The 142nd Infantry Regiment’s nickname “Seventh Texas” is derived from the circumstances of its founding: it was originally constituted in the Texas National Guard on 5 May 1917 as the 7th Texas Infantry Regiment. After consolidation with the 1st Oklahoma Infantry Regiment, the unit was redesignated the 142nd Infantry Regiment and assigned to the 71st Brigade, 36th Division. The 36th performed remarkably well in its only action of the war during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, penetrating thirteen miles through German defenses and capturing nearly 550 German soldiers from four divisions and 9 pieces of artillery, suffering 591 men killed during the fighting.

Taken from the shield portion of the unit’s coat of arms, the 142nd Regimental Distinctive Insignia, also called a unit crest or simply “RDI,” celebrates the Regiment’s contributions to the 36th Division’s World War I success. The shield’s blue background is for Infantry, and the wavy band (“fess”) in the middle is a symbol of the Aisne river where the Regiment fought in the war; it also represents the Red River which separates Texas and Oklahoma, the states from which the units were drawn when it was formed. A church steeple recalls a chapel in St. Etienne in France, again an area where the Regiment saw action. At the bottom, the motto “I’ll Face You” is taken from the account of a Reconnaissance patrol leader who, after securing vital intelligence for his superiors, would not turn his back to the Germans while making his way to headquarters, instead facing the enemy and yelling this phrase.

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