Military Wiki
79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1917 – 19
1921 - 42
2008 – present
Country United States of America
Branch United States Army
Type Infantry
Size Brigade
Part of 40th Infantry Division

San Diego, California (HQ) 1-160th Infantry - Inglewood, CA (Infantry Battalion)

1-184th Infantry - Modesto, CA (Infantry Battalion)

1-18th Cavalry - Azusa, CA (Reconnaissance Squadron)

1-143rd Field Artillery - Walnut Creek, CA (Fires Battalion)

40th Brigade Support Bn (BSB) - Bell, CA
Nickname(s) Thunderbolt
Motto(s) "Dominate the Fight"

World War I[1]

World War II[1]

War on Terrorism[2]

Decorations Philippine Presidential Unit Citation[2]
Colonel Jeffrey D. Smiley[4]
Distinctive unit insignia 79ibct dui.jpg

The 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is an infantry brigade of the United States Army and the California Army National Guard. In late 2008, the 40th Infantry Brigade Combat Team was redesignated as the 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team without changing its composition.

Unit history[]

Elements of the brigade can trace back their lineage to October 1881 when the San Diego City Guard was established, which later became the 251st Coast Artillery Regiment.[1][5] The 79th Infantry Brigade was originally made up of the 157th and 158th Infantry Regiments (CO, AZ Army National Guard) and served as part of the 40th Division from Aug 1917-Apr 1919. From 1921-1942, it was exclusively made up of California Army National Guard personnel, the 159th and 184th Infantry Regiments.[6] Its insignia reflected the three states that originally made up the 40th Division.[7]

In February 1942, the 40th Infantry Division was reorganized from a 'square', two-brigade, four-regiment division to a three-regiment division without any intermediate brigade headquarters. Thus the 79th and 80th Infantry Brigade were deactivated.[8]

On 2 February 2010 the United States Army Institute of Heraldry approved a new shoulder patch and distinctive unit insignia for the 79th IBCT.[9]

2013 Afghanistan[]

In January 2013, the brigade headquarters were activated for deployment to the Uruzgan and Kandahar provinces in Afghanistan where they will be training Afghan police and other forces.[3] Twenty percent of the brigade have been previously deployed to Afghanistan before.[3] In April 2013, approximately 75 Soldiers traveled to Camp Shelby, Mississippi to receive training for their Afghanistan mission. The group was reduced from the originally planned size of approximately 600 Soldiers. Of the 75 Soldiers, 18 will deploy as a security force assistance team serving as advisers to the Afghan police, and the rest will be staffing an Australian-led task force, all within Uruzgan province.[10] The mission for the 75 soldiers will likely be cut short, as Australia announced it would withdraw most of its troops by late 2013 and close the volatile province’s major coalition base at Tarin Kowt.[11]


The 40th IBCT was originally activated in 2007 as part of the reorganization of the California National Guard, which in turn was part of the restructuring of the total US Army.[2] The 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team was reformed from the previous 40th IBCT in September 2008.[12]

The Army restructured and moved from the division to the brigade as the primary building block of combat power. The 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is organized under the Army's new modular brigade structure. The role of the brigade combat team is to act as the Army’s basic tactical maneuver unit and the smallest combined-arms unit that can be committed independently. The brigade combat team is designed to conduct offensive, defensive, and stability operations. The core mission is to close with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver; to destroy or capture enemy forces; or to repel their attacks by fire, close combat, and counterattack. The brigade combat team can fight without augmentation, but it also can be tailored to meet the precise needs of its missions.

The 79th IBCT also has a state mission. In times of emergency, the governor may call the National Guard to assist civil authorities. The self-contained and modular structure of the 79th IBCT make it well suited to provide this support.

Order of battle[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Lineage and Honors Information". United States Army Center of Military History. United States Army. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team". California State Military Museum. California State Military Department. 18 May 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Gretel C. Kovach (18 January 2013). "S.D. National Guard Unit Preps For A Final Afghan Deployment". Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  4. Cpt Cody Gallo (26 July 2013). "Number One Light Infantry Brigade Gets New Commander". Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  5. Johnson, LTC Danny M. "79th IBCT Spans Three Centuries: Since 1881, the 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team has protected the state and the nation". California National Guard. p. 20. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  6. John J. McGrath, The Brigade: A History-Its Organization and Employment in the U.S. Army, Combat Studies Institute Press, Fort Leavenworth, KS, 2004, 170.
  7. "79th Infantry Brigade". Heraldry and Insignia of the California National Guard. The California Military Museum. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2008. 
  9. "Institute of Heraldry". United States Army. Institute of Heraldry. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  10. "San Diego Soldiers Head to Afghanistan". San Diego Union-Tribune. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  11. "Australia Withdraws Afghanistan Troops". The Guardian. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  12. "79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT)". California National Guard. State of California. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  13. "Special Troops Battalion, 79 Infantry Brigade Combat Team". Institute of Heraldry. United States Department of Defense. 1 September 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  14. "79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT)". State of California. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 

Further reading[]

External links[]

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