7th Field Artillery Regiment
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|7th Field Artillery|
Coat of arms
|Motto||Nunquam Aerumna Nec Prolio Fractum (Never Broken by Hardship or Battle)|
|Engagements||World War I
World War II
|Distinctive unit insignia|
|U.S. Field Artillery Regiments|
|6th Field Artillery||8th Field Artillery|
World War I
The regiment was constituted on 1 July 1916 in the Regular Army as the 7th Field Artillery. It was organized on 15 July 1916 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. On 8 June 1917 it was assigned to the First Expeditionary Division, which was later designated as the 1st Division as part of the Allied Expeditionary Force in World War I.
World War II
7th Field Artillery Regiment participated in the amphibious assault landing in Algeria as part of Operation Torch. After fighting across North Africa, the regiment participated in 1st Infantry Division's assault of Omaha Beach.
Vietnam, the "Pheons"
On 20 January 1964 the unit was redesignated the 1st Battalion, 7th Artillery and assigned to the 1st Infantry Division. The redesignation included a new design for the unit's distinctive unit insignia (DUI) to an "artillery red" square shield divided by a silver band running from the top right corner to the bottom left corner (as the wearer sees it). In the upper division of the shield appears three silver crescent moons, while the lower division holds seven silver crosslets alluding to the numerical designation of the battalion. The primary charge of the shield however is the three large "artillery red" arrow heads or pheons that rest upon the silver band. It is from these three pheons that the nickname for the battalion "the Pheons" is derived. The unit's motto was shortened to "Nunquam Fractum" (Never Broken) written in silver on an "artillery red" scroll beneath the shield.
The unit would carry this designation throughout its tour of Vietnam from 25 June 1965, to 19 March 1970. On 23 June 1965, Private First Class Gerold Worster arrived by plane in Saigon, in the Republic of Vietnam. Not only was Gerold the first soldier from the 1st Infantry Division, known as the "Big Red One", he was also the first member of the 7th Artillery to set foot on Vietnamese soil. Even as he climbed from the plane, his comrades were loading aboard the USNS Gordon for the trip to Vietnam. On 12 July, Charlie Battery of the 1st Battalion, 7th Artillery made landfall at Cam Ranh Bay, part of a taskforce with the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. This force was the first tactical US Army unit to be deployed in the Republic of Vietnam directly from the continental United States.
After returning from Vietnam in March 1970, the 7th Artillery was redesignated the 7th Field Artillery once again on 1 September 1971. The unit insignia was redesigned by replacing the squared shield with a more rounded one, eliminating the three pheons on the bend of the shield, and replacing the seven crosslets with seven blossoms of the Texas bluebonnet, alluding not only to the unit's number, but its birthplace as well. The motto "Nunquam Fractum" was replaced with "Nunquam Aerumna Nec Proelio Fractum" (never broken by hardship or battle).
During its Vietnam tour the 105mm howitzers of the 1st Battalion, 7th Artillery fired more than 1,250.000 rounds in its 55 continuous months of combat while earning 11 new battle honors. With the change of the unit insignia and the loss of the pheons from the shield, the 7th Artillery's Vietnam nickname of "Pheons" was also lost.
Vietnam Campaign Participation: *Defense; *Counteroffensive; *Counteroffensive, Phase II; *Counteroffensive, Phase III; *Tet Counteroffensive; *Counteroffensive, Phase IV; *Counteroffensive, Phase V; *Counteroffensive, Phase VI; *Tet 69/Counteroffensive; *Summer-Fall 1969; *Winter-Spring 1970Decorations: *Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for VIETNAM 1966–1967, *Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for VIETNAM 1967–1968, *Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1965–1968, *Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1969–1970, *Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class for VIETNAM 1965–1970.
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The artillery battery elements of the 7th FA unit located in Fort Drum, New York volunteered approximately 60 soldiers at a time to participate in a rotation schedule during Operation Desert Shield / Operation Desert Storm in late 1990 and early 1991. Although the unit itself was not activated for combat duty as a whole, these soldiers rotated out over a nine-month period to support the 82nd Airborne Division and 101st Airborne Divisions.
The 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th (Light) Infantry Division, was in Afghanistan as part of Joint Task Force 76 in Operation Enduring Freedom 2004–2005. The unit was headquartered at Kandahar Airfield and provided indirect fire, close combat air control, and fire support for the Bronco Brigade and throughout Afghanistan during the 12 month rotation. The battalion, augmented by coalition partners, was responsible for Kandahar Province and conducted infantry missions during the deployment, conducting patrols in the districts surrounding the city of Kandahar. During this deployment, Bravo Battery (Bulls) was recorded as having shot the first artillery round against a hostile enemy for the 25th (L)ID since Vietnam.
1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment was relieved from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division and assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division on 16 November 2005.
On 5 August 2006 3–7 FA deployed from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii to the Province of Kirkuk in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The unit conducted a traditional counter-fire mission and also served as a maneuver taskforce conducting infantry-type missions. The use of 3–7 FA as a maneuver asset instead of a direct support field artillery battalion was a result of the implementation of the counter insurgency (COIN) doctrine in Iraq. The method of removing the insurgency and strengthening the government could not be done solely through the use of indirect fires, but also with platoon sized maneuver elements and partnerships with local leaders and influencers. The primary spheres of influence during this deployment included local, provincial, and regional governmental leaders, Iraqi Police, and Iraqi Army strategic infrastructure brigades that guarded the nation's crude oil pipelines. On 15 October 2007, 3–7 FA returned from Iraq to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii and was again awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation. They spent the next year conducting a refit and training in preparation for their return to Northern Iraq.[better source needed]
On 16 October 2008, 3–7 FA deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF 09-11) to Salah Ad Din Province in Iraq. Operating out of Contingency Operating Base (COB) Speicher, they were responsible for over 4600 square kilometers in and around Tikrit, the provincial capital of Salah Ad Din. From October 2008 to October 2009 they broke from their traditional artillery role and supported the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team as a maneuver element partnering with Iraqi Security Forces and the Iraqi Government to strengthen security and build civil capacity improving the quality of life for the people of the Tikrit Qada (District).
The 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment returned to Fort Riley, KS in October 2009 where they were awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation. Currently, they are conducting reset operations and training to prepare for future deployments.
The 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment deployed in April 2011 to Regional Command-East, Afghanistan as TF Steel in support of 3rd BCT, 25th ID.
Campaign participation credit
- World War I:
- St. Mihiel;
- Lorraine 1917;
- Lorraine 1918;
- Picardy 1918
- World War II:
- Algeria-French Morocco (with arrowhead);
- Sicily (with arrowhead);
- Normandy (with arrowhead);
- Northern France
- Central Europe
- Counteroffensive, Phase II;
- Counteroffensive, Phase III;
- Tet Counteroffensive;
- Counteroffensive, Phase IV;
- Counteroffensive, Phase V;
- Counteroffensive, Phase VI;
- Tet 69/Counteroffensive;
- Summer-Fall 1969;
- Winter-Spring 1970
- Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for VIETNAM 1966–1967
- Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for VIETNAM 1967–1968
- French Croix de Guerre with Palm, World War I for LORRAINE-PICARDY
- French Croix de Guerre with Palm, World War I for AISNE-MARNE and MEUSE-ARGONNE
- French Croix de Guerre with Palm, World War II for KASSERINE
- French Croix de Guerre with Palm, World War II for NORMANDY
- French Médaille militaire, Fourragère
- Belgian Fourragère 1940: Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action at MONS and for action at EUPEN-MALMEDY
- Army Superior Unit Award for Operation Joint Endeavor/Joint Guard 1996–1997
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Unpublished history of the 1st Battalion, 7th Artillery titled "Annual Historical Summary of the 1st Battalion, 7th Artillery for the period 1 January 1969, to 19 March 1970" U.S. National Archives.
- MAJ Joseph A. Katz, first hand account
- "Permanent Orders 222-10". United States Army Center of Military History. 14 August 2007. Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
-  – historical information
- CHART 3-FIELD ARTILLERY TASK ORGANIZATION, JULY 1969 in Field Artillery 1954–1973 a publication of the United States Army Center of Military History
- 7th Artillery Pheons history, 1916-1966 US Army Heritage and Education Center, Carlisle, Pennsylvania