While German soldiers during World War I took to calling the 32nd Division “Red Devils,” the divisional nickname evolved into “Red Arrow,” and its traditions of battlefield valor and success were carried on in World War II and other future conflicts by the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which was formed in 1967 from the inactivated 32nd Infantry Division.
In July 1941, with the chances of the U.S. entering the war increasing with each passing week, the 32nd Division was redesignated as the 32nd Infantry Division and one month later played a role in the Louisiana Maneuvers, one of the largest in U.S. peacetime history. During April 1942, the division departed for the Southwest Pacific campaign and was the first U.S. division to engage the Japanese in the theater. A divisional highlight included the capture of General Tomoyuki Yamashita on September 2, 1945. The highest-ranking Imperial Japanese Army officer in the Philippines surrendered to the 32nd Infantry Division at Luzon.

By the war’s end, the 32nd had endured 654 days of combat, participating in the New Guinea and Western New Guinea campaigns and six major battles, including Battle of Leyte and Battle of Luzon. Its days in combat ranked among the most of all U.S. divisions.
The design of the 32nd’s shoulder sleeve insignia, or Unit Patch, does double duty as the brigade’s Combat Service Identification Badge. Its simple, straightforward imagery—an arrow crossing a horizontal line—represents the 32nd Division’s renown for piercing enemy lines in World War I. This tenacious willingness to advance and destroy the enemy is displayed in the unit motto of “Forward” found on its Unit Crest, officially known as a Distinctive Unit Insignia.

While the design was originally approved for wear on the same day that the Great War ended with the signing of the Armistice (November 11, 1918), it was redesignated for use by the 32nd Infantry Brigade nearly 50 years later in May, 1968.

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