Unique Recognition For Selected Army Units
1. 3d Infantry:
(a) The knapsack strap, a black leather strap woven with a narrower buff strap and worn on the left shoulder, is authorized for 3d Infantry, which is the oldest Regular Army regiment, to recall the special markings on the regimental uniform of the eighteenth century. The Secretary of War authorized the knapsack strap as part the regiment’s heraldic items in the 1920s.
(b) The regiment traditionally marches in review with bayonets fixed. At the battle of Cerro Gordo during the Mexican War the 3d Infantry led a brilliant bayonet charge, and in 1922 the regiment requested permission to pass in review for ceremonies and parades with bayonets fixed. Although the regimental history reports the request was granted by the War Department, there is no record in our files of the approval. It was the usual practice in the nineteenth century to have fixed bayonets at dress parades.
2. 4th Infantry:
The 4th Infantry is the only regiment authorized to wear a distinctive insignia made of cloth. It consists of one green and two red stripes with the green in the middle. The insignia commemorates the heroic actions of regimental band during the Mexican War. At Monterey in 1846 the band turned a captured Mexican battery on the enemy with great effect. In 1923 the regimental commander requested that the distinctive insignia recall the action of the band members, who had been authorized to wear scarlet piping on their chevrons and trouser stripes. The Secretary of War approved the red and green cloth insignia on 19 February 1925.
3. 9th Infantry:
On 22 December 1925, as a part of the official heraldic program instituted after World War I, the Secretary of War authorized a belt buckle as the distinctive insignia for the 9th Infantry. On the buckle was an imperial five-toed Chinese dragon encircling a disc bearing the numeral “9,” and under the number the motto, “Keep Up the Fire.” The buckle commemorates the regiment’s service in China in 1900.
4. 14th Major Port:
In recognition of the unit’s outstanding achievement between “D” Day and “V-E” Day, the port was granted the privilege of marching through the streets of the town and county of Southampton with bayonets fixed, drums beating, and colors flying. Nearly two million men had departed through Southampton, England. The port is perpetuated by the 374th Transportation Command.
5. Regimental badges:
The 10th Infantry, 10th Cavalry, and the 13th Armor have regimental badges rather than coats of arms as authorized other Regular Army regiments. Coats of arms evolved from the practice of placing heraldic bearings on the surcoat worn over a soldier’s armor, while badges developed from honorary decorations. When the Army began to approve heraldic items after World War I, a regiment could request either a badge or coat of arms.