle of Texas liberty. Although these Texans weren't preparing to take a last stand in an old stone mission, their action was steeped in symbolism. The Soldiers are from the 72nd Brigade Combat Team, including Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 72nd Brigade; the 536th Forward Support Battalion; and the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 141st Infantry Regiment.

Both the 1st and 3rd battalions hold the lineage of the 'Washington Guards' and carry the streamers for the Alamo. They were organized in the spring of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos. The militia unit became known as the First Texas Volunteer Guards after the Civil War and received the current designation along regular Army lines in 1917.

The 1st Battalion still refers to itself as "First Texa,s" and the regimental motto is "Remember the Alamo," the battle cry that led "Texians" to victory over the army of President-General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna six weeks after he had wiped out the Alamo defenders.

In reenlisting at the Alamo, today's Soldiers proclaimed their heritage. The reenlisting Soldiers had been training at Camp Bullis, north of San Antonio, for the past two weeks. Following the day's ceremony, some of them immediately returned to the camp where Tiger Balm '04, a perennial exercise with the Singapore Armed Forces, was already under way. Others had an opportunity to tour the altar of Texan independence.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:31:32 ZULU