|Country United States|
|Branch United States Army Part of PA National Guard|
Nickname(s) "Keystone" (special designation);"Fire and Movement"; "Iron Division"; "Bloody Bucket"
The 28th Infantry Division ("Keystone") is a unit of the Army National Guard and is the oldest division-sized unit in the armed forces of the United States. Some of the units of the division can trace their lineage to Benjamin Franklin's battalion, The Pennsylvania Associators (1747-1777). The division was officially established in 1879 and was later redesignated as the 28th Division in 1917, after the entry of America into the First World War. It is today part of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Maryland Army National Guard, Ohio Army National Guard, and New Jersey Army National Guard.
- World War I
- Interwar period
- World War II
- Assignments in ETO
- Medal of Honor
- Post World War II service
- 21st century
- 1st Battalion 107th Cavalry Regiment
- 2nd Squadron 107th Cavalry
- 1st Battalion 107th Field Artillery
- 2nd Battalion 103rd Armor
- 1st Battalion 103rd Armor
- 2nd Brigade Combat Team
- 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team
- Combat Aviation Brigade
- Current structure
- Campaign participation credit
- Shoulder sleeve insignia
- Distinctive unit insignia
- Pop Culture
It was originally nicknamed the "Keystone Division," as it was formed from units of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard; Pennsylvania being known as the "Keystone State". During World War II, it acquired the nickname the "Bloody Bucket" division by German forces due to its red insignia. But today the 28th Infantry Division goes by the name given to it by General Pershing during World War I: "Iron Division". The 28th is the first Army National Guard division to field the Stryker infantry fighting vehicle, as part of the Army's reorganization in the first decade of the 2000s.
The 28th is also one of the most decorated infantry divisions in the United States Army.
On 12 March 1879, Governor Henry Hoyt signed General Order Number One appointing Maj. Gen. John F. Hartranft as the first division commander of the National Guard of Pennsylvania. From 11–18 August 1894, Camp Samuel W. Crawford was the "Division Encampment at Gettysburg".
The division was mustered into service for the Spanish–American War in 1898. Pennsylvania was initially levied 10,800 men, in ten infantry regiments and four artillery batteries. The entire division was mustered into service between 6 May and 22 July, and while 8,900 men had assembled at Mount Gretna for the muster parade on 28 April 1898, there was no difficulty in raising 12,000 men for service in two and a half months. However, only the 4th, 10th, and 16th Regiments, three artillery batteries, and three cavalry troops were deployed, to Puerto Rico. The 10th Regiment was then sent to the Philippines, being ordered home on 30 June 1899.
The division was called up to respond to labor disturbances in 1877 and 1900.
In 1914 the division was designated the 7th Division as part of a broad reorganization of the National Guard. On 29 June 1916 the 7th Division was mustered into service at Mount Gretna and deployed to El Paso, Texas, to serve along the Mexican border as the Regular Punitive Expedition entered Mexico. Major General Charles M. Clement commanded, directing the First Brigade comprising the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Regiments, the Second Brigade the 10th, 16th, and 18th Regiments, and the Third Brigade the 4th, 6th, and 8th Regiments. There was also a regiment of cavalry and one of artillery, plus two companies of signals troops and medical units. The camp outside El Paso gained the title 'Camp Stewart' after the Adjutant General, Thomas J. Stewart. On 19 September, one brigade was sent home. On 14 November, the 1st Artillery left for home; the 18th Infantry left for Pennsylvania on 18 December; and the remainder of the division between 2–19 January 1917. It appears that most of the division was Mustered out of service 23 February 1917 at Philadelphia.
The remnant left on the border included the 8th and 13th Regiments, the newly formed 3rd Artillery and Company C of the Engineers. They were released from active service in March 1917. However, the callup process for World War I was underway as these units left the border. The 13th Regiment began its return home from Texas on 21 March 1917, but en route, were told that their mustering-out orders had been rescinded.
World War I
The division moved to Camp Hancock, Ga., in April 1917, and was there when the entire division was federalized on 5 August 1917. From May to 11 October 1917, the division was reorganized into the two-brigade, four regiment scheme, and thus became the 28th Division. It thus comprised the 55th Infantry Brigade (109th and 110th Infantry Regiments) and the 56th Infantry Brigade (111th and 112th Infantry Regiments). Other units included the 107th, 108th, 109th and 229th Field Artillery Battalions and the 103rd Engineer Combat Battalion. The Turner Publishing account says that:
The situation for the division at Camp Hancock was dismal. The men arrived there in summer uniforms, which were not replaced by winter ones until the winter was well along. Adequate blankets were not available until January. Training equipment was woeful. There was but one bayonet for each three men; machine guns made of wood; and there was but one 37-mm gun for the whole division.
By May 1918 the division had arrived in Europe, and began training with the British. On 14 July, ahead of an expected German offensive, the division was moving forward, with most of it committed to the second line of defence south of the Marne River and east of Château-Thierry. As the division took up defensive positions, the Germans commenced their attack, which became the Battle of Chateau-Thierry, with a fierce artillery bombardment. When the German assault collided with the main force of the 28th, the fighting became bitter hand-to-hand combat. The 28th repelled the German forces and decisively defeated their enemy. However, four isolated companies of the 109th and 110th Infantry stationed on the first defensive line suffered heavy losses. After the battle, General John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force, visited the battlefield and declared that the 28th soldiers were "Men of Iron" and named the 28th ID as his "Iron Division." The 28th developed a red keystone-shaped shoulder patch, officially adopted on 27 October 1918.
During World War I, the division was involved in the Meuse-Argonne, Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, and Ypres-Lys (FA) operations. During the war, it took a total of 14,139 casualties (2,165 killed and 11,974 wounded). 2 individuals received the Medal of Honor: Sergeant James I. Mestrovitch, Company C, 111th Infantry; and Major Joseph H. Thompson, Headquarters, 110th Infantry.
The division was demobilized on 17 May 1919 at Camp Dix, New Jersey. The 28th Division was reorganized and federally recognized 22 December 1921 in the Pennsylvania National Guard at Philadelphia. The location of the Headquarters was changed 12 March 1933 to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
An honor battalion of Pennsylvania National Guardsmen of the "Iron Division" dedicated the Pennsylvania World War Memorial in Argonne, France, in 1928.
World War II
The division, commanded by Major General Edward Martin, was activated on February 17, 1941 during World War II (although the United States was neutral at this point) at Camp Livingston, Louisiana. That same month the division, now commanded by Major General James Ord, was reorganized; the brigade headquarters were disbanded, and the 111th Infantry Regiment was detached from the 28th and reorganized as a separate regimental combat team, initially used to guard important Eastern Seaboard industrial facilities. The division trained in the Carolinas, Virginia, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida, under the command of Major General Omar Nelson Bradley. The division, now under Major General Lloyd Brown, left the United States and went overseas on October 8, 1943, arriving in South Wales soon afterwards, where it began training for the invasion of Northern France. On July 22, 1944, the division landed in Normandy, seven weeks after the initial D-Day landings and was almost immediately involved in Operation Cobra.
The 28th Infantry Division pushed east towards the French capital of Paris through the Bocage, its roads littered with abandoned tanks and bloated, stinking corpses of men and animals. In little more than a month after landing at the Normandy beachhead, as part of the Allied invasion of Normandy, the men of the 28th entered Paris and were given the honor of marching down the Champs-Elysées on August 29, 1944 in the hastily arranged Liberation of Paris.
After enjoying a brief respite, absorbing replacements of men and equipment, the division, now commanded by Brigadier General Norman Cota, formerly the Assistant Division Commander (ADC) of the 29th Infantry Division, headed to the German defensive Westwall.
A small night patrol of the 109th Infantry began the division's protracted struggle on the Siegfried Line on the Dragon's teeth (fortification) infested Westwall. The patrol crossed the Our River by bridge from Weiswampach, Luxembourg into Sevenig (Our), Germany, making it the first of the Allied armies to reach German soil. The 28th suffered excessive casualties that autumn in the costly and ill-conceived Battle of Hürtgen Forest. The divisional history conceded "the division accomplished little" in the campaign. The campaign was the longest continuous battle of World War II. Finally, a tenuous line along the Our and Sauer Rivers was held at the end of November, only to be abruptly broken by two panzer divisions, three infantry divisions and one parachute division (including the 352nd Infantry Division and the 5th Parachute Division) in an infantry-tank attack on the "Ridge Road" just west of the Our River on December 16.
The Ardennes Offensive was launched along the entire divisional front by the 5th Panzer Army led by General der Panzertruppe Hasso von Manteuffel. The 28th, which had sustained heavy casualties in the First Army drive to the Roer, fought doggedly in place using all available personnel and threw off the enemy timetable before withdrawing to Neufchâteau on December 22 for reorganization, as its units had been badly mauled.
At the end of November 1944 a German "pocket" of resistance formed in the French Alsace region centered in the city of Colmar. The Colmar Pocket consisted of a strength of eight German divisions and a brigade of Panzer tanks. Combined forces of French and American armies were initially unsuccessful in closing this pocket.
General Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander on the Western Front, called the Colmar Pocket "a sore" on the 6th Army Group's front. The 6th Army Group was commanded by Lieutenant General Jacob Devers. The French First Army commander, Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, and Devers met on January 11, 1945 and agreed it was long since time to drive the Germans back out of France. Two days later, de Lattre and Devers made a request to Eisenhower for reinforcements so their armies could make an offensive on the Colmar Pocket. Eisenhower's aide, Major General Walter Bedell Smith, subsequently told Devers that the 10th Armored Division and the 28th were being placed under his command. Smith also warned Devers that, after three months of intense fighting on the Siegfried Line as well as fighting off the initial thrust of the offensive, the 28th—put back into action in a defensive position along the Meuse River from Givet to Verdun on January 2, 1945—was "capable of only limited offensive action."
Battle plans were soon made and, on January 19, the 28th went into action on the northwestern section of the pocket in the Kaysersberg Valley supporting the beleaguered 3rd Infantry Division, which had been holding there since late November 1944. Despite the bitterly cold conditions, the Allies prevailed. German intelligence knew nothing about the 10th and 28th presence in their sector until they attacked. The 28th advanced westward and pressed steadily toward the city of Colmar. In less than 10 days they reduced the pocket by half and the German Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, who almost always refused to retreat, gave the order in the early morning of January 29 for a partial retreat of his troops in the northern sector of the pocket. By February 2, the 28th had cleared Colmar's surrounding areas and the French 5th Armored Division led the way into the town. On 9 February, the final organized German troops in Alsace were pushed back across the Rhine.
The 109th Infantry Regiment received the French Croix de guerre from Charles de Gaulle.
The division was on the front line for 196 days of combat. Francis J. Clark was awarded the Medal of Honor; and 29 Distinguished Service Crosses ; 1 DSM; 435 Silver Stars; 27 Legion of Merit; SM - 21; Bronze Star Medal 2,312; AM - 100 were awarded. The division returned to the United States on 2 August 1945 and was inactivated there on 13 December 1945.
Assignments in ETO
Medal of Honor
Technical Sergeant Francis J. Clark, U.S. Army, "K" Co., 109th Infantry Regiment received the Medal of Honor for gallantry during the Siegfried Line Campaign.
Edward Donald Slovik (18 February 1920 — 31 January 1945) was a private in the 109th Infantry Regiment during World War II and the only American soldier to be executed for cowardice since the American Civil War. Although over 21,000 soldiers were given varying sentences for desertion during World War II, including 49 death sentences, Slovik's was the only death sentence carried out.
Post World War II service
After being inactivated as part of the Army on 13 December 1945 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, the 28th Infantry Division was reorganized on 20 November 1946 and returned to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard at Harrisburg.
The 28th was ordered into active federal service 5 September 1950 at Harrisburg following the outbreak of the Korean War. The division re-opened the mothballed Camp Atterbury, Indiana and remained there from 13 September 1950 to 23 November 1951. It was sent to Germany to augment NATO forces in Germany. During the Korean War, the 28th was mobilized and deployed to Europe as a part of the NATO command defending Western Europe from the threat of Soviet attack and remained on federal service until 22 May 1954.
On 1 June 1959, the division was reorganized under the Pentomic structures. It consisted from that point of 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, 103rd Armor, 28th Signal Battalion, 28th Aviation Battalion, 1 BG-109 Inf, 1 BG-110 Inf, 1 BG-111 Inf, 2 BG-111 Inf, 1 BG-112 Inf, 1st Battalion, 107th Field Artillery Regiment (1-107 FA), 1-108 FA (Honest John), 1-109 FA, 2-109 FA, 1-166 FA, 1-229 FA, other combat and combat support units, and combat service support units, for a strength of 10,408, according to Divisional Strength reports of 5 June 1959.
The division was not mobilized during the Vietnam War, although in 1965 it was selected as one of three divisions in the Army Selective Reserve Force. Nor was it mobilized in force for Operation Desert Storm in 1991; however, the 121st Transportation Company, one of its constituent units, served in Saudi Arabia and volunteers from the division were deployed overseas, some in the Middle East.
In 1996, after the signing of the Dayton Agreement, some units of the divisional artillery were called up to serve as peacekeeping forces in Bosnia; elements of the 28th served in Bosnia as peacekeepers for several years following this. In 2002, the 28th Division took command of the Northern Brigade Task Force (Task Force Eagle), as part of the NATO peacekeeping mission in Bosnia as part of SFOR 12. The leading combat arms units under the 28th while in Bosnia were the 109th Infantry and the 104th Cavalry. The division was the third reserve component division headquarters to take on this role in Bosnia (previously the Army National Guard's 49th and 29th Divisions had commanded Task Force Eagle).
In 2003, the 28th Division again led KFOR, the NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, as part of KFOR 5A for a 9-month rotation. The 28th was the first reserve component division headquarters to take on this role in Kosovo. Later in 2005, elements of the 28th Division would again return to Kosovo as part of KFOR's KFOR 6B rotation, the first year-long rotation by U.S. troops to the region.
During the "Global War on Terror" following the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US the Keystone Division has provided troops for Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle and several thousand troops for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
D Troop 2/104th CAV(RSTA)was activated January 2003 for two years. The platoon sized element deployed to Iraq in September 2003 as a UAV platoon with elements from the Maryland National Guard. These were the first National Guard Units to fly the Shadow UAV.
Company A, 28th Signal Battalion deployed to Iraq in February 2004. Elements of the 103rd Armor Regiment and 1st Battalion, 107th Field Artillery were activated for Iraq in January 2004. Elements of 2nd Battalion, 103rd Armor, served as military police. The division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq for a year-long rotation in July 2005. Elements of the division would again return in 2006 and revolving deployments to Iraq seem likely in the future. The 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) deployed in 2008 to Iraq. The Combat Aviation Brigade, 28th Infantry Division deployed to Iraq in May 2009.
Operation Enduring Freedom, Sept 2009-Nov 2010 Company C, 1/110th Inf attached to TF 2nd BCT 101st (Rakkasans) served as a platoon size force protection for PRTs in Paktika, Gardez, and Khost (FOB Chapman) with support elements in FOB Salerno. On 28 Aug 2010 the platoon under 1LT Dickey repelled a Haqanni coordinated attack at FOB Chapman.
1st Battalion, 107th Cavalry Regiment
In September 2001, the 1st Battalion 107th Cavalry Regiment, was transferred from the 37th Brigade, 38th Infantry Division ("Cyclone") (Indiana Army National Guard) to the 2nd Brigade, 28th Infantry Division with its headquarters remaining in Stow, Ohio. In October 2003, B and C Companies, and elements of Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) and Company A, of the 1st Battalion, 107th Cavalry were activated at their home stations and traveled to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Fort Stewart, Georgia, for five months of mobilization training. There they were then attached to the 1st Battalion, 150th Armor (West Virginia Army National Guard), the 1st Battalion, 252nd Armor (North Carolina Army National Guard), and Troop E, 196th Cavalry (North Carolina Army National Guard) respectively, for deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom II with North Carolina's 30th Brigade Combat Team under the 1st Infantry Division. These elements of the 1st Battalion operated in Iraq from February to December 2004, serving in Kirkush, Tuz Khurmatu, Jalawla, and Baghdad. They participated in the Transition of Iraq and Iraqi Governance campaigns and returned home in late December 2004.
The battalion commander LTC Richard T. Curry and CSM Albert Whatmough along with the remaining companies continued their regular training cycle until October 2004, when the remaining companies of the 1–107th Cavalry were activated for service in Operation Iraqi Freedom III. One element of HHC 1–107th CAV was then deployed to Fort Dix, New Jersey for mobilization training and left for Kuwait in January 2005. The companies operated in Baghdad, Iraq and performed detainee operations at Camps Cropper and Victory with a high profile mission of guarding the deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein while he stood trial. The headquarters moved to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin and arrived in Kuwait in December 2004 and deployed to Mosul, Iraq in late December. This element included LTC Curry and CSM Whatmough who both deployed with the battalion in 2004–2005 to establish Forward Operating Base (FOB) Endurance which later became known as FOB Q-West Base Complex 30 Kilometers south of Mosul, Iraq. The mission of LTC Curry and his staff were to provide command & control of the base, establish the base defense operations center, provide life support functions, establish base defense security, conduct combat patrols and build the FOB from the ground up into the largest logistical hub operating in northern Iraq by the end of 2005, a mission that was accomplished prior to their departure.
The FOB Endurance/Q-West Base Complex HQ elements of the 1–107th CAV were attached to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and received the Army Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) for their accomplishments. The HHC/A Convoy Security Company conducted operations throughout Iraq logging in thousands of miles with no fatalities and provided security for convoy elements. Elements of the 1st Battalion, 107th Cavalry served within the 1st Cavalry Division, 4th Infantry Division, and 3rd Infantry Division areas of operations as units of the 18th and 42nd MP Brigades. The final elements returned home from Iraq in January 2006 reuniting the battalion. Both HHC/A detachments received the U.S. Army Meritorious Unit Commendation for their service. In September 2007 the 1–107th Cavalry Regiment was transitioned, reorganized and reformed becoming the 1st Battalion, 145th Armor and transferred as a separate heavy battalion assigned to the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Ohio National Guard. Its sister unit the 2–107th Cavalry Regiment took its place in the 28th Infantry Division in 2008.
2nd Squadron, 107th Cavalry
Assigned to the 28th Infantry Division in September 2008, the 2nd Squadron, 107th Cavalry (Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition) during the years 2006–2010 deployed at different times Troops A, B, & C in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom conducting various SECFOR and convoy escort missions.
1st Battalion, 107th Field Artillery
In December 2003 the 1st Battalion, 107th Field Artillery Regiment was activated and received Military Police training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Following a month of training, the soldiers of the 107th where deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The different batteries were dispersed throughout Iraq serving as MPs. The members of the 107th returned home in February 2005. C Battery saw action in Fallujah during Operation Valiant Resolve in the spring campaign. Members of C Battery also saw combat in the area surrounding Camp Anaconda and Abu Ghraib, a military prison. Another contingent provided security for Ambassador Paul Bremer and other high-ranking State Department officials at Coalition HQ.
2nd Battalion, 103rd Armor
In January 2004, B and C Companies of the 2nd Battalion, 103rd Armor Regiment were activated and, with attachments from several other Pennsylvania Army National Guard units, reconfigured as military police companies and trained at Ft. Dix for deployment to Iraq. They were designated as companies of the 89th MP Brigade and left for Iraq in March 2004 with days of each other. Once in Iraq, they were assigned to some of the most sensitive missions of OIF II. Three platoons of Bravo Company (1st, 3rd and Headquarters) were attached to the Iraq Survey Group; while 2nd and 4th Platoons served in military police operations, to include area patrols and traffic control points supporting 1st Marine Division out of Camp Fallujah and eventually relocated to the Green Zone/ International Zone as security escorts attached to the U.S.Navy for high-ranking Interim Iraqi government officials. Charlie Company was assigned to the HVD facility at Camp Cropper, with an entire platoon assigned solely to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The units both redeployed in March 2005.
1st Battalion, 103rd Armor
In June 2004, the 1st Battalion, 103rd Armor was activated at Fort Bliss, Texas and deployed to Iraq in November in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This marked the first deployment of a 28th ID combat battalion to a war zone since World War II. The battalion, now designated as a Task Force (Task Force DRAGOON), was stationed at Forward Operating Base Summerall, near Bayji. Attached initially to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, and then the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, the 800 man TF 1–103rd Armor, commanded by LTC Philip J. Logan, engaged in combat operations for 12 months before redeploying to the United States in November 2005. Thirteen soldiers from TF Dragoon were killed in action during combat operations in Salah Ad Din Province, a heavily Sunni Muslim area in the north part of the "Sunni Triangle".
2nd Brigade Combat Team
The division's 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (2/28 BCT) was mobilized in January 2005. 2/28 BCT consisted of approximately 4,000 National Guardsmen from over 30 states and was commanded by COL John L. Gronski. Over 2,000 of the soldiers were from the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Other states that contributed large units included Vermont, Utah, Michigan, Kentucky, New Jersey and Nebraska. 2/28 BCT conducted its post mobilization training at Camp Shelby, MS. The soldiers were trained in full spectrum operations and received additional equipment.
In May 2005, 2nd Brigade soldiers trained at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA to prepare for their upcoming mission in Iraq due to start in July 2005.
In late June and early July 2005 2nd Brigade soldiers began deploying to the Al-Anbar province and were under the command of the 2nd Marine Division through February 2006 and then were under command of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward through June 2006.
The 2/28 BCT received 'transfer of authority' for its area of operations (AO) in central Al Anbar Province in July 2005. The area of operations was very large, but 2/28 BCT focused operations along the Euphrates River Valley from Ramadi to Al Habanyah, about 35 kilometers to the east. Ramadi was the 2/28 BCT main effort for the following reasons: 1) capital of Al Anbar province and home to the provincial governor and government center 2) large urban area with a population of approximately 400,000 Iraqi citizens 3) Al-Qaeda in Iraq focused on the area. The Ramadi area was known as one of the most violent and dangerous areas in Iraq.
The mission of the 2/28 BCT was to neutralize the insurgency and develop Iraqi Security Forces within the area of operations in order to create stable and secure conditions and allow for self-governance. The BCT conducted counterinsurgency operations to kill or detain insurgents, to locate weapons caches, to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs), to engage in on-going dialogue with community and government leaders, to recruit, train and integrate Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police, and to conduct civil affairs projects to improve sewer, water, energy, medical and school facilities.
2/28 BCT operations resulted in: 1) Millions of dollars of humanitarian assistance projects were completed 2)Over 3,000 insurgents and terrorists detained or killed 3)Successful referendum election in October 2005 and successful general election in December 2005 4) Approximately 5,000 Iraqi soldiers trained and integrated into all operations, including transitioning area of operations to Iraqi brigades and battalions. 5)Hundreds of tons of explosives, ammunition, and weapons seized from insurgent caches 6) over 1,000 young men of Ramadi recruited into the Iraqi Police 7) Coalition force and Iraqi Army outposts established and areas controlled that had formerly been insurgent strongholds 8) Over 1,100 roadside bombs discovered before they could be used against civilians, Iraqi government officials, or coalition forces and Iraqi soldiers.
2/28 BCT was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation as part of the I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) for the period of 28 February 2006 until transition of authority to 1st Armored Division.
2nd Brigade – OIF Composition
56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team
The brigade trained at Camp Shelby, Mississippi from 19 September 2008 until November 2008 when it moved to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) in Fort Polk, Louisiana until December 2008. The brigade continued training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in December 2008 and moved to Camp Buehring, Kuwait in the United States Central Command area of operations in January 2009 awaiting movement into Iraq. The 56th SBCT, based out Camp Taji, Iraq, conducted operations in the northern Baghdad Governorate from January to September 2009, before redeploying to Kuwait and returning home at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
56th Stryker Brigade – OIF Composition
Combat Aviation Brigade
Soldiers of the Combat Aviation Brigade, 28th Infantry Division began mobilization on 29 January 2009 for Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11. Over 2,000 soldiers from multiple states completed validation training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma before moving to Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Throughout the opening days of May 2009, soldiers flew into multiple Forward Operating Bases across Iraq with the majority of the brigade based out of Tallil, Al Kut, and Basrah.
As a modular division, the 28th consists of one Infantry Brigade Combat Team, one Heavy Brigade Combat Team, one Stryker Brigade Combat Team and one Combat Aviation Brigade. The division headquarters exercises training and readiness oversight of the following elements, they are not organic:
A shrine dedicated to the 28th Infantry Division is located on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania. This site was formerly the estate of Colonel Theodore Davis Boal. In 1916 Boal formed the Boal Troop, the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry, State College, a horse-mounted machine gun unit which was accepted as a provisional unit of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. In April 1917, the Boal Troop was reconfigured as an infantry unit, Company A of the 107th Machine Gun Battalion, and deployed to France for service in World War I.
In 1919, soldiers of the Boal Troop returning from the war erected a monument on the Boal Estate dedicated to their fallen comrades. In the 1920s, other units of the 28th began erecting their own memorials, and began to refer to the area as a "shrine". In 1931, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased the site, and in 1969 the Pennsylvania Military Museum was opened. By 1971, memorials to most of the units of the 28th that served in World War I had been erected, and in 1997 a World War II memorial was dedicated at this site.
Members of the 28th Infantry Division have gathered for a memorial service at the shrine every third Sunday in May since 1919. U.S. Route 322, on which the shrine is located, is named the Pennsylvania 28th Division Highway.
Campaign participation credit
Shoulder sleeve insignia
Distinctive unit insignia
- Purportedly, the device was designed by Benjamin Franklin, who aroused the people of Philadelphia.
- The shield on the device is that of William Penn, while the colors of the wreath, red and white, denote the predominantly English origin of the early settlements.
- The distinctive unit insignia was originally authorized for the 28th Infantry Division Headquarters; Headquarters Detachment, 28th Division; Headquarters Company, 28th Division; Headquarters Special Troops, 28th Division and Headquarters Detachment Special Troops, 28th Division on 6 February 1929.
- It was redesignated for the non-color bearing units of the 28th Infantry Division on 10 July 1968.
The 28th Infantry Division was portrayed in the film When Trumpets Fade, a movie about the battle at Huertgen Forest. In the 1919 classic silent film J'accuse, the US 28th Division is acknowledged as being in the film.
In the opening scenes of the 1978 film Dawn of the Dead, Soldiers are seen wearing red keystones on their uniforms. The Soldier in the movie The Happening is wearing keystone patches on his uniform.
The 28th Infantry Division is mentioned in the miniseries Band of Brothers in episode 5, "Crossroads" at approximately 43 minutes in the movie theater scene.