Constituted in the Regular Army as the 4th Infantry on 12 April 1808, the 5th Infantry Regiment first received its current numerical designation in 1815 when it was consolidated with the 9th, 14th, 21st, 40th, and 46th Infantry to form the 5th Infantry. Assigned to a variety of divisions over years, including the 5th, 9th, 17th, the 71st, and for a brief period the 8th, the 5th was designated a parent regiment in the Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS) in 1957. It was withdrawn from CARS thirty years later in and reorganized under the U.S. Army Regimental System in 1987, but was not redesignated as the 5th Infantry Regiment until 2005.

Both the Regiment and its component battalions, the 1st and 2nd, have taken part in nearly every major conflict since the War of 1812 with the exception of World War I. Regimental honors include a pair of Presidential Unit Citations and a Valorous Unit Award for service during the Vietnam War, an Army Superior Unit Award (1996 – 1997), another Valorous Unit Award for action in Nineveh Province in Iraq in 2005, and three Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations. (Note: the two 5th’s two battalions have earned additional awards that do not count toward the Regimental total.)

Approved on 28 April 1923, the 5th Infantry Regiment’s Regimental Distinctive Insignia features a shield-within-a-shield design. The smaller interior shield has a white field upon which is a red fess with an arrow and seven cannon; the fess and arrow symbolize the victory at the Battle of Tippecanoe, while the cannon recall the Battle of Lundy’s Lane during the War of 1812 the capture of that many British cannon by Lieutenant Colonel James Miller. The unit motto of ‘I’ll try, sir” was Lt. Col. Miller’s response when he was ordered to attack the British artillery emplacement during that battle.

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