6th Infantry Regiment (United States)
|6th Infantry Regiment|
6th Infantry coat of arms
|Active||1812 – present|
|Branch||United States Army|
|Garrison/HQ||Ft. Bliss, Texas|
|Motto(s)||Unity is Strength|
|Engagements||War of 1812
American Civil War
War with Spain
World War I
World War II
War in Southwest Asia
Henry W. Wessells
Norman Schwarzkopf (1st BN)
Carter Ham(1st BN)
|Distinctive unit insignia|
|U.S. Infantry Regiments|
|5th Infantry Regiment||7th Infantry Regiment|
The 6th Infantry Regiment ("Regulars") was formed 11 January 1812. Zachary Taylor, later the twelfth President of the United States, was a commander of the unit. The motto, "Regulars, By God!" derives from the Battle of Chippawa, in which British Major General Phineas Riall noticed that the approaching regiment had on the uniforms of militia, which the British had defeated at Queenston Heights. Instead, the Americans pressed the attack. Riall is assumed to have said, "Those are Regulars, By God!" (though the only source of this was opposing U.S. general Winfield Scott).
The regiment participated in the War of 1812, the Mexican–American War, the American Civil War, the Indian Wars (1823-1879), the Spanish–American War, Philippine–American War (1899–1913), the Pancho Villa Expedition (1916–1917), World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. Elements of the 6th Infantry were also part of IFOR, Task Force Eagle, which was charged with implementing the military aspects of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In September 1989, the 4th Battalion 6th Infantry deployed to Panama, playing a key role in Operation Just Cause. In January 1994, the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry deployed to Macedonia for Operation Able Sentry as part of the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force. In May 1998, Company B was deployed again to Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Joint Forge (OJE/OJF). In 1999, elements were deployed again to Macedonia for the initial launch of support and liberation of Kosovo. In March 2003, Company C, 2nd Battalion deployed with HQ V Corps to Kuwait and participated in the initial invasion of Iraq. The rest of the 2nd Battalion and 1st Battalion deployed to Iraq in late April 2003 as part of 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. The "Regulars" arrived in Baghdad in May 2003 and were the first to relieve elements of the 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad. The 1st and 2nd Battalions deployed again in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in November 2005 and April 2008. The 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn from May 2009 to May 2010. In August of 2011, the 4th Battalion deployed to Al-Asad and FOB Hammer in Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn. They returned in December of that year when the U.S and Iraqi government failed to come to an agreement concerning soldiers diplomatic immunity, making the Regulars one of the last units to withdraw from the Iraq.
Two battalions of the 6th Infantry Regiment are currently assigned to the 1st Armored Division; the 1st Battalion with the 2d Brigade Combat Team and the 4th Battalion with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
Pre-World War I
Constituted 11 January 1812 in the Regular Army as the 11th Infantry Regiment.
Consolidated May–October 1815 with the 25th Infantry (constituted 26 June 1812) and the 27th, 29th, and 37th Infantry (all constituted 29 January 1813) to form the 6th Infantry Regiment.
Consolidated 1 May 1869 with the 42d Infantry Regiment, Veteran Reserve Corps (constituted 21 September 1866), and consolidated unit designated as the 6th Infantry Regiment.
The present 6th United States Infantry traces its lineage back to 11 January 1812, when the Congress authorized a strengthening of the regular Army in preparation for the conflict that became known as the War of 1812. The unit was first known as the 11th Infantry Regiment and served as such on the Upper Canada–US border throughout the War of 1812.
In 1831 and 1832, the regiment entered the series of actions to be known as the Black Hawk War, against the Sac and Fox Indians. On 2 August 1832, the 6th Infantry caught the Indians at the junction of the Bad Axe River with the Mississippi River (in present-day Wisconsin), and killed most of Black Hawk's band (records say that 950 Sac were massacred), earning the campaign streamer BLACK HAWK. In 1837, the units of the regiment left Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, for Florida via Louisiana. As part of a force commanded by Colonel Zachary Taylor, the regiment entered the Second Seminole War in eastern Florida in 1837. It was the first "guerrilla-style" war fought by US troops.
The 6th Infantry Regiment served in the Mexican American War, participating in Scott's campaign to Mexico City. They fought in the Siege of Veracruz, at Cerro Gordo, Churubusco, Molino del Rey and at Chapultepec.
From late 1860 to mid-1861 detachments of Company B from Fort Humboldt were involved in the Bald Hills War, patrolling and in 1861, skirmishing with the local Indians on Mad and Eel Rivers and their tributaries.
At the outset of the Civil War in April 1861, the regiment was directed to hurry eastward from Oregon and California and join the Federal forces. According to one biographer of the time, "Several of the Regiment's best and bravest officers, honest in the mistaken construction of the Constitution and true to their convictions as to their duty, had tendered their resignations and given themselves to the Confederate cause."[this quote needs a citation] One of those officers was the regimental commander, Major Lewis Armistead. During the Civil War, the 6th U.S. Infantry Regiment lost during service 2 officers and 29 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, and 1 officer and 43 enlisted men by disease. Total lost: 75.
For six years after the Civil War, the regiment served at various stations in Georgia and South Carolina. It moved to Fort Hays, Kansas, in October 1871. The regiment saw duty on the frontier in Kansas, Colorado, Iowa, Wyoming, Idaho and Utah. In 1872 under Col. William B. Hazen, the regiment was transferred to the Department of the Dakota and based out of Fort Buford Dakota Territory, fighting many engagements against hostile Indian forces. In 1872 and 1873, the regiment earned campaign streamers NORTH DAKOTA 1872 and NORTH DAKOTA 1873. The next several years saw much action for the regiment during the Indian Wars many of which in Montana Territory, and they were awarded campaign streamers MONTANA 1879, LITTLE BIG HORN, CHEYENNES, and UTES.
In 1880, the regiment moved to Fort Thomas, Kentucky, where it remained until called to action again in June 1898, in the Spanish–American War. On 1 July 1898, the 6th Regiment took the brunt of the fighting during the charge up San Juan Hill.
The regiment returned to the United States, serving at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, from the end of 1898 until late July 1899, when it sailed to the Philippines to help quell the insurgents in the Philippine–American War. The Moro tribe was one of the toughest enemies the 6th had ever faced—every one of them fought to the death, and preferred to do it in hand-to-hand style. The regiment fought over fifty engagements, and it left with campaign streamers for JOLO, NEGROS in 1899, and PANAY in 1900. In March 1905, the regiment returned to the Philippines to fight the Moros again. For three days in 1906, elements of the regiment fought in the First Battle of Bud Dajo, one of the fiercest conflicts of the entire island campaign. The successful ending to the battle broke the Moro strength and ended the fighting in that part of the island.
Following service in the Philippines, the 6th returned to the Presidio of San Francisco, California. In May 1914, it entered into service on the Mexican border. In March 1916, it proceeded to San Antonio, Chihuahua, as part of the Punitive Expedition under Brigadier General John J. Pershing. In February 1917, Pershing's force withdrew from Mexico and the regiment moved to Fort Bliss. Because of their action, the regiment was awarded another campaign streamer – MEXICO 1916–1917.
World War I
Assigned 18 November 1917 to the 5th Division
In December 1917, the 6th Regiment was assigned to the 10th Infantry Brigade, 5th Division, and began training stateside. In the latter part of May 1917, the 6th Infantry Regiment was declared ready for introduction to combat and was placed at the disposal of the French for service at the front. In July 1918, a strategic offensive plan was agreed upon by the Allied commanders, the immediate purpose of which was to reduce the salients which interfered with further offensive operations. One of these was the Saint-Mihiel salient. The First U.S. Army was organized on 10 August and directed to launch an offensive on 12 September to reduce this salient. The 6th Regiment was destined to play an important role in this operation. On 1 December 1918 the 6th Regiment conducted a march from Luxembourg to the city of Trier, Germany, becoming the first American troops to enter that ancient city.
Relieved in August 1921 from assignment to the 5th Division
Assigned 24 March 1923 to the 6th Division
Relieved 16 October 1939 from assignment to the 6th Division
Reorganized 15 July 1940 as the 6th Infantry Regiment (Armored) and assigned to the 1st Armored Division
Redesignated 1 January 1942 as the 6th Armored Infantry Regiment
Between World War I and World War II, the regiment returned to the United States, where they continued to train to become one of the best regiments in the Army. In 1936, they were designated a mechanized unit by the War Department.
In February 1941, the regiment was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, conducting routine training and activities under the command of Col. Harry B. Crea. In April, the regiment began supplying cadre for the 51st Infantry Regiment of the 4th Armored Division, which was to be stationed at Pine Camp, New York. In May, the regiment continued to get replacements and conduct routine training. The regiment consisted of a regimental headquarters, an antitank company, the regimental band, and two battalions – each with a headquarters company and four line companies. In August, the regiment moved to Louisiana to conduct maneuvers, then returned to Fort Knox in November. A few weeks later, on 7 December, war was declared; soldiers awaiting release were returned to their barracks.
World War II
The 6th staged at Fort Dix, New Jersey, on 8 April 1942, for a departure to Ireland on 31 May from the Port of New York. They arrived on 11 June and then prepared for their entry into North Africa. They landed on North Africa on 21 December 1942, and landed in Italy on 28 October 1943. The regiment remained there until it was reorganized on 20 July 1944 and its elements were redesignated as elements of the 1st Armored Division as follows:
- 6th Armored Infantry Regiment (less 2d and 3d Battalions) as the 6th Armored Infantry Battalion
- 2d Battalion as the 11th Armored Infantry Battalion
- 3d Battalion as the 14th Armored Infantry Battalion
One soldier of the 6th Armored Infantry Regiment and its successor battalions received the Medal of Honor for service during World War II; Private Nicholas Minue, Company A, 6th Armored Infantry Regiment, 28 April 1943, near Medjez el Bab, Tunisia (posthumous)
After the war, the above units underwent changes as follows:
- 6th Armored Infantry Battalion converted and redesignated 1 May 1946 as the 12th Constabulary Squadron; concurrently relieved from assignment to the 1st Armored Division and assigned to the 1st Constabulary Regiment. Inactivated 20 September 1947 in Germany. Converted and redesignated 10 October 1950 as the 6th Infantry (less 2d and 3d Battalions) and relieved from assignment to the 1st Constabulary Regiment
- 11th Armored Infantry Battalion converted and redesignated 1 May 1946 as the 11th Constabulary Squadron; concurrently relieved from assignment to the 1st Armored Division and assigned to the 1st Constabulary Regiment. Inactivated 20 September 1947 in Germany Converted and redesignated 7 April 1949 as the 11th Armored Infantry Battalion and relieved from assignment the 1st Constabulary Regiment. Redesignated 10 October 1950 as the 2d Battalion, 6th Infantry
- 14th Armored Infantry Battalion converted and redesignated 1 May 1946 as the 14th Constabulary Squadron; concurrently relieved from assignment to the 1st Armored Division and assigned to the 15th Constabulary Regiment. Inactivated 20 December 1948 in Germany and relieved from assignment to the 15th Constabulary Regiment; concurrently converted and redesignated as the 14th Armored Infantry Battalion and assigned to the 1st Armored Division Redesignated 10 December 1950 as the 3d Battalion, 6th Infantry, and relieved from assignment to the 1st Armored Division
Post World War II
6th Infantry activated 16 October 1950 in Germany.
Reorganized 1 June 1958 as a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System.
Withdrawn 16 June 1989 from the Combat Arms Regimental System and reorganized under the United States Army Regimental System.
In October 1950 the 6th Infantry was reconstituted as a regular infantry regiment forming the U.S. garrison in West Berlin, designated as Berlin Command. The existing garrison units, the 16th Constabulary Squadron and the 3rd Battalion, 16th Infantry, were reflagged as the 1st and 3rd Battalions, 6th Infantry. The 2nd Battalion was assembled from troops in West Germany.
In 1958 Berlin Command was reorganized as a Pentomic unit. The 6th Regiment was reorganized as the 2nd and 3rd Battle Groups, 6th Infantry. The 1st Battalion (1st Battle Group) was changed to 1st Armored Rifle Battalion. On 1 December 1961 the occupation forces were designated Berlin Brigade. In 1964, Berlin Brigade was reorganized again. 2nd and 3rd Battle Groups were redesignated 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 6th Infantry, and 4th Battalion was also formed from cadre of the two battle groups.
On 17 May 1967, the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry was reorganized as a standard Infantry Battalion and was assigned to the 198th Light Infantry Brigade, in the Americal (23rd Infantry) Division. The 1–6th Infantry was the division's first element ashore, arriving at Chu Lai in October to participate in its thirty-fifth campaign and ninth war. After a brief initial operation south of Duc Pho, the battalion was assigned the mission of securing the installation at Chu Lai.
1–6th Infantry participated in Task Force Oregon, Task Force Miracle, Operation Wheeler/Wallowa, Operation Burlington Trail, and had the mission of protecting Americal Division Headquarters and Chu Lai Defense Command from enemy ground mortar and rocket attacks. The 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry was awarded the Valorous Unit Citation for its victory at the battle of Lo Giang, 7–11 February 1968. Task Force Miracle was formed in February 1968 during the enemy's Tet offensive when the city of Da Nang was threatened by the 60th Main Force Viet Cong Battalion. The 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry and 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry assisted the Marines in the fighting. After four days of fierce fighting, the threat to Da Nang was obliterated and the task force was deactivated and returned to the Americal area of operation. During the Vietnam War, the Sixth was awarded streamers – COUNTEROFFENSIVE PHASE III, TET COUNTEROFFENSIVE, COUNTEROFFENSIVE PHASE IV, COUNTEROFFENSIVE PHASE V, COUNTEROFFENSIVE PHASE VI, TET 69 / COUNTEROFFENSIVE, SUMMER-FALL 1969, WINTER-SPRING 1970, SANCTUARY COUNTEROFFENSIVE, COUNTEROFFENSIVE PHASE VII, and CONSOLIDATION I.
On 15 February 1969, the battalion was released from the 198th Light Infantry Brigade and assigned to the 23rd Infantry Division, Americal Division. On 13 September 1972 was reassigned to the 1st Armored Division, and was posted at Stork Barracks in Illesheim, West Germany.
During 1st Armored Division's closing months at Ft. Hood, Texas in 1970-71 prior to the division's assignment to Germany, 5th Battalion, 6th Infantry was the 1st Brigade's mechanized infantry battalion.
In 1974, the regiment was split again, this time between Germany and the United States. The 1st Battalion was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division in Illesheim, Germany. The 2nd Battalion was assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division in Erlangen, Germany, a three tank battalion brigade with 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry as the brigade's mechanized infantry.
The three Berlin Brigade battalions were reflagged as the 4th, 5th and 6th Battalions, 502nd Infantry. The 3rd and 4th Battalions were assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 5th Infantry Division at Fort Polk, Louisiana, where elements participated in Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989, earning campaign streamer – PANAMA, and the Valorous Unit Award for Panama. In 1989, the unit also received the Army Superior Unit Award. The 5th Battalion was assigned to the 3rd Brigade of the 5th Infantry Division. The 6th Battalion and 7th Battalion were assigned to 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, Bamberg, Germany. In 1990, the 6th and 7th Battalions were called on to participate in the regiment's tenth war, Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm. During that war in the Persian Gulf, the regiment earned campaign streamers – DEFENSE OF SAUDI ARABIA, LIBERATION AND DEFENSE OF KUWAIT, and CEASE-FIRE, as well as Valorous Unit Citations for Iraq and Iraq-Kuwait.
In 1993, the 5th Infantry Division was deactivated, and the 3rd, 4th and 5th Battalions were re-flagged under the 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood; the 1st Battalion moved from Illesheim to Vilseck, Germany, and came under the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division; and the 6th and 7th Battalions were deactivated.
In 2005, the 6th Infantry Regiment deployed to Kuwait where they served as part of the regional quick reaction force stationed at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. From there the Regulars were sent to Ramadi, Iraq, via TQ Air Base during a period later known as the Battle of Ramadi (2006). During that time the Regulars operated out of the three main U.S. bases in the area: Camp Ramadi, Blue Diamond, and Camp Corregidor. These three bases provided the Regulars a triangle-shaped perimeter from which to launch operations into the center of the city of Ramadi. Instead of a Fallujah-style sweep, the combat outpost style of fighting was used where the Regulars created patrol bases deep inside various neighborhoods of the city form which to stage operations, pull security, and draw contact. The soldiers split their time between operating out of the combat outposts and re-fitting and operating from the main bases.
The Regulars were often attached to the command of other units because each company and platoon with their Bradleys was a potent force in the IED-infested streets of Ramadi. Time magazine called Ramadi the most dangerous place on the planet at that time. The Regulars served alongside the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, "Red Currahee," Seal Team Three, and many other units. One Navy Seal, Michael Monsoor, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of several of his team members during intense fighting in Ramadi. The Regulars were awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation as part of the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Armored Division for their actions in Ramadi.
In 2009 the 4th Battalion, assigned to 4th HBCT, 1st Armored Division deployed in support of Operation Iraq Freedom. Following a deployment to Maysan Province the 4th Battalion was awarded the Meritorious Unit Award.
In August, 2011 4th Battalion, again with 4th HBCT 1st Armored deployed to Iraq. Alpha, Delta and Headquarters company were assigned to Al Asad airbase. Bravo and Charlie companies were sent to Forward Operating Base Hammer. The battalion returned home in December 2011, one of the last Army ground forces to leave Iraq at the end of Operation New Dawn.
Shortly after their return to Fort Bliss, Texas, members of 4th Battalion were advised of an imminent deployment as security forces advise and assist teams (SFAAT) to Afghanistan. The first SFAAT teams deployed in June 2012, only 10 months after their deployment to Iraq.
Campaign participation credit
- War of 1812
- Mexican-American War
- Civil War
- Indian Wars
- Black Hawk
- Little Big Horn
- South Dakota 1823
- Kansas 1829
- Nebraska 1855
- Kansas 1857
- North Dakota 1872
- North Dakota 1873
- Montana 1879
- Spanish-American War
- Philippine-American War
- Mexican Expedition
- World War I
- World War II
- Algeria-French Morocco (with arrowhead)
- North Apennines
- Po Valley
- Counteroffensive, Phase III
- Tet Counteroffensive
- Counteroffensive, Phase IV
- Counteroffensive, Phase V
- Counteroffensive, Phase VI
- Tet 69/Counteroffensive
- Summer-Fall 1969
- Winter-Spring 1970
- Sanctuary Counteroffensive
- Counteroffensive, Phase VII
- Consolidation I
- Armed Forces Expeditions
- Southwest Asia
- Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for ORAN, ALGERIA
- Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for MT. PORCHIA
- Valorous Unit Award for LO GIANG
- Valorous Unit Award for PANAMA
- Valorous Unit Award for IRAQ
- Valorous Unit Award for IRAQ-KUWAIT
- Army Superior Unit Award(5-6 INF) Operation Nimrod Dancer for 1989
- Joint Meritorious Unit Award (1–6 INF) (Army) 1994 Macedonia for Operation Able Sentry
- Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Meritorious Unit Award(1-6 INF) OIF 05-06 
- Meritorious Unit Award (2-6 INF) OIF 05-06 
- Naval Unit Commendation(1-6 INF) OIF 06 
- Naval Unit Commendation(A, B 2-6 INF) 
- Meritorious Unit Award (2–6 INF, Company HHC,A, and C) OIF 08-09
- Meritorious Unit Award (4–6 INF) OIF 09-10
2nd Lt Richard B. Garnett
P/Sgt. Finnis D. McCleery
- "Special Unit Designations". United States Army Center of Military History. 21 April 2010. Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
- Michael Ware, The Most Dangerous Place, Time Magazine, Sunday 21 May 2006
- Jim Michaels, A Chance in Hell: The Men Who Triumphed Over Iraq's Deadliest City and Turned the Tide of War
- Bush awards Medal of Honor to Navy SEAL, http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-04-08-medal-honor_N.htm
- Permanent Orders 365-27, for the period 7 NOV 2005 – 15 NOV 2006, available at https://www.hrc.army.mil/site/assets/awards/GWOT_Approved_Unit_Awards.xlsx
- Army General Orders 2013-56, for the period 7 NOV 2005 – 25 MAY 2006, available at https://www.hrc.army.mil/site/ASSETS/Awards/2014/New2014Awards/2013-56.pdf
- Army General Orders 2013-56, for the period 7 NOV 2005 – 15 NOV 2006, available at https://www.hrc.army.mil/site/ASSETS/Awards/2014/New2014Awards/2013-56.pdf
- Army General Orders 2014-09, for the period 26 MAY 2006 – 23 OCT 2006, available athttps://www.hrc.army.mil/site/ASSETS/Awards/2014/New2014Awards/2014-09.pdf
- Army General Orders 2014-09, for period 26 MAY 2006 - 23 OCT 2006 available
- This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Army Center of Military History document "6th Infantry Lineage and Honors".
- "Medal of Honor Citations". United States Army Center of Military History. Archived from the original on 1 November 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2008.
- "Western Allies Berlin; Berlin Brigade History". Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2008.
- "West Alliierte in Berlin". The history of the three Western Allied Forces and their civilian employees in Berlin from 1945 – 1994.
- The short film Big Picture: First Sergeant is available for free download at the Internet Archive