Like its predecessor the 27th Infantry Division, the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) has two distinct missions: To maintain combat and service preparedness for duty overseas, and to stand ready to assist in the response to emergencies in the state of New York. The 27th IBCT originated in 2006 as part of a reorganization of the New York National Guard just as troops from the 27th Infantry Brigade were returning from Iraq. It draws its history and lineage from that Brigade and ultimately the 27th Infantry Division, which dates back to 1912.

Nicknamed the Empire Division for its connection to New York (the unit's motto is "Empire"), the 27th Infantry Division formed in 1912 as a result of a reorganization of the New York National Guard. The Patch is round with a gray background and black symbols. The letters N, Y, and D—for New York Division—merge to form one graphic. (The unit’s New York state heritage is also displayed in its Unit Crest, or Distinctive Unit Insignia.) Seven black stars representing the constellation Orion are dotted against the gray backdrop.  

The 27th Division wasted no time before seeing combat. Its early members were deployed to Mexico to help Brigadier General John Pershing chase Mexican revolutionary Francisco “Pancho” Villa deep into Mexico during the Mexico Border Expedition. Upon returning to New York, the 27th Infantry Division began preparing for battle in WWI. For more about the combat history of the 27th Infantry Division in WWI and WWII, visit our Web page for the division's Combat Service Identification Badge.

In 1968, the division—now designated the 27th Armored Division—was deactivated and reorganized as a brigade of the 50th Armored Division. In the 1980s the 27th was reformed into a separate infantry unit; in the 1990s, the Army National Guard reorganized nationwide, and the 27th was established once again as a separate combat brigade.

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