The Old Guard

Memorial Day reading: Tom Cotton busts a myth of Arlington’s Old Guard
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The 3d Infantry's next major operation was the War with Mexico. The regiment joined Major General Zachary Taylor's army in southern Texas and was in the thickest of the fighting during Taylor's first two victories at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma on May 8 and 9, The 3d accompanied Taylor's advance to Monterey later in the year, helping to storm that city.

The regiment paraded for the first time with fixed bayonets in recognition of a key bayonet charge they made at Cerro Gordo; this tradition of parading with fixed bayonets remains today, unique among all U.

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For Teachers. The Old Guard has a long history of service to the U. The 3d Infantry returned to the field for the Appomattox Campaign. This was Africa, and it was far away. So, we performed, when I was there and still today, up to 20 or 30 funerals a day. Judy Woodruff: A lot of people know you as the senator, as we said, from Arkansas. Test your knowledge of words related to the season of longer days and vacations.

Army infantry units. The Old Guard returned to frontier duty after the war. The Civil War's outbreak found the 3d Infantry scattered in detachments along the U. Three companies surrendered to Texas authorities in , while other detachments helped hold Fort Pickens in Pensacola, Florida.

After the battle, the regiment reassembled into a complete unit and was attached to George Sykes' Regular Division in the Army of the Potomac's 5th Corps. The Old Guard saw action at every battle Sykes' Division was engaged in from the Peninsula Campaign through Gettysburg , after which it was withdrawn for other duties. The 3d Infantry returned to the field for the Appomattox Campaign. In , Colonel George W. Getty assumed command of the Old Guard.

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Except for three years in Mississippi and Louisiana, the regiment performed garrison duty on the frontier between and Returning home in late , the 3d Infantry won the last-ever battle between Native American and U. The next year, it transferred to the Philippines and for three years fought the Philippine Insurrection on Luzon.

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It then returned to the United States. It then moved to Fort Snelling, Minnesota, where it remained for most of the interwar years. After garrison duty in Newfoundland in and , it served in several places as a training formation before deploying to Europe in March Old Guard soldiers also perform all dignified transfers of fallen soldiers returning to the United States.

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The Old Guard's ceremonial task list includes full honor arrivals for visiting dignitaries, wreath ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknowns , and full honor reviews in support of senior army leaders and retiring soldiers. Special events include the Twilight Tattoo, a weekly performance in the adjacent Washington area on Wednesday evenings from May to July, and the Spirit of America, a historical pageant presented at three national venues in September. The Old Guard is the only unit in the U. Armed Forces authorized, by a decree of the War Department , to march with fixed bayonets in all parades.

In addition to the marching platoons, there are also elements of The Old Guard that serve special roles unique both to the regiment as well as the US Army. Among these include the sentinels of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier , maintaining a twenty-four-hour watch over one of the nation's most sacred sites; the Continental Color Guard, which presents the nation's colors at special events across the Capitol Region; the Presidential Salute Battery , which renders honors to senior dignitaries at arrival and wreath ceremonies, reviews, and full honors funerals; and the US Army Caisson Platoon, which provides horses and riders to pull the caisson the wagon that bears a casket in military and state funerals.

The Caisson Platoon also provides the riderless horses used in full honors funerals and supports wounded warriors participating in the Therapeutic Riding Program. Other elements of The Old Guard include the Commander-in-Chief's Guard Company A , replicating the personal guard of General George Washington; wearing Colonial blue uniforms, powdered wigs, and cocked hats; and bearing Brown Bess muskets and halberds at ceremonies and special events; the US Army Drill Team , which demonstrates its skill and precision around the nation, and Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps , which plays traditional arrangements of marching music, dating back to the time of the Continental Army.

The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps marches in Colonial style red coated uniforms—to be "better seen through the smoke of battle"; the uniforms also include cocked hats and white powdered wigs. The drum major of the Fife and Drum Corps traditionally bears an espontoon [10] a historic pike-like weapon in his right hand to direct and command his unit. Armed Forces authorized to bear a spontoon and to salute with the left hand [11] although U.

Navy personnel are allowed to salute with the left hand under certain conditions. Escort Platoon is a term referring to a platoon of soldiers in the U. Army's 3rd Infantry Regiment whose primary ceremonial mission is to march in ceremonies or military funerals. Generally, line infantry companies delegate the escort role to their 1st platoon.

This platoon is generally composed of the tallest soldiers assigned to the unit. From to , the 4th Battalion was part of the 11th and th Infantry Brigades in Vietnam.

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The 4th Battalion was reactivated at Fort Myer in After a year hiatus from service, the 2nd Battalion was reactivated on 15 March as part of the US Army's first Stryker brigade inactive combat team. It served as part of the first deployment of a Stryker brigade combat team in It then served a month deployment in — It deployed to Iraq again in and Afghanistan in The 1st Infantry saw its first combat in an unsuccessful campaign against the Miami tribe in modern-day Ohio in This was followed by devastating losses at St.

Clair's Defeat in In the Legion was reorganized along more traditional lines and reverted to being called the United States Army. In the reorganization the 1st Sub-Legion was redesignated as the 1st Infantry Regiment. As of , six of the regiment's ten companies were in St. These actions give the regiment campaign credit for the War of After the end of the War of in early , the Army had a total of 44 Infantry regiments which were consolidated into only eight regiments.

Rather than preserving the existing designations of the Army's oldest units, it was decided instead to consolidate units based on their geographic proximity rather than seniority. This is why the 3rd Infantry is the oldest Infantry unit in the active United States Army rather than the 1st Infantry.

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As of November 30, , the regiment was located on the northwestern frontier at Fort Howard in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The annual report of the Army from showed that the regiment had been re-located to Jefferson Barracks , Missouri. As of November the regiment's headquarters and six companies were at Fort Jesup in Louisiana with the other four companies at Fort Towson in Oklahoma.

The Old Guard

From to the 3rd Infantry fought in the Seminole War in Florida. From to the regiment served in New Mexico where it fought the Navajo Indian tribe. After serving in New Mexico, the regiment was spread out to various posts on the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas. The 3rd Infantry saw extensive service during the American Civil War and was credited with 12 campaigns. Three companies of the 3rd Infantry surrendered on April Five of the regiment's 10 companies were engaged at the Battle of Bull Run on July 20, The regiment spent most of the war assigned to the Army of the Potomac and served mostly in Virginia.

In March it was reassigned to the 4th Brigade, 1st Division of the 5th Corps. It then served in Louisiana and Mississippi from to and Montana, Minnesota and South Dakota from to On October 5, , a force of about 80 men—including soldiers of the 3rd Infantry, U. The United States forces lost 6 soldiers and one Indian Police officer killed and another 14 wounded.

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There were no casualties among the Chippewa. The 3rd Infantry also served in the Philippines during the Philippine Insurrection from February 3, , to April 15, It was then sent to Alaska where it served from July 1, , to August 6, , when it was sent to Washington state until it was sent back to the Philippines about Throughout the war the regiment was assigned to patrolling the Mexican Border and did not see action.

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Upon arrival the 2nd and 3rd Battalions were inactivated on 18 November and the 1st Battalion assumed garrison duties. The regiment was re-organized as a combat regiment when the 2nd and 3rd Battalions were re-activated on 8 June On 24 March the regiment was assigned to the 7th Division. On 15 August the regiment was reassigned to the 6th Division. On 1 October the regiment reverted to being assigned to the 7th Division. During World War II, the 3rd Infantry served as a separate regiment and was not assigned to a combat division.

On 16 October it was relieved from assignment to the 7th Division and assigned to the 6th Division at Fort Jackson , South Carolina. Variety Mobile Logo. Premier Logo Created with Sketch. Login Follow Us. Please fill out this field with valid email address. Sign Up.

The Old Guard Drill Display in Lexington, Patriot's Day 2018

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