It is natural to assume the 7th Infantry Division’s official nickname is “Hourglass” because of the design of its Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (SSI): the two sevens, one inverted and placed atop the other, form the image of the old timekeeping device. But its true Special Designation, according to the U.S. Army Center for Military History, is “Bayonet,” a reference to General Douglas MacArthur’s description of the Division’s role in piercing North Korean lines following the successful landings at Inchon in 1950.

While the 7th Infantry Division would earn much honor during the Korean War—it was awarded three Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations for its actions in ten named campaigns—its story was a microcosm of the entire U.S. effort: Great initial success followed by massive enemy counterstrokes and, by the end, a stalemate.

As further proof that the 7th Infantry Division’s tale was sort of a snapshot of the Korean War, it was also one of the first divisions to be served by a new unit introduced in the war: the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, or MASH.

Related Items
7th Infantry Division Unit Crest (DUI)
7th Infantry Division Combat Service ID Badge (CSIB)

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