The 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) originated as a battery in the 116th Field Artillery, an element of the 31st Division, in December 1921. Following induction into Federal service in November 1940 at Tampa, it was reorganized and redesignated again as a battery in the same Artillery unit (Battery 13, 116th Field Artillery Battalion) in the 31st Infantry Division in February 1942. For its service in World War II, it earned two campaign streamers, one (New Guinea) with an arrowhead, as well as a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.

After some redesignations, the unit moved from Artillery to Infantry when, as Battery B (its very first designation), it was consolidated with the Florida part of HHC, 151st Infantry Division and the 51st Administration Company (Florida part) and reorganized and redesignated as HHC, 53rd Separate Infantry Brigade in February 1963. A year later, it became an Armor unit when it was redesignated as HHC, 53rd Armored Brigade…then became an Infantry unit again when it was consolidated with the 163rd Artillery Group and the newly combined formation was reorganized and redesignated the HHC, 53rd Infantry Brigade.

The 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team unit patch, or Shoulder Sleeve Insignia, reflects the varied roles the Brigade has assumed in service to its state and its country. From left to right, blue represents Infantry, yellow represents Armor, and red stands for Artillery. The stylized image in the center is a morion, a helmet worn by Spanish explorers and soldiers in several European nations in the 17th century. The 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team CSIB uses this same design.

Nicknamed the “Gator Brigade” because of its origins in Tampa, the 53rd IBCT unit crest further pays homage to its roots in the Sunshine State with an alligator with jaws agape. Note that the unit crest comes in a left-hand and right-hand version so that the alligator will be facing forward when worn.


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