By U.S. ArmyApril 25, 2016
The 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry has served as part of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry (Lightning) Division since 24 August, 1995 at Fort Lewis, Washington.
The 24th Infantry Regiment was organized on 1 November 1869 from the 38th and 41st Infantry Regiments. All the enlisted Soldiers were black, either veterans of the U.S. Colored Troops or freed slaves. From its activation to 1898, the 24th Infantry served throughout the Western United States..
1898 saw the 24th Infantry deploy to Cuba as part of the U.S. Expeditionary Force in the Spanish-American War. At the climactic battle of San Juan Hill, the 24th Infantry assaulted and seized the Spanish-held blockhouse and trench system on the hill. In 1899 the Regiment deployed to the Philippine Islands to help suppress a guerilla movement. The Regiment would return to the Islands again in 1905 and 1911.
In 1916 the 24th Infantry guarded the U.S.-Mexico border to keep the Mexican Civil War from spilling on to U.S. soil. When it did, the 24th joined the "Punitive Expedition" under General Pershing and entered Mexico to fight Poncho Villa's forces.
During World War II, the 24th Infantry fought in the South Pacific Theater as a separate regiment. Deploying in April 1942, the Regiment assumed defensive positions in the New Hebrides Islands. The 24th moved to the Solomon Islands, including the eventual hotbed Guadalcanal, and secured airfields for the protection of incoming personnel and supplies.
From the end of World War II through 1947, the 24th occupied Okinawa, Japan, after which it relocated to Gifu, Japan. On 1 February, 1947, the Regiment reorganized as a permanent regiment of the 25th Infantry (Lighting) Division. In late June of 1950, soon after North Korea invaded South Korea, the 24th deployed to Korea to assist in what was initially termed a "minor police action".
The 24th Infantry fought throughout the entire Korean peninsula, from the defense of the "Pusan perimeter" to its breakout and the pursuit of communist forces well into North Korea, to the Chinese counteroffensives, and finally to U.N. counteroffensives that stabilized near the current Demilitarized Zone. The Regiment received the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for its defense of the Pusan perimeter.
Inactivated on 1 October, 1951, the Soldiers of the Deuce-Four were dispersed to other units as the Army's segregation policy disintegrated. These Soldiers continued to serve proudly on active duty through the 1980s, but would have to wait until 24 August, 1995 to witness the reactivation of the 1-24 Infantry Regiment.
The 1st Battalion , 24th Infantry Regiment answered our nations call during Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-08. The Legion deployed to Diyala Province and fought terrorism in the deserts of Iraq. The Battalion received a Meritorious Unit Citation for their extraordinary performance in combat.
The Legion's latest Deployment, Operation Enduring Freedom 11-12, had the Legionnaires entrenched in a COIN fight in Zabul Province, Afghanistan.