The 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade unit crest (Distinctive Unit Insignia) is a visual tribute to the service of the unit while it was designated the 57th Field Artillery Brigade during World War I and the 32nd Division Artillery in World War II. After fighting in the Aisne-Marne and Oise-Aisne campaigns, the 57th was attached to the 79th Infantry Division on 20 September 1918 and took part in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, providing the 79th with its first artillery support of the war.

On the day the infantry assault began (26 September), it was preceded by the 57th Field Artillery dropping 40,000 75mm and 6,000 155mm shells, as well as nearly 700 shells from its massive 9.2-inch howitzers on the enemy, some in a rolling barrage. It was a stupendous output the Brigade could not match the next day, when it was able to fire 750 9.2 rounds but just 1500 75mm shells and non 155mm shells. Numerous sources say that the brigade fired more artillery shells than any other American unit during World War I, serving as the inspiration for the “Iron Brigade” nickname.

In all, the Brigade earned five campaign streamers in World War I: Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, Meuse-Argonne, Alsace 1918, and Champagne 1918. These are symbolized by the unit crest’s five-pointed star and the fleure-de-lis.

During World War II, the 32nd Division Artillery served with the 32nd Infantry Division, earning official credit for participation in three campaigns—New Guinea, Leyte, and Luzon. For its actions with the in the Leyte and Luzon campaigns to liberate the Philippines, the unit was awarded a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation embroidered “17 OCTOBER 1944 to 4 JULY 1945,” represented on the unit crest by the blue, white, and red colors of the country’s flag. The campaigns are connoted by the three gold discs (known as “bezants” in heraldry), which also represents artillery supremacy.

While the unit received a new mission with its transformation to the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in 2008, it still looks back at these accomplishments as a standard which it always strives to achieve. You can learn more about the 157th MEB’s history when you visit our page devoted to the brigade’s unit patch, or Shoulder Sleeve Insignia.

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