The 2nd Infantry Regiment was originally constituted as the 6th Infantry in the Regular Army on 12 April 1808, the same date that both of its eventual constituent Battalions were constituted as Companies in the Regiment. As one of the Army’s oldest units, the 2nd Infantry Regiment has participated in campaigns in nearly every major conflict, starting with the War of 1812 and Mexican-American War and continuing through the Civil War, Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, the Philippine War and World War II.

Although the Regiment did not fight in World War I and Korea, it did guard German prisoners and captured vessels in Hawaii, and during the Korean War it served as a training unit. Both of the Regiment’s Battalions saw heavy action in Vietnam and have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terrorism. The 1st Battalion was inactivated on 31 May 2013, followed by the inactivation of the 2nd Battalion on 21 May 2014. However, the 2nd Battalion was reactivated in September 2015 as part of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

The design of the 2nd Infantry Regiment’s Regimental Distinctive Insignia, or unit crest, was first approved in 1920, but it was subsequently canceled and the current version approved 19 June 1936. “NOLI ME TANGERE,” the unit motto inscribed on a scroll at the bottom of the insignia, is Latin for “DO NOT TOUCH ME.” Service in the Civil War is reflected in the blue cross (taken from the Confederate flag) and the red cross pattée, insignia of the Union Army’s XVIII Corps. A cactus is a reference to the Mexican-American War, while the red fort is a reference to the Spanish-American War. A quiver and arrows recall the Indian War, and the large bolo knife symbolizes the Philippine Insurrection.

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