Girish Mahajan (Editor)

124th Infantry Regiment (United States)

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Covid-19
Active  1860–present
Branch  United States Army
Motto(s)  "Florida and Country"
Country  USA
Type  Light infantry
124th Infantry Regiment (United States)
Engagements  American Civil War Spanish–American War Pancho Villa Expedition World War I World War II Operation Iraqi Freedom Operation Enduring Freedom

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.

Contents

History

The regiment claims its descent from the first European garrisons in America. 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.

Civil War

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

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

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.

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.

Punitive Expedition

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. The coat of arms bears a cactus symbolizing service on the border.

World War I

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.

Interwar years

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.

Organization on November 25th, 1940

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).

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.

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

Cold War

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.

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

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

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

  • 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.

    Campaign participation credit

    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
  • References

    124th Infantry Regiment (United States) Wikipedia


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