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172nd Infantry Regiment
172nd Infantry Regiment COA.png
Coat of arms
Active 1982
Country United States
Allegiance Vermont
Branch Vermont Army National Guard
Type Infantry
Role mountain warfare
Part of 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (United States)
Motto(s) ASCEND TO VICTORY
Colors Blue
Insignia
Distinctive unit insignia 172 Inf Rgt DUI.jpg

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The 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain), also known as the "Mountain Battalion", is a Vermont Army National Guard light infantry battalion which specializes in mountainous and cold weather operations. The unit falls under the command of the Vermont Army National Guard's 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain).

Before the creation of the 86th IBCT (MTN) in 2008, 3-172 IN (MTN) was recognized as the only conventional unit in the United States Army trained and equipped for mountain operations. 3-172 IN (MTN) draws strong heritage from the original 10th Mountain Division (Alpine) of World War II fame both in the type of training they conduct and in the specialized equipment the unit maintains.

The 3-172 IN (MTN) Battalion motto is: "Ascend to Victory!"

Mountain Battalion history[edit | edit source]

The first unit of the Mountain Battalion was organized and activated in September 1982 as Company A, 172nd Infantry (Mountain). Located in Vermont, Company A's mission was to conduct limited offensive and defensive operations and to provide support expertise to combat units engaged in mountain and winter operations. It was also tasked to provide special reconnaissance for combat units operating in these environments.

The 3rd Battalion 172nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain) was activated October 1, 1984. The Mountain Battalion Headquarters, HHC, and Company A are located in the Green Mountains of Vermont. The Battalion is co-located with the Army's Mountain Warfare School. In addition to HHC and A.Co, B.Co and C.Co are located in Maine and New Hampshire respectively. D.Co and E.Co (FSC) are located in Vermont.

In 2000 the Mountain Battalion developed a training relationship with the 1-508 Airborne Battalion Combat Team of the US Army's Southern European Task Force in Vincenza, Italy. The Mountain Men of the 172nd have deployed numerous times to Europe and trained side by side with the Paratroopers of SETAF and the US Army's Combined Maneuver Training Center in Hohenfels, Germany.

Following combat deployments to Afghanistan (BN HQ), Kuwait (HHC), and Iraq (A, B, C Companies) during the War on Terrorism, the Battalion was assigned to the newly formed 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain), in October, 2006. The BN was then deployed to Eastern Afghanistan in 2010 as Task Force Avalanche.

The Battalion is the only organization in the US Army inventory specifically organized, trained, equipped, and tasked to close with and destroy the enemy in a total mountain environment. Approximately 50% of the Soldiers in the Battalion are coded with the Special Qualification Identifier (SQI) "E" Military Mountaineer which is awarded to Soldiers who graduate the Military Mountaineer Basic Course at the Army Mountain Warfare School, located in Jericho, Vermont. No other unit has the capability to conduct combat operations in such extreme environments.

The Mountain Infantrymen of this Battalion follow a long heritage of citizen Soldiers and warriors. Starting with Rogers' Rangers who roamed the frontier before the revolution keeping New England free from the French and Indians, to the 10th Mountain Division of World War II who battled the Nazis in the mountains of Italy.

3-172 IN (MTN) Shoulder Sleeve Insignia History[edit | edit source]

3-172 IN (MTN) currently wears the 86th IBCT shoulder sleeve insignia (SSI), however, the battalion has a somewhat unique SSI history.

From the unit's inception in 1982, until the formation of the 86th IBCT in 2007, the battalion wore the First Army insignia with "Mountain" tab as its SSI. This was originally only temporarily authorized, but as time passed no further provision of SSI for the organization was made. This is a debated and controversial unit insignia as it is almost completely unknown amongst the senior leadership of the United States Army. Many soldiers incorrectly believe that the 10th Mountain Division and the 86th IBCT are the only units ever authorized to wear a Mountain tab.

There are numerous veterans of OIF and OEF who are authorized to wear the First Army insignia with "Mountain" tab as a "combat patch" (SSI-FWTSI). The only known proof of authorization for wear of the First Army insignia with Mountain tab for members of 3-172 IN (MTN) hangs framed in the unit's home Armory in Jericho, VT.

The Mountain Creed[edit | edit source]

Motivation, drive, determination and honor are the hallmark of the Mountain Soldier. My uniform's appearance and respect for those appointed over me shall set the standard for others to follow.

Ours is not an impossible mission. To meet the enemy on the field of battle requires that I be proficient in my job, Mountain skills, and the tactics required to operate in an alpine environment.

Ultimately mine is a mission of peace. However, if called upon, I will, without hesitation, respond to my country's call. Through personal sacrifice, I will galantly defend my country and its allies.

Never shall I quit until my objective is achieved. Failure to complete my mission, whether in peace or war will invariably cause the unit as a whole to fail.

Training is essential to my survival and to that of my brother Mountain Soldiers. Without the knowledge training provides I will surely fail. Whether training with allies or at the lowest level I will continuously challenge myself to attain the highest standards.

Always will I keep my equipment and myself ready for whatever task I may be given. The sheer nature of my unit's mission requires that I maintain my equipment and master its capabilities and employment. My brother Soldiers and Countrymen count on my ability to shoot better, climb higher, ski farther, and fight with more cunning and aggression than any enemy I may face.

Initiative is the force that will allow me to prevail on the field of battle. I will do more than is required of myself to further my unit's mission and ensure its total victory in combat.

Never will I leave a fallen Soldier on the field of battle. I will courageously continue to fight until the enemy is vanquished and the last round expended and all the members of my unit are accounted for. I will conduct myself with honor, pride, and an esprit de corps second to none, whether in peace or wartime whether at home or abroad, for my mission is to...ASCEND TO VICTORY!

Distinctive Unit Insignia[edit | edit source]

  • Description

A Silver color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86 cm) in height consisting of a shield blazoned as follows: Per fess dancetty of four Azure and Argent issuant in base a mount Vert and overall in bend a ski pole crossed by an ice axe in bend sinister, in pale overall a sword point up of the second. Attached below and to the sides a green motto scroll bearing the words “ASCEND TO VICTORY” in Silver letters.

  • Symbolism

Blue and white are the colors associated with Infantry. The indented partition line denotes the four states represented in the regiment, and with the ice axe and ski pole, also refers to the (Mountain) designation of the regiment. The upright sword denotes the unit’s basic Infantry mission and the green mountain in base alludes to the headquarters, State of Vermont, which means “green mountain.”

  • Background

The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 16 March 1987.

Coat Of Arms[edit | edit source]

Blazon[edit | edit source]

  • Shield

Per fess dancetty of four Azure and Argent issuant in base a mount Vert and overall in bend a ski pole crossed by an ice axe in bend sinister, in pale overall a sword point up of the second.

  • Crest

That for the regiments and separate battalions of the New Hampshire Army National Guard: On a wreath of the colors Argent and Azure two pine branches saltirewise Proper crossed behind a bundle of five arrows palewise Argent bound together by a ribbon Gules the ends entwining the branches. That for the regiments and separate battalions of the New York Army National Guard: On a wreath of the colors Argent and Azure the full rigged ship “Half Moon” all Proper. That for the regiments and separate battalions of the Vermont Army National Guard: On a wreath of the colors Argent and Azure a buck’s head erased within a garland of pine branches, all Proper. That for the regiments and separate battalions of the Maine Army National Guard: On a wreath of the colors Argent and Azure a pine tree Proper. Motto ASCEND TO VICTORY.

    • Symbolism
  • Shield

Blue and white are the colors associated with Infantry. The indented partition line denotes the four states represented in the regiment, and with the ice axe and ski pole, also refers to the (Mountain) designation of the regiment. The upright sword denotes the unit’s basic Infantry mission and the green mountain in base alludes to the headquarters, State of Vermont, which means “green mountain.”

  • Crest

The crests are those of the New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Maine Army National Guard.

  • Background

The coat of arms was approved on 16 March 1987.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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