A Brief History of the 1st Battalion

A Brief History of the 1st Battalion

The 22nd Infantry Regiment was authorized on June 26, 1812 by Congress in an attempt to rebuild the depleted United States Army.  The Regiment fought in eight battles during the War of 1812.  The 22nd Infantry fought in five major campaigns of the Indian Wars of the late 19th century.  It was the first American Army Unit to set foot on Cuban soil in the Spanish-American War and fought with distinction at the battle of Santiago.  It served in six campaigns during the years 1899-1905 in the Philippine Insurrection.

The 22nd Infantry was assigned in 1923 to the 4th Division.  During World War II the 22nd Infantry landed on D-Day at Utah Beach and fought through five campaigns into Germany itself.  It was reorganized and redesignated on October 1, 1963 as the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry.

The US Naval Ship General Nelson M. Walker was one of three ships that took the US Army’s 4th Infantry Division to Vietnam in 1966.  On July 21, 1966 the 1st Battalion of the 22nd Infantry Regiment sailed on the Walker from Tacoma, Washington and sixteen days later, on August 6, 1966, landed at Qui Nhon, Republic of South Vietnam.  The Regulars who sailed on the Walker are affectionately known as the “Boat People” and the “Walker Babies”.

The Regulars of the 1/22 arrived in Vietnam in 1966 fighting in thirteen campaigns.  It earned the distinction of being the longest-serving unit of the 22nd in Vietnam 1966-1972.  During the Tet Offensive, the 1st Battalion earned the Valorous Unit Award during the fighting in the Provincial Capital of Kontum.  Throughout its tenure in Vietnam, the 1st Battalion performed its missions as a true “Straight-leg” Light Infantry Battalion.  The Battalion was pulled out of the jungle of the Central Highlands of II Corps in late 1970 and the Republic of Vietnam awarded the 1st Battalion, for the second time during its service in Vietnam, the RVN Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation.  The 1st Battalion left Vietnam in 1972.

The 1st Battalion became the Army’s first all-digital Battalion and took that technology with it to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom 2002-2004.  The 1st Battalion returned to Iraq for its second tour of duty there from 2005-2006.  In March 2008 1st Battalion served its third tour in Iraq returning in 2009.

The 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry deployed to Afghanistan 2010-2011.

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