Military Wiki
5th Infantry Regiment
5INF COA.gif
5th Infantry Regiment coat of arms
Active 1808–
Country USA
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Nickname(s) Bobcats[1]
Motto(s) "I'll Try, Sir"
Engagements War of 1812
Mexican-American War
Civil War
Indian Wars
Philippine–American War
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Global War on Terrorism
Battle honours Presidential Unit Citation (Korean War) (Vietnam War)
Distinctive unit insignia 5INF DUI.gif

The 5th Infantry Regiment (nicknamed the '"Bobcats"'[1]) is the third-oldest infantry regiment of the United States Army,[citation needed] tracing its origins to 1808. It has participated in most of the wars the United States has fought during its history.

Origins—War of 1812

Technically, the 5th Infantry Regiment was created by an Act of Congress of 3 March 1815,[2] which reduced the Regular Army from the 46 infantry and 4 rifle regiments it fielded in the War of 1812 to a peacetime establishment of 8 infantry regiments (reduced to 7 in 1821). The Army's current regimental numbering system dates from this act.

Six of the old regiments (4th, 9th, 13th, 21st, 40th and 46th) were consolidated into the new 5th Regiment, which was organized on 15 May 1815 under the command of Colonel James Miller. The current 5th Infantry traces its actual origins to the oldest of these regiments, the 4th, which was organized in May–June 1808. After three years' garrison duty in New England, the 4th assembled near Philadelphia in the spring of 1811. From there it proceeded by way of the Ohio and Wabash rivers to Vincennes, Indiana Territory, reporting to the territorial governor, William Henry Harrison, who assembled a force of volunteers and militia around the 4th. They proceeded into north central Indiana to confront the forces of the Shawnee leader Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa, the Prophet, who attacked on the morning of 7 November in the Battle of Tippecanoe, where they were soundly defeated by U.S. forces.[3]:453–454(Previously the old 4th US Infantry had served as the 4th Sub-Legion in Anthony Wayne's Legion of the United States which had fought at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794).

In the spring of 1812, the 4th, commanded by then-Lieutenant Colonel Miller, was ordered to report to Brigadier General Isaac Hull, commander of forces in the Northwest. They reached his headquarters at Detroit on 6 July, two days after being notified of the declaration of war. A week later, Hull's force crossed into Upper Canada, forming a base at Sandwich. On 9 August, marching south to rendezvous with a supply train from Ohio, the 4th charged and broke a British-Indian force at the Battle of Maguaga. A week after that, Hull surrendered Detroit and his entire command, including the 4th, to an inferior force of British, Canadians and Indians. The 4th marched into captivity at Quebec city where the troops spent a month aboard prison ships in the St. Lawrence River before being exchanged on 29 October. The 4th lost 30 more men during the month's voyage from Quebec to Boston.[3]:454–455

The 4th spent the years 1813–14 on the Lake Champlain front, participating in the battles of the Chateauguay (25 October 1813) and Lacolle Mills (30 March 1814) and the siege of Plattsburgh (September 1814).

The new 5th Regiment's other ancestors also saw considerable action.

On the Niagara Frontier, the old 9th Regiment served in Winfield Scott's brigade at the battles of Chippawa (5 July 1814) and Lundy's Lane (25–26 July 1814).

The 21st originally raised by Eleazar Wheelock Ripley was trained to both the US Manual of Arms as well as the British Light Infantry manual, Ripley felt that the 21st should be able to proficiently perform those skills which won the War of Independence, namely, hit and run and skirmish tactics, skills which was to serve the regiment well later in the war under a new commander (Donald Graves, Dry books of tactics pp 58,59). James Miller took over from Ripley in early 1814 after Ripley was promoted to Brigadier General and saw the 21st through its most rigorous tests in battle. The 21st fought at York (26 April – 2 May 1813), Sackets Harbor (29 May 1813), as part of Ripley's Brigade at Chippawa, Lundy's Lane and Fort Erie(14 August 1814). At Lundy's Lane, Jacob Brown, the overall U.S. commander, asked Miller if he could take the British artillery on the high ground dominating the battlefield. Miller replied, "I'll try, sir.".[2] The 21st proceeded to break the British centre and take the guns with a volley and bayonet charge, holding them until the order to withdraw came from General Eleazar Ripley, Generals Brown and Scott having been incapacitated by wounds earlier in the battle. "I'll try, sir," became the 5th Infantry's regimental motto.


The 5th Regiment established headquarters at Detroit in 1815 and began a 30 year period in which it operated in the Upper Midwest, mostly in an area between the current states of Michigan and Nebraska, building and garrisoning a number of posts, protecting the great wave of settlers from native resistance, and serving as a first line of defense in case of another war with Great Britain. Perhaps the 5th's most lasting accomplishment was the construction in 1820–24 of Fort St. Anthony, at the mouth of the Minnesota River. On completion, the Army renamed the post in honor of its commanding officer, Colonel Josiah Snelling. Fort Snelling became the seed pearl around which the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul grew.

The only noteworthy engagement with Indians during this period was in the Black Hawk War of 1832. Even here, the 5th saw limited action, engaging in combat only in the final act of the war, the Battle of Bad Axe on 1–2 August near the modern town of Victory, Wisconsin. Bad Axe was the last major fight between whites and Indians east of the Mississippi other than the Seminole resistance in Florida.

Mexican-American War

On 1 March 1845, three days before he left office, President John Tyler signed a bill establishing an offer by the United States to annex the Republic of Texas, which had broken away from Mexico in 1836, and make it a state. This set off an immediate diplomatic crisis between the United States and Mexico over the southern boundary of Texas. Mexico claimed that the traditional southern boundary of Texas was the Nueces River; the U.S. and Texas claimed it was the Rio Grande, further south. Incoming President James Knox Polk directed Brigadier General Zachary Taylor to form an "Army of Observation" at Corpus Christi, Texas, ostensibly to protect the disputed zone from Mexican invasion. Five companies of the 5th Infantry under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James S. McIntosh reported to Taylor at Corpus Christi on 11 October 1845, two days before Texas voters accepted the annexation offer.

On 9 March 1846, Taylor's army left Corpus Christi to march to the Rio Grande and assert U.S. sovereignty over the expanded area. They arrived on 28 March across the river from Matamoros and built a fortified camp, Fort Texas, on the site of the modern city of Brownsville, Texas. Taylor also established a supply base 27 miles east at Point Isabel, at the mouth of the river.

The 5th marched with Taylor from Fort Texas to Point Isabel in late April to clear their supply route of Mexican troops. While they were fortifying that base, the Mexican Army of the North laid siege to Fort Texas, beginning a bombardment of the post on 3 May. Taylor's army marched back from Point Isabel and met the enemy on 8 May at Palo Alto, several miles east of the fort. In the resulting battle, the 5th Infantry broke a charge by Mexican lancers trying to break through to Taylor's supply train. Over night, the Mexicans withdrew to a better defensive position at Resaca de la Palma, which Taylor's army assaulted on the morning of the 9th. After stiff initial fighting, U.S. dragoons overran the Mexican artillery. The 5th and 8th Regiments then led a charge that broke the Mexican center and routed their army.

Taylor's troops relieved Fort Texas, crossed the Rio Grande into undisputed Mexican territory and occupied Matamoros, where they spent most of the summer. In late August Taylor moved south toward Monterrey, arriving on 19 September 1846. The 5th Infantry was assigned to the division of Brigadier General William J. Worth. The Battle of Monterrey began on 21 September. David Twiggs' division assaulted the city, soon finding itself in house-to-house fighting, while Worth's division went around the city, cutting off its communications. On the 23rd, the 5th Infantry captured Fort Soldado, completing the isolation of the Mexican forces. Worth's division also fought its way into the city, contributing to the Mexicans' decision to negotiate. They surrendered the city to Taylor in exchange for a two months' truce.

After Monterrey the 5th and the other regular regiments in Taylor's command were replaced by volunteers. They returned to Texas to join Major General Winfield Scott's expedition to Veracruz. The whole regiment was now together, though two companies were detached during the march to Mexico City and spent their time defending supply trains from guerilla attacks. Still in Worth's division, the 5th captured Perote on 22 April 1847.

Reaching the outskirts of Mexico City, the 5th was part of the flanking movement that led to the victory at Contreras on 19 August. The following day, they took the right flank in the assault on the bridgehead at Churubusco. The 5th provided storming parties for the assaults on the Molino del Rey on 8 September and Chapultepec Castle on the 13th; the full regiment followed up in the latter seizure. Later on the 13th, the 5th joined in the seizure of the Garita San Cosme, one of the city gates of Mexico City itself. This led to the city's capitulation on the 14th.


In May 1848, after the United States Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the 5th Infantry marched from Mexico City to Veracruz and returned to the United States. They spent 1849–50 in Arkansas and the neighboring Indian Territory, then replaced the 7th Infantry in Texas. In 1851 they were stationed mainly along the upper Brazos River; by 1854 they had moved to Fort McIntosh outside the city of Laredo.

In early 1857 the 5th moved to south Florida, where they spent several months skirmishing with Seminoles in the area around Fort Myers. The 5th left Florida in June for Fort Laramie in modern-day Wyoming, where they took part in the Buchanan administration's expedition against the Mormons. The regiment stayed at Camp Floyd (later Fort Crittenden) in the Great Salt Lake valley until the autumn of 1860, when it moved to New Mexico for operations against the Navajos.

Civil War

The 5th Infantry spent the Civil War in the territory of New Mexico. The regiment was ordered to concentrate at Albuquerque in the spring of 1861 for a move east, but the department commander persuaded Washington to leave the 5th on the frontier. In early 1862 a Confederate force from Texas invaded New Mexico. Four companies of the 5th formed the Union rear guard in the Confederate victory at Valverde on 21 February, after which the Confederates occupied Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Two other companies of the 5th captured a field piece at the Battle of Glorieta Pass on 28 March, the beginning of the end for the Confederate forces. The 5th also fought in the action at Peralta on 15 April where the enemy lost a large part of their supply train. The Confederates ultimately withdrew to San Antonio, and the 5th spent the rest of the war on frontier duty, watching for another Confederate incursion, which never came.

On 1 June 1863 John F. Reynolds officially became colonel of the 5th; however, he was on detached service as a Major General of Volunteers, commanding a corps of the Army of the Potomac. He was killed a month later on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. His replacement as commander of the 5th was another volunteer general, Daniel Butterfield, the composer of the bugle call "Taps". Butterfield, also wounded at Gettysburg, did not join the regiment during the war.


When the Civil War ended, the bulk of the Regular Army returned from war service in the east to frontier duty in the west. The 5th Infantry moved slightly in the other direction, transferring from New Mexico to Kansas. By October 1868 it was strung out across seven different posts in western Kansas, with headquarters at Fort Riley.

Congress expanded the Army to 41 infantry regiments in July 1866, then reduced it to 25 in March 1869. The 5th absorbed half of the 37th Infantry, including its commander, Colonel and Brevet Major General Nelson A. Miles, who took command of the 5th. Under his command, the 5th, with some companies operating at times as mounted infantry, took part in many of the major Indian wars of the next twelve years.

In the spring of 1870, the 5th beat off Indian attacks on the Kansas Pacific Railroad. From July 1874 to February 1875, Miles led a mixed force of the 5th Infantry and 6th Cavalry in campaigns against the Southern Cheyenne, Comanche and Kiowa Indians along the Red and Washita Rivers in Indian Territory and Texas. The 5th Infantry also played a major role in the Red River War.

In the spring of 1876 the largest Indian confederation of the post-Civil War period formed in the northern plains, led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse of the Lakota Indians. The Army organized a three-pronged expedition to round up this force, but the Indians scored major victories against two of the three, stopping George Crook's southern pincer at the Battle of the Rosebud on 17 June and destroying half of the 7th Cavalry, vanguard of Alfred Terry's eastern column, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn on 25–26 June.

Reinforcements were rushed in, including the 5th Infantry, which built Fort Keogh at the mouth of the Tongue River in Montana, and began operating from there. Miles and the 5th caught up to Sitting Bull at Cedar Creek in late October and, failing to negotiate his surrender, defeated his band in battle, forcing them to abandon most of their food and equipment. 2000 Lakota of this group surrendered on 27 October, although Sitting Bull himself escaped. 3 companies of the 5th pursued Sitting Bull along the Missouri River, capturing his camp and scattering his followers on 18 December.

Miles returned to the Tongue River with a force from the 5th and 22nd Infantry to pursue Crazy Horse. They captured several important prisoners in the valley below the Wolf Mountains on 7 January 1877, leading to a confrontation with the main body the following day. The 5th, attacking superior numbers in near-blizzard conditions, drove the Lakota and Cheyenne force off the high ground, forcing them to retreat. The 5th continued to pursue and round up bands from the broken confederacy into the summer of 1877.

In July 1877 the Nez Perce Indians under Chief Joseph began to march east from Idaho across Montana, pursued by Major General Oliver O. Howard's troops from the Department of the Columbia. Miles was in position to interdict this force, and moved toward them in mid-September with battalions of the 5th Infantry and 7th Cavalry. They attacked the Nez Perces in a valley of the Bear Paw Mountains on 30 September, capturing their horses and forcing their surrender on 4 October.

The Bannock Indians tried to repeat the Nez Perces' march a year later. A detachment of the 5th attacked their camp on Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone on 4 September 1878 and broke up their incursion. The 5th continued in active pursuit of independent Lakota bands until the surrender of Sitting Bull on 20 July 1881.

After several quiet years, the 5th Infantry was transferred to Texas in 1888 and later to points further east. By 1894 the regiment was dispersed from Texas to Kansas to Florida. With the closing of the frontier, its role had changed from Indian fighting to peacetime garrison duty.

45 members of the regiment received the Medal of Honor for service during this period:

  • First Lieutenant George W. Baird, regimental adjutant, 30 September 1877, Bear Paw Mountain, Montana
  • Musician John Baker, Company D, October 1876 – January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana etc.
  • Private Richard Burke, Company G, October 1876 – January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana etc.
  • Captain Edmond Butler, 8 January 1877, Wolf Mountain, Montana
  • Sergeant Dennis Byrne, Company G, October 1876 – January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana etc.
  • Private Joseph A. Cable, Company I, October 1876 – January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana etc.
  • Private James S. Calvert, Company C, October 1876 – January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana etc.
  • First Lieutenant Mason Carter, 30 September 1877, Bear Paw Mountain, Montana
  • Captain James S. Casey, 8 January 1877, Wolf Mountain, Montana
  • Sergeant Aquilla Coonrod, Company C, October 1876 – January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana etc.
  • Sergeant William De Armond, Company I, 9 – 11 September 1874, Upper Washita, Texas
  • Private John S. Donelly, Company G, October 1876 – January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana etc.
  • Private Christopher Freemeyer, Company D, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • Corporal John Haddoo, Company B, October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana etc.
  • Sergeant Fred S. Hay, Company I, 9 September 1874, Upper Wichita, Texas
  • First Sergeant Henry Hogan, Company G, two awards (one of 19 two-time recipients):
October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana etc.
30 September 1877, Bear Paw Mountain, Montana
  • Corporal David Holland, Company A, October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana etc.
  • Private Fred O. Hunt, Company A, October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana etc.
  • Corporal John James, 9–11 September 1874, Upper Wichita, Texas
  • Corporal Edward Johnston, Company C, October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana etc.
  • Corporal John J. H. Kelly, Company I, 9 September 1874, Upper Wichita, Texas
  • Corporal Thomas Kelly, Company I, 9 September 1874, Upper Wichita, Texas
  • Private Philip Kennedy, Company C, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • Sergeant John W. Knox, Company I, 9 September 1874, Upper Wichita, Texas
  • Sergeant William Koelpin, Company I, 9 September 1874, Upper Wichita, Texas
  • First Sergeant Wendelin Kreher, Company C, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • Second Lieutenant Oscar F. Long, 30 September 1877, Bear Paw Mountain, Montana
  • Private Michael McCormick, Company G, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • First Lieutenant Robert McDonald, 8 January 1877, Wolf Mountain, 1877
  • Private Owen McGar, Company C, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • Private John McHugh, Company A, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • Sergeant Michael McLoughlin, Company A, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • Sergeant Robert McPhelan, Company E, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • Corporal George Miller, Company H, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • First Sergeant John Mitchell, Company I, 9 September 1874, Upper Washita, Texas
  • Private Charles H. Montrose, Company I, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • First Sergeant David Roche, Company A, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • Private Henry Rodenburg, Company A, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • First Lieutenant Henry Romeyn, 30 September 1877, Bear Paw Mountain, Montana
  • Private Edward Rooney, Company D, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • Private David Ryan, Company G, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • Private Charles Sheppard, Company A, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • Sergeant William Wallace, Company C, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • Private Patton G. Whitehead, Company C, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.
  • Corporal Charles Wilson, Company H, 21 October 1876 – 8 January 1877, Cedar Creek, Montana, etc.

Spanish-American War, Philippine–American War

The 5th Infantry did not arrive in time to participate in the Spanish-American War though it performed occupation duties. It saw action in the Philippines during the war of 1900. For service in Philippines, the 5th Infantry was presented one Battle Streamer without inscription.

World War I

The 5th Infantry did not participate in combat operations in World War I, but did perform occupational duties.

World War II

The 5th Infantry was posted at Camp Paraiso, Panama Canal Zone from 1939–1943.[4] It had previously been posted at Fort Williams, Maine, where it was nominally assigned to the inactive 9th Infantry Division.

With the onset of World War II, the 5th Infantry was made a part of the 71st Infantry Division and participated in an experiment to develop a "light" infantry division, capable of operating in harsh terrain from the mountains to the desert. The light division was deemed unnecessary for World War II and the 71st Infantry Division was converted back to a regular infantry division. The 5th was sent to Europe in January 1945 with the rest of the division and was in the front lines a month later. Initially taking defensive positions, the 5th was soon on the offensive, driving into Germany. The regiment fought through southern Germany, capturing the cities of Fulda, Bayreuth and Nuremberg. The 5th Infantry was the first U.S. Army unit to cross the Danube River and the first to invade Austria. For its participation in the Second World War, the 5th was presented the following Battle Streamers: Rhineland, Central Europe, and American Theater.[citation needed]

Korean War

The 5th Infantry performed occupation duty in Austria for a year after the war, and was deactivated in November 1946. The regiment reactivated in South Korea on 1 January 1949, with personnel and support units from the departing 7th Infantry Division. It constituted the core of the 5th Infantry Regimental Combat Team (RCT) with the mission to provide security while all U.S. troops were withdrawn from the country. The 5th RCT left Korea effective 31 June 1949 and was transferred to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where it was when the Korean War began.

It deployed to Korea on 25 July 1950 to reinforce Eighth Army in the shrinking area of United Nations control known as the Pusan Perimeter. In July and August it reinforced the 25th Infantry Division, then the 1st Cavalry Division on the Naktong River line. In September the RCT was attached to the 24th Infantry Division, replacing the 34th Infantry Regiment. It remained with the 24th Infantry Division until January 1952 when it officially became a separate RCT again and was assigned to IX Corps.

The 5th Regimental Combat Team consisted of:

  • 5th Infantry Regiment
  • 555 Field Artillery Battalion (105 mm) (The "Triple-Nickel")
  • 72nd Engineer Company
  • 5th Tank Company
  • Heavy Mortar Company
  • 5th Medical Company
  • 5th Aviation Section

Fought in the Battle of Pusan Perimeter.[5]

Two 5th Infantry soldiers received the Medal of Honor for service in Korea:

  • Second Lieutenant Carl H. Dodd, Company E, 30–31 January 1951, near Subuk
  • Master Sergeant Melvin O. Handrich, Company C, 25–26 August 1950, near Sobuk-San Mountain (posthumous)

On 11 October 1953, Company A, 1st Section, Machine Gun Platoon, Company D, and Forward Observer Team, 555th Field Artillery Battalion were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, for actions in the vicinity of Songnae-dong, Korea on 12 June 1953.[6] On 18 November 2005 the award was amended to include the following units:

2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th Squads, 2d Section Machine Gun Platoon
Recoilless Rifle Platoon
Forward Observers, 81 MM Mortar Platoon, Company D

Actor James Garner (The Rockford Files) served in the 5th RCT during the Korean War, when he was awarded two Purple Hearts.

Vietnam War

In 1959 the 1st Battle Group, 5th Infantry was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. It was reassigned to the 25th Division on 1 February 1963 and reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry on 12 August.

It was sent to Vietnam in January 1966 and it was one of the few mechanized units to serve in that war.

  • The 5th won a Valorous Unit Award when The 2nd Brigade Task Force, 25th Infantry Division, distinguished itself by extraordinary heroism in ground combat against the Viet Cong in the Republic of Vietnam during the period January through April 1966. Ordered to secure a base of operations for itself and the remainder of the 25th Infantry Division in the vicinity of the town Tan An Hoi in the Cu Chi District of Vietnam, the Brigade Task Force embarked on 66 days of continuous combat operations in a completely Viet Cong dominated, heavily entrenched and fiercely defended area. On January 1966, combat operations began to seize, clear and secure the area selected for a base of operations. For the initial four days, brigade combat elements moved forward against devastating automatic weapons and continual harassing sniper fire, well established mine fields and vast underground systems of tunnels, trenches, spider holes and fortifications unrivaled in Vietnam. Displaying extraordinary heroism and unwavering determination, task force elements methodically cleared the area of a fanatical enemy force that was manning the fortifications. This entire action was characterized by numerous acts of personnel sacrifice and heroism. During the period 30 January to 5 April, the Brigade conducted eleven major operations against the Viet Cong with battalion or larger sized forces engaged in fierce battle against a hostile enemy. On 5 April 1966, after 66 days of continuous combat, the Brigade had seized, cleared and secured the base of operations and surrounding area in the vicinity of Cu Chi, Republic of Vietnam. A total of 449 Viet Cong had been killed by body count. Viet Cong activities throughout the Cu Chi District were severely disrupted and the Viet Cong greatly discredited in the eyes of the local populace. During those momentous 66 days, the Brigade displayed utmost courage and indomitable spirit, and as a unit it demonstrated extraordinary heroism as it unwaveringly and unceasingly pitted itself against hard core, experienced, and entrenched and determined enemy forces. The indomitable spirit and extraordinary heroism with which the 2nd Brigade Task Force engaged, battled and defeated a fortified and determined enemy during this period of continuous combat operations is in keeping with the finest tradition of the United States Army and reflects great credit upon all members of the Task Force who participated in the Battle for Cu Chi. *(text of the Valorous Unit Award)
  • Under the Command of then Lieutenant Colonel, now Major General (Retired), Andrew H. Anderson, The 5th Infantry (Mech) received its third Presidential Unit Citation: "The 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division and its attached units distinguished themselves by extraordinary heroism in combat operations against numerically superior enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam from 18 August to 20 September 1968. During this period the 1st Battalion Task Force, through reconnaissance in force, ambush, counterambush, and reaction missions effectively destroyed a regimental-size enemy force and prevented the enemy from seizing the initiative in its "third offensive." The officers and men of the Task Force displayed outstanding bravery, high morale, and exemplary esprit de corps in fierce hand-to-hand combat and counteroffensive action against well disciplined, heavily armed and entrenched enemy forces. An example of the outstanding bravery and aggressiveness occurred 21 August during a reconnaissance in force mission. The lead elements of Company C, 1st Battalion came under heavy mortar, rocket-propelled grenade, machine gun, and automatic weapons fire. The company deployed against the enemy forces while the scout platoon protected the company flank and prevented reinforcement by a battalion-size enemy unit. Through skillful use of close supporting fires from artillery, helicopter gunship and tactical air, the officers and the men of the Task Force repulsed human wave counterattacks and defeated a numerically superior enemy force, which left one hundred and eighty-two dead on the battlefield. The individual act of gallantry, the teamwork and the aggressiveness of the officers and men of the 1st Battalion Task Force continued throughout the period of prolonged combat operations, resulting in the resounding defeat of enemy forces in their operational area. The heroic efforts, extraordinary bravery and professional competence displayed by the men of the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry and attached units are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon themselves, their units, and the Armed Forces of the United States."[7]

The 5th fought for five years in Vietnam, again establishing its reputation for tough fighting, perseverance in harsh conditions and excellence in the face of enemy opposition. For its participation in the Vietnam War The 5th Infantry was presented the following Battle Streamers: 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; Presidential Unit Citation, Ben Cui; Valorous Unit Award, Cu Chi.

In 1975 the 5th Infantry was deployed to Ortoe Point, Guam. Their mission was to build the first tent city to help inprocess the refugees from Vietnam. They not only built the city, but they also did supplies, cooking, and setup the electricity to maintain the city. Their mission lasted 90 days as part of the 5th Support Group.

Two 5th Infantry soldiers received the Medal of Honor for service in Vietnam:

  • First Lieutenant Stephen Holden Doane, Company B, 1st Battalion, 25 March 1969, Hau Nghia Province (posthumous)
  • Staff Sergeant Marvin R. Young, Company C, 1st Battalion, 21 August 1968, near Ben Cui (posthumous)

1975 to present

After the Vietnam War the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry returned to Hawaii where it served with the 25th Infantry Division until the late 1980s when it spent a brief period with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea.

In August 1995 the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment was re-assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington as part of the 1st Brigade "Lancers," 25th Infantry Division (Light). In 1996 the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry participated in the Advanced Warfighting Experiment, which culminated with a National Training Center rotation in March 1997. The battalion received the Army Superior Unit Award for its outstanding contribution to the Advanced Warfighting Experiment. For its participation in the Advanced Warfighting Experiment the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry was presented with the Army Superior Unit Award, 1996–1997.

The 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry was reactivated on 16 August 1995 and assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. The 2nd Battalion served a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan from May 2004 to May 2005 as part of the 25th Division's Task Force Bronco. For its service in Afghanistan, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation. As part of the modular conversion of the 25th Infantry Division, the 2nd Battalion was inactivated on 16 November 2005.

In early 2002 the 1st Brigade "Lancers" began its conversion from a light infantry brigade to a Stryker brigade. It began a one-year tour of duty in Iraq in October 2004. The brigade returned to Fort Lewis in September 2005. The 1st Brigade was temporarily inactive from June–October 2006. The 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment is now part of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team "Arctic Wolves," 25th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright, Alaska.[8]

In September 2011 3rd brigade 1st armored division went to Afghanistan in the Wardak Province until August 2012. The 2nd Battalion 5th Infantry Unit was in Dash Towpe and the well known Chak Valley.


Main unit

  1. Constituted 12 April 1808 in the Regular Army as the 4th Infantry
  2. Organized May–June 1808 in New England
  3. Consolidated May–October 1815 with the 9th and 13th Infantry (both constituted 11 January 1812), the 21st Infantry (constituted 26 June 1812), the 40th Infantry (constituted 29 January 1813), and the 46th Infantry (constituted 30 March 1814) to form the 5th Infantry
  4. Consolidated in June 1869 with one half of the 37th Infantry (see ANNEX) and consolidated unit designated as the 5th Infantry
  5. Assigned 27 July 1918 to the 17th Division
  6. Relieved 10 February 1919 from assignment to the 17th Division
  7. Assigned 24 March 1923 to the 9th Division
  8. Relieved 15 August 1927 from assignment to the 9th Division and assigned to the 5th Division
  9. Relieved 1 October 1933 from assignment to the 5th Division and assigned to the 9th Division
  10. Relieved 15 July 1940 from assignment to the 9th Division
  11. Assigned 10 July 1943 to the 71st Light Division (later redesignated as the 71st Infantry Division)
  12. Relieved 1 May 1946 from assignment to the 71st Infantry Division
  13. Inactivated 15 November 1946 in Austria
  14. Activated 1 January 1949 in Korea
  15. Assigned 10 October 1954 to the 71st Infantry Division
  16. Relieved 25 August 1956 from assignment to the 71st Infantry Division
  17. Assigned 1 September 1956 to the 8th Infantry Division
  18. Relieved 1 August 1957 from assignment to the 8th Infantry Division and reorganized as a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System
  19. Withdrawn 16 April 1987 from the Combat Arms Regimental System and reorganized under the United States Army Regimental System
  20. 1st Battalion 5th Infantry Regiment stationed Ft. Lewis Washington (Known between January 1999 and July 2005)
  21. 5th Battalion 14th Infantry Regiment "Golden Dragons" reflagged and activated as 2nd Battalion 5th Infantry Regiment "Bobcats" July 1995.
  22. Assigned Charlie Company, Heavy Weapons Platoon, 2nd Battalion 5th Infantry Regiment 5 July 1999.
  23. Reassigned Headquarters Company 2nd Battalion 5th Infantry Regiment 19 July 1999.
  24. 2nd Battalion 5th Infantry Regiment "Bobcats", 2nd Battalion 27th Infantry Regiment "Wolfhounds", 2nd Battalion 35th Infantry Regiment "Cacti" make up 3rd Brigade 25th Infantry Division (Light).
  25. HHC "Vipers", Alpha Company "Quickstrike", Bravo Company "Bushmasters", Charlie Company "Cobras".
  26. 613 Man Battalion as of 20 February 2003.
  27. Deployed to Afghanistan.
  28. Returns to Hawaii in 2004 after a year in Afghanistan.
  29. 27 July 2005 unit deactivated.
  30. 27 July 2005 1st Battalion 5th Infantry Regiment reassigned, stationed at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska.
  31. 16 August 2009 2d Battalion 5th Infantry Regiment activated, stationed at Ft. Bliss, Texas.


  1. Constituted 3 May 1861 in the Regular Army as the 3d Battalion, 19th Infantry
  2. Organized May 1865 – September 1866 at Fort Wayne, Michigan; Newport Barracks, Kentucky; and Fort Columbus, New York
  3. Reorganized and redesignated 23 November 1866 as the 37th Infantry
  4. One half of the 37th Infantry consolidated in June 1869 with the 5th Infantry and consolidated unit designated as the 5th Infantry (remaining half of the 37th Infantry consolidated August–December 1869 with the 3d Infantry and consolidated unit designated as the 3d Infantry—hereafter separate lineage)
  5. The 1st Bn, 5th Infantry was active at Camp Hovey Korea as part of 2nd Bde 2nd Infantry Division from 1992 to 1996 at least, maybe well before and after


Campaign participation credit

War of 1812

  1. Canada
  2. Chippewa
  3. Lundy's Lane

Mexican-American War

  1. Palo Alto
  2. Resaca de la Palma
  3. Monterey
  4. Churubusco
  5. Molino del Rey
  6. Chapultepec
  7. Vera Cruz 1847

Civil War

  1. New Mexico 1862

Indian Wars

  1. Tippecanoe
  2. Seminoles
  3. Comanches
  4. Little Big Horn
  5. Nez Perces
  6. Bannocks
  7. New Mexico 1860
  8. Montana 1879
  9. Montana 1880
  10. Montana 1881
  11. Montana 1887

Philippine Insurrection

  1. Streamer without inscription

World War II

  1. American Theater, Streamer without inscription;
  2. Rhineland
  3. Central Europe

Korean War

  1. UN Defensive
  2. UN Offensive
  3. CCF Intervention
  4. First UN Counteroffensive
  5. CCF Spring Offensive
  6. UN Summer–Fall Offensive
  7. Second Korean Winter
  8. Korea, Summer–Fall 1952
  9. Third Korean Winter
  10. Korea, Summer 1953


  1. Counteroffensive
  2. Counteroffensive, Phase II
  3. Counteroffensive, Phase III
  4. Tet Counteroffensive
  5. Counteroffensive, Phase IV
  6. Counteroffensive, Phase V
  7. Counteroffensive, Phase VI
  8. Tet 69/Counteroffensive
  9. Summer–Fall 1969
  10. Winter–Spring 1970
  11. Sanctuary Counteroffensive
  12. Counteroffensive, Phase VII

War on Terrorism

  1. Operation Iraqi Freedom (1st Battalion)
  2. Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan (1st and 2nd Battalions)


U.S. military decorations

  1. Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for CHINJU
  2. Presidential Unit Citation (army) for SONGNAE-DONG
  3. Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for BEN CUI 1968[9]
  4. Valorous Unit Award for CU CHI DISTRICT
  5. Valorous Unit Award for NINEVEH PROVINCE 2005
  6. Army Superior Unit Award for 1996–1997
  7. Meritorious Unit Citation (1st Battalion) Iraq OIF 3
  8. Meritorious Unit Citation (2nd Battalion) for Afghanistan

Foreign decorations

  1. Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for KOREA 1950–1952
  2. Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for KOREA 1950–1953
  3. Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for KOREA 1952–1954
  4. Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1966–1968
  5. Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1968–1970
  6. Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class for VIETNAM 1966–1970



 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Army Center of Military History document "Lineage and Honors 5th Infantry Regiment".

External links

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