The 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s Distinctive Unit Insignia, commonly referred to as a unit crest, reflects the unit’s heritage as part of the Louisiana National Guard. A Southern Live Oak tree is the focal point of the insignia; it not only symbolizes strength and endurance, but is also a reference to the Live Oak Society in Lafayette, the Brigade’s headquarters. (The Society’s “members” are all Live Oak Trees whose trunks are at least eight feet in circumference.) The pride the unit takes in the region and its rich traditions is explicitly revealed in its motto of “Honor Our Heritage,” and the fleur-de-lis that forms the insignia’s centerpiece is a reminder of the French background of the area; the unit's nickname, "Louisiana Brigade," is a further reminder of the unit's roots as a part of the Louisiana Army National Guard.

Organized in the Louisiana National Guard in 1922, the Brigade has been inducted into Federal service on numerous occasions, including two deployments to Iraq (2004 and 2010) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. When it was called up 1990 as part of the buildup for the First Gulf War, however, numerous issues related to training and Soldier absences led the Army to decide the Brigade would not be deployed with the 5th Infantry Division, the active component with which the unit was associated under the Army’s “Roundout Brigade” program. In response to this and other readiness issues, the Army replaced the Roundout program with its Enhanced Brigade system, a comprehensive program of planning, training, and equipment delivery that would ensure National Guard brigades would be able to mobilize and be combat-ready within 90 to 120 days.

In addition to being selected as one of 15 National Guard units for participation in the Enhanced Brigade program, the 256th was also chosen for conversion from a separate infantry brigade into a modular Brigade Combat Team in 2006.

If you're purchasing the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team's unit crest, you might also be interested in adding the Brigade's Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (colloquially called a unit patch) and its Combat Service Identification Badge to your shopping cart.

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