34th Red Bull Infantry Division
The Rosemount-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division provides training and readiness oversight for ten National Guard brigades with a total of more than 23,000 Soldiers across Minnesota and eight other states. In Minnesota, the 34ID includes the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, 84th Troop Command and the 347th Regional Support Group.
In 2019, the division headquarters will continue its mission as part of Operation Spartan Shield, returning home in the early fall.
The Red Bulls spent 2018 preparing for a deployment to Kuwait where the division headquarters is providing command and control of Task Force Spartan, which protects U.S. national interests through presence and partnership in the U.S. Central Command area of operation.
In addition to ensuring individual readiness, the division conducted several command post exercises at Camp Ripley in early 2018 to prepare its staff for a division warfighter exercise.
In April, the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division Band underwent an organizational readiness evaluation, earning a success rating in mission performance and mission support.
In June, the division participated in a warfighter exercise at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, that validated the systems they use and tested their abilities to maneuver assets in battle. The exercise required the transport of large numbers of troops and equipment, using 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers and nearly 50 buses.
Throughout the rest of the summer the Red Bulls continued their focus on individual and collective training to ensure the unit was operationally functional and Soldiers were mission-ready. The division completed Regionally Aligned Forces training at Camp Ripley, which is designed to train and assess Soldiers prior to deployment to the Middle East on basic soldiering skills and provide familiarization of cultural and religious norms. Completing this training at Camp Ripley helped to minimize the time the Soldiers had to spend away from their families for mobilization training.
In all, Soldiers from the 34th Infantry Division served between 45-50 training days in 2018 prior to mobilization in order to ensure the division was fully trained and ready for deployment.
On Sept. 20, families, friends and the local community honored the Soldiers of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division during a deployment ceremony at the historic Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul. Volunteers from Serving our Troops prepared and served a steak dinner for the Soldiers and their families.
The more than 600 Soldiers then departed for Fort Hood, Texas, where they spent time conducting additional training before deploying to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The division assumed responsibility for mission command and control of Task Force Spartan from the Pennsylvania National Guard’s 28th Infantry Division during a transfer of authority ceremony, Nov. 12. They are currently responsible for command and control of nearly 10,000 Soldiers from subordinate brigades conducting theater security operations in the Middle East.
In October, the Minnesota National Guard broke ground on a new headquarters building for the 34th Infantry Division, which will be located on existing property at the Arden Hills Army Training Site. The $40 million, 135,000 sq. ft. building is expected to be completed in about two years and will house Soldiers from several units making up the division headquarters.
The Red Bull Insignia
The symbol of the 34th Infantry Division features a steer skull imposed on the shape of an olla, a Mexican cooking pot. The insignia is a nod to the harsh training conditions at Camp Cody, New Mexico in 1917 while the Red Bulls were preparing to deploy for Europe. The motto of the 34th Infantry Division is "Attack! Attack! Attack!" The war cry characterizes the nature of the Division's combat operations in World War Two.
History of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division
When the division was formed at Camp Cody, New Mexico in 1917 it was composed of soldiers primarily from the mid-western states of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Ranks were quickly filled by draftees from across the country in preparation for WW1. The 34th Infantry Division of today has expanded to include units from Idaho, Montana, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The 34th Sandstorm Infantry Division trained for more than a year in the New Mexican desert in preparation for the Great War in Europe. Infantry and artillery units deployed to France and served honorably. Minnesota’s 151st Field Artillery and Iowa’s 168th Infantry Regiment earned six battle streamers while serving under the 42nd Rainbow Division.
The Sandstorm Division became known as the Red Bull Division during WW2. The 34th was the first US division in Europe and the first to fire artillery against the Germans. The US Army Rangers were formed from largely from Red Bulls at this time and their commander, Capt. William Darby, was a Red Bull. The 34th learned how to fight in the African Campaign and pushed the Germans up the Italian boot in the longest combat tour in the war.
The continuous 100-year lineage of the 34th Infantry Division includes the Cold War period when the men of the 34th Division traded their Red Bull patch for the Viking patch of the 47th Infantry Division. Former Red Bull units were joined by other mid-western units and served at Camp Rucker Alabama as a training division during the Korean War.
These Viking units became Red Bull units once again in 1991. Since 9/11, the 34th Infantry Division has served in most major conflicts including numerous combat deployments and humanitarian missions to Afghanistan, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Egypt, Honduras, and Iraq. The Red Bull 1st Brigade Combat Team served a 22-month tour, the longest National Guard tour in Iraq. Units of the 34th Infantry Division have also served their hometown communities for 100 years in cases of fire, flood, search, and rescue.