The 16th Infantry Regiment was originally constituted on 3 May 1861 in response to President Abraham Lincoln’s call for 39 Infantry regiments to fight what at the time was thought would be a very short war to bring the Confederate states back into the Union. Organized in Massachusetts and Maryland as the 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry, the unit took part in a dozen campaigns during the Civil War, beginning with McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign in 1862 and ending with the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox in April 1865. Following consolidation with the 34th Infantry, which had been originally formed as the 3rd Battalion, 16th Infantry in New York, the merged unit was designated the 16th Infantry.

During World War I and World War II, the 16th was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division and took part in an astonishing seven named campaigns during WWI and eight in WWII, earning Arrowheads for three of the latter campaigns, and the Regiment’s three Battalions were honored with seven Presidential Unit Citations. Since then, the 16th has seen action in Vietnam and the War on Terrorism, taking part in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Today, only the 1st Battalion (with the special designation “Semper Paratus,” for “Always Ready”) is still active, the 2nd Battalion being inactivated in 2015.

Approved on 24 November 1926, the 16th Infantry Regiment’s Regimental Distinctive Insignia, or unit crest, features the blue and white colors of the arms of Fleville, a French town in the Ardennes where the Regiment fought during the Meuse-Argonne campaign in World War I. The crossed arrow and bolo recall the Indian Wars and combat during the Philippines, respectively, while the five-bastioned fort is a variation on the insignia of V Corps, which the Regiment was assigned to during the War with Spain.

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