Military Wiki
Infantry branch
USA - Army Infantry Insignia.png
branch insignia
Active 14 June 1775
Country United States
Branch United States Army
Type Infantry right side
Nickname(s) Queen of Battle
Motto(s) Follow me
Branch color Baby Blue
Mascot(s) LTC John F McKenna
Engagements Revolutionary War
Indian Wars
War of 1812
Mexican–American War
Utah War
American Civil War
Spanish-American War
Philippine-American War
Banana Wars
Boxer Rebellion
Border War
World War I
Russian Civil War
World War II
Korean War
Operation Power Pack
Vietnam War
Operation Eagle Claw
Invasion of Grenada
Invasion of Panama
Persian Gulf War
Somali Civil War
Kosovo War
War in Afghanistan
Iraq War

The Infantry Branch is a branch of the United States Army first established in 1775.


Ten companies of riflemen were authorized by a resolution of the Continental Congress on 14 June 1775. However, the oldest Regular Army infantry regiment, the 3rd Infantry Regiment, was constituted on 3 June 1784, as the First American Regiment.


On 3 March 1791, Congress added to the Army "The Second Regiment of Infantry

  • The Act of 16 July 1798, authorized twelve additional regiments of infantry
  • an Act of Congress on 11 January 1812, increased the regular army to 46 infantry and 4 rifle regiments
  • an Act of Congress on 3 March 1815, 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.

Army organized into seven infantry regiments, 1815

Ten one year regiments were authorized by the Act of 11 February 1847. and after the Mexican American war reduced back to pre war levels. (Mexican War expansion added eight regiments (designated 9th–16th Infantry), 1847, but these were discontinued,)

Civil war expansion to 19 regiments

In a major expansion under General Order 92, War Department, 23 November 1866, pursuant to an act of 28 July 1866 (14 Stat. 332), 2d and 3d battalions of the existing 11th- 19th Infantry Regiments were designated 20th–37th Infantry Regiments, with four new regiments (38th–41st) to be composed of black enlisted men, and new 42d-45th Infantry Regiments for wounded veterans of the Civil War.

(Reduced by consolidation to 25 regiments, under General Order 17, War Department, 15 March 1869, with the 24th and 25th constituting the black enlisted force.)

On 2 February 1901, Congress passed the Army Reorganization Act which authorized five additional regiments (26th-30th).

The Militia Act of 1903 established the National Guard.

In 1916 Congress enacted the National Defense Act and under War Department General Orders Number 22 dated 30 June 1916 that ordered seven new Regiments to be organised; four in the Continental United States, one in the Philippine Islands (31st Infantry Regiment (United States), one in Hawaii (32nd Infantry Regiment (United States), and one, the 33rd Infantry, in the Canal Zone.

In 1917 a new numbering system was set up 1–100 for regular army, 101–300 for the national guard, 301 and up for the National Army (USA). 167 national guard units were renumbered from the old state system to the new federal system. However the "69th, and 71st New York" were able to lobby for their old 19th Century numbers which created doubles of these numbers.

A new system, the U.S. Army Combat Arms Regimental System, or CARS, was adopted in 1957 to replace the old regimental system. CARS uses the Army's traditional regiments as parent organizations for historical purposes, but the primary building blocks are divisions, and brigade became battalions. Each battalion carries an association with a parent regiment, even though the regimental organization no longer exists. In some brigades several numbered battalions carrying the same regimental association may still serve together, and tend to consider themselves part of the traditional regiment when in fact they are independent battalions serving a brigade, rather than a regimental, headquarters. The CARS was replaced by the U.S. Army Regimental System (USARS) in 1981. There are exceptions to USARS regimental titles, including the Armored Cavalry Regiments and the 75th Ranger Regiment created in 1986. On 1 October 2005, the word "regiment" was formally appended to the name of all active and inactive CARS and USARS regiments. So, for example, the 1st Cavalry officially became titled the 1st Cavalry Regiment

Branch insignia

Two gold color crossed muskets, vintage 1795 Springfield musket (Model 1795 Musket), 3/4 inch in height.

Crossed muskets were first introduced into the Army as the insignia of officers and enlisted men of the Infantry on 19 November 1875 (War Department General Order No. 96 dtd 19 Nov 1875) to take effect on or before 1 June 1876. Numerous attempts in the earlier years were made to keep the insignia current with the ever changing styles of rifles being introduced into the Army. However, in 1924 the branch insignia was standardized by the adoption of crossed muskets and the 1795 model Springfield Arsenal musket was adopted as the standard musket to be used. This was the first official United States shoulder arm, made in a government arsenal, with interchangeable parts, caliber .69, flint lock, smooth bore, muzzle loader. The standardized musket now in use was first suggested by Major General Charles S. Farnsworth, U.S. Army, while he was the first Chief of Infantry, in July 1921, and approved by General Pershing, Chief of Staff, in 1922. The device adopted in 1922 has been in continual use since 1924. There have been slight modifications in the size of the insignia over the years; however, the basic design has remained unchanged.

  • Branch plaque

The plaque design has the branch insignia, letters and border in gold. The background is light blue.

  • Regimental insignia

Personnel assigned to the Infantry branch affiliate with a specific regiment and wear the insignia of the affiliated regiment.

  • Regimental coat of arms

There is no standard infantry regimental flag to represent all of the infantry regiments. Each regiment of infantry has its own coat of arms which appears on the breast of a displayed eagle. The background of all the infantry regimental flags is flag blue with yellow fringe.

  • Branch colors

Baby Blue – 65014 cloth; 67120 yarn; PMS 5415.

The Infantry has made two complete cycles between white and light blue. During the Revolutionary War, white facings were prescribed for the Infantry. White was the color used for Infantry until 1851 at which time light or Saxony blue was prescribed for the pompon and for the trimming on Infantry horse furniture. In 1857, the color was prescribed as light or sky blue. In 1886, the linings of capes and trouser stripes were prescribed to be white. However, in 1902, the light blue was prescribed again. In 1917, the cape was still lined with light blue but the Infantry trouser stripes were of white as were the chevrons for enlisted men. The infantry color is light blue; however, infantry regimental flags and guidons have been National Flag blue since 1835. White is used as a secondary color on the guidons for letters, numbers, and insignia.

  • Birthday

14 June 1775. The Infantry is the oldest branch in the Army. Ten companies of riflemen were authorized by the Continental Congress Resolve of 14 June 1775. However, the oldest Regular Army Infantry Regiment, the 3d Infantry, was constituted on 3 June 1784 as the First American Regiment.

Current configuration

The United States Army Infantry School is currently at Fort Benning.

The Infantryman's Creed

Infantryman's Creed
I am the Infantry.
I am my country's strength in war.
Her deterrent in peace.
I am the heart of the fight...
wherever, whenever.
I carry America's faith and honor
against her enemies.
I am the Queen of Battle.
I am what my country expects me to be...
the best trained soldier in the world.
In the race for victory
I am swift, determined, and courageous,
armed with a fierce will to win.
Never will I betray my country's trust.
Always I fight on...
through the foe,
to the objective,
to triumph over all,
If necessary, I will fight to my death.
By my steadfast courage,
I have won more than 200 years of freedom.
I yield not to weakness,
to hunger,
to cowardice,
to fatigue,
to superior odds,
for I am mentally tough, physically strong,
and morally straight.
I forsake not...
my country,
my mission,
my comrades,
my sacred duty.
I am relentless.
I am always there,
now and forever.

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Army Institute of Heraldry document "Infantry branch".

  • Historical register and dictionary of the United States Army, from ..., Volume 1 By Francis Bernard Heitman [1]
  • Official U. S. bulletin, Volume 1 By United States (1917). Committee on Public Information [2]
  • Encyclopedia of United States Army insignia and uniforms By William K. Emerson (page 51).[3]
  • Infantry Division Components of the US Army By Timothy Aumiller [4]

External links

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