The 128th Infantry Insignia

128th Infantry Insignia

The 128th Infantry Regiment was created in 1917 as a part of the 32nd Division in "The Great War" or "The World War". The 128th Infantry was organized from elements of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Wisconsin Infantry Regiments. The 128th Infantry has always been composed of Wisconsin National Guardsmen, except during World War I and World War II when soldiers from every state joined its ranks. The 128th Infantry has always been a part of the 32nd Division, and now the 32nd Brigade.

The following will describe the meaning of the many symbols incorporated into this insignia.

The badger on the top is a symbol of all the regiments of the Wisconsin (Badger State) National Guard.

The blue and gold wreath beneath the badger represents the fact that Wisconsin was one of the original states of French occupation.

The three white and blue circles (fountains of water) have several meanings. First, the name "Wisconsin" is an Indian word meaning "the gathering of the waters" or "wild, rushing waters" which is very representative of our state. Second, they are symbolic of the three Wisconsin  regiments - the First, Second and Third Wisconsin Infantry - from which elements were combined to make up the 128th Infantry, part of the 32nd Division in World War I. Third, they signify that this unit had fought in three wars by 1920.

The field of blue in the center of the Regimental Coat of Arms signifies that the 128th Regiment is Infantry and thus Infantry Blue must be prominently displayed.

The shield is divided into thirds, an allusion to the 3 major offensives the unit fought in during World War I.

The red arrow represents our role in the 32nd Infantry Division.

At the bottom of the Coat of Arms is the motto, or nom-de-guerre, "Les Terribles". For part of World War I the 32nd Division was under the orders of the 38th French Corps, commanded at that time by General de Mondesir. The French Commander was at the front observing the battle and saw the 32nd Division in action. General de Mondesir was so impressed with the dedication, determination and fighting skill displayed by the 32nd Division that he said, "Oui, Oui, Les soldats terrible, tres bien, tres bien!"  General Mangin heard of it and referred to the 32nd Division as "Les Terribles" when he asked for the Division to join his famous 10th French Army of shock troops north of  Soissons, and he later made it official when he incorporated the nickname in his citation for their terrific punch at Juvigny. Thus the motto "Les Terribles", which means "the terrible ones" was derived and has remained with the 32nd Infantry Division.

Check out the Wisconsin Military History page of this web site for more information about the history of the 32nd Division and the State of Wisconsin.

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revised 19 September 2008

since 12 November 2002