U.S. ARMY INFANTRY SCHOOL PATCH

Although it’s only natural to point to the drills and training introduced by Baron von Steuben as the genesis of today’s United States Army Infantry School, a more similar institution was the Infantry School of Instruction at Jefferson Barracks in Missouri. Established by Major General Edmund P. Gaines in 1824, the school originally trained enlisted Soldiers and small squads before expanding its scope to teach Infantry officers. Though generally lauded as successful, the school—eventually known as the Infantry School of Practice—closed in 1826.

Despite the essential nature of the Infantry, the Army seemed almost to intentionally avoid providing a centralized institution where enlisted troops could learn their craft. When the Army divided its military post-graduate School of Application for Infantry and Cavalry in 1892, for instance, a school was created for Cavalry (at Fort Riley) and another for Artillery (at Fort Sill)—and none for Infantry.

It wasn’t until 1918 that a true Infantry training institution began to be established in Columbus, Georgia; it managed to survive Congressional budget cuts to become a permanent Infantry School in 1920, with the Army formally designating it as the Infantry School and changing its name from “Camp Benning” to “Fort Benning.” Its ability to survive was due in no small part to the work of Major General Charles Farnsworth, the first Chief of Infantry and Commandant of the school.

The Infantry School was designated the U.S. Army Infantry Center, but in 2009 the Center was officially closed when the Armor Center and School relocated to Fort Benning from Fort Knox as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure committee's mandates. Now designated the Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning is still home to the Infantry School, but because of the reorganization all Lieutenants serving in both the Infantry and Armor branches will also be trained there.
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