The present 28th Infantry Regiment was constituted in February 1901 and organized in March of that year at Vancouver Barracks, Vancouver, Washington. The regiment first saw combat service from Dec 1901 to Jan 1904 during the Philippine Insurrection, where the Regiment was heavily involved in counter guerilla operations.
Following the US entry into WWI, the Regiment was assigned on June 8, 1917 to the First Expeditionary Division, which later became1st ID. On Jun 29th at St. Nazaire, France, men of K Company became the first American combat unit to set foot on European soil. The Regiment distinguished itself by conducting the first offensive operation by U.S. troops in WW1 at the town of Cantigny where, in a viciously fought three-day battle, 28th Infantry captured Cantigny and then withstood five fierce German counterattacks. Born were the “Lions of Cantigny”, and here the prestige of the American fighting man was upheld before the world.
The Black Lions fought in the battle of Soissons, Argonne and Sedan, and suffered more than 5,000 casualties in the war. Three Black Lions were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their heroism: Sergeant Michael B. Ellis of B Co, Private Sterling Morelock of M Co, and 2nd Lieutenant Samuel I. Parker of K Co.
In WWII, The Black Lions again distinguished themselves in combat. Upon landing on Utah Beach on Jul 4, 1944, their first action was an attack to the south to establish a critical bridgehead over the Ay River so that armored divisions could launch a breakout attack into Northern France. In mid-November, the Black Lions relieved elements of the 109th Infantry in the area southeast of Aachen. The next several weeks were spent attacking through the dense, forbidding Hurtgen Forest, where deep mud, snow, enemy artillery, mines, and fierce enemy resistance caused numerous casualties in the worst fighting the Black Lions were to experience. In mid-Apr 1945, The 28th Infantry drove north as part of the campaign to destroy or capture all enemy forces trapped in the Ruhr-Sieg pocket. The final days of the war for the Regiment were spent managing numbers of Wehtmacht POWs, refugees, and former prisoners of the Germans.
During their eleven months of combat, the Black Lions played a major part in four allied campaigns – winning three Presidential Unit Citations, embroidered Normandy, Bergstein and Stockholm. They suffered over 4,300 total casualties and captured over 115,000 prisoners of war and vast stores of enemy material.
In 1965, the Battalion was deployed to Vietnam with 1st ID. The Black Lions fought in many of 1st ID major engagements and was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for its gallant actions during the battle of Ap Cha Do, Operation Attleboro in November 1966. During much of 1969, the Black Lions were involved in the Dong Tien “Progress Together” Program, training ARVN units through combined operations. Two were awarded the Medal of Honor, all posthumously, for their heroism during the war in Vietnam. After almost 5 years of combat in South Vietnam, the battalion was redeployed to Ft. Riley, Kansas in 1970.
During the War on Terrorism, The battalion deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, in Feb 2007 and redeployed to Ft. Riley Kansas in Apr 2008. 1st Battalion answered the call again in Sept 2009 to Balad Iraq and redeployed to Fort Riley Aug 2010. The Battalion again deployed in the War on Terror to Paktika Province of Afghanistan in May 2012 during which the battalion oversaw the transition from U.S. forces to Afghan forces leading operations against insurgent operations and redeployed to Fort Riley in Febuary 2013. The battalion inactivated on 9 Apr 2015 at Fort Riley. The battalion was reactivated on 16 Dec 2015 at Fort Benning Ga and assigned to 3ID.