Submitted by Buffalo Soldiers Museum-Tacoma.
“Always Prepared” was the motto of the 24th Infantry Regiment, commissioned by Congress in 1866. The 24th Infantry was one of the four original Buffalo Soldiers regiments comprised of volunteer Black men who fought during the Civil War. Serving in the military was a way to a better life for African American men and the beginning of freedom and equality.
Presenter: Luther Adams – Free Man of Color, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies
University of Washington – Tacoma
In honor of Black History Month and in partnership with the Buffalo Soldiers Museum, a discussion acknowledging and affirming the importance of Black military service in support of their family, community, and the nation. Their labor paved the road for democracy and expanded Civil Rights for all U.S. citizens.
The 24th Infantry Regiment was formed after the consolidation of the 38th and 41st (Colored) Infantry Regiments on November 1, 1869. All enlisted soldiers were black, either veterans of the U.S. Colored Troops or volunteer freedmen. From its activation to 1898, the 24th Infantry served throughout the Western United States. In 1898, the 24th Infantry deployed to Cuba as part of the U.S. Expeditionary Force in the Spanish-American War, fighting and winning in the Battle of San Juan Hill.
After deactivation in 1951, the 24th Infantry was reactivated in 1995 as the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, and assigned to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division in Fort Lewis, Washington. The regiment served during the Iraq War from 2004 to 2005 and earned the Valorous Unit Award for service during the Battle of Mosul (2004). In 2006, the 24th Infantry Regiment was re-flagged without the “1st Battalion” designation to retain the original Buffalo Soldier regimental designation to preserve its legacy.
Though the soldiers faced numerous challenges and hardships, they persevered and exemplified their regiment’s motto, “Always Prepared.” The program will examine the history and the journey for justice and equity within American Society. The program will expose visitors to a stimulating story they may not have discovered within the context of American History.