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Last updated 06 November 2012
2-14IN “Golden Dragons”
The 14th Infantry Regiment formed in August 1861, at Fort Trumbull, CT. During the Civil War, they participated in every major campaign in Virginia. At the war’s end, the Regimental Commander asked General Meade, commander of the Army of the Potomac, where the regiment should be positioned for the final review. He answered, “The Fourteenth has always been to the front of the battle and deserves the place of honor… TAKE THE RIGHT OF THE LINE!” This became the motto.
After fighting the Indians in Arizona, Montana and Wyoming, the 14th Regiment moved to Vancouver Barracks, Washington until 1898. The War with Spain required the Regiment to deploy to the Pacific to seize Spanish possessions there. On the way to the Philippines, the 14th captured the island of Guam and arrived at Manila in time to take part in the final assault on the capital.
On 8 July 1900, Chinese nationalists revolted and besieged the embassies of the U.S. and other European nations in Peking. The regiment moved to the rescue and led the way over the walls of the capital. When the Chinese surrendered, the 14th Regiment acquired the nickname the “Golden Dragons.”
Revolution in Mexico required the 14th Regiment to move to Douglas, AZ in 1916. These duties prevented the Regiment from completing its preparations for deployment to France during World War I and instead deployed to the Panama Canal. By 1943, the Regiment returned to the U.S. to train for operations in Europe against the Germans. The Regiment landed in France in January 1945 and reached the fighting front in March. It participated in campaigns to break the Siegfried Line, The Rhine River, and the drive across Central Germany and Austria.
The 14th deactivated after the war at Ft. Carson, Colorado in 1948. On 1 August 1951, the 14th Regiment transferred to the 25th Infantry Division in Korea. During the Korean War, the “Golden Dragons” acquitted themselves in small unit actions in Chorwon and on Heartbreak Ridge. After the cease-fire, the Regiment returned with the 25th Infantry Division to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
The 14th Regiment again saw conflict in Vietnam in 1966. The Second Battalion of the Fourteenth Regiment fought with the 25th Infantry Division through Tet in April in 1968, the battle of Tay Nihn, and Cambodian incursions in 1970. By December 1970, the 2nd Battalion returned to Hawaii and deactivated on 5 June 1972.
On 19 December 1985, the 2nd Battalion of the 14th Infantry Regiment reactivated at Ft. Benning, GA as the Light Infantry COHORT Battalion in the 10th Mountain Division. On 4 November 1988, the 2nd Battalion, fourteenth Infantry Regiment relocated at Ft. Drum, New York.
The “Golden Dragons” have also participated in operational deployments to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Hurricane Andrew relief in Homestead, FL; Operation Restore Hope in Mogadishu, Somalia; Operation Uphold Democracy in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti; Operation Joint Guardian in Slavonski Brod, Croatia and Tuzla, Bosnia; Kosovo rotation 3B, and Operations Iraqi Freedom 1, 2.5, and 4.
The 2-14 “Golden Dragons” answered the call for OIF-1 in March of 2003. Operating in northern and western Iraq, 2-14 IN conducted operations in conjunction with Special Forces groups providing needed combat power to ensure the success of numerous special operations missions. 2-14 IN seized key targets, facilitated the transfer of high value enemy personnel, and secured numerous special operations forward operating bases. The “Golden Dragons” redeployed the majority of the battalion in July of 2003, however C Company was needed to continue operations with Special Forces through March of 2004.
The “Golden Dragons” accomplished historically-significant operations in Western Baghdad, crippling the anti-Iraqi insurgency in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 2.5 from June 2004 to June 2005. During the first four months of operations in Southern Baghdad TF 2-14 decisively cleared three Corps MSRs of enemy activity, ensuring an unimpeded flow of needed logistical convoys. TF 2-14 also prevented virtually all mortar and rocket attacks on the Baghdad International Airport, enabling the start of the first regular air service and commerce to Baghdad since the start of the war. In November of 2004 TF 2-14 assumed responsibility for the notorious suburb of Abu Ghraib. By the time the “Golden Dragons” redeployed in June of 2005 enemy activity in Abu Ghraib was greatly mitigated, resulting in two nearby Corps MSRs secured for convoy traffic, and the Baghdad Airport Complex being virtually free of mortar and rocket attacks.
The 2-14 “Golden Dragons” again answered the call of duty during OIF 06-08 between August 2006 and November 2007, this time taking on the infamous Shakriyah “Triangle of Death” to the south and west of Baghdad proper. The Battalion conducted a daring nighttime assault to capture the Yusifyah Thermal Power Plant, a looming structure on the edge of the Euphrates River long known to be an insurgent safe haven, during the first months of the deployment. Today this once-feared structure of steel and concrete is called Camp Dragon, and serves as an integral Base of Operations for forward deployed soldiers and their units. Also during OIF 06-08, TF 2-14 conducted Combat Riverine Operations for the first time since the Vietnam War, enabling Golden Dragon soldiers to move with impunity across the Euphrates River and close with insurgents nestled in the villages on its western banks. In the closing months of the deployment, TF 2-14 was at the forefront of the Commando Brigade’s “Concerned Citizens” initiative, which garnered international attention for its successful attempts to reconcile former insurgents back into the Iraqi Security Forces. In the Golden Dragon Area of Operations alone, over 6,000 local tribesmen were enrolled in the program, given identification cards, and put to work defending their homes and families against Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQIZ) terrorists. The drop-off in violence during the last three months of the deployment was remarkable, and speaks volumes to both the quality of the Brigade initiative and the character of the soldiers who carried it out. By accomplishing all its assigned missions TF 2-14 facilitated the continued transformation of Iraq into a free and democratic country.
2nd Battalion 14th Infantry Regiment deployed yet again with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) to the greater Baghdad area in support of OIF 09-10 on 15 October 2009. Occupying Joint Security Stations (JSS), 2-14IN set the standard in forging a positive partnership with the Iraqi Security Forces and left a lasting impression of friendship to the Iraqi people. 2-14 IN alongside the 4-1 / 8-2 Federal Police and 43-11 Iraqi Army conducted over 1300 partnered patrols, securing the largest cache in the Baghdad area for OIF 09-10. The joint units teamed up in training events at the local JSSs to strengthen bonds and establish SOPs for combined operations. Task Force Dragon assisted in logistical and quick reaction force operations in support of pre elections and elections in early March 2010. Soldiers assisted the Iraqi Federal Police and Army in enhancing the force protection and security of polling sites and stood ready to roll out in the event of a MASCAL incident as part of a consequence management package. The majority of operations included Humanitarian Aid in the form of clothing, school supplies, and home water purifiers. 2-14IN worked with Local contractors and the Federal Police to begin a Flex Maintenance Worker Program that focused on neighborhood cleanup. Isolated projects included opening 3 water treatment plants and developing the Gates of Baghdad program that improved the overall security and safety of local roads by lighting the roads. Soldiers from the Golden Dragons were among the first to transfer control of Joint Security Stations to the Iraqi Federal Police in the 9 Nissan / New Baghdad area, closing a total of 4 in three months. After leaving 9 Nissan and the New Baghdad area in early May, the Golden Dragon were called on to assist 1-3 Advice and Assist Brigade to strengthen ties with the 23-17 and 25-17 Iraqi Army. This new mission set was conducted simultaneously while acting as the Division Reserve and was conducted south of Baghdad in an area formally occupied by 2-14, known as the “Triangle of Death”. There the Golden Dragons conducted over 20 mixed Humanitarian Aid Projects and Combined Medical Engagements, treating over 1500 local citizens. Citizens said that they felt much safer in the area, long held by terrorists, and were proud to see Iraqis taking the lead in their towns to quell the violence. 2-14 redeployed to FT Drum on 1 August 2010.
The “Golden Dragons” continue to hold the place they have held since 1861, at the RIGHT OF THE LINE!