The 8th Infantry Regiment of the United States, also known as the Fighting Eagles, is a infantry regiment in the United States Army. The 8th Infantry participated in the Mexican War, American Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam War and Iraq Campaign.
Constituted 5 July 1838 in the Regular Army as the 8th Infantry
Organized in July 1838 in New York, Vermont, and Michigan
Consolidated in May 1869 with the 33d Infantry (see ANNEX) and consolidated unit designated as the 8th Infantry
Assigned 17 December 1917 to the 8th Division
Relieved 24 March 1923 from assignment to the 8th Division and assigned to the 4th Division (later redesignated as the 4th Infantry Division)
Inactivated 25 February 1946 at Camp Butner, North Carolina
Activated 15 July 1947 at Fort Ord, California
Relieved 1 April 1957 from assignment to the 4th Infantry Division and reorganized as a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System
Withdrawn 1 August 1984 from the Combat Arms Regimental System and reorganized under the United States Army Regimental System
Constituted 3 May 1861 in the Regular Army as the 3d Battalion, 15th Infantry
Organized by March 1864 at Fort Adams, Rhode Island
Reorganized and redesignated 21 September 1866 as the 33d Infantry
Consolidated in May 1869 with the 8th Infantry and consolidated unit designated as the 8th Infantry
The regiment has earned a total 48 Campaign Streamers.
Decorations of the "Fighting Eagles" Battalion include three presidential unit citations (four citations for A Co. and C Co.). The first citation was awarded to the regiment during World War II on 6 June 1944, for action on the beaches of Normandy. Two other presidential unit citations were awarded to the battalion for actions in Pleiku Province and Dak To district in the Republic of Vietnam. A co and C co were awarded another presidential unit citation for Kontum Province in the Republic of Vietnam.
In World War II, the Eighth Infantry Regiment was cited twice in the order of the day by the Belgian Army – the first for action in the Belgian Campaign, and later for action in the Ardennes. The Belgian Government subsequently awarded the regiment the Belgian Fourragère.
The First Battalion Eighth Infantry won nine campaign streamers, and one in May and 2nd with it being an Oak leaf cluster in October–November 1967 Presidential Unit Citation (United States) with one Oak leaf cluster, and supporting units, for action in Vietnam from 1966 to 1970, participating in operations Sam Houston, Francis Marion, Don Quin, and Paul Revere III, and IV. The Vietnamese Government awarded the battalion the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm and the Civil Action Medal First Class. Alpha and Charlie Companies were awarded an Oakleaf Cluster to their Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism in the Republic of Vietnam. Companies A and C sought out, engaged and decisively defeated an overwhelmingly larger force by deploying small, isolated patrols and conducting company and platoon-size reconnaissance-in-force operations. A-1-4 engineers took much of the brunt blast of automatics and mortar fire from human waves charging and retreating many time they received A Company 4th Engineers Battalion, Combat U.S. Army.
Personal awards are highlighted by the regiment's seven Medal of Honor winners.
A few of the famous past commanders include former General of the Army George C. Marshall, and General James Van Fleet, who led the regiment ashore on D-Day.