California State Militia and National Guard Unit Histories
The History of the 223d Infantry Regiment
By Colonel John M. Menter
Regimental Commander, 223d Infantry Regiment (Combat Arms)
The parent unit constituted 22 July 1885 as the 7th Infantry Battalion, California National Guard, organized form existing companies as follows Company A (organized 9 September 1874 as the Los Angeles Guard), later reorganized 9 June 1881 as the San Diego City Guard)
Reorganized and redesignated 5 May 1888 as the 7th Infantry Battalion, California National Guard, with additional companies as follows: Company C (organized 26 October 1887 at Pomona), Company E (organized 29 October 1887 at San Bernardino), Company F (organized 20 December 1887 at Los Angeles), and Company G (organized 3 March 1888 at Anaheim). On 7 December 1895, the 7th Infantry Battalion consolidated with the 9th Infantry Battalion (organized 8 February 1890)
In early 1898 with the advent of the Spanish-American War, the 7th Infantry was mustered into Federal service 9 May 1898 and stationed at the Presidio, San Francisco, as the 7th California Volunteer Infantry. The war ended before the unit could deploy to the Philippines, enabling the 7th California Volunteer Infantry to muster out of Federal service on 2 December 1898 in Los Angeles.
In 1916 as a result of the infamous ride of Pancho Villa and his raiding of the southwestern border towns and villages, the unit was once again mustered into Federal service on 29 June 1916 at Sacramento, California form where it was transported south to the Mexican border and stationed at Nogales, Arizona, returning back to California and mustering out on 11 November 1916 in Los Angeles. Return to militia status was short lived, with the 7th Infantry again returning to Federal status on 26 March 1917.
Consolidated with the 2nd Battalion, Companies L, M, and the Sanitary Detachment, 2nd Infantry, California National Guard, reorganized and redesignated as the 160th Infantry and assigned to the 40th Infantry Division on 25 September 1917. Served in France during World War I and provided replacements to the 1st, 2nd, 42nd and 77th Divisions. Demobilized 7 May 1919 at Camp Kearny, California.
Southern California elements reconstituted and reorganized 23 August through 6 October 1921 in the California National Guard as the 160th Infantry, with Headquarters at Los Angeles.
The 2nd Battalion redesignated 2nd Battalion, 185th Infantry, 1 April 1929; reorganized and federally recognized 27 May 1929 with Headquarters in Pasadena. Expanded and reorganized as 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 185th Infantry during March and April 1930. Inducted into Federal Service at Pasadena March 1941 with service with the 40th Infantry Division. The regiment, served with the division in the Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations including operations in the Philippines, Panay, Mindanao, & Negros Islands, ending up in 1945 as part of the U.S. Army occupational force in Korea. Upon return back to the United States, the unit was inactivated 7 April 1946 at Camp Stoneman, Pittsburg, California.
On 5 August 1946, the 2nd Battalion, 185th Infantry was redesignated as the 223d Infantry Regiment and again assigned to the 40th Infantry Division. Organized and federally recognized 15 October 1946 with Headquarters in Pasadena. With the start of the Korean War in June 1950, the 223d Infantry Regiment was ordered into active Federal service on 1 September 1950 at Pasadena where it would first train at Camp Cooke (now Vandenberg AFB), then deploy to Japan for eventual combat duty in the Republic of Korea, where it participated in some of the heaviest combat seen in the war to include the infamous Heart Break Ridge and a sinister ridge line known as "The Punchbowl". During this period, the Regiment generated 3 Congressional Medal of Honor Winners. While the 223d Infantry served in combat operations, a second 223d Infantry (National Guard or NGUS) was organized in its place, becoming federally recognized on 2 September 1952 with headquarters in Pasadena. In 1954, the original 223d Infantry Regiment was released from Federal active service returned back to California to revert back to State control on 30 June; concurrently allowing for the withdrawal of federal recognition from the 223d Infantry (NGUS).
Shortly thereafter, the 223d Infantry Regiment was relieved from duty with the 40th Infantry Division and broken up 1 July 1954; elements reorganized and redesignated as follows: The Regimental Headquarters was initially reorganized and redesignated Headquarters and Headquarters Company 111th Armored Cavalry before eventually reorganizing and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company Combat Command C, 40th Armored Division. The Regiments 1st Battalion reorganized and redesignated as 223d Armored Infantry Battalion with Headquarters in Glendale. The Regiment's 2nd Battalion consolidated with the 3rd Battalion, 111th Armored Cavalry, reorganizing and redesignated as the 139th Tank Battalion with Headquarters at Burbank. The 3rd Battalion was reduced, reorganized, and redesignated as Company B, 140th Tank Battalion.
The 223d Armored Infantry Battalion continued to serve with the 40th Armored Division until 1968 when the division was broken up into three separate Brigades (two Infantry, one Armor). Here, the last of the 223d was reorganized as the 1st Battalion, 160th Infantry as part of the 40th Separate Infantry Brigade. In 1986, the 1st and the 3rd Battalions of the 160th were consolidated into the 3rd Battalion, 160th Infantry, headquartered in Inglewood, California. Was this to be the final end of the 223d Regiment?
In 1996, the US Army's Training and Doctrine Command, known as TRADOC, created and implemented the Total Army School System (TASS), a consolidation of the various State, Army Reserve, and Active Component training school and institutions found throughout the US Army. As part of this reorganization, each state with either a Military Academy or Regional Training Institute (or RTI) was authorize to select a Regimental unit by which to designate the school house detachment. Within a fortnight, the choice was clear and on December 1st, 1996, the 223d Regiment (Combat Arms) once again unfurled her colors for the service to the soldiers of the California Army National Guard and the United States Army.
The 223d Regiment Today

The 223rd Regiment (Combat Arms) provides regionalized Combat Arms individual training to support the Total Army. Performs regionalized management and quality assurance oversight for the functionally aligned training battalions; TAG directed training; Sustain essential cadre warfighting skills.

1st Battalion (Infantry), 223rd Regiment (CA) provides Infantry individual training to support the Total Army. Executes regionalized management and quality assurance oversight for the functionally aligned training companies; sustain essential warfighting cadre skills.

2nd General Studies Battalion, 223rd Regiment (Combat Arms) by exercising coordinating authority to ensure training is supported, resourced, and executed ; coordinates and cooperates with proponent schools for training companies within the battalion, executes TAG directed training missions within CA; sustain essential warfighting skills for battaion cadre.

Campaign Streamers

Streamer without inscription
Bismarck Archipelago
Luzon (with arrowhead)
Southern Philippines (with arrowhead)
Second Korean Winter
Korea, Summer-Fall 1952
Third Korean Winter
Korea, Summer 1953
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered 17 OCTOBER 1944 TO 4 JULY 1945 (2nd Battalion, 185th Infantry cited: Department of the Army General Order 47, 1950)
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered KOREA 1952-1954 (223d Infantry cited: Department of the Army General Order 50, 1954)
Regimental Heraldry
For information of the regiment's heraldry, CLICK HERE
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Updated 19 July 2017