Created to commemorate the 9th Infantry Regiment’s service in China during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, this belt buckle was originally authorized by the Secretary of War as the regiment’s Distinctive Unit Insignia in 1925. The actual Distinctive Unit Insignia (DUI) was amended in 1954 to meet new regulations concerning the wear of DUI.
Encircling the regimental number 9 is the unit motto, “Keep up the Fire,” the last words of Colonel Emerson H. Linscum. The unit’s commander at the Battle of Tientsin during the Boxer Rebellion, Linscum was killed by a Chinese sniper as he tried to hold the regiment’s flag after the bearer had also been killed. After taking the city, the 9th played a major role in preventing looters form absconding with silver from a governmental mint, and the Chinese government showed its gratitude by presenting the unit with two ingots of silver. This silver was used to craft the Linscum Bowl, a sterling silver punch bowl set currently on display at the 2nd Infantry Division Museum in Korea; its value was estimated at $2.5 million in a Stars and Stripes story published in 2003. It was during this campaign that the regiment earned its nickname of "Manchu."
Other elements of the design, such as the five-toed Imperial dragon and the six suns in splendor, recall the unit’s service in both China and in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War. The wigwams surrounding these elements represent the regiment’s service during the Indian Wars, for which it was given official credit for participating in five campaigns between 1856 and 1877.
The 9th Infantry Regiment was originally established in January 1799, six months after Congress had passed “An act to augment the army of the United States, and for other purposes” authorizing the creation of a dozen new infantry regiments in response to the heightening tensions of the Quasi-War with France. It was disbanded less than a year-and-a-half later, but was reorganized in 1812 just three months before the United States officially declared war on England. It was again disbanded following the peace treaty signed in 1815, but was activated for the Mexican-American War, serving in the Mexico City campaign and taking part in notable battles at Contreras, Churubusco, and Chapultepec.
Following the successful prosecution of that war, the regiment was yet again disbanded, only to be reformed in 1855; it has been in continuous existence (under the U.S. Army Regimental System since 1983). During that time it has earned official credit for participation in ten conflicts since the Civil War; the most recent campaign for which it earned credit was the 1989 Armed Forces Expedition in Panama. It has been the recipient of five Presidential Unit Citations, two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations, and was awarded the Belgian Fourragere 1940.

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