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35th Infantry Regiment
File:35INF COA.gif
Coat of arms
Active 1916
Country  United States
Branch Army
Type Light infantry
Garrison/HQ 2d Battalion, Schofield Bks, Hawaii
Nickname(s) Cacti (Special Designation)[1]
Motto(s) Take Arms!
Engagements World War I
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Afghanistan Campaign
Iraq Campaign
Operation Champion Sword
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation (2)
Valorous Unit Award
Meritorious Unit Commendation (2)
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation (3)
Distinctive unit insignia File:35INF DUI.gif

The 35th Infantry Regiment ("Cacti"[1]) was created on 1 July 1916 at Douglas, Arizona from elements of the 11th, 18th and 22nd Infantry Regiments. The 35th served on the Mexican Border during the First World War and was stationed at Nogales, Arizona in 1918. It fought a border skirmish on 27 August 1918 during the Battle of Ambos Nogales.

In World War II, Korea, and Vietnam it served as part of the 25th Infantry (Tropic Lighting) Division.

As of 2012, the only active element of the regiment is the 2nd Battalion, which is assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Infantry), 25th Infantry Division.

Regimental arms

The regiment's coat of arms and its distinctive unit insignia are a living tribute to the 35th Infantry Regiment. The regiment was originally formed in Arizona from elements of the 11th, 18th, and 22d Infantry Regiments. These organizations are represented on the canton of the crest, in the upper left-hand corner. The white Maltese cross represents the 11th Regiment, the red acorn represents the 18th Regiment, and the embattled partition line of the canton represents the 22nd Regiment. The cactus represents the original service along the Mexican border against the bandits of Pancho Villa.[2]


The regimental motto is "Take Arms!" During the Battle of Ambos Nogales in 1918 when the alarm went out, officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers shouted out, "Take Arms! Take Arms!"[2][3]


The current mission statement of the regiment is the same as that of the 25th Infantry:[2]

On order, 25th ID redeploys, resets, and deploys trained forces to contingencies and operations worldwide to accomplish all assigned tasks in support of a designated Joint Force Commander.

World War I

The 35th Infantry Regiment was stationed at Nogales, Arizona on 27 August 1918, when at about 4:10 pm, a gun battle erupted unintentionally when a Mexican civilian attempted to pass through the border, back to Mexico, without being interrogated at the U.S. Customs house. After the initial shooting, reinforcements from both sides rushed to the border line. Hostilities quickly escalated and several soldiers were killed and others wounded.[4][5][6]

The U.S. 35th Infantry border post had about 15–18 men[3] and requested reinforcements from their garrison. When they arrived they requested the Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry. The 10th, commanded by Frederick Herman, came to their aid from their camp outside of town. After observing the situation for a few moments, Lt Colonel Herman ordered an attack on the Mexican and German held hilltops overlooking the border town. Defensive trenches and machine gun placements had been seen being dug there in the previous weeks. Herman wanted Americans there before Mexican reinforcements got there.[4][5]

Under heavy fire, the U.S. 35th Regiment infantry soldiers and dismounted 10th Cavalry troops advanced across the Mexican-American border through the buildings and streets of Nogales, Sonora and up onto the nearby hilltops. This was done while other units of the 35th Regiment held the main line near the border post. About 7:45 pm, the Mexicans waved a large white flag of surrender over their customs building. Lt. Colonel Herman observed and then ordered an immediate cease fire. Snipers on both sides continued shooting for a little while after the cease fire, but were eventually silenced upon orders from their superiors.[3][4][5]

World War II

U.S. Army soldiers push supplies up the Matanikau River to support the 25th Infantry Division's offensive on Guadalcanal in January 1943.

The 35th Regiment was attached to the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii. It was sent to Guadalcanal, 25 November 1942, to relieve Marines near Henderson Field. First elements landed near the Tenaru River, 17 December 1942, and entered combat, 10 January 1943, participating in the seizure of Kokumbona and the reduction of the Mount Austen Pocket in some of the bitterest fighting of the Pacific campaign. With other units on 5 February 1943 it helped end organized enemy resistance.[7]

A period of garrison duty followed, ending 21 July: On that date, advance elements debarked on Munda, New Georgia. The 35th Infantry, under the Northern Landing Force, took part in the capture of Vella Lavella, 15 August to 15 September 1943. Organized resistance on New Georgia ended, 25 August, and the division moved to New Zealand for rest and training, last elements arriving on 5 December. The 25th was transferred to New Caledonia, 3 February – 14 March 1944, for continued training.[7]

The division landed in the San Fabian area of Luzon, 11 January 1945, to enter the struggle for the liberation of the Philippines. It drove across the Luzon Central Plain, meeting the enemy at Binalonan, 17 January. Moving through the rice paddies, the 25th occupied Umingan, Lupao, and San Jose and destroyed a great part of the Japanese armor on Luzon. On 21 February, the division began operations in the Caraballo Mountains. It fought its way along Highway No. 5, taking Digdig, Putlan, and Kapintalan against fierce enemy counterattacks and took Balete Pass, 13 May, and opened the gateway to the Cagayan Valley, 27 May, with the capture of Santa Fe. Until 30 June, when the division was relieved, it carried out mopping-up activities. On 1 July, the division moved to Tarlac for training, leaving for Japan, 20 September. At the end of the war the 35th was involved with occupation duty in Japan.[7]

The regiment had three Medal of Honor recipients during World War II, William G. Fournier, Lewis R. Hall and Charles L. McGaha.[7]

Korean War

Gun crew of the 64th Field Artillery Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, fire a 105mm howitzer on North Korean positions near Uirson, South Korea, 27 August 1950.

Open warfare once again flared in Asia, now the 25th division's primary area of concern, on 25 June 1950. The North Korean People's Army crossed the 38th Parallel on that day in an attack on the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Acting under United Nations orders, the Tropic Lightning Division moved from its base in Japan to Korea between 5–18 July 1950. The 35th fought out of the Pusan perimeter and was part of the successful drive into North Korea in October 1950. In a sudden and unexpected reversal, however, an overwhelming number of Chinese Communist troops crossed the Yalu and pushed back United Nations forces all along the front. The 35th Regiment was forced to carry out a systematic withdrawal and ordered to take up defensive positions on the south bank of the Chongchon River 30 November 1950. Eventually, these lines failed. However, after a series of short withdrawals a permanent battle line was established south of Osan. Then followed the see-saw battles that finally evolved into static warfare along the Iron Triangle into 1952.[7]

The 35th Regiment with the rest of the 25th Infantry Division assumed the responsibility of guarding the approaches of Seoul 5 May 1953. 23 days later, a heavy Chinese assault was hurled at it. The division held its ground and the assault was repulsed; the brunt of the attack was absorbed by the 14th Infantry Regiment ("Golden Dragons"). By successfully defending Seoul from continued attack from May to July 1953, the division earned its second Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation. Again negotiators moved toward peace. In July, the division again moved to reserve status at Camp Casey where it remained through the signing of the armistice 27 July 1953. Fourteen division soldiers were awarded Medals of Honor during the Korean War, making the division one of the most decorated US Army divisions of that war.[8]

The regiment remained in Korea until 1954 and returned to Hawaii from September through October of that year. After a 12-year absence, the 25th Infantry Division had finally returned home.[7]

The 35th Infantry Regiment had three Medal of Honor recipients in Korea, William R. Jecelin, Billie G. Kanell and Donald R. Moyer.[8]


Tank from 1st Battalion, 69th Armor, 25th Infantry Division, moves through Saigon shortly after disembarking from LST at Saigon Harbor, 12 March 1966

In August 1965, the 35th Regiment started their rotation into the Vietnam War, arriving in South Vietnam. They went to the central highlands at Pleiku. Final units arrived by Christmas 1965. The regiment was heavily engaged from April 1966 until 1972 throughout the area of operations in Southeast Asia. During this period, 25th Division Tropic Lightning soldiers fought in some of the toughest battles of the war.[7]

During the Tet offensives of 1968 and 1969, Tropic Lightning soldiers were instrumental in defending the besieged city of Saigon. Due to its success in fending off that attack, the 25th Infantry Division spent most of 1970 more involved in the Vietnamization Program than in actual combat. From May through June 1970, The 35th Regiment and the rest of the Tropic Lightning soldiers participated in Allied thrusts deep into enemy sanctuaries located in Cambodia. In these Incursion operations, the division units confiscated thousands of tons of supplies and hundreds of weapons. This operation crippled the Cambodian-based efforts against American units. Following its return from Cambodia to South Vietnam, the division resumed its place in the Vietnamization Program. The war was winding down. By late December 1970, elements of the 35th Infantry were able to begin redeployment to Schofield Barracks. During the war in Vietnam, 22 Medals of Honor were awarded to Tropic Lightning soldiers.[7][verification needed]

The 35th Infantry Regiment had three Medal of Honor recipients in Vietnam, Stephen Karopczyc, Ronald Eric Ray and Kenneth E. Stumpf.[7]

Reorganization and 'light infantry' status

After its return to Schofield Barracks, the 35th Infantry Regiment became a cadre unit due to the overall military downsizing and was part of a single brigade numbering 4,000 men. The 25th Division was reactivated in March 1972. The 35th Infantry trained for the next eight years throughout the Pacific Theater and continued to improve its combat capabilities with troop deployment varying in size from squads, who participated in training missions with Fijian forces, to exercises as large as Team Spirit, where more than 5,000 divisional troops and 1700 pieces of equipment were airlifted to South Korea for this annual exercise.[7]

In 1985, the 35th Infantry with the rest of the 25th Division began its reorganization from a conventional infantry division to a light infantry division. The four primary characteristics of this new light infantry division were to be: mission flexibility, rapid deployment and combat readiness at 100 percent strength with a Pacific Basin orientation. The 25th Infantry Division earned the designation "light" — the reorganization was completed by 1 October 1986.[7]

In 1988, the 35th Infantry participated in rotations at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. This training center provides the most realistic training available to light forces in the Army. Coupled with Joint/Combined training exercises Cobra Gold in Thailand, Kangaroo in Australia and Orient Shield in Japan, the 25th Division's demanding exercise schedule significantly increased the division's fighting capabilities. Until 1993 Operation Team Spirit in Korea remained the division's largest annual maneuver exercise, involving more than half of the division's strength.[7]

Desert Storm and post-Cold War

The 35th Regiment units did not participate in Operation Desert Storm, due to the 25th Division being earmarked for Pacific contingencies, such as a renewal of hostilities in Korea.[7]

In 1995, the 25th Division underwent another reorganization and reduction as a part of the Army's downsizing, but most elements of the 35th Infantry were maintained.[7]

In early 2005, an airborne brigade was created at Fort Richardson, Alaska and added to the 25th. Today the "Tropic Lightning" Division is composed of the 1st and 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (based in Fort Wainwright, Alaska and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, respectively), the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Schofield Barracks) and The 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team (based at Fort Richardson, Alaska), in addition to the Combat Aviation Brigade. As a major ground reserve force for the U.S. Pacific Command, the "Tropic Lightning" Division routinely deploys from Schofield Barracks to participate in exercises in Japan, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia and the Big Island of Hawaii.[7]

Transformation and War on Terror

A sniper from the 25th Infantry Division on patrol in Mosul, Iraq.

The 35th Infantry and the 3rd Brigade did not take part in the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq from 2001–2003. The 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division began deploying in the divisional second stage to Afghanistan in March 2004. The 25th Infantry Division redeployed to Schofield Barracks Hawaii in April 2005. One of the missions of the 3rd Brigade was to track down insurgent Taliban and Al-Qaeda members in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan.[7]

In 2005, the 35th Infantry Regiment as part of the 3rd Brigade began its transformation as a unit of action (UA). The (Light) status was dropped from the 25th Division name in January 2006.[7]

As of March 2009, the 35th Infantry as part of the 3rd Brigade are deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.[7]

In June–August 2009, the 25th Division was deployed in Operation Champion Sword.[7]

From March 2011–March 2012, the 35th Infantry Regiment was deployed to RC East, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.[9]

Regimental honors

The regiment has received the following unit awards:[2][10]

Award streamer Award Dates Notes
Streamer PUC Army.PNG Presidential Unit Citation GUADALCANAL
Streamer PUC Army.PNG Presidential Unit Citation NAM RIVER
Streamer VUA Army.PNG Valorous Unit Award QUANG NGAI PROVINCE
Streamer MUC Army.PNG Meritorious Unit Commendation VIETNAM 1967–1968
Streamer MUC Army.PNG Meritorious Unit Commendation IRAQ 2006–2007
Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines) Streamer.png Philippine Presidential Unit Citation 17 OCTOBER 1944 TO 4 JULY 1945
Streamer KPUC.PNG Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation MASAN-CHINJU
Streamer KPUC.PNG Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation MUNSAN-NI
Streamer KPUC.PNG Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation KOREA

Additional decorations of 1st Battalion

Award streamer Award Dates Notes
VGCP Streamer.jpg Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm VIETNAM 1966–1967
VGCP Streamer.jpg Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm VIETNAM 1967–1969
VGCP Streamer.jpg Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm VIETNAM 1969–1970
Streamer RVMUCCA.PNG Vietnam Civil Actions Medal VIETNAM 1967–1969
Company A additionally entitled to
Award streamer Award Dates Notes
Streamer VUA Army.PNG Valorous Unit Award PLEIKU PROVINCE
Company B additionally entitled to
Award streamer Award Dates Notes
Streamer PUC Army.PNG Presidential Unit Citation PLEIKU PROVINCE


The 35th Infantry regimental history dates from 1916.[2]

  • Constituted 1 July 1916 in the Regular Army as Company B, 35th Infantry
  • Organized 13 July 1916 at Douglas, Arizona – Constituted 1 July 1916 in the Regular Army as Company B, 35th Infantry
  • Organized 13 July 1916 at Douglas, Arizona

(35th Infantry assigned 7 August 1918 to the 18th Division; relieved 14 February 1919 from assignment to the 18th Division; assigned 17 October 1922 to the Hawaiian Division; relieved 1 October 1941 from assignment to the Hawaiian Division and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division)

  • Inactivated 1 February 1957 at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and relieved from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division; concurrently redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Battle Group, 35th Infantry
  • Assigned 19 February 1962 to the 25th Infantry Division and activated at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii (organic elements concurrently constituted and activated)
  • Reorganized and redesignated 12 August 1963 as the 2d Battalion, 35th Infantry
  • Relieved 1 August 1967 from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division and assigned to the 4th Infantry Division
  • Relieved 15 December 1970 from assignment to the 4th Infantry Division and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division
  • Inactivated 5 June 1972 at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and relieved from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division
  • Assigned 16 August 1995 to the 25th Infantry Division and activated at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

Campaign history

Campaign participation credits;[2]

World War II

  • Central Pacific
  • Guadalcanal
  • Northern Solomons (with arrowhead)
  • Luzon

Korean War

  • UN Defensive
  • UN Offensive
  • CCF Intervention
  • First UN Counteroffensive
  • CCF Spring Offensive
  • UN Summer-Fall Offensive
  • Second Korean Winter
  • Korea, Summer-Fall 1952
  • Third Korean Winter
  • Korea, Summer 1953


  • 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
  • Sanctuary Counteroffensive
  • Counteroffensive, Phase VII


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
  1. 1.0 1.1 "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. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "2–35th Infantry Battalion". 25th Infantry Division. U.S. Army. 2001. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "The 35th Infantry Regiment at Nogales, Arizona". 35th Infantry Regiment Association. 1999. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Finely, James P. (1996). Buffalo Soldiers at Huachuca: The Battle of Ambo Nogales. Fort Huachuca, AZ: Huachuca Museum Society. p. Vol. 2, part 6. LCCN 93-206790. Retrieved 18 January 2010.  Note: Library of Congress Number: 93-206790
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Wharfield, Harold B., Colonel, USAF retired (1965). Tenth Cavalry and Border Fights. El Cajon, CA: self published. pp. 85–97. 
  6. Clendenen, Clarence, Colonel (US Army retired) (1969). Blood on the Border; the United States Army and the Mexican irregulars. New York: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-02-526110-5. 
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 United States Army Center of Military History, Force Structure and Unit History Branch (29 May 2008). "25th Infantry Division". Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved 5 August 2008. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "25TH INFANTRY DIVISION MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS". 25th Infantry Division. U.S. Army. 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  10. "35th Infantry (The Cacti)". Lineage And Honors Information. Center of Military History, U.S. Army. 

External links

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