About the Book
The history of the Fifth U.S. Infantry Regiment spans two centuries of American fighting tradition. The regiment was authorized by Congress on April 12, 1808. The currently active Fifth Infantry and its sister regiment, the Second Infantry, share the distinction of being the third oldest infantry units in the Regular Army. They are junior to the Third Infantry (1784) and the First Infantry (1791).
The information for Two Centuries of Valor was gleaned from brief regimental histories written during the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, monthly command and after-action reports, battalion radio logs, award citations, archived newspaper accounts,
memoirs and correspondence with dozens of living
veterans from World War II to men who are currently
on active duty.
The 500 + pages of narrative and notes are supplemented by a map section, a photo section and appendices listing the colonels of the regiment from 1808 to the present, recipients of the Medal of Honor between 1874 and 1968, and the names of members of the regiment killed during the Mexican War and World War II. Lists of the approximately 1500 members of the regiment who perished in the Korean and Vietnam Wars are available from the author and other sources.
Although much of the narrative is devoted to the 5th Infantry in combat, the reader is also exposed to a 200-year slice of army history, including the evolution of the infantry unit from the early nineteenth century company of sixty-eight privates and a fifer and a drummer to the company configuration in today’s highly-digitized and mechanized Stryker brigade, the many changes in the provision of logistical, medical and artillery support for rifle companies, and a discussion of the infantry’s important role in the exploration and settlement of the American west. The 5th Infantry Regiment has made many non-lethal contributions to this country.
TWO CENTURIES OF VALOR
The Story of the 5th Infantry Regiment
©2010 Samuel Martin Kier
First Edition – July 2010
Revised Edition – September 2015
Park Place Publications
P.O. Box 829
Pacific Grove, CA 93950