Archive for September 2018

MEDAL OF HONOR Recipient’s Last Stand During WWI Helped Break German Spirits…

September 24, 2018


MEDAL OF HONOR Recipient’s Last Stand During WWI Helped Break German Spirits…

By Katie Lange, Department of Defense

This blog is part of a weekly series called “Medal of Honor Monday,” in which we’ll highlight one of the more than 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients who have earned the U.S. military’s highest medal for valor.

This fall marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of St. Quentin Canal, a major World War I battle that helped turn the tide of the war in favor of the Allies. U.S. Army Cpl. James Heriot was part of it, and his actions earned him a Medal of Honor.

Heriot grew up in Providence, South Carolina, at the turn of the century. After high school, he went to Clemson University to study agriculture, then returned home to work on the family farm. Heriot also joined the South Carolina Army National Guard.

When the U.S. entered World War I in June 1917, Heriot was brought up to active duty. About a year later, he found himself stationed in France, assigned to the American Expeditionary Force’s 118th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division.

The 30th ID played a major role in the Battle of St. Quentin Canal, one of two key battles that took place during the war’s 100 Day Offensive. The 30th ID and the U.S. Army’s 27th Infantry Division joined British and Australian troops in a fight to gain a crossing point over the canal, which was part of the heavily defended Hindenburg Line, where Germany had begun its offensive earlier that year.

Heriot’s 118th Infantry Regiment was tasked with leading the charge to break the Hindenburg Line beginning in late September 1918. They were quite often on the front lines of battle, and that’s where Heriot found himself on Oct. 12, 1918.

That day, Heriot and four other soldiers decided to organize a combat group to attack an enemy machinegun nest that had been hitting his company hard. But as they approached, heavy fire came at them from all sides. Two of the four men were killed, so the remaining two had to find shelter.

Heriot didn’t want to stay put, though. Despite the gunfire flying all around, he put his bayonet on his gun and charged the enemy machine gun nest, running about 30 yards through fire to get there. He was able to get the gunners there to surrender.

Heriot suffered several wounds to his arms from the charge, but he continued fighting. Later that day, he charged another machine gun nest – a move that killed him.

The Battle of St. Quentin Canal achieved all its objectives, including the first full breach of the Hindenburg Line, and in a war where battlefield progress was often measured in yards, the fact that the 30th Division penetrated more than 10 miles of territory did the right amount of psychological damage.

The Allies’ success in that campaign convinced the German high command that there was little hope for a victory in its favor. Less than a month later, on Nov. 11, 1918, Germany signed an armistice, ending the war.

Heriot was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1919. His mother accepted it on his behalf. Five other South Carolina Army National Guard soldiers who were part of the 118th Infantry Regiment were awarded the medal, too – the most of any regiment in the American Expeditionary Forces.

May we never forget their sacrifices!


WI NATIONAL GUARD Red Arrow Infantry Battalion Deploying to Afghanistan this Winter…

September 24, 2018



by Wisconsin National Guard Public Affairs

Nearly 400 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry will deploy to Afghanistan this winter in support of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

The Appleton-headquartered infantry battalion and its subordinate companies, which are all part of the 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Brigade Combat Team, will deploy as a security element for coalition forces operating in the region, who along with the Afghan security forces, are committed to containing and destroying terrorist safe-havens in Afghanistan and reducing the threat they pose to the world.

U.S. Soldiers from each Company, including Company A in Waupun and Ripon, Company B in Green Bay, Company C from Fond du Lac, Company D, from Marinette, and the Appleton and Clintonville-based headquarters will all deploy as part of the mission.

The 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry has deployed numerous times since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, including multiple tours in Iraq in 2005-06 and 2009-10 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The 127th has a long lineage of service to Wisconsin and the nation dating back to the Civil War and its origins as part of the famed Iron Brigade made up of three Wisconsin infantry regiments and two from Indiana and Michigan. The 127th traces its lineage to the 1st and 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, which earned battle streamers at places like Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville among many others. The same units would later serve in the Spanish-American War before reorganizing at the outset of World War I, when elements of the 1st and 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry were reorganized as the 127th Infantry within the famed 32nd Division.

This year marks the centennial of the 32nd Division, which earned its “Red Arrow” moniker after it pierced every enemy line it encountered in Europe during World War I, including the vaunted Hindenburg Line. The 127th played a starring role in the 32nd’s four major campaigns in World War I and again during World War II, when the 32nd fought in brutal campaigns through the jungles of the Pacific Theater in New Guinea and the Philippines, where it earned the distinction of serving more days in combat – 654 – than any other American division in the war.

In the early 1960s, the 127th and the 32nd Division again mobilized to active duty at the height of the Berlin Crisis before reorganizing into a brigade in 1967. Since that time, the 127th and the rest of the Red Arrow have played pivotal roles in the Global War on Terror and on numerous mobilizations in times of emergency here at home, including in 2017 when the battalion deployed to Florida to assist civil authorities with security, traffic control and humanitarian assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

The 127th’s upcoming deployment to Afghanistan marks the Red Arrow’s first-ever deployment to Afghanistan, opening another significant chapter in the long and distinguished history of the 127th and the rest of the Red Arrow.

The Wisconsin National Guard is planning a send-off ceremony for the 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry and will release those details at a later date.

The Wisconsin National Guard continues to maintain a high operational tempo with worldwide deployments in support of its federal mission as the primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force. More than 350 Soldiers from the Milwaukee-based 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery deployed to the Middle East this summer and more than 25 Soldiers from the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade’s Military Engagement Team deployed to the Middle East in March. Meanwhile, a team of Soldiers from the 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment deployed to U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in March to provide public affairs support there.

Nearly 30 Soldiers from the West Bend-based 248th General Aviation Support Battalion returned from a deployment to the Middle East earlier this month. Wisconsin Army National Guard aviators from Detachment 5, 641st Aviation returned from Afghanistan earlier this summer, and approximately 85 Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation returned from a nine-month deployment to the Middle East in January. Another 35 Soldiers from West Bend’s Company C, 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation returned from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in November 2017. 

Last fall, approximately 270 Airmen from the 115th Fighter Wing returned to Madison from a deployment to Korea, and more than 100 Airmen from the 128th Air Control Squadron at Volk Field returned from Southwest Asia. Approximately 70 Airmen from the 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee are in the midst of worldwide deployments.

The Wisconsin National Guard simultaneously stands ready to complete its state mission of assisting civil authorities during times of emergency as the state’s first military responder.

Earlier this month, Black Hawk medevac crews again deployed to North Carolina to assist civil authorities there in the wake of Hurricane Florence.The Wisconsin Guard has also been busy assisting civil authorities here in Wisconsin. Hundreds of Guardsmen assisted with sandbagging efforts after torrential rains soaked southern Wisconsin in late August and early September, and Soldiers responded on multiple occasions to flooding in summer 2017 in Monroe County and Burlington,

In fall 2017, thousands of National Guard troops mobilized in support of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Approximately 650 Soldiers from the 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry and 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry deployed to Florida where they provided humanitarian relief, security, and traffic control support to communities. Black Hawk medevac crews also deployed to the U.S. Virgin Islands last fall to transport patients in need of medical care to health care facilities, and Airmen from the Wisconsin Air National Guard deployed to Puerto Rico to assist in re-establishing communications on the island and provide mass feeding capabilities to first responders and civilians.


Anchors Aweigh!

September 19, 2018
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76)


U.S. Sailors sing “Anchors Aweigh” in formation during a Chief Petty Officer pinning ceremony in the Hangar Bay of the USS Ronald Reagan in the Philippine Sea, Sept. 14, 2018. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate

U.S. Pentagon Honors

September 12, 2018
9/11 Observance


U.S. Pentagon Honors
America’s First Responders and Pentagon Police Officers Salute as an American Flag is unfurled at the Pentagon, Sept. 11, 2018, during a ceremony to honor those killed in the 9/11/2001 attack on the U.S. Pentagon. DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.

Sept. 11, 2001 Pentagon Memorial Observance Ceremony

September 11, 2018


Sept. 11, 2001 Pentagon Memorial Observance Ceremony

DoD Press Advisory:

Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva will host Vice President of the United States Mike R. Pence at an observance ceremony Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 at the Pentagon Memorial in honor of the 184 people killed in the 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon.

There will be an open press event from the main press riser in the 9/11 memorial at sunrise (6:47 a.m.) just prior to the ceremony’s start. At that time, the American Flag will be unfurled down the side of the Pentagon.

The Pentagon community ceremony, which is not open to the public, will allow the family members of those lost in the terrorist attack to observe the memory of their loved ones.

Show time for press interested in covering the flag unfurling is 6 a.m. Check in is at the media table in the Pentagon’s south parking lot near the Corridor 3 pedestrian bridge.

Media interested in covering the observance ceremony should arrive by 7 a.m. EDT. There will be a media check-in table in the south parking lot near the Corridor 3 pedestrian bridge. All media must present valid press credentials for escort to the event site. The observance is open to still photographers and journalists, but pooled for TV outlets. Media interested in covering this event must RSVP by noon EDT Monday, Sept. 10 by contacting Tom Masten at Parking information will be sent via e-mail to those confirmed on the press list.