The 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade has a long history of serving its country, going back over 150 years when it was first created as part of the Kentucky Militia in 1839 as the Louisville Legion. It served for a year in Federal service in 1846 during the Mexican-American war in the Monterey Campaign, and was reorganized as the Kentucky Volunteer Militia afterwards. In 1860 as the 1st Infantry Regiment , before being reorganized a year later with men of Union loyalty as the 3d Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiment due to the beginning of the American Civil War. Later in the year 1861 it was ordered into Federal service until 1864 as the 5th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiment. It returned to Louisville and the Kentucky State Guard after its service in the war, and was reorganized as the 1st Battalion in 1878. In 1883 the Battalion expanded and was remade into the 1st Regiment of Infantry.

The 1st was ordered into Federal service in 1898 for a year as the 1st Kentucky Volunteer Infantry for the war with Spain, where it fought in Puerto Rico before returning to its original post and designation in 1899. In 1900 it was mustered out of State service, but was re-activated in 1904. The 1st was mustered into Federal service in preparation for WWI in 1916, and was drafted after the US entered the war in 1917. The unit was converted into the 138th Field Artillery in 1917.

After the war it was demobilized until 1921, when it was reorganized back into the Kentucky National Guard with the designation it gained in the war. It remained there until WWII, when it was again inducted into Federal service in 1941. However, a year later the Regiment’s individual units were broken apart. For its actions in the campaigns of New Guinea, Leyte, and Luzon it received a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. After WWII, the unit was reconstituted as the 138th Field Artillery back into the Kentucky National Guard. A year later it became the 138th Field Artillery Group. It was consolidated with the 38th Infantry Division Artillery in 1947. In 1959 it was redesignated as the XXIII Corps Artillery. It was consolidated the 149th Armor Group and the 113th Ordnance Company in 1968. In 1980 the unit became the 149th Armor Brigade. Five years later it was attached to the 35th Infantry Division as the 149th Brigade.

In 2006 the Brigade was inducted into Federal service as part of Operation New Dawn for a year. During the Operation it received a Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for its deeds. The 149th took on its current designation in 2008 as the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. The most recent time it was organized into Federal service was in 2011 until 2012. In the 2013 the Brigade moved from its 174 year home of Louisville to Richmond, VA, where it currently resides.

Its unit crest can be found here, along with its motto, “Never Defeated”. Its unit patch is identical to its CSIB.

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