SHOULDER SLEEVE INSIGNIA
Symbolism: Combat arms colors are represented, with the bayonet alluding to the infantry and symbolizing attack. The Great Dipper and North Star allude to Alaska, and the mountains refer to the terrain over which the units maneuver to gain and hold ground.
Symbolism: The white triangle represents a snow-capped mountain, alluding to the Alaskan terrain in which the unit was trained to operate. The totem pole, consisting of an eagle sitting upon a bear, refers to the purchase of Alaska from Russia. The bayonet symbolizes infantry, as does the blue at the base of the mountain. The red mullet alludes to the Great Dipper, and the North Star represents Alaska, the state in which the brigade served. The red mullet symbolizes artillery
Constituted 5 August 1917 in the National Army as Headquarters, 172d Infantry Brigade, and assigned to the 86th Division. Organized 25 August 1917 at Camp Grant, Illinois. Demobilized in January 1919 at Camp Grant, Illinois. Reconstituted 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 172d Infantry Brigade, and assigned to the 86th Division. Organized in January 1922 at Springfield, Illinois. Redesignated 23 March 1925 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 172d Brigade. Redesignated 24 August 1936 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 172d Infantry Brigade.
Converted and redesignated 31 March 1942 as the 3d Platoon, 86th Reconnaissance Troop, 86th Division (Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 171st Infantry Brigade, concurrently converted and redesignated as the 86th Reconnaissance Troop [less 3d Platoon], 86th Division). Troop ordered into active military service 15 December 1942 and reorganized at Camp Howze, Texas, as the 86th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, an element of the 86th Infantry Division. Reorganized and redesignated 5 August 1943 as the 86th Reconnaissance Troop, Mechanized. Reorganized and redesignated 10 October 1945 as the 86th Mechanized Reconnaissance Troop. Inactivated 30 December 1946 in the Philippine Islands. (Organized Reserves redesignated 25 March 1948 as the Organized Reserve Corps; redesignated 9 July 1952 as the Army Reserve.)
3d Platoon, 86th Reconnaissance Troop, converted and redesignated 20 May 1963 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 172d Infantry Brigade, and relieved from assignment to the 86th Infantry Division; concurrently withdrawn from the Army Reserve and allotted to the Regular Army (remainder of troop hereafter separate lineage). Brigade activated 1 July 1963 in Alaska. Inactivated 15 April 1986 in Alaska.
CAMPAIGN PARTICIPATION CREDIT
World War I
Streamer without inscription
World War II
Bender, John A. "Dynamic Training Arctic Style: A Report from Alaska." Infantry 62 (November-December 1972):36-37.
Boatner, James G. "Rugged Training on the 'Last Frontier.' Supersoldiers of the North." Army 26 (November 1976):27-30.
Dacus, David M. "The Last Frontier." Infantry 64 (July-August 1974):48-52.
Kiernan, David R. "Winter Training in Alaska." Infantry 70 (November-December 1980):10-12.
Little, John G., Jr. The Official History of the 86th Division. Chicago: States Publications Society, 1921.
Meiners, Theodore J. "They Climb the Crags." Army Digest 22 (April 1967):36-38.
Paternostro, Anthony. "The Alaska Brigade: Arctic Intelligence and Some Strategic Considerations." Military Intelligence 6 (October-December 1980):47-50.
Simone, Michael R. "Where 'Teary Eyes Freeze Shut."' Army 31