34th Infantry Division's 100 Years of Service


When the division was formed at Camp Cody, New Mexico in 1917 it was composed of soldiers primarily from the mid-western states of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Ranks were quickly filled by draftees from across the country in preparation for WW1. The 34th Infantry Division of today has expanded to include units from Idaho, Montana, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The 34th Sandstorm Infantry Division trained for more than a year in the New Mexican desert in preparation for the Great War in Europe. Infantry and artillery units deployed to France and served honorably. Minnesota's 151st Field Artillery and Iowa's 168th Infantry Regiment earned six battle streamers while serving under the 42nd Rainbow Division.

The Sandstorm Division became known as the Red Bull Division during WW2. The 34th was the first US division in Europe and the first to fire artillery against the Germans. The US Army Rangers were formed from largely from Red Bulls at this time and their commander, Capt. William Darby, was a Red Bull. The 34th learned how to fight in the African Campaign and pushed the Germans up the Italian boot in the longest combat tour in the war.

The continuous 100-year genealogy of the 34th Infantry Division includes the Cold War period when the men of the 34th Division traded their Red Bull patch for the Viking patch of the 47th Infantry Division. Former Red Bull units were joined by other mid-western units and served at Camp Rucker Alabama as a training division during the Korean War. 

These Viking units became Red Bull units once again in 1991. Since 9/11, the 34th Infantry Division has served in most major conflicts including numerous combat deployments and humanitarian missions to Afghanistan, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Egypt, Honduras, and Iraq. The Red Bull 1st Brigade Combat Team served a 22-month tour, the longest National Guard tour in Iraq. Units of the 34th Infantry Division have also served their hometown communities for 100 years in response to fire, flood, search, and rescue.

-Daniel Ewer

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