The 187th Infantry Regiment was first constituted as the two-battalion 187th Glider Infantry Regiment on 12 November 1942; its troops trained in both parachuting and glider operations. During World War II, the Regiment earned campaign participation credit for three campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, one of which was authorized with an Arrowhead device indicating participation in an assault landing. In May 1945, the Regiment was expanded with a third Battalion, but this was reduced back to two in 1963. Today, the Regiment still consists of two Battalions, the 1st and the 3rd, both assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

With numerous campaign streamers, five Presidential Unit Citations, and an equal number of Valorous Unit Awards, the 187th Infantry Regiment is one of the most highly decorated units in the Army. Officially nicknamed “Rakkasans” as the result of a English interpreter’s somewhat clumsy efforts at explaining the unit’s parachute capabilities to Japanese civilians while the unit served occupation duty, the 187th Infantry Regiment is unique in two regards: it is the only Airborne Regiment to have served in every major war and conflict since the introduction of Airborne units into the Army in 1940, and it’s also the only Regiment to have taken part in every possible form of Airborne warfare (aerial landing, glider, parachute, air assault).

The 187th Infantry Regiment’s Regimental Distinctive Insignia, sometimes called a “unit crest,” features the unit motto of “NE DESIT VIRTUS,” which translate as “Let Valor Not Fail.” The insignia was approved on 15 December 1952.

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