According to The U.S. Army Center of Military History’s lineage records, the 2nd Military Intelligence Battalion was constituted October 18, 1961 and activated on the 15th of November in German as the 2nd Air Reconnaissance Support Battalion. Those records go on to say that it was converted in September 1962 under its current designation, was inactivated almost 29 years later in Germany, and then activated on 17 November 2002, again in Germany.

As unit lineages go, it’s one of the least complicated you’ll ever see. The only problem is that the Battalion’s own Web site lists an entirely different history, from its constitution date and designation (15 February 1962 as the 2nd Military Intelligence Service Battalion) to its most recent inactivation and subsequent activation (HQ and HQ Operations Company, 2nd MI Battalion inactivated 15 August 1992, activated as 2nd MI Battalion on 26 January 2001 in Darmstadt, Germany as a subordinate unit of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade).

The meanings behind the imagery of the Distinctive Unit Insignia of the 2nd Military Intelligence Battalion, however, aren’t nearly as confusing as its disputed designations of days gone by. “OCULIE CULTUS SECRETI” is Latin for “The Eyes Of Intelligence,” a theme that is reinforced by the light emerging from the two teal roundels—two eyes peering into the darkness to discover information. Highlighted at the bottom is a stylized image of a Sphinx, a symbol long associated with Military Intelligence; its black hue and even its pose recalls the coat of arms of the district of Pfalz where the 2nd Air Reconnaissance Support Battalion was activated.


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