The 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment has a heritage that dates to 1821 and the constitution of the 1st Regiment of Artillery. It did not take on the role of aerial defense until 1950 when it was designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Antiaircraft Artillery Group; it received the designation of 1st Air Defense Artillery in 1971 as a parent regiment the Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS), at which time the 2nd Battalion was added to it. It was withdrawn from CARS in 1987 and reorganized under the U.S. Army Regimental System. In 2005, the 1st Air Defense Artillery designation was amended to included “Regiment” at the end of the title.

The Regiment’s 1st Battalion has been stationed in Okinawa since 2006. Immediately preceding its move there, it spent three years (2003 to 2006) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, earning a Meritorious Unit Commendation for its service. The 2nd Battalion was also deployed to Iraq and was honored with a Meritorious Unit Commendation for its service between August 2002 and June 2003, as well as with an Army Super Unit Award for a year-long deployment in 2006 – 2007.

“PRIMUS INTER PARES,” the Regiment’s motto, is Latin for “First Among Equals.” The 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment Distinctive United Insignia (also called a DUI or unit crest) also features an arm rising from an embattled tower holding a rammer staff, symbolic of the 1st United States Artillery Regiment’s presence at the Battle of Fort Sumter in 1861; the palmetto tree symbolizes the fort’s location in South Carolina.

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