Command Sergeant Major
The mission of the 11th Engineer Battalion is to deploy rapidly to a contingency area by air, sea, and land; protect the force; and provide continuous mobility, countermobility, survivability and general engineer support for mobile combined arms offensive and defensive operations.
The 11th Engineer Battalion's history begins in 1917 with the activation of the 11th Engineer Regiment (Railway). It was one of the three regiments activated to maintain railroads in northern France in support of the American deployment and the overall war effort. The 11th landed in France on August 1917 – the first American unit to enter the European theater.
In 1920, at the close of World War I, the Regiment was reactivated in the Panama Canal Zone as the 11th Engineer Regiment (Combat). For the next 23 years, the 11th conducted numerous engineer missions over rugged terrain and through dense jungle. It was in Panama that the 11th adopted for its crest the Panama Black Panther and assumed the nickname "Jungle Cats." During World War II, the 11th cleared minefields, repaired roads, built and repaired bridges, and conducted demolition missions. When hostilities ended they stayed in Europe carrying out reconstruction projects until the unit was deactivated in November 1946.
The 11th was reactivated in Japan in March 1950, where it constructed training areas for Infantry Divisions headed into the Korean Theater. During the war, the battalion fought alongside U.N. Forces as infantry and supported the 24th Infantry Division in its crossing of the Naktong River. The Battalion stayed in Korea until 1971, assisting in the reconstruction and defense of South Korea.
In May of 1971, the Battalion was reactivated at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia and in 1979 it was reorganized as a combat heavy battalion to provide troop construction support to the Engineer Center. It was inactivated in January 1990 when the Engineer Center was moved to Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. In January 1992 the 11th Engineer Battalion (Combat) was reactivated at Ft. Stewart, GA and assigned to the Engineer Brigade of the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized).
The "Jungle Cats" deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and crossed the border into Iraq on March 20, as part of the 3d Infantry Division, 1st Brigade "Raiders." The Raiders stormed into Iraq and through the Karbala Gap, engaging enemy forces along the way. On April 2nd, 2003, the Raiders, supported by Air Force ordnance and Army artillery, were pitched into the battle for Saddam International Airport. After two days of fighting, during which many Iraqi troops were killed and captured, the buildings in and around the compound were secured. It was during this combat that SFC Paul Ray Smith was awarded the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions that saved the lives of his Soldiers at the cost of his own. Baghdad fell a few days later to Coalition forces led by the 3d Infantry Division.
On March 15, 2004, the 11th Engineer Battalion was inactivated at Fort Stewart, GA. January 16th, 2007 marks the official reactivation of the 11th Engineer Battalion at Fort Benning, Georgia
Constituted 19 March 1917 in the Enlisted Reserve Corps as the 1st Reserve Engineers
Organized 6 April-26 May 1917 at New York, New York
Ordered into active military service by companies
22 May-2 June 1917 at Fort Totten, New York
Withdrawn 9 June 1917 from allotment to the Enlisted Reserve Corps and allotted to the National Army; concurrently redesignated the 1st Engineers
Redesignated 13 July 1917 as the 11th Engineers
Demobilized 6 May 1919 at Camp Upton, New York
Reconstituted 4 November 1920 and expanded to the 363d Engineers in the Organized reserves (hereafter separate lineage) and the 11th Engineers in the Regular Army
11th Engineers activated 20 November 1920 in the Canal Zone
Assigned 2 June 1921 to the Panama Canal Division
Relieved 15 April 1932 from assignment to the Panama Canal Division
Reorganized and redesignated 1 April 1943 as the 11th Engineer Battalion
Reorganized and redesignated 23 September 1943 as the 11th Engineer Combat Battalion
Inactivated 30 November 1946 in Austria
Activated 15 March 1950 in Japan
Reorganized and redesignated 15 March 1954 as the 11th Engineer Battalion
Inactivated 15 August 1989 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia
Assigned 17 July 1992 to the 24th Infantry division and activated at Fort Stewart, Georgia
Relieved 15 February 1996 from assignment to the 24th Infantry Division and assigned to the 3d Infantry Division
Inactivated 15 March 2004 at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and relieved from assignment to the 3d Infantry Division
Activated 16 January 2007 at Fort Benning, Georgia
Description:A Silver color metal and enamel device 1-1/8 inches (2.86 cm) in height overall, on a wreath Argent and Gules, a Black panther’s head erased Proper langued Gules.The insignia is worn in pairs.
Symbolism: The crest commemorates the long service of the 11th Engineers in the Panama Canal Zone.
Background: The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 11th Engineer Regiment on 17 August 1925. It was amended to correct the description on 21 August 1925. It was redesignated for the 11th Engineer Combat Battalion on 12 January 1951. It was redesignated for the 11th Engineer Battalion (Combat) on 1 July 1955.
Shield: Gules, on a bend Argent three fleurs-de-lis of the first; a canton of the like bordured indented of the second.
Crest: On a wreath of the colors Argent and Gules, a black panther’s head erased Proper.
Shield: The red shield with the white diagonal stripe alludes to the colors used for the Corps of Engineers. The parentage of the Regiment is indicated by the canton, which is the shield of the 3d Engineers with the charge omitted. The fleurs-de-lis represent service in three major engagements during World War I.
Crest: The crest commemorates the long service of the 11th Engineers in the Panama Canal Zone.
Background: The coat of arms was originally approved for the 11th Engineer Regiment on 19 August 1924. It was amended to revise the blazon of the shield on 18 February 1937. It was redesignated for the 11th Engineer Combat Battalion on 14 December 1943. It was redesignated for the 11th Engineer Battalion (Combat) on 1 July 1955. The coat of arms was amended to revise the symbolism on 17 November 1972.
11th Engineer Battalion