2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division (United States)

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, also known as the "Dagger Brigade", is a maneuver brigade in the U.S. 1st Infantry Division. The brigade is stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas.

Distinctive Unit

On December 11, 1980 the 2nd Brigade was authorized their own Distinctive Unit Insignia (DUI). It is described as "a silver device 1 1/4 inches in height overall consisting of a blue arrowhead on which is superimposed a silver lion."

Units

The 2nd Brigade, as of 2008, is composed of:
* 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion
* 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment
* 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment
* 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment "Vanguards"
* 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment "First Lightning"
* 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment
* 299th Brigade Support Battalion "Lifeline"

History

Origin

The 2nd Dagger Brigade was first constituted on May 24, 1917 as Headquarters, 2nd Infantry Brigade of the 1st Expeditionary Division, which was later designated as the 1st Division.

World War I

The 2nd Brigade deployed to France in December of 1917 with the rest of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division as part of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), as the American military was known in World War I. The brigade participated in many campaigns, including the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and the Battle of Saint-Mihiel.

The brigade redeployed at the end of World War I in August, 1918.

World War II

----
*At the start of World War II, 2nd Brigade was stationed at Fort Ontario at Oswego, New York. It was relieved from assignment to the 1st Infantry Division on October 16, 1939, and moved to Pierrepont, New York as a Separate Infantry Brigade on March 29, 1940.
*2nd Infantry Brigade remained at Pierrepont, New York until June 1, 1940, when they returned to Fort Ontario. 2nd Infantry Brigade was Inactivated on the same day.

In 1942 units that had previously been under 2nd Brigade participated in Operation Torch, the landings on North Africa. The 1st Infantry Division at that time was composed of only three infantry regiments, the 16th Infantry, 18th Infantry, and 26th Infantry, all of which distinguished themselves in the push across North Africa from the Kasserine Pass to Rommel's eventual defeat at the Second Battle of El Alamein. These units were then moved to Tidworth Camp in Wiltshire, England in anticipation of a cross-channel invasion late in 1942, but the next amphibious operation the unit would undertake next was to be in Sicily, not France.

The brigade participated in Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, by storming ashore at Gela, July 10, 1943, and quickly overpowering the Italian defenses. Soon after, the German Herman Goering Tank Division counter-attacked with 100 tanks. With the help of naval gunfire, divisional artillery and Canadian allies, the counter-attack was repulsed. Brigade units then advanced and captured Nicosia on July 28. During the Battle for Troina, from July 31, 1943 to August 6, 1943, brigade units, including the 26th Infantry, were instrumental in capturing and then defending Troina from German counterattack. Even though the 26th was decimated due to intense counterattacks—one company reported only 17 men fit for duty by August 5th—the brigade held Troina. The brigade unit's refusal to give up Troina forced the German 15th Panzer Grenadier Division to retreat toward Randazzo, opening the Allied road to the Straits of Messina.

After Operation Husky, the brigade units returned to England, this time in Dorset to prepare for D-Day at Normandy. Brigade units, led by the 16th Infantry and closely followed by the 18th, led the way across Omaha Beach at Normandy. It was on Omaha Beach that Col. George Taylor, commander of the 16th Infantry Regiment, famously told his men, "Two kinds of people are staying on this beach! The dead and those who are going to die! Now, let's get the hell out of here!"

The units participated in the Battle of Normandy throughout the summer of 1944 and subsequent operations across France, reaching the German border at Aachen in September. Along with the rest of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, brigade units laid siege to Aachen, taking the city after a direct assault on October 21, 1944. They then attacked east of Aachen in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest, driving to the Roer River. Brigade units moved to a rest area on December 7th for its first real rest in 6 months of combat, and were resting when the von Rundstedt offensive "(aka Battle of the Bulge)" suddenly broke loose December 16, 1944. "Dagger Brigade" units raced to the Ardennes, and fighting continuously from December 17, 1944 to January 14, 1945, helped blunt and turn back the German offensive. While the brigade itself was disbanded on January 15, 1945, brigade units kept fighting as part of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division until the end of the war in May 1945.

Post World War II

The "Dagger Brigade" didn't participate in the Korean War as it was still inactivated. On February 15, 1958 the 2nd Brigade was re-activated at Fort Devens as the 2nd Infantry Brigade with its own shoulder sleeve insignia. It spent the next five years training in northern Massachusetts and Cape Cod. It was inactivated on February 19, 1963 at Fort Devens, only to be reactivated on October 23, 1963 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and moved (with the rest of the Division) to Fort Riley, Kansas in January, 1964.

Vietnam

On July 12, 1965, the 2nd Brigade landed at Cam Ranh Bay and Vung Tau, making it the first element of an Infantry Division to arrive in Vietnam. The brigade returned to Fort Riley, Kansas in April of 1970.

Persian Gulf War

The Dagger Brigade deployed from Fort Riley, Kansas to Saudi Arabia in December, 1990 as part of the United States' offensive buildup. The brigade was commanded by Colonel Anthony Moreno. The brigade was composed of 2-16 Infantry Battalion, 3-37 Armor Battalion, and 4-37 Armor Battalion, plus supporting units. The brigade redeployed to Fort Riley in May, 1991.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

On February 15, 1996 the "Dagger Brigade" was relocated with the rest of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division to Europe. The "Dagger Brigade" replaced the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division's "Raider Brigade" in Schweinfurt, Germany.

Also in February 1996 the "Dagger Brigade" deployed units to Bosnia and Herzegovina to participate in Operation Joint Endeavor with the US 1st Armored Division.

On October 7, 1996, the Brigade Combat Team deployed to Bosnia to cover the US 1st Armored Division's redeployment to Germany. The brigade participated in Operation Joint Endeavor and Operation Joint Guard, and served as a stabilization force. The brigade redeployed to Schweinfurt in May 1997, except for the 1-77 Armor Battalion task force, which stayed in Bosnia until November 1997.

Kosovo

The "Dagger Brigade" served in Kosovo in 1999-2000 and again in 2002-2003.The "Dagger Brigade" deployed to the Balkans twice in 1999, first as part of Task Force Sabre in Macedonia, then in Kosovo as part of Task Force Falcon. Task Force Falcon served as the U.S. component of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) with the mission of conducting peackeeping operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia'a Serbian Kosovo province.

TF Falcon was under the command of the 1st Infantry Division and included elements from the 1st Armored Division. The "Dagger Brigade" enetered the war-torn province of Kosovo on June 12, 1999. TF Falcon headquartered at Camp Bondsteel, and grew into a Multi-National Brigade, including units from Greece, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, and the UK.

Initial efforts focused on monitoring and verifying the withdrawal of former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia "(now Serbia and Montenegro)" forces and later the demilitarization and transformation of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

The "Dagger Brigade" rotated to Kosovo again in 2002, this time focused on maintaining the secure environment established by coalition forces.

2003 Invasion of Iraq

In January 2003, elements of the "Dagger Brigade" deployed to Turkey to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. Initial efforts were to prepare the way for the U.S. 4th Infantry Division to invade Iraq from the north. When the Turkish government denied access through their border, the 2nd brigade returned to Germany.

In February 2004, the "Dagger Brigade" deployed to northern Iraq to serve as part of the occupation force. The Brigade Combat Team included of 9th Engineer Battalion ,1-18 Infantry Battalion, 1-26 Infantry Battalion, 1-77 Armor Battalion, 2-108 Infantry Battalion, 1-7 Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Brigade Recon Team plus supporting elements.

Return to CONUS

On 16 March 2008, 1st Infantry Division’s presence in Europe formally ended when the 2nd (Dagger) Brigade in Schweinfurt, Germany reflagged as the 172d Infantry Brigade. As part of the Grow the Army Plan announced 19 Dec 2007, the 172d is one of two Heavy Brigade Combat Teams (HBCT) that will be activated and retained in Germany until 2012 and 2013. The other HBCT is the 2d Brigade, 1st Armored Division in Baumholder, Germany, which will reflag to 170th Infantry Brigade in September 2010. On March 28, 2008, the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division (HBCT) inactivated at Fort Riley. The Soldiers and equipment currently assigned were reflagged as 2d (Dagger) Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (HBCT), aligning all units on Fort Riley under the 1st Infantry Division.

Return to Iraq

On 30 September 2008, the Dagger Brigade had its deployment Ceremony at the Cavalry Parade Field at Fort Riley, KS. Earlier this year, 2nd HBCT received their warning orders from DA to deploy this fall. With all the training all the troops received in the last yr and a half, they return to familiar territory of Northern Iraq.

Lineage

*Constituted 24 May 1917 in the Regular Army as Headquarters, 2nd Infantry Brigade, and assigned to the 1st Expeditionary Division (later redesignated as the 1st Division)
*Organized 8 June 1917 at New York, New York
*Reorganized and redesignated 1 April 1921 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Infantry Brigade
*Redesignated 23 March 1925 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade
*Redesignated 24 August 1936 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Infantry Brigade
*Relieved 11 October 1939 from assignment to the 1st Division
*Inactivated 1 June 1940 at Fort Ontario, New York
*Redesignated 30 June 1943 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Airborne Infantry Brigade, and activated at Camp Mackall, North Carolina
*Disbanded 15 January 1945 in Europe
*Reconstituted 12 February 1958 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Infantry Brigade
*Activated 15 February 1958 at Fort Devens, Massachusetts
*Inactivated 19 February 1962 at Fort Devens, Massachusetts
*Redesignated 23 October 1963 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division
*Activated 2 January 1964 at Fort Riley, Kansas

Honors

Campaign Participation Credit

* World War I
# Montdidier-Noyon
# Aisne-Marne
# St. Mihiel
# Meuse-Argonne
# Lorraine 1917
# Lorraine 1918
# Picardy 1918
* World War II
# Normandy
* Vietnam
# Defense
# Counteroffensive
# Counteroffensive, Phase II
# Counteroffensive, Phase III
# Tet Counteroffensive
# Counteroffensive, Phase IV
# Counteroffensive, Phase V
# Counteroffensive, Phase VI
# Tet 69/Counteroffensive
# Summer-Fall 1969
# Winter-Spring 1970
* Southwest Asia
# Defense of Saudi Arabia
# Liberation and Defense of Kuwait
# Cease-Fire

Decorations

* Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for VIETNAM 1969
* Army Superior Unit Award for 1996-1997
* Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1965-1968
* Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class for VIETNAM 1965-1970
* Valorous Unit Award for SAMARRA October 2004 - November 2004
* Valorous Unit Award for IRAQ February 2004-February 2005

References

* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/1id-2bde.htm Global Security] Retrieved July 17, 2005
* [http://www.schweinfurt.army.mil/sites/HOLD-2ndBDE/ 2nd Brigade Official Website] Retrieved July 17, 2005
* [http://www.bigredone.org/ Society of the Big Red One] Retrieved July 17, 2005
* [http://www2.army.mil/cmh-pg/lineage/branches/div/001id2bde.htm Lineage and Honors] Retrieved July 17, 2005
* [http://www.military.com/HomePage/UnitPageHistory/1,13506,100000|778897,00.html Distinguished Unit] Retrieved July 17, 2005
*Draft of "2nd Brigade History", compiled and edited by CPT Ross, 2nd Brigade Historian. Courtesy of CPT Ross. July 26, 2005
* [http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/brochures/72-15465411516516/72-16.htm US Army history of Operation Husky] Retrieved July 27, 2005http://www.militarycity.com/valor/2462013.html


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