To close with and destroy enemy forces using fire, maneuver, and shock effect, or to repel his assault by fire and counterattack.
(Courtesy of Historian Mr. Steven Frank.) The 1-102d Infantry Battalion has a very rich heritage worthy of recognition and is typical of the Army National Guard in that it carries the lineage of a variety of other units reflecting the cyclical growth and contraction of Connecticut’s National Guard force structure (similar to the British Army regiments). The below compilation primarily reflects events and campaigns acknowledged by the U.S. Army Center of Military History (CMH) for the 102d Infantry Regiment – of which the 1-102d is the only battalion on active service. The battalion may also claim some heritage that is not officially recognized, but that reflects pride in the state’s military accomplishments.
Mottos: “Stand Forth,” the “New Haven Grays,” “1st & 2d Connecticut”
Distinctive Unit Insignia Symbology: The British lion represents Revolutionary War service against the British; the blue saltire, Civil War service with the Union; the cactus, service along the Mexican border in 1916; and the fleur-de-lis, service in France during World War I. The white shield represents Infantry.
The Connecticut militia (then known as “trained bands”) was first organized in 1636, however, CMH credits the formal organization of the Connecticut Militia into regiments in 1672 to be the birth of the 102d – thus 2022 will mark the Regiment’s 350th
anniversary. The regiment saw service during King Philip’s War (1675 to 1676) and participated in the decisive “Great Swamp Fight,” which tipped the balance of power in New England in favor of the colonists. (US Army does not award campaign recognition to engagements prior to the Revolutionary War).
Now known as the 1st and 2nd Regiments of the Connecticut Militia, the units were often called into active service and fought in New York and Connecticut earning eight campaign streamers – including Saratoga.
War of 1812:
Units of the Connecticut militia were called to duty during the War to provide coastal security but did not engage in combat.
Once again, the 1st
and 2d Regiments were called to state duty during the War but did not deploy to Mexico nor participate in combat.
The Regiments did not serve outside of the state, however they contributed companies and individual replacements to a dozen Connecticut Volunteer Infantry (CTVI) Regiments, thus reflecting the geographic diversity of the 21 campaign streamers carried. Of note, the 14th
CTVI helped repulse Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg where the Regimental Sergeant Major earned the Medal of Honor by seizing a Confederate battle flag at the height of the assault.
Again called to duty, however hostilities ended before they were to deploy to Puerto Rico. The 1st
and 2d Connecticut Infantry Regiments were federalized in 1916 to serve on the Mexican border in response to cross-border attacks by Mexican bandits and insurrectionists (the most famous being Pancho Villa). The Regiments spent four months patrolling in New Mexico - gaining invaluable experience that provided a core of seasoned NCOs and Officers as the units were again federalized four months later for the First World War.
World War One:
During the First World War the now renamed 102d Infantry Regiment served as part of the 26th
“Yankee” Division from New England. The 26th
was the first National Guard division to arrive in Europe, the first AEF Division to fight in a major engagement (Seicheprey), and spent more time in the front lines than any other American division except the 1st
. The 102d and 26th
adapted well to the challenges of the western front and had a knack for tactical innovation in spite of General Pershing’s disdain for the National Guard and the 26th
Division in particular.
World War Two:
- The most famous member of the 102d Infantry during the First World War was the unit’s mascot, a stray dog from New Haven who had been smuggled to France with the Regiment. “SGT Stubby” served in the front lines, was wounded twice, and is credited with capturing a German infiltrator. After the war Stubby returned to Connecticut and became a national celebrity - following his death in 1926, he received a half page obituary in the New York Times. Stubby’s remains are on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
During the Second World War, the 102d served independently as a garrison unit in the Pacific Theater (Christmas and Canton Islands) and did not see any direct combat. The plethora of WWII campaign streamers the Regiment carries was earned by the following units later absorbed into the 102d: 191st
Independent Tank Battalion, Italy and France; 963d Field Artillery Battalion in Northwest Europe with XIXth Corps Artillery; and the 169th
Infantry Regiment with the Pacific Theater’s 43d Infantry Division.
- The 169th had a particularly distinguished combat record – starting off when one of its men shot down an attacking Japanese aircraft while manning a troop ship .50 cal machinegun. The Regiment went on to earn a Distinguished (now known as Presidential) Unit Citation in the hills of Luzon where one of their NCOs also earned the Medal of Honor.
The 102d was attached to the 43d Infantry Division following WWII. One of four National Guard Divisions activated during the Korean War, the 43d was deployed to Bavaria, West Germany, for three years before being released back to state control.
Global War on Terror:
The Battalion has deployed twice to Afghanistan – the first time in 2006-2007, and again in 2010. The Battalion was realigned with the 86th
Infantry Brigade Combat Team (VTARNG) in 2007, becoming one of only three “Mountain Infantry” battalions in the US Army.
- In 2016, the 86th IBCT and 1-102 IN officially became Associated units of the 10th Mountain Division, replacing the Active Duty 3d BDE, which in turn became part of the 36th Infantry Division (TXARNG).
- The 1-102d IN BN was mobilized on March 2021 to serve as the CJTF-HOA security force
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered: AFGHANISTAN 2006-2007 (earned by 1-102 IN BN)
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered: AFGHANISTAN 2010 (earned by 1-102 IN BN)
French Croix de Guerre with Palm, World War I, Streamer embroidered: AISNE-MARNE (earned by the 1-102 IN BN)
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered: 17 OCTOBER 1944 TO 4 JULY 1945 (earned by 169