The 32nd Infantry Regiment was first organized on 7 August 1916, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. At its activation, it was known as “The Queen’s Own” Regiment, a title bestowed by the last queen of Hawaii, Queen Liliuokalani.
During World War I, units of the Regiment were used to escort German prisoners being transferred to the United States from Hawaii. On 20 July 1918, the 32nd was transferred to Camp Kearny, California, where it eventually demobilized in 1919.
Since 1939, the battalion has had a long history. It was involved in multiple Pacific campaigns in Attu, Kwajalein, Leyte, and Okinawa.
On 16 September 1950, the 32nd Infantry Regiment set foot on Korean soil, in the invasion of Inchon. In the cold morning hours of the 25th, the Regiment crossed the Han River under intense enemy fire and captured key terrain that allowed the capture of the surrounding heights overlooking and dominating the city, allowing Marine elements to resume their advance. After the 32nd was relieved, their next mission was to lad at Iwon and advance to the Korean-Manchurian border. Landing at Iwon on the 29th, the 32nd moved quickly northward with the 1st Battalion on the east coast of the Chosin Reservoir. Information the three enemy divisions had arrived at Yudam-ni on 20 November 1950 reached intelligence personnel via prisoners of war. The 1st Battalion on the east coast of the Chosin Reservoir was with elements of the 31st Infantry and the 1st Marines, who were cut off by the Chinese Communist (CCF). Only after long and bloody fighting did these forces work their way south to Koto-ri, and then to the Hungman perimeter. LTC Don C. Faith, 1st Battalion Commander, distinguished himself in this action, and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
In 1978, the 32nd Infantry Regiment was stood down as part of President Carter’s effort to withdraw from Korea. Just prior to that, Colin Powell and Steven Silvasy served as battalion commanders while on their way to becoming general officers later on. It was reactivated on 15 February 1996 as part of the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York.
In May 2002, the battalion returned from a six-month rotation in Kosovo as part of Task Force Falcon. The deployment was part of Operation Joint Guardian.
In August 2003, the battalion deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom for a thirteen month combat tour. Company A was based out of FOB Volturno near Fallujah while companies B and C built Forward Operating Base (FOB) Chosin at an Iskandiriyah power plant with 82nd Airborne Sappers while conducting combat operations. Later they would move to FOB Manhattan, located between Ramadi and Fallujah. By the time they were finished, 1/32 was the most efficient and successful unit in regards to securing weapons caches, eliminating insurgents, gather intelligence, and killing or capturing Al Qaeda members during combat operations in Iraq.
In March 2006, Task Force (TF) Chosin deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom for a fifteen month combat tour. TF Chosin was in the Korengal Valley, along the Peche River, Salerno, around Nangalam, and in Nuristan Province, specifically Bella and Aranas.
In 2009, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment deployed to Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and as part of the International Security Assistance Force. The Regiment supported the 1st Infantry Division and later the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division by conducting operations in Kunar Province and responding to enemy movement and activity in Nuristan Province. Battle Company deployed with 3-71 CAV, operating in Logar Province. During this deployment, 1-32 received a Valorous Unit citation for its actions in Barge Matal.
During Operation Enduring Freedom XI-XII, 1-32 Infantry, “Chosin,” took part in combat operations to defeat anti-coalition forces operating in the Zharay District of Kandahar Province. The Battalion resided at FOB Howz-E-Madad, relieving the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment; Task Force “Strike Force” of the 101st Airborne Division. Chosin operated in the multiple villages that encompassed the Zharay District which included, but was not limited to, Nalgham, Sangsar, Kotizi, Mirwalian, Haji Wazir, Marwali, Saib Jan, Diwar, Janon, Khanon, Zarifkhel, Buluchan, and Zhari Dasht. Along with its primary mission of securing the district and training subsequent local national forces, Chosin was the main effort in Operation “To The River,” pushing the insurgents to and past the Arghandab River, through its infamous “Steel Lion Operations,” reaching and securing the Taliban headquarters, a significant and emotional event for all Chosin soldiers. Among its many achievements, Chosin created the Afghanistan Local Police Program, which was recognized as a step forward for the Afghan people in sustaining a local force, and was adopted across the 3rd BCT, 10th Mountain Division for long term security. 1-32 Infantry also reopened the Howz-E-Madad School, an accomplishment that gained international recognition. 1-32 Infantry was relieved by the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, “Task Force 2 Fury,” a contingent of the 82nd Airborne Division. The Battalion returned to Fort Drum in March of 2012.