Along with a half-dozen other battalions and at least one brigade, the lineage of 5th Engineer Battalion dates back to the organization of a provisional Engineer Battalion in the Regular Army on 31 December 1861 and the constitution the Battalion of Engineers on 28 July 1866. It was designated as a regiment from 1916 to 1943, when the 5th Combat Engineer Regiment was broken up and its 2nd Battalion was redesignated the 1278th Engineer Combat Battalion.

In January 1945 it was reorganized and redesignated as the 5th Engineer Combat Battalion, and eight years later was given its current designation 5th Engineer Battalion on 5 June 1963. The Battalion has constantly lived up to its motto of “Courage Skill Strength” during its several deployments in support of the War on Terrorism, with its achievements honored by three Meritorious Unit Commendations for service between 2003 and 2009 and a Valorous Unit Award for its courage under fire during action in January 2004. The Battalion is currently based out of Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

The 5th Engineer Battalion Distinctive Unit Insignia was approved on 3 March 1952. It pays tribute to its heritage with a design taken from the shield of the 5th Engineers, its designation during World War I. A red field and white bend symbolize the unit’s service in Lorraine, France during that War, and the device on the bend is the Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the 7th Division to which it was assigned. Crossed oars and anchor are taken from the badge of the Engineers and Pontoniers of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.

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