U.S. ARMY CSIB 40TH INFANTRY DIVISION

Activated on July 18, 1917, the 40th Infantry Division was created by combining National Guard units from three Southwestern states (California, Nevada, and Utah), leading to its nickname of “Sunshine Division.” The moniker is reflected in the design of the division’s CSIB (Combat Service Identification Badge), which features a sun in splendor set on a blue background representing the Pacific Ocean—a nod to the fact that the unit was actually organized on September 16, 1917 at Camp Kearny near San Diego. The same imagery is found on the ACU patch (shoulder sleeve insignia) and Unit Crest for the division.

The division was not deployed to Europe until August, 1918, where it was redesignated as a Depot Division and tasked with receiving, training, equipping, and forwarding troops to combat units in need of replacements. In all, they delivered in excess of 27,000 replacement troops to eight different Army divisions.

The motto of the 40th Infantry division is “Duty Honor Courage,” and in World War II it lived up to these ideals during its time in the Philippines. After an assault landing on January 9 at Lingayen on the island of Luzon, its troops pushed ahead despite stiff resistance in the Bamban Hill northwest of Fort Stotsenburg, and had advanced over 60 miles by the time it was relieved in early March. Two more landings—on at Panay Island in mid-March and another at Pulupandan in the Negros Occidental—were also followed by rapid advances. This first combat was important to many of the soldiers after spending the previous three years defending the West Coast and the Hawaii Islands from an invasion that never came.

More recently, the 40th Infantry Division was the first National Guard unit to have elements deployed abroad since the Vietnam War, with Battery F of the 144th Field Artillery Regiment seeing action in 1997 in Bosnia and then later in the Kosovo region in 2000. Soon after its arrival in Afghanistan in 2002, Battery F’s soldiers were a leading factor in base defense operations.
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