The 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment was first constituted on 3 May 1861 in the Regular Army as Company B, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry. It was organized on 20 October 1861 at Fort Hamilton, New York. During the American Civil War, the 12th Infantry Regiment as a whole fought in campaigns with the Army of the Potomac, and played pivotal roles in some of the greatest battles of the war. Its first engagement at Gaines' Mills, Virginia, between 27 and 28 June 1862, was notable for the Regiment's losses of almost 50 percent. After the war, the unit was reorganized and redesignated on 7 December 1866 as Company B, 12th Infantry.
The 12th Infantry Regiment subsequently served in 3 major Indian campaigns, Modocs, Bannocks, and Pine Ridge, during which 6 Warriors won the Medal of Honor. During the Spanish American War, the 12th Infantry was dispatched to Cuba, where they participated in the Santiago campaign. The Regiment was also sent the help suppress the insurrection in the Philippines, where they campaigned around Manila and throughout the island of Luzon, participating in 3 campaigns: Malolos, Tarlac, and Luzon 1899.
The 12th Infantry as a whole was assigned on 17 December 1917 to the 8th Division. It was relieved on 15 August 1927 from assignment to the 8th Division and assigned to the 4th Division. It was relieved on 1 October 1933 from assignment to the 4th Division and reassigned to the 8th Division.
The Regiment was relieved on 10 October 1941 from assignment to the 8th Division and assigned to the 4th Division (later redesignated as the 4th Infantry Division. During World War II, the 12th Infantry spearheaded the Normandy Invasion on D-Day. Between 9 and 12 August 1944, the Regiment engaged and destroyed the famed SS Adolph Hitler Panzer Division, then went on to wins a Presidential Unit Citation during the Battle of the Bulge. After the end of the Second World War, the unit was inactivated on 27 February 1946 at Camp Butner, North Carolina
Company B, 12th Infantry was rectivated on 15 July 1947 at Fort Ord, California. The unit was inactivated on 1 April 1957 at Fort Lewis, Washington, and relieved from assignment to the 4th Infantry Division. It was redesignated 1 August 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battle Group, 12th Infantry, assigned to the 8th Infantry Division, and activated in Germany, with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated. It was relieved 24 March 1959 from assignment to the 8th Infantry Division and assigned to the 1st Infantry Division.
The Battle Group was reorganized and redesignated on 1 October 1963 as the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry. It was concurrently relieved from assignment to the 1st Infantry Division and assigned to the 4th Infantry Division. Deployed to Vietnam, 2-12th Infantry operated as an element of the 4th Infantry Division until it was relieved on 1 August 1967 from assignment to the 4th Infantry Division and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division. The 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry participated in 11 campaigns in Vietnam: Counteroffensive Phase II, Counteroffensive Phase III, Tet Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase IV, Counteroffensive Phase V, Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, Winter-Spring 1970, Sanctuary Counteroffensive and Counteroffensive Phase VII. After returning from Vietnam, the Battalion was inactivated on 17 April 1971 at Fort Lewis, Washington.
The Battalion was relieved on 1 April 1976 from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division, assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, and activated at Fort Carson, Colorado. It was inactivated on 21 September 1976 at Fort Carson, Colorado. It was reactivated on 16 June 1989 at Fort Carson, Colorado and inactivated again on 15 September 1995 at Fort Carson, Colorado, being relieved from assignment to the 4th Infantry Division.
The Battalion was reactivated on 29 September 2005 at Fort Carson, Colorado, as an element of the 2nd Infantry Division. It was redesignated on 1 October 2005 as the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment. It was relieved on 16 November 2005 from assignment to the 2nd Infantry Division and assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2d Infantry Division.
In 2008, the US Army conducted a major realignment involving the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. The Brigade Combat Team was reflagged as the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado was reflagged as the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. Instead of being reflagged as a different unit as part of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry was relieved on 16 March 2008 from assignment to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, and was assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
2-12th Infantry Commander 1966-67 -
LTG Marvin Fuller
Lieutenant Colonel Marvin "Red" Fuller was the 2/12th battalion commander from September 1966 until the Spring of 1967. He "trained-up" the battalion at FortLewis, WA and was it's first commander in Viet Nam.
2-12th Commander 1967 -
COL Joe Elliott
Rumor had it that the 2/12th was tagged to be the lead element going into LZ Gold. LTC Elliott was hand picked by MG C.F. Tillison to replace LTC "Red" Fuller with designs of grooming him for advancement. When Tillison was told by Elliott that he would be in the lead flight going into Gold, Tillison ordered COL Garth to put the 3/22 in first and have the 2/12th follow. Tillison didn't want Elliott getting killed. He was awarded the Silver Star for his leadership during the battle of Soui Tre.
KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - It was quiet for about a week after the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Lethal, of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, took over responsibility for the Pech River valley in Afghanistan's Kunar province in June 2009.
"After that, it was kind of intense," said U.S. Army Maj. Ukiah C. Senti, the battalion executive officer.
The attacks began - a daily diet of aggression against Afghan National Security Forces and International Security Assistance Forces that included small arms fire, heavy weapons, indirect fire, rocket-propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices.
Nearly a year later, the violence has lessened, and some locals once known for their hostility towards the government now deal with its representatives regularly.
To achieve this drop in violence, the battalion took an interesting approach. Instead of using pure combat force to achieve their goals, the units used unconventional tactics, like sitting down to chai tea and snacks with village elders.
Reaching for higher ground:
Task Force Lethal Warrior covers an estimated 1,000 square kilometers of operational area with 11 forward operating bases, combat outposts and observation posts.
From the farmlands of the Watapor valley to the wooded Korengal valley, the concept of high ground depends on where you stand. The region's main travel routes are overshadowed everywhere by peaks and acres of mountainsides.
The battalion itself comes from Fort Carson, Colo., where the mountainous terrain mirrors that of the eastern Afghanistan territory the unit now patrols - chiefly the Kunar province.
Many Soldiers comment on the impressive landscape, even though they regularly face steep climbs up inclines while weighed down with about 50 pounds of body armor, weapons and ammunition.
Senti, who is from Taos, N.M., said when the battalion started its work here, most of their efforts were focused on the kinetic operations. Then about a month in, the unit began holding more meetings with village elders.
"(The elders) were probably the most helpful element of the whole process," he said.
During these discussions, village leaders helped the battalion narrow down the areas where the attacks were coming from - the "seams" of terrain where insurgent forces lurked.
By targeting these seams - on both high ground and low - the battalion and ANSF have sought to reduce civilian casualties. By disrupting enemy operations, it helped reduce the insurgents' influence over the communities, Senti said.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. James M. Combs, of Midland, Texas, a squad leader with 1st Platoon, Company A, said the more the unit visits certain villages, the more accommodating the residents become.
"That's the first indicator," Combs said. "When the kids like you, the adults start to come around."
According to Senti, the battalion is currently spending about 70 percent of its time on stability operations. These efforts range from new fruit orchards to development councils, and have become key in the struggle for peace in the region.
Where the unit used to simply ask residents about the projects they needed, then managed the process through contractors, now village representatives work with Afghan government officials to make developments happen.
U.S. Army Capt. Edward Y. Park of Orlando, Fla., a team leader with the 405th Civil Affairs Battalion, said the goal is to empower the Afghan officials, known as line directors, who work with village leaders.
"We want the people to be seeing their line directors, not us," he said.
Each village has a Community Development Council, which in turn appoints a representative to a District Development Assembly, Park said.
The assembly is not just responsible for identifying needs for the community. It also requests local bids from contractors, and then provides both quality assurance and quality control, ensuring the work is also done by locals.
While the assembly still uses the Commander's Emergency Relief Program as a budget for its projects, officials expect this money will eventually be replaced by funds from the Afghan government.
Getting villagers to participate has been one of the challenges. U.S. Soldiers continue to meet with elders throughout the area's many valleys and encourage them to take part in the weekly assembly meetings.
U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Florent A. Groberg, of Supply, N.C., the platoon leader for 4th Platoon, Company D, said he wants to bring as many villages into the process as possible.
"It's our job to let them know what's going on and get them involved," Groberg said. "That's the only way we can be successful in our mission."
In turn, the battalion created Development Support Teams last year to help mentor line directors and other Afghan officials on the law and other issues.
One indicator of progress came in November, when the battalion began seeing tribe members from the Korengal Valley - traditionally an area of severe resistance - coming to talk to the district governor about projects on a regular basis.
"The fact that they're there is a huge success for us," said Maj. Chris T. Owen, of Austin, Texas, the training and operations officer for the battalion.
Through mid-March, the battalion has lost eight U.S. Soldiers from various attacks throughout the area of operations. Their photos and identification tags line the main hallway of the battalion headquarters.
Senti said losing their comrades has been hard, but their ultimate sacrifice would not be in vain.
"I think the number one thing is, how can we do better next time to prevent this from happening in the future'" he said.
Combs, who knew three of the eight fallen Soldiers and has previously served tours of duty in Iraq, paused as he tried to talk about the losses. He said some Soldiers wear bracelets engraved with the names of their friends.
"It's still a touchy subject," he said. "You just kind of grab it, accept it, pick it up and take it with you. We've still got our missions."
Fatalities and injuries haven't been limited to U.S. troops. In February, Lt. Col. Aziullah, the commander of the Afghan National Army's 3rd Kandak was killed in an 82mm mortar attack on FOB Blessing. Afghan National Police officers as well as private contractors have also been killed in the violence.
Senti said there have been several cases where Afghan security guards were pulled from vehicles and murdered when they were travelling to visit their homes.
"Across the board, obviously, people have given blood," he said.
Although there have been attempts, militants have not been able to overrun an ISAF post in the area during the past year.
They even tried to overrun the Chapa Dara District center in February, before being beaten back by ISAF and ANSF.
Last summer, intelligence pointed to a massive attack aimed at FOB Blessing, Senti said. Using the radio station on base, the Afghan officials were able to talk to the public about the rumors and the attack never materialized.
"It allowed us to beat it without firing a shot," Senti said.
The radio station enables residents to call in information about potential attacks and helps ISAF and ANSF disseminate facts to the public. This includes the cost of community projects, which helps make the process more transparent.
Other efforts to reach the public have taken more tangible form. The unit has arranged the planting of 20 orchards of fruit trees as well as a forestry effort to prevent soil erosion along the rivers. Both projects are expected to be complete by time the battalion leaves.
"The concept of rich and poor here are completely different," Senti said, noting how money means less to the Afghans than tangible goods that can be traded or used.
The fruit trees, which include five orchards planted by previous units, can eventually become a source of economic strength for the communities, he noted.
"All the economic functions of any of the stability operations we do, really, you have to look at it long-term," Senti said. "You get continuity between units, so development stays the focus."
Combs said at his level he's seen improvements and progress. Instead of Soldiers having to fight blind, residents call in tips and information. A rapport has developed between the battalion, the Afghan forces and many villages.
The battalion has made headway in the region, Combs said.
The Valorous Unit Award may be awarded to units of the Armed Forces of the United States for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy of the United States; while engaged in military oper
... Moreations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or, while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. Hide
Award: Valorous Unit Award
Period of service: 24 June 2009 to 21 August 2009
Authority: AR 600-8-22, paragraph 7-14
Reason: For extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy. During the pe
... Moreriod 24 June 2009 to 21 August 2009
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment displayed extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. The unit's ability to execute the fundamentals of counterinsurgency operations allowed the people of Afghanistan to vote during a critical time in their nation's history. Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment's outstanding performance of duty is in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflects distinct credit upon the unit, the International Security Assistance Force, and the United States Army. Hide
The Meritorious Unit Commendation is awarded to units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding services for at least six continuous months during a period of military operat
... Moreions against an armed enemy on or after January 1, 1944. Hide
For exceptionally meritorious service. During the period 14 October 2006 to 8 January 2008 1 Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment and its subordinate units disp
... Morelayed exceptionally meritorious service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Discipline and selfless service characterized the unit' s tour of duty as they placed themselves in harm I s way on a daily basis in order to protect
and provide security .for the citizens of Al Doura.
Additionally, the units ability to provide effective support wherever and whenever needed represents outstanding resolve and commitment. Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment's outstanding performance of duty is in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon the unit! the 2d Brigade Combat Team, the 2d Infantry Division! and the United States
The Presidential Unit Citation may be awarded to units of the Armed Forces of the United States and cobelligerent nations for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy occurring on or aft
... Moreer December 7, 1941. Hide
The Presidential Unit Citation is awarded by direction of the President of the United States to
THE 3D BRIGADE, 4TH INFANTRY DIVISION and Assigned and Attached Units FOR EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM
... More Brigade, 4th Infantry Division and the Attached and Assigned Units distinguished themselves by extraordinary heroism while engaged in military operations on 21 March 1967 in the vicinity of Suoi Tre, Republic of Viet Nam. The members of this Brigade and the foregoing units demonstrated indomitable courage and professional skill while engaging an estimated force of 2,500 Viet Cong. During the early morning hours of 21 March 1967, an estimated force of 2,500 Viet Cong launched a massive and determined ground attack against elements of the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry and 2d Battalion, 77th Artillery located at Fire Support Base Gold near Soui Tre, Republic of Viet Nam. Opening the engagement with an intense mortar attack, the enemy force, later identified as the 272d Main Force Regiment reinforced by two additional infantry battalions, struck the perimeter in three separate locations.
Due to the ferocity of the assault and the overwhelming number of enemy troops, untenable positions in the north and southeast were overrun within the first 30 minutes of the battle despite determined resistance by friendly forces. As the enemy penetrated the perimeter, the American troops set up an internal perimeter and continued to direct withering fire on the enemy. When the Viet Cong directed anti-tank fire upon the artillery positions, heroic gun crews cannibalized parts from damaged guns, and, at several points, fired directly into the advancing enemy including the firing of "bee-hive" ammunition through gaps in the perimeter.
While the battle continued to rage and grow in intensity, the Brigade Commander was directing the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry, the 2d Battalion, 22d Infantry (Mechanized) and the 2d Battalion, 34th Armor, to the besieged fire support base. At the same time, the support and service elements of the brigade began a furious aerial resupply of ammunition and medical supplies from the Brigade Rear base camp at Dau Tieng.
As the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry began its overland move to the fire support base approximately 2,500 meters distant, a heavy concentration of enemy mortar fire was directed upon their position, killing one man and wounding 20 others. Undaunted, the battalion moved nearly 2,500 meters in less than two hours despite constant blocking and harassment efforts by the enemy. Concurrently with the movement of the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry, mechanized and armor elements began moving across the Suoi Samat River at a ford which had only recently been located and which previously had been thought impassable.
Driving towards the fire support base, the mechanized unit followed by the armor battalion, drove into the western and southern sector of the engaged perimeter passing through engaged elements of the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry. Striking the Viet Cong on the flank, the 2d Battalion, 22d Infantry smashed through the enemy with such intensity and ferocity that enemy attack faltered and broke. As the fleeing and now shattered enemy force retreated to the north-east, the 2d Battalion, 34th Armor swept the position destroying large numbers of Viet Cong who were now in full retreat.
Throughout the battle, fighters of the United States Air Force, directed by the Brigade's Forward Air Controllers provided close support to the fire support base and hammered enemy concentrations outside the perimeter. As the FAC aircraft dived through heavy anti-aircraft fire to mark enemy positions, the plane was hit by ground fire and crashed, killing both occupants.
After securing the fire support base, a sweep of the area was conducted, revealing a total of 647 Viet Cong bodies and 10 enemy captured. It is estimated that an additional 200 enemy were killed as a result of the aerial and artillery bombardment. Friendly casualties were extremely light, resulting in only 33 killed and 187 wounded of whom approximately 90 were returned to duty.
Through their fortitude and determination, the personnel of the 3d Brigade, 4th Infantry Division and attached units were able in great measure to cripple a large Viet Cong force. Their devotion to duty and extraordinary heroism reflect distinct credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the United States. Hide
The battalion shipped over to Viet Nam on the USS Walker, a troop transport that carried many units to Vietnam at the beginning of the war. On October 12th the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry arrived in
... MoreVung Tau, Viet Nam. The 2/12th Inf. was part of the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division who were headquarted in Central Vietnam. After landing, the battalion was initially stationed at BEARCAT (Camp Martin Cox vic YS1498). Bearcat - east of Saigon along Highway 15 - was newly established in March 1966 and first manned by the 2d Brigade, 1st Division. Because the 3rd Brigade was so far away from their parent 4th Division, who were headquartered in the Central Highlands, the 2/12th was placed under the operational control of the 25th Infantry Division's HQ. Hide
The new base was established as a direct result of the events of OPERATION ATTLEBORO, Phase II [1-5 NOV 1966], an operation designed to "break in" the 196th LIB by introducing them to combat
... More. This operation also involved the 25th Div. After the 1/27th Infantry "Wolfhounds" were severely mauled by the 272nd VC and 101st NVA Regiments the need for a stronger presence in the Dau Tieng area became apparent to the 25th Division Headquarters. Hide
This operation involved the displacement of the 3d Bde, 4th Inf Div to DAU TIENG from Bearcat east of Saigon and started around November 19th with the Bn convoying north to it's new home. Subsequent
... Moreactions were to secure the immediate area and build a base camp (named Camp Rainier after the mountain in Washington, near the home of the 2/12th in Ft. Lewis) next to the village of Dau Tieng and eliminate enemy influence in the Bde TAOR. Hide
Because of the need to rapidly build up the U.S. Army a program was established whereby new recruits ("inductees" or "Boots") would not go to "Boot Camp" for their basic
... Moretraining, but would go directly to the unit that they would have been assigned to (after Boot Camp). Under this system the civilian became a soldier within the battalion and learned his military specialty or job - known as one's military occupational specialty(MOS). This system was known as Train & Retain. The officers and NCO's who would eventually lead them in Vietnam trained the new 2/12th recruits for the next few months. Hide