124th Infantry Regiment (United States)

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124th Infantry Regiment
124TH Infantry coa.jpg
Coat of arms
Active 1860–present
Country USA
Branch United States Army
Type Light infantry
Motto "Florida and Country"
Engagements American Civil War
Spanish-American War
Pancho Villa Expedition
World War I
World War II
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Colonel Albert H. Blanding
Insignia
Distinctive unit insignia The shield is white, the old Infantry color.  The saltire is taken from the Florida State flag.  The sheathed sword, from the Spanish War service medal, represents service during that war.  The cactus symbolizes service on the Mexican Border, and the fleur-de-lis, service during World War I.[1]
U.S. Infantry Regiments
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121st Infantry Regiment 125th Infantry Regiment

The 124th Infantry Regiment is a regiment of the Florida Army National Guard. Claiming its descent from the first European garrisons in America, the regiment served in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Rebuilt as part of the Florida State Troops before the Spanish-American War it also served in the Pancho Villa Expedition, both World Wars and the War on Terror.

First Muster by Jackson Walker[2]

History[edit]

The regiment claims its descent from the first European garrisons in America.[3] The first muster of militia troops in the continental United States took place on 16 September 1565, in the newly established Spanish presidio town of St. Augustine in what is now the state of Florida.[4]

Civil War[edit]

Main article: 2nd Florida Infantry

Its motto “Florida and Country” was adopted by the 124th Infantry at the outbreak of the American Civil War, during which the regiment was part of the Confederate States Army as the 2nd Florida Infantry Regiment. It fought at Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, and Missionary Ridge. They also fought in the Battle of Antietam and Battle of Gettysburg.

Post Civil War organization[edit]

The regiment was organized 1884–1892 in the Florida State Troops from new and existing companies as the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th Battalions of Infantry with Headquarters at Jacksonville, Ocala, Pensacola, Gainesville, and Arcadia, respectively.

Spanish American War[edit]

The battalions consolidated, reorganized, and mustered into federal service for the Spanish American War 20–25 May 1898 at Tampa. The reorganized unit became the 1st Florida Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Eight companies of the regiment mustered out 3 December 1898 at Tampa and four companies mustered out 27 January 1899 at Huntsville, Alabama. The regiment's coat of arms bears a sheathed Roman sword, derived from the Spanish War Service Medal, representing service during that war.[1]

The 1st Florida Volunteer Infantry was expanded and reorganized 17–18 August 1899 in the Florida State Troops as the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Infantry. The Florida State Troops were redesignated in 1909 as the Florida National Guard.[5]

2nd Florida Infantry on the Mexican border, 1916–17.[6]

Punitive Expedition[edit]

Commanded by Col. Albert H. Blanding, the 2nd Florida Infantry Regiment mustered into federal service in June 1916 at Camp Foster, Florida and then deployed to the Texas-Mexico border in support of the Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa. Second Florida mustered out of federal service in March 1917.[5] The coat of arms bears a cactus symbolizing service on the border.[1]

2nd Florida Infantry passing in review at Camp Foster prior to deployment on the Punitive Expedition

World War I[edit]

The 1st and 2nd Regiments of Infantry were drafted into federal service 5 August 1917 at Jacksonville and Wauchula, respectively.

The 1st and 2nd Regiments were consolidated, reorganized, and redesignated 1 October 1917 as the 124th Infantry and assigned to the 31st Division, as part of the mobilization for World War I. After the regiment arrived in France, it was split up and its soldiers were used to fill other units as replacements. The regiment demobilized 14 January 1919 at Camp Gordon, Georgia. The coat of arms bears a fleur-de-lis to symbolize its service in France during World War I.[1]

Interwar years[edit]

Reconstituted and reorganized 1920–1921 in the Florida National Guard as the 1st Infantry; Headquarters federally recognized 4 June 1921 at Jacksonville. Redesignated 19 December 1921 as the 154th Infantry and assigned to the 39th Division. Redesignated 1 July 1923 as the 124th Infantry; concurrently relieved from assignment to the 39th Division and assigned to the 31st Division.

In this period, the regiment participated in the Carolina and Louisiana Maneuvers.

World War II[edit]

Organization on November 25th, 1940[7][edit]

Headquarters Company Station
124 Infantry Regiment Headquarters Jacksonville, Florida
Service Company Saint Augustine, Florida
Antitank Company Jacksonville, Florida
Medical Detachment Florida
1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment Headquarters Detachment, 1–124 IN Sanford, Florida
Company A, 1–124 IN Miami, Florida
Company B, 1–124 IN Miami, Florida
Company C, 1–124 IN West Palm Beach, Florida
Company D, 1–124 IN Sanford, Florida
2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment Headquarters Detachment, 2–124 IN Starke, Florida
Company E, 2–124 IN Live Oak, Florida
Company F, 2–124 IN Jacksonville, Florida
Company G, 2–124 IN Jacksonville, Florida
Company H, 2–124 IN Lake City, Florida
3rd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment Headquarters Detachment, 3–124 IN Orlando, Florida
Company I, 3–124 IN Palmetto, Florida
Company K, 3–124 IN Orlando, Florida
Company L, 3–124 IN Bradenton, Florida
Company M, 3–124 IN Tallahassee, Florida

The 124th was inducted into federal service 25 November 1940 at home stations. The regiment trained at Camp Blanding, FL and then Fort Benning, GA.

On 15 December 1941 the 124th was relieved from assignment to the 31st Division.

The 124th was assigned 5 April 1944 to the 31st Infantry Division and reactivated in Australia with personnel from the 154th Infantry (constituted and activated in 1942 in the Army of the United States).

Colgan Woods by Jackson Walker

The 124th Regiment saw intense fighting on the Island of Mindanao in 1945, especially in the Battle of Colgan Woods, named after Father Thomas Colgan, the Regimental Chaplain, who was killed in action while assisting wounded. Father Colgan was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery.

Lacking artillery support and facing an entrenched opponent, the 124th advanced for six days. The unit survived two banzai charges and inflicted heavy casualties on the Japanese. In the fighting, the 124th suffered 69 killed and 177 wounded.[8]

The regiment was inactivated 16 December 1945 at Camp Stoneman, California.[5]

Cold War[edit]

The regiment was reorganized, and federally recognized 15 February 1946 in the Florida National Guard as the 124th Infantry with Headquarters at Jacksonville and relieved 13 June 1946 from assignment to the 31st Infantry Division.[5]

Assigned 5 July 1946 to the 48th Infantry Division. The 124th Infantry performed their first annual field training since reorganization at Fort Jackson from July 18 to August 1, 1948.

Organization in 1948[9][edit]

Headquarters Company Station
124 Infantry Regiment Headquarters & Headquarters Company Jacksonville, Florida
Service Company Jacksonville, Florida
Heavy Mortar Company Apalachicola, Florida
Heavy Tank Company Lake City, Florida
Medical Company Jacksonville, Florida
1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment Headquarters, 1–124 IN Tallahassee, Florida
Headquarters Company, 1–124 IN Live Oak, Florida
Company A, 1–124 IN Tallahassee, Florida
Company B, 1–124 IN Marianna, Florida
Company C, 1–124 IN Panama City, Florida
Company D, 1–124 IN DeFuniak Springs, Florida
2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 2–124 IN Lake City, Florida
Company E, 2–124 IN Ocala, Florida
Company F, 2–124 IN Jacksonville, Florida
Company G, 2–124 IN Gainesville, Florida
Company H, 2–124 IN Leesburg, Florida
3rd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment Headquarters, 3–124 IN Orlando, Florida
Headquarters Company, 3–124 IN Eustis, Florida
Company I, 3–124 IN Sanford, Florida
Company K, 3–124 IN Orlando, Florida
Company L, 3–124 IN Daytona Beach, Florida
Company M, 3–124 IN DeLand, Florida
Lt. Col. Ralph C. Davis (Battalion Commander) and Capt. Russell W. Buckhalt (Alpha Co. Commander) brief Gov. LeRoy Collins on an M-41 tank in front of the Capitol in 1956.

The regiment was broken up 1 November 1955 and its elements reorganized and redesignated as follows: Headquarters and 1st Battalion as the 124th Armored Infantry Battalion and 3rd Battalion as the 154th Armored Infantry Battalion; both assigned to the 48th Armored Division.

124th and 154th Armored Infantry Battalions consolidated 15 April 1959 to form the 124th Infantry, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System, to consist of the 1st and 2nd Armored Rifle Battalions, elements of the 48th Armored Division

Reorganized 15 February 1963 to consist of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, elements of the 53rd Separate Infantry Brigade

Reorganized 1 March 1964 to consist of the 1st Battalion and the 2nd Battalion, an element of the 53rd Armored Brigade

Reorganized 20 January 1968 to consist of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalions, elements of the 53rd Infantry Brigade

Withdrawn 1 May 1989 from the Combat Arms Regimental System and reorganized under the United States Army Regimental System with headquarters at Miami.

Global War on Terror[edit]

2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment clearing the berm for Special Forces soldiers to enter into Iraq, 19 March 2003.[10]

On 26 Dec 2002, both 3rd and 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry, was ordered into active federal service in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Ordered into active Federal service 2–16 January 2003 at home stations; On the night of 19 March 2003, soldiers of C Company, 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry, positioned in Jordan and both A and C Company, 3rd Battalion, 124th Infantry, positioned in Kuwait, were among the first U.S. soldiers to invade Iraq.

Released 11 April – 21 May 2004 from active federal service and reverted to state control.

In March 2005, elements of 2nd Battalion were activated in support of the Global War on Terrorism and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Afghanistan. In June 2006, D Company, 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry, was activated and deployed as part of Multi-National Force - Iraq.

The 2006–2007 Brigade Combat Team reorganization converted the 3rd Battalion "Warrior", 124th Infantry into what is the 1st Squadron, 153rd Cavalry. The Squadron was constituted entirely from the infantrymen of 3–124 Infantry and so continue the 3rd Battalion's lineage.

The 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment is currently headquartered in Orlando, Florida. It consists of six companies: Headquarters Company in Orlando, Company A in Leesburg, Company B in Sanford, Company C in Ocala, Company D in Eustis, and an attached Forward Support Company (FSC), Co F (-), 53rd Brigade Support Battalion FSC (IN) in Orlando. 2nd Battalion is a subordinate unit of the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (United States).

Distinctive unit insignia[edit]

  • Description

A Silver color metal and enamel device 1 3/16 inches (3.02 cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Argent, on a saltire Gules between in chief a Roman sword in sheath paleways point to base and in base a prickly pear cactus, both Vert, a fleur-de-lis of the first. Attached below and to the sides of the shield a Silver scroll inscribed “FLORIDA AND COUNTRY” in Black letters.

  • Symbolism

The shield is white, the old Infantry color. The saltire is taken from the Florida State flag. The sheathed sword, from the Spanish War service medal, represents service during that war. The cactus symbolizes service on the Mexican Border, and the fleur-de-lis, service during World War I.

  • Background

The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 124th Infantry Regiment on 19 November 1927. It was redesignated for the 124th Armored Infantry Battalion on 20 April 1956. The insignia was redesignated for the 124th Infantry Regiment on 27 June 1960. It was amended to add a motto on 20 August 1968.[1]

Decorations[edit]

Ribbon Award Streamer embroidered Order No. Battalion
Dark blue ribbon with a gold border Presidential Unit Citation (Army) NEW GUINEA 1944 2nd & 3rd Battalions
Dark blue ribbon with a gold border Presidential Unit Citation (Army) IRAQ 2003 Permanent Orders 110-15, 20 April 2009[11] 3rd Battalion
blue, yellow, and red horizontal stripes Presidential Unit Citation (Navy) IRAQ 2003 Permanent Orders 100-25, 9 April 2008[12] 3rd Battalion
Vertical stripes alternating red, blue, white, blue, white, red, white, blue, white, blue, red with gold border Valorous Unit Award AL ANBAR PROVINCE 2003 Permanent Orders 232-02, 19 August 2008[13][14] 1st Battalion
Red ribbon Meritorious Unit Commendation IRAQ 2003 Permanent Orders 222-30, 15 August 2007[15] HHC, 2nd Battalion
Red ribbon Meritorious Unit Commendation IRAQ OCT 2006-OCT 2007 Permanent Orders 233-24, 21 August 2009[16] Co. D, 2nd Battalion
Red ribbon Meritorious Unit Commendation IRAQ MAR – DEC 2010 [17] 2nd Battalion
Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines).svg Philippine Presidential Unit Citation 17 October 1944 TO 4 July 1945 All
Florida National Guard Governor's Meritorious Unit Citation.jpg Florida Governor's Meritorious Unit Citation 2003 All
Florida National Guard Governor's Meritorious Unit Citation.jpg Florida Governor's Meritorious Unit Citation 2010 All

Regiment Commanders[edit]

Campaign participation credit[5][edit]

World War I

  • Streamer without Inscription

World War II

  • New Guinea (with arrowhead)
  • Southern Philippines

War on Terrorism

  • Afghanistan: Consolidation I

Company B (Cocoa), 1st Battalion, additionally entitled to

  • Southwest Asia, Defense of Saudi Arabia, Liberation and Defense of Kuwait and Cease-Fire

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "124 Infantry Regiment". The Institute of Heraldry, U.S. Army. 
  2. ^ http://dma.myflorida.com/?cat=34
  3. ^ "124th Infantry Regiment Fort Benning, Georgia 1943". Florida Department of Military Affairs. 1943. 
  4. ^ http://dma.myflorida.com/?p=1098
  5. ^ a b c d e "Lineage and Honors 124th Infantry Regiment". U.S. Army Center of Military History. 
  6. ^ Floridamemory.com N030654
  7. ^ Collins, Vivian (1940). Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Florida. Florida National Guard. p. 36. 
  8. ^ "Southern Philippines". The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II. The U.S. Army Center of MIlitary History. 
  9. ^ Lance, Mark (1948). Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Florida, 1947-1948. Florida National Guard. p. 9. 
  10. ^ "Berm to berm: 2–124th leads the way". Florida Guard Online. Florida National Guard. 13 September 2010. 
  11. ^ http://history.army.mil/html/forcestruc/HRC/2009/110-015_20090420_HRCMD.pdf
  12. ^ http://history.army.mil/html/forcestruc/HRC/2008/100-25_20080409_HRCMD.pdf
  13. ^ http://history.army.mil/html/forcestruc/HRC/2008/232-02_20080819_HRCMD.pdf
  14. ^ http://history.army.mil/html/forcestruc/HRC/2012/038-22_20120207_HRCMD.pdf
  15. ^ http://history.army.mil/html/forcestruc/HRC/2007/222-30_20070815_HRCMD.pdf
  16. ^ http://history.army.mil/html/forcestruc/HRC/2009/233-024_20090831_HRCMD.pdf
  17. ^ http://www.floridaguard.army.mil/280193