The 172nd Infantry Regiment's sole battalion, the 3rd, is specially trained and equipped for mountain operations, a capability which is reflected in the unit motto of "Ascend To Victory,” as well as in the design of the 172nd Infantry Regiment’s Regimental Distinctive Insignia, or unit crest. Snow-capped mountains with a green base are an allusion to the Regiment’s home in Vermont, while the ice-axe and ski pole are mountaineering tools; the upright sword represents the unit’s combat mission.

The 172nd Infantry Regiment was first constituted at the 72nd Infantry under the Army’s old Combat Arms Regimental System on 1 September 1982. It received its current numeric designation in April 1983 when it was redesignated the 172nd Infantry, and a year later it was reorganized in the National Guards of four states—Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont—to consist of the 3rd Battalion (which had been added to the Battalion in 1983).

It was again reorganized under the U.S. Army Regimental System in 1989 and headquartered at Jericho, Vermont, but did not receive its current designation as the 172nd Infantry Regiment until 2005. In 2007 it was again reorganized in the Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont National Guard comprising the 3rd Battalion, an element of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The Regiment earned Campaign Participation Credit for the Afghanistan and Consolidation III campaigns, while Company A, 3rd Battalion also earned credit for a yet-to-be-specified Global War on Terrorism Campaign. Company A was also honored with a Navy Unit Commendation for its actions in Anbar Province in 2006, while the entire Regiment (i.e., the 3rd Battalion) was tapped for a Valorous Unit Award for its 2010 deployment to Afghanistan.

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