In the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division (2-34th BCT), soldiers assigned to the headquarters and headquarters companies wear the division insignia (at right), as discussed in part 1 of this series of posts.
In the warfighting "maneuver" units of the 2-34th BCT--infantry battalions and cavalry squadrons--the distinctive unit insignia are "regimental" emblems. These are symbols of a rarely seen, almost vestigial echelon of organization in the U.S. army.
In today's Army, the technical definition of "regiment" is a unit larger than a battalion, but smaller than a brigade. Unlike a brigade, it comprises only units of similar type. By contrast, today's "Brigade Combat Teams" (B.C.T.) contain every type of unit necessary to conduct tactical operations: infantry and intelligence, medical and logistics, artillery and transportation.
In conversation and newsprint, the term "regiment" often gets swallowed, forgotten, or dropped. Hearing a contemporary Iowa soldier refer to his battalion as the "133rd Infantry," for example, isn't quite correct, given that there could still exist multiple battalions stemming from the same regimental lineage. A soldier assigned to the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment (1/133rd Inf.) would wear the same regimental insignia as a soldier of the currently dormant 2nd Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment (2/133rd Inf.).
For a review of the units currently comprising the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division (2-34th BCT), click here.
Generally, a distinctive unit emblem often incorporates the unit coat-of-arms with an official motto. Here are those of the infantry and cavalry units currently assigned to 2-34th BCT:
1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment
Symbolism: The shield is silver, or white, the old Infantry branch color. The Spanish castle, taken from the Spanish campaign medal, is used to represent the military service outside the continental limits of the United States, while the cactus and fleur-de-lis are for Mexican Border and World War service, respectively.
1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment
Symbolism: The shield is white, the old Infantry branch color. The bend in the form of a rainbow shows the service of the 168th Infantry in World War I in the 42nd Division.
The cactus represents the Mexican Border duty and palm tree the Philippine service.
1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment
Symbolism: Yellow is the color traditionally associated with Cavalry. The "red horse," symbolizing the popular name of the regiment, is in a rampant position to denote aggressiveness and is bridled to indicate discipline. The prickly pear cactus represents service on the Mexican Border and the fleur-de-lis signifies service in France during World War I of the original 113th Cavalry.
1st Squadron, 134th Cavalry Regiment (Nebraska National Guard)
Symbolism: The Katipunan sun represents the Phillipine Insurrection and the palm tree the Spanish-American War service. The olla, charged with the bull skull, denotes the World War I service of the organization in the 34th Division.
The snake symbolizes the Mexican border service.