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34th Infantry Division (United States)

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34th Infantry Division
34th Infantry Division's shoulder sleeve insignia
Country United States
Branch United States Army
Garrison/HQArden Hills, Minnesota
Nickname(s)"Red Bull"
"The Sandstorm Division"
Motto(s)"Attack, Attack, Attack!"
March"March of the Red Bull Legions" Play
Major General Charles Kemper[1][2]
Charles W. Ryder
Charles L. Bolte
Michael Wickman
Distinctive unit insignia

The 34th Infantry Division is an infantry division of the United States Army, part of the National Guard, that participated in World War I, World War II and multiple current conflicts. It was the first American division deployed to Europe in World War II, where it fought with great distinction in the Italian Campaign.[3]

The division was deactivated in 1945, and the 47th "Viking" Infantry Division was later created in the division's former area. In 1991 the 47th Division was redesignated the 34th. Since 2001, division soldiers have served on homeland security duties in the continental United States, in Afghanistan, and in Iraq. The 34th has also been deployed to support peacekeeping efforts in the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere.[4]

The division continues to serve today, with most of the division part of the Minnesota and Iowa National Guard. In 2011, it was staffed by roughly 6,500 soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard,[5] 2,900 from the Iowa National Guard, about 300 from the Nebraska National Guard, and about 100 from other states.[6]

World War I[edit]

The division was established as the 34th Division of the National Guard on 18 July 1917, consisting of units from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Camp Cody, New Mexico, was selected as its training site on 3 August. On 5 August, the National Guards of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and the Dakotas were drafted into federal service, and the units to comprise the division began concentrating at Camp Cody on 19 August.[7] On 25 August 1917, the division was placed under the command of Major General Augustus P. Blocksom,[8] who was succeeded by Brigadier General Frank G. Mauldin briefly on 18 September 1917, but was back in command by 10 December 1917.[9]

A controversy arose when Brigadier General Frederick Emil Resche, the commander of the division's 68th Infantry Brigade and a native of Germany who had long resided in Duluth, Minnesota, was accused of anti-American sentiments.[10][11][12] No evidence was forthcoming, but Resche was still relieved of command in April 1918, supposedly for inefficiency.[10][11][12]

Brigadier General Frank G. Mauldin took command.[13] Systematic training began on 29 October 1917, and during October and November, 5,000 draftees arrived from Camp Dodge, Iowa, and Camp Funston, Kansas, while personnel losses up to and including 10 May 1918 aggregated about 4,000 men. In June 1918, nearly all of the division’s trained personnel were sent overseas to meet the requirements of the AEF automatic replacement system. Replacements arrived in August, the majority drawn from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.[7] The 34th Division arrived in France in October 1918, but it was too late for the division to be sent to the front, as the end of hostilities was near. Most personnel were sent through the AEF replacement system to other units to support their final operations. The Armistice with Germany was signed the following month.

Brigadier General John Alexander Johnston took command 26 October 1918. Charles Dudley Rhodes took command in December and led the division until its departure for the United States in January 1919.[14] The 34th was disbanded on 18 February 1919 at Camp Grant, Illinois.[15]

The division takes its name from the shoulder sleeve insignia designed for a 1917 training camp contest by American regionalist artist Marvin Cone, who was then a soldier enlisted in the unit.[16] Cone's design evoked the desert training grounds of Camp Cody by superimposing a red steer skull over a black Mexican water jug called an "olla," while the unit was called the "Sandstorm Division." German troops in World War II called the 34th Infantry Division’s soldiers "Red Devils" and "Red Bulls," and the division later officially adopted the divisional nickname Red Bulls.[17]

34th ID Soldiers at Camp Cody, NM on 18 August 1918.

World War I order of battle[edit]

Units of the 34th Division during World War I included:[18]

  • Headquarters, 34th Division
  • 67th Infantry Brigade (Headquarters, 1st Brigade, Iowa National Guard)
    • 133rd Infantry Regiment (1st Iowa Infantry, Troop C, 1st Iowa Cavalry, Machine Gun Company, 4th Nebraska Infantry, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Iowa Infantry, and Separate Company, Iowa Infantry)
    • 134th Infantry Regiment (5th Nebraska Infantry)
    • 126th Machine Gun Battalion (2nd Battalion, 2nd Iowa Infantry and Machine Gun Company, 6th Nebraska Infantry)
  • 68th Infantry Brigade (Headquarters, Minnesota National Guard Brigade)
  • 59th Field Artillery Brigade
    • 125th Field Artillery Regiment (75 mm) (3rd Minnesota Infantry, less Machine Gun Company)
    • 126th Field Artillery Regiment (75 mm) (1st Iowa Field Artillery)
    • 127th Field Artillery Regiment (155 mm) (4th Nebraska Infantry, less Machine Gun Company)
    • 109th Trench Mortar Battery (Headquarters Company less band, Supply Company, and Machine Gun Company, 2nd Iowa Infantry)
  • 125th Machine Gun Battalion (Troop B, 1st Iowa Cavalry, Machine Gun Company, 3rd Minnesota Infantry, and 1st Battalion, 2nd Iowa Infantry)
  • 109th Engineer Regiment (1st Separate Battalion Iowa Engineers, Sanitary Detachment, 2nd Iowa Infantry, Headquarters Company (less band), Supply Company, and 2nd Battalion, 6th Nebraska Infantry)
  • 109th Field Signal Battalion (Company C, Iowa Signal Corps, and Company B, Nebraska Signal Corps)
  • Headquarters Troop, 34th Division (Troop A, 1st Iowa Cavalry)
  • 109th Train Headquarters and Military Police (1st Battalion, 6th Nebraska Infantry, less Company D)
    • 109th Ammunition Train (Iowa ammunition train, Troop D, 1st Iowa Cavalry)
    • 109th Supply Train (3rd Battalion, less Company I, 6th Nebraska Infantry)
    • 109th Engineer Train (Company I, 6th Nebraska Infantry)
    • 109th Sanitary Train
      • 133rd, 134th, 135th, and 136th Ambulance Companies and Field Hospitals (1st and 2nd Iowa Ambulance Companies, 1st Minnesota Ambulance Company, 1st and 2nd Iowa Field Hospitals, 1st Minnesota Field Hospital, 1st North Dakota Field Hospital, and Company D, 6th Nebraska Infantry)

Between the world wars[edit]

In accordance with the National Defense Act of 1920, the division was allotted to Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota, and assigned to the VII Corps in 1921. On 17 January 1921, the Observation Squadron, Minnesota National Guard, was the first National Guard observation squadron to receive federal recognition. Per War Department naming conventions, the squadron was re-designated the 109th Observation Squadron on 25 January 1923.[19] By 1924, a sufficient number of subordinate units had been organized to meet the federal standards for organization of a division headquarters and staff, and the division headquarters was reorganized and federally recognized on 14 July 1924 at Council Bluffs, Iowa, under the command of Major General Mathew A. Tinley; when Major General George E. Leach of Minnesota took command, the headquarters was relocated on 14 July 1940 to Camp Ripley, near Little Falls, Minnesota. The designated mobilization training center for the “Red Bull” Division was Camp Dodge, Iowa, near Des Moines, 1921–30, and Camp Ripley, 1931–40. For most years from 1921-1940, the division’s subordinate units held separate summer camps at locations within their respective states: Camp Dodge for Iowa units; Camp Lake View on Lake Pepin near Lake City, until 1931, and from 1931 on, Camp Ripley for Minnesota units; Camp Gilbert C. Grafton near Devils Lake for North Dakota units; and Camp Rapid near Rapid City for South Dakota units. For at least one year, in 1938, the division’s subordinate units also trained over eighty company-grade Reserve officers of the 88th Division at their various training camps in the division’s home area. The division staff, composed of personnel form all four states, came together to conduct joint training for several summers before World War II. The staff generally alternated years between Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and Camp Dodge and participated in several corps area and army-level command post exercises.[20]

On 16 May 1934, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters initiated a strike (Minneapolis Teamsters Strike of 1934), which quickly degenerated into open violence in the streets of Minneapolis. Minnesota governor Floyd B. Olson activated 4,000 National Guardsmen to suppress the chaos. Utilizing roving patrols, curfews, and security details, the 34th quickly restored order, thus enabling a negotiated settlement of the labor dispute.[21] The first opportunity for the entire division to operate together came in August 1937 during that portion of the Fourth Army maneuvers held at Camp Ripley. On 18 June 1939, a tornado hit Anoka, Minnesota, and Governor Harold Stassen called on the Guard again. 300 Guardsmen patrolled the streets and imposed quasi-martial law while the community was stabilized.[22] The next opportunity for the division to operate as a unit came in August 1940 when the division again assembled at Camp Ripley for the Seventh Corps Area concentration of the Fourth Army maneuvers. In that maneuver, the “Red Bull” Division operated as part of the "Red Army" against the 35th Division and the "Blue Army."


  • Major General Mathew A. Tinley (Iowa) (14 July 1924 – 5 March 1940)
  • Major General Lloyd D. Ross (Iowa) (5 March-24 June 1940)
  • Major General George E. Leach (Minnesota) (24 June–24 July 1940)
  • Major General Ellard A. Walsh (Minnesota) (25 July 1940 – 16 August 1941)

Order of battle, 1939[edit]

A monument dedicated to the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division at Fort Snelling National Cemetery near Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The 109th Medical Regiment was originally allotted to Minnesota and North Dakota. In 1927, the regiment was relieved from assignment to the 34th Division, assigned to the VII Corps, and the North Dakota elements were concurrently withdrawn and allotted to Minnesota. No units of the regiment were ever organized before it was withdrawn from allotment to the National Guard in September 1927 and demobilized. Concurrently, the 136th Medical Regiment, allotted to Iowa and South Dakota, was reassigned from the VII Corps to the 34th Division with all South Dakota elements withdrawn and allotted to Iowa. The regiment, less two companies active since 1922 and 1926, respectively, began organization in April 1939.[23]

Italics indicates state of headquarters allocation; headquarters not organized or inactive.

  • Headquarters, 34th Division (Council Bluffs, Iowa)
    • Headquarters Detachment, 34th Division (Council Bluffs)
  • Headquarters, Special Troops (Council Bluffs)
    • Headquarters Detachment, Special Troops (Council Bluffs)
    • Medical Detachment, Special Troops (Council Bluffs)
    • Headquarters Company, 34th Division (Council Bluffs)
    • 34th Military Police Company (Aitkin, Minnesota)
    • 34th Signal Company (Watertown, South Dakota)
    • 109th Ordnance Company (Medium) (Minnesota National Guard)
    • 34th Tank Company (Light) (Brainerd, Minnesota)
  • Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 67th Infantry Brigade (Des Moines, Iowa)
    • 133rd Infantry Regiment (Sioux City, Iowa)
    • 168th Infantry Regiment (Council Bluffs)
  • Headquarters, 68th Infantry Brigade (Valley City, North Dakota)
  • Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 59th Field Artillery Brigade (Minneapolis)
    • 125th Field Artillery Regiment (75 mm) (Duluth, Minnesota)
    • 151st Field Artillery Regiment (75 mm) (Minneapolis)
    • 185th Field Artillery Regiment (155 mm) (Davenport, Iowa)
    • 109th Ammunition Train (Minnesota National Guard)
  • 109th Engineer Regiment (Rapid City, South Dakota)
  • 136th Medical Regiment (Ames, Iowa)
  • 109th Quartermaster Regiment (Osceola, Iowa)

Prelude to World War II[edit]

The expanding war in Europe threatened to draw a reluctant United States into the conflict. As the potential of U.S. involvement in World War II became more evident, initial steps were taken to prepare troops for what lay ahead through "precautionary training."[21] The division was deemed one of the most service-ready units, and Ellard A. Walsh was promoted to major general in June 1940, and then succeeded to division commander in August. The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 was signed into law 16 September, and the first conscription in U.S. history during peacetime commenced.[24]

The 34th was subsequently federalized on 10 February 1941, and was transported by rail and truck convoys to the newly constructed Camp Claiborne in Rapides Parish, Louisiana near Alexandria.[25] On 7 April 1941, the soldiers started rigorous training. The climate during the summer was especially harsh. The division then participated in what became known as the Louisiana Maneuvers, and became a well-disciplined, high-spirited, and well-prepared unit.[25] During the early phase of the maneuvers, General Walsh became too ill to continue in command because of chronic stomach ulcers. After an interim tenure by Iowan Brigadier General Gordon C. Hollar of the 67th Infantry Brigade, the senior brigadier general of the division, Walsh was replaced by Regular Army Major General Russell P. Hartle on 5 August 1941.[25]

World War II[edit]

Order of battle[edit]

  • Headquarters, 34th Infantry Division
  • 133rd Infantry Regiment
  • 135th Infantry Regiment
  • 168th Infantry Regiment
  • Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 34th Infantry Division Artillery
    • 125th Field Artillery Battalion (125th FAB) (105 mm)
    • 151st Field Artillery Battalion (151st FAB) (105 mm)
    • 175th Field Artillery Battalion (175th FAB) (105 mm)
    • 185th Field Artillery Battalion (185th FAB) (155 mm)
  • 109th Engineer Combat Battalion (109th ECB)
  • 109th Medical Battalion
  • 34th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (34th CRT) (Mechanized)
  • Headquarters, Special Troops, 34th Infantry Division
    • Headquarters Company, 34th Infantry Division
    • 734th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company (734th OLMC)
    • 34th Quartermaster Company
    • 34th Signal Company
    • Military Police Platoon
    • Band
  • 34th Counterintelligence Corps Detachment (34th CCD)

In common with other U.S. Army divisions during World War II the 34th was reorganized from a square to a triangular division before seeing combat. The division's three infantry regiments became the 133rd, 135th, and 168th Infantry Regiments, together with supporting units.

Combat chronicle[edit]

On 8 January 1942, the 34th Division was transported by train to Fort Dix, New Jersey to quickly prepare for overseas movement. The first contingent embarked at Brooklyn on 14 January 1942 and sailed from New York the next day. The initial group of 4,508 men stepped ashore at 12:15 hrs on 26 January 1942 at Dufferin Quay, Belfast, Northern Ireland. They were met by a delegation including the Governor (Duke of Abercorn), the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (J. M. Andrews), the Commander of British Troops Northern Ireland (Lieutenant General Sir Harold Franklyn), and the Secretary of State for Air (Sir Archibald Sinclair).[26] Private First Class Milburn H. Henke, Company B, 133rd Infantry Regiment, of Hutchinson, Minnesota, was honorarily selected as the "first" American soldier to set foot in the United Kingdom during the Second World War.[27]

While in Northern Ireland, Hartle was tasked with organizing an American version of the British Commandos, a group of small "hit and run" forces, and promoted his aide-de-camp, Captain William Orlando Darby to lead the new unit.[26] Darby assembled volunteers, and of the first 500 U.S. Army Rangers, 281 came from the 34th Infantry Division. On 20 May 1942, Hartle was designated commanding general of V Corps and Major General Charles Ryder, a distinguished veteran of World War I, took command of the 34th Division. The division trained in Northern Ireland until it boarded ships to travel to North Africa for Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa, in November 1942.[citation needed]

Acting intelligence officer Rudolph von Ripper c. 1942 wearing red bull shoulder badge

The 34th, under command of Major General Ryder, saw its first combat in French Algeria on 8 November 1942. As a member of the Eastern Task Force, which included two brigades of the British 78th Infantry Division, and two British Commando units, they landed at Algiers and seized the port and outlying airfields. Elements of the 34th Division took part in numerous subsequent engagements in Tunisia during the Allied build-up, notably at Sened Station,[28] Sidi Bou Zid and Faid Pass, Sbeitla, and Fondouk Gap.[29] In April 1943 the division assaulted Hill 609, capturing it on 1 May 1943, and then drove through Chouigui Pass to Tebourba and Ferryville.[30] The Battle of Tunisia was won, and the Axis forces surrendered.

The Red Bull in the Winter Line of Pantano, Italy – 29 November to 3 December 1943.

The division skipped the Allied invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky) due to heavy casualties suffered in North Africa especially at Faid Pass where the 168th Infantry Regiment lost half of its strength with its men killed or captured and was in need of replacements and refitting, and instead trained intensively for the invasion of the Italian mainland, with the main landings being at Salerno (Operation Avalanche) on 9 September 1943, D-Day, to be undertaken by elements of the U.S. Fifth Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Mark Clark. The 151st Field Artillery Battalion went in on D-Day, 9 September, landing at Salerno, while the rest of the division followed on 25 September.

The 2nd Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, had been left behind to provide security for Allied installations in England, and the segregated Japanese-American 100th Infantry Battalion would be attached at the end of the Norh African campaign to replace the battalion, later traveling with them to Italy.[31]

Engaging the enemy at the Calore River, 28 September, the 34th, as part of the VI Corps under Major General John Lucas, relentlessly drove north to take Benevento, crossed the winding Volturno three times in October and November, assaulted Monte Patano, and took one of its four peaks before being relieved on 8 December.[32]

Secretary of War Stimson, Lt Gen Clark and Maj Gen Ryder reviewing 34th division soldiers, 1944

In January 1944, the division was back on the front line battering the Bernhardt Line defenses. Persevering through bitter fighting along the Mignano Gap, the 34th used goat herds to clear the minefields.[33] The 34th took Monte Trocchio without resistance as the German defenders withdrew to the main prepared defenses of the Gustav Line. On 24 January 1944, during the First Battle of Monte Cassino they pushed across the Gari River into the hills behind and attacked Monastery Hill which dominated the town of Monte Cassino. While they nearly captured the objective, in the end their attacks on the monastery and the town failed. The performance of the 34th Infantry Division in the mountains has been called one of the finest feats of arms carried out by any soldiers during the war.[34] The unit sustained severe losses. In the 133rd Infantry, the attached 100th Battalion, had only 7 officers and 78 men remaining in its rifle companies. In the 135th Infantry, there was an average of only 30 men in each rifle company. The 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry, had only 154 combat effective men, the 2nd Battalion had 393, and the 3rd Battalion had 246.[35] They were relieved from their positions 11–13 February 1944. Eventually, it took the combined force of five Allied infantry divisions to finish what the 34th nearly accomplished on its own.[dubiousdiscuss][citation needed]

After rest and rehabilitation, the 34th Division landed at the Anzio beachhead 25 March 1944. The division maintained defensive positions until the offensive of 23 May, when it broke out of the beachhead, took Cisterna, and raced to Civitavecchia and the Italian capital of Rome. After a short rest, the division, now commanded by Major General Charles Bolte, drove across the Cecina River to liberate Livorno, 19 July 1944, and continued on to take Monte Belmonte in October during the fighting on the Gothic Line. Digging in south of Bologna for the winter, the 34th manned the line opposite the German 65th Infantry Division.[36] The Red Bull Division jumped off as part of the Spring 1945 offensive in Italy, 15 April 1945, and captured Bologna on 21 April after hard fighting against the 65th. Pursuit of the routed enemy to the French border was halted on 2 May upon the German surrender in Italy and the end of World War II in Europe.[15]

On 27 June 1944 the 16th SS-Panzer Grenadiers command post in San Vincenzo, Italy was overrun by the 1st Battalion of the 133rd Infantry Regiment. The command post was a town center apartment which had been commandeered, when the owners returned to their apartment they found a signed large leather-bound Stieler's Hand Atlas which had been left behind.[37]

The division participated in six major Army campaigns in North Africa and Italy. The division is credited with amassing 517 days of front-line combat,[38] second only to the 654 days of fighting by the 32nd Infantry Division.[39] One or more 34th Division units were engaged in actual combat for 611 days.[citation needed]

Unit history[citation needed]

Cold War to 2001[edit]

The 34th was inactivated on 3 November 1945. The division was reformed within the Iowa and Nebraska National Guards in 1946–7.

Order of battle, 1948[edit]

  • Headquarters, 34th Infantry Division (Iowa, Nebraska)
  • 133rd Infantry Regiment (Iowa)
  • 134th Infantry Regiment (Nebraska)
  • 168th Infantry Regiment (Iowa)
  • Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 34th Infantry Division Artillery (Iowa)
    • 554th Field Artillery Battalion (105 mm) (Iowa)
    • 556th Field Artillery Battalion (105 mm) (Iowa)
    • 568th Field Artillery Battalion (105 mm) (Nebraska)
    • 185th Field Artillery Battalion (155 mm) (Iowa)
  • Headquarters, Special Troops, 34th Infantry Division (Iowa)
    • Headquarters Company, 34th Infantry Division (Iowa)
    • 734th Ordnance Maintenance Company (Nebraska)
    • 34th Quartermaster Company (Nebraska)
    • 34th Signal Company (Iowa)
    • 34th Military Police Company (Iowa)
    • 34th Infantry Division Band (Iowa)
  • 128th Engineer Combat Battalion (Nebraska)
  • 109th Medical Battalion (Iowa)
  • 34th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (Iowa)

In 1960 its units comprised the 1 BG-133 Inf, 2 BG-133 Inf, 1 BG-134 Inf, 2 BG 134 Inf, 1 BG-168 Inf, 1st and 2nd Bns 168th Arty, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Battalions 185th Arty, 1st Bn 133rd Armor, 2nd Squadron 133rd Armor (Cav), 734th Ord Bn, 128th Engineer Battalion, 109th Med Bn, 234th Signal Bn, 234th Transportation Battalion, 34th QM Co., 34th Avn Co, 34th Admin Co., 34th Aircraft Maintenance Detachment.[41]

It disbanded again in 1963, being replaced in part by the 67th Infantry Brigade. It also retained its Division HQ as a Command HQ to supervise training of combat and support units in the former division area for some years. The 47th Infantry Division was headquartered at St Paul, MN, by 1963, as the National Guard division covering the former 34th's area.

The division was reactivated as a National Guard division (renaming the 47th Division) for Minnesota and Iowa on 10 February 1991 upon the fiftieth anniversary of its federal activation for World War II. At that point the division transitioned into a medium division, with a required strength of 18,062 soldiers.

In 2000 the Minnesota Legislature renamed all of Interstate 35 in Minnesota the "34th Division (Red Bull) Highway," in honor of the division and its service in the World Wars.[42]

Twenty-first century[edit]

34th Infantry Division soldiers, part of Task Force Spartan, provide security at Hamid Karzai International Airport during the 2021 Kabul airlifts.

Shortly after its rebirth in 1991, the division began a process of reorganization and change that has continued to the present. One of the most significant developments was transformation from its old brigade structure into brigade combat teams and the broadening of its multi-state base. The Arden Hills-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division provides command and control for 23,000 Citizen-Soldiers in eight different states. In Minnesota the 34th ID includes the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, 84th Troop Command and the 347th Regional Support Group. Known as the Red Bulls, the 34th Infantry Division is capable of deploying its Main Command Post, Tactical Command Post, and Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion to provide command and control for Army brigades.[43]

Outside Minnesota, the 34th Infantry Division provides training and operational guidance to the 1–112th Security & Support Battalion, ND National Guard; 1–183rd Aviation Battalion, Idaho National Guard; 1–189th Aviation Battalion, Mont. National Guard; 115th Fires Brigade, Wyo. National Guard; 116th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Idaho National Guard; 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, ND National Guard; 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Wis. National Guard; 196th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, SD National Guard; 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Iowa National Guard; and the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Wis. National Guard. Combined, the division represents 23,000 Citizen-Soldiers in units stationed across eight different states.

Since October 2001, division personnel served in Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Operation Joint Guardian in Kosovo. Other deployments during the same time period have included Operation Vigilant Hammer in Europe, the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, and Egypt, and Joint Task Force Bravo – Honduras.[38]

The 34th Infantry Division has deployed approximately 11,000 soldiers on operations since October 2001. At home this has included troops deployed for Operation Noble Eagle; abroad, units and individual soldiers have deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.


  • 2004 In May 2004, the 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment (augmented by Company D, 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment), 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry Division, and with nearly 100 key positions filled by members of the 1st Battalion (Ironman), 133rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry Division, commenced combat operations at 13 Provincial Reconstruction Team sites throughout Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, returning the 34th Infantry Division to combat after 59 years and becoming first unit in the division to wear the Red Bull patch as a right-shoulder combat patch since World War II. The 2011 book Words in the Dust by former 34th ID soldier Trent Reedy is a novel based on the experiences of the 34th ID soldiers assigned to the Farah, Afghanistan PRT.[44]
  • 2010 In August 2010, nearly 3,000 Iowa National Guard soldiers, with 28 hometown send-offs, left for a year-long deployment to Afghanistan, making it the largest deployment of the Iowa National Guard since World War II. Augmented by the 1–134th Cavalry Reconnaissance and Surveillance Squadron of the Nebraska National Guard, the brigade conducted pre-mobilization training in Mississippi and California. The troops partnered with Afghan security forces to provide security and assist in training.[45]


A Red Bull soldier in Anbar Province, Iraq in 2006.
  • 2003–2005 In November 2003, 34th ID's own D 216 ADA from Monticello, MN was activated for deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. From November 2003 through March 2004, the battery trained under the 81st Enhanced Separate Brigade (Armored) in preparation for the deployment at Ft. Lewis, Yakima Training Center, and Ft. Irwin/National Training Center (NTC). While training at NTC, D 216 ADA was reassigned to the 1st CAV, 2nd BCT, 4/5 ADA. In March 2004, the unit moved to Camp New York in Kuwait, then convoyed northward to Baghdad in early April 2004. From April 2004 through March 2005, the Battery performed a wide range of missions to quell a growing insurgency and secure areas of Baghdad ahead of Iraq's first elections. These missions included securing neighborhoods adjacent to Route Irish, maintaining a QRF force for Route Irish, conduct combat operations across a 100 km2 area in the vicinity of Al Radwaniyah Presidential Complex (RPC), and gate/perimeter security across several locations on the perimeter of Victory Base Complex (VBC). In recognition of D 216 ADA's exemplary service, the unit was awarded the Valorous Unit Award.
A Red Bull soldier in Iraq in 2006.
  • 2004–2006 In November and December 2004, two platoons of the 634th Military Intelligence Battalion of the 34th Infantry Division activated to train and deploy as AAI RQ-7 Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle operators. The two platoons provided near real time video reconnaissance supporting units from various locations in northern Iraq from the Iran to the Syrian borders. The First platoon received an award for being one of the best shadow units in the army for their safe flight record and mission effectiveness. The units were activated for over 20 months spending only 12 in Iraq.
  • 2005 In January 2005, Company A, 1st Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment (1/194 AR) arrived at Camp Ashraf (about 80 km north of Baghdad) to conduct security and convoy operations in the surrounding area and conducted joint operations with Iraqi Army ahead of the October 2005 Iraqi constitution ratification vote. The 151-man unit was formed from nearly all of the soldiers in the 1/194th and Company A was chosen to honor the unit's lineage of the soldiers who fought to defend the Philippines against the Japanese and the Bataan Death March that followed. The unit was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its exceptional service.[45]
  • 2006 In March 2006, 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division commenced combat operations in central and southern Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, marking the largest single unit deployment for the 34th since World War II. Returning in July 2007, 1st Brigade served one of the longest consecutive combat operations by a United States National Guard unit (activated for 22 months total with 16 in Iraq).[45] In an effort to recreate the Living Red Bull Patch from Camp Cody, NM, in 1918, the 1st Brigade made its own Living Patch on the parade field at Camp Shelby, MS prior to its deployment to Iraq for OIF 06–08. On 16 July 2009, three members of the Fighting Red Bulls were killed in Basra, Iraq.[46]
  • 2008–2009 More than 700 34th Combat Aviation Brigade soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • 2009–2010 The 34th Red Bull Infantry Division deployed more than 1,200 soldiers to Basra, Iraq where they provided command and control for 16,000 U.S. military members and oversaw operations in nine of Iraq's 18 provinces. The highest-ranking suicide in Iraq occurred during this time. It was a Major and an officer of the 34ID.[47]
  • 2010 The Saint Cloud-based B, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment, departed in November for a deployment in support of Operation New Dawn. Flying CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopters, the Company B mission is to provide aerial movement of troops, equipment and supplies for support of maneuver, combat and combat service support operations.
  • 2011 In June 2011, 1st Brigade deployed to Kuwait, supplying troops for Operation New Dawn. The brigade was augmented with 1–180th Cavalry and 1–160th Field Artillery from the Oklahoma National Guard as well as the 112th Military Police Battalion from the Mississippi National Guard.[45]
  • 2013 Personnel from the 34th Infantry Division participated in the exercise Talisman Saber to collectively train within the U.S. Pacific Command Theater of Operations. Division Headquarters personnel focused on offensive and defensive operations while fostering relationships with I Corps, U.S. Army Pacific and the Australian Defence Forces.[43]

United States[edit]

  • 2019 In May, the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade provided CH-47 and UH-60 helicopters and personnel to local government agencies to fight and contain three wildfires in northwest Minnesota.
  • 2019 In June, the 34th DIV participated in a full-spectrum Warfighter Exercise with the 40th Infantry Division at Fort Leavenworth. During this exercise, the brigade staff was able to successfully integrate with different levels of command and adjacent units.


  • 2013 The 34th Combat Aviation Brigade welcomed home the St. Cloud-based Company C, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment from a deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom where they conducted more than 650 medical evacuation missions and flew 1,700 accident-free flight hours. The company also received six new CH-47F Chinook helicopters and trained more than 30 personnel in their operation.[43]


Structure of the 34th Infantry Division
Soldiers of the division in Kosovo.
A soldier of the division receiving the Silver Star Medal.

34th Infantry Division exercises training and readiness oversight of the following elements, but they are not organic[48] and include a division headquarters battalion, one armored brigade combat team, two infantry brigade combat teams, a cavalry brigade combat team, a field artillery brigade, and several attached units—specifically a field artillery brigade, a maneuver enhancement brigade, and a regional support group—along with Companies A and B from the 2nd Battalion 123rd Armor Regiment in the Kentucky Army National Guard:

Attached units[edit]

  • 115th Field Artillery Brigade (WY NG)
    • 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery Regiment (WI NG)
    • 1st Battalion, 147th Field Artillery Regiment SD NG)
    • 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery Regiment (MN NG)
    • 2nd Battalion, 300th Field Artillery Regiment (WY NG)
    • 960th Brigade Support Battalion (WY NG)
    • 148th Signal Company (WY NG)
  • 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (WI NG)
  • 347th Regional Support Group[64] (formerly 34th Division Support Command)
    • Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 347th Regional Support Group
    • 147th Personnel Services Battalion
    • 347th Personnel Services Detachment
    • 34th Military Police Company
    • 257th Military Police Company
    • 114th Transportation Company
    • 204th Medical Company
    • 247th Finance Detachment
    • 34th Infantry Division Band
    • Service Battery, 1st Battalion, 214th Field Artillery Regiment (Service Battery) (GA NG)
  • Companies A and B, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Armor Regiment (KY NG)

Former units[edit]


  • Major General David H. Lueck
  • Major General Clayton A Hovda
  • Major General Gerald A. Miller
  • Major General Rodney R. Hannula
  • Major General Larry Shellito
  • Major General Rick D. Erlandson
  • Major General Richard C. Nash
  • Major General David Elicerio
  • Major General Neal Loidolt
  • Major General Jon Jensen[38]
  • Major General Benjamin Corell[66]
  • Major General Michael Wickman
  • Major General Charles Kemper

Popular culture[edit]

in the 1965 film version of James Clavell's 1962 novel King Rat, George Segal's character, U.S. Army Corporal King, wears the shoulder patch of the 34th Infantry Division. This is inaccurate, due to the Division having seen action in North Africa and Italy, not the Southwest Pacific or China-Burma-India Theater.


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External links[edit]