The 3rd Engineer Battalion Distinctive Unit Insignia was approved on 9 February 1924 while the unit was designated as the 3rd Engineer Regiment and assigned as the Engineer component of the Hawaiian Division, which later became the 24th Infantry Division. A palm branch at the top of the insignia symbolizes the unit’s service in tropical climates.

In addition to being known as “nature’s engineer,” a beaver also was on the coat of arms of New Netherland, which encompassed the area in the New York City borough of Queens where the formation was first organized in 1901. (A beaver is also on the seal of the city of New York, and the Battalion is nicknamed “Beavers.”) The indented borders of the scarlet flash containing the Roman numeral III alludes to engineering work associated with defensive fortification and entrenchments.

Reorganized and redesignated as the 3rd Engineer Battalion on 1 October 1941, the unit was on Pearl Harbor when the Japanese struck on 7 December 1941. It was redesignated the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion in April 1942 and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division. By the time of the Japanese surrender in September 1945, the Battalion had taken part in six campaigns and earned three Arrowheads for assault landings.

Assigned to the 24th Infantry Division during the Korean War, the Battalion earned credit for ten of the war’s named campaigns, and was honored with a Presidential Unit Citation, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, and two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations. It was also with the 24th Infantry Division that the Battalion earned a Meritorious Unit Citation and two campaign streamers for its service in the Southwest Asia conflict (commonly referred to as the First Gulf War).

Following a 13-year period of inactivation that began in 1996 when it was relieved of its assignment to the 24th Infantry Division, the 3rd Engineer Battalion was assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and activated at Fort Hood, Texas on 18 October 2013.

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