The modern 2nd infantry Regiment traces
its lineage to 12 April 1808. It was on this date that the 2nd Regiment of Infantry
was constituted in the regular Army as a Company of the 5th Infantry. Soon after
its birth, the Regiment was baptized by fire during the War of 1812. In the years
that followed, the 2nd Infantry fought in the Seminole War and numerous other Indian
Campaigns. During the Mexican War, the 2nd Infantry Campaigned from the Rio Grande
to Vera Cruz to Mexican city.
In 1843, LTC Riley, who commanded the
2nd Infantry through the Seminole and Mexican Wars, presented the Regiment with
a drum major's baton, made from a ramrod, with a silver knob inscribing the date
of presentation, the name of the officer giving it, and the regimental motto, "Noli
Me Tangere." After a heroic assault to capture the fortress at Chapultepec, the
flagstaff from that fort was used to make another baton with the silver mountings
transferred to it. The baton remains with the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry to this
day, and the symbol of the battalion nickname: "Ramrods."
Returning to the United States in 1848,
the Regiment moved to California to quell Indian uprisings, a mission which continued
through the West until the beginnings of the Civil War. During the Civil War the
2nd Infantry fought in 23 major engagements.
From 1877 to 1898, the 2nd Infantry
fought in a series of Indian campaigns in the Pacific Northwest. In 1898 the regiment
fought in the Spanish-American War, participating in the battles of Santiago and
San Juan Hill, where it fought side by side with teddy Roosevelt's "Rough Riders."
In 1899 the 2nd Infantry went to the Philippines to deal with the Philippine insurrection.
Four years later, the regiment returned to duty in the western United States, only
to be re-deployed to the Philippines in 1906. World War I found the regiment on
duty in the Hawaiian Islands, and the war ended just as the regiment was about to
deploy to France.
In World War II, the regiment fought
as part of the Fifth Infantry Division in Patton's famous Third Army, leading the
way in the breakout from the beaches of Normandy in operation Cobra, capturing the
ancient capital of Rheims and seizing Metz after a major battle at Fort Driant.
The 2nd Infantry Regiment forced a crossing of the Sauer River and attacked into
the Siegfried Line. The Regiment Crossed the Rhine River near the Oppenheim and
secured crossing for other Third Army units. The unit then spearheaded the attack
into Czechoslovakia and was located near the town of Voltray when the word came
to cease all forward movement at 0831 hours on 7 May 1945.
In 1965 the 2nd Infantry again answered
the call to duty and deployed to Vietnam. Assigned to the 1st Infantry Division,
the 2nd Infantry regiment fought initially as light infantry in the North and West
of Saigon. Major operations include: Junction City, the larges operation conducted
at that time, Lam Son II, Paul Bunyon, An Loc and An Loc II, plus numerous smaller
operations. The 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry received three Valorous unit awards
and two awards of the Republic of Vietnam Cross of gallantry, with Palm, for its
The 2nd battalion, 2nd Infantry was
relieved from assignment to the 1ist Infantry Division (M) and reassigned to the
9th Infantry on 21 March 1973. The Battalion was activated on 6 November 1987 as
a Combined Arms Battalion-Heavy (CAB-H) and was deactivated in April of 1991. The
2nd battalion, 2nd Infantry was reassigned to the 1st Infantry Division and reactivated
on 15 April of 1991. The 2nd battalion, 2nd Infantry was reassigned to the 1st Infantry
Division and reactivated on 15 February 1996 at Rose Barracks, Vilseck Germany.
Since its reactivation in Vilseck, the
Battalion has successfully deployed to Bosnia in support of operation Joint Guard,
where the Unit was awarded the Amy Superior Unit Award for actions such as Brcko
riots and Hill 562. The 2nd battalion, 2nd Infantry redeployed to Vilseck in October
1997. On the 24th of November 1999, the Battalion deployed to Camp Monteith, Kosovo
to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1244, the Kosovo Protection Corps Agreement,
the basic law and order in order to create a safe and secure environment for the
local populace. The battalion redeployed to Rose Barracks, Vilseck on 7 June 2000.
The 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment was reassigned under First Infantry Division, with stationing
at Fort Hood Texas, effective April 19, 2007. In June 2008, the unit deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom
- Afghanistan. Now redeployed, the unit will be stationing at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Fall 2009.