The 28th Infantry Division did not see action during the Korean War or in Vietnam, and during the 1990s its role abroad was limited to peacekeeping actions in Bosnia. And in 2003, the division was tasked with leading NATO’s Kosovo Force. But with the expansion of the Global War on Terrorism marked by the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the division again found itself on the front lines. While the unit as a whole was not deployed to the Southwest Asia theater, many battalions and brigades were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan beginning in 2003. Among the most notable were the 2nd Brigade Combat team, which helped ensure successful democratic elections in October and December of 2005, and the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, which guarded Saddam Hussein after his capture.

The 28th Infantry Division’s Unit Crest, or Distinctive Unit Insgnia, reflects the long and storied past of the unit, going all the way back to 1747 and Benjamin Franklin’s organization of a militia called “Associators” in response to the threat of an invasion of Philadelphia by French and Spanish privateers. Indeed, this device was in fact designed by Franklin himself.

The lion rampant guardant (standing on hind legs with its head facing the viewer) is a longtime heraldic symbol; the unsheathed scimitar it carries indicates readiness to fight in defense of the colony, while the fact it is carried in the lion’s dexter (right-hand) paw symbolizes the noble nature of such willingness to fight for country. The shield seen on the crest is that of William Penn, the founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, and the red-and-white blue coloration was, at the time, associated with England.

Because the state of Pennsylvania did not even exist at the time of the creation of the crest, none of the emblems here are references to the “Keystone” state—the concept on which both the division’s Unit Patch (shoulder sleeve insignia) and CSIB are based.

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