The Distinctive Unit Insignia of Special Troops Bat-talion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division was approved on 14 September 2005 and highlights the Battalion’s history of service in the Pacific theater. A dragon symbolizing protection and power is positioned under a torii gate, a common image employed in heraldry to denote service in Asia; the dragon is thus guarding the gateway to ensure freedom from enemies seeking to close it. The nebuly’s three protrusions are an allusion to the Battalion’s affiliation with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

As part of its transition to a force comprised of modular Brigade Combat Teams as the primary formation deployed for combat, the U.S. Army split up the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) of individual brigades, with the Headquarters Company forming the nucleus of the newly developed Special Troops Battalion and the HQ assuming control of the Brigade Combat Team. At a minimum, Special Troops Battalions usually included Military Intelligence, Signal Corps, and Engineer units (typically companies), with the HQ Company sometimes being augmented by  Military Police, Medical, CBRNE, and Maintenance units.

Such was the case with the creation of the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat, 101st Airborne Division on 16 September 2004. The lineage of the HQ Company of the 3rd Brigade that became the STB stretches back to 1917 and the organization of Headquarters, 160th Infantry Brigade.

Redesignated and reorganized numerous times between then and the activation of the HHC, 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne, the unit was deployed during World War I (three campaigns), World War II, (four campaigns), the Vietnam War (twelve campaigns), and the Southwest Asia conflict (First Gulf War—two campaigns). It received the designation HHC, 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne in 1964 and under it was honored with a Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Award, and Meritorious Unit Combination for its service in Vietnam, along with two Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm awards and a Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal.

Since the launch of the War on Terrorism, the Battalion has consistently lived up to its motto of “Belong To The Warrior,” garnering three Meritorious Unit Commendations, a Valorous Unit Award, and a highly prized Presidential Unit Citation over the course of a decade.

The Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team was inactivated as part of a force-wide move to replace the units with more robust Engineer components. Many of its responsibilities were assumed by the 21st Engineer Battalion, which was created by reflagging the inactivated Special Troops Battalion. “Rak Solid,” a nickname and motto of the Special Troops Battalion, was passed on to the 21st Engineers Battalion.

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