Minnesota National Guard
History of the
1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery

The lineage of the 125th Field Artillery traces back to the 3rd Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry which was organized on 15 April 1887. The regiment was mustered into federal service in 1898 during the Spanish American War.

When called into federal service for World War I in July 1917, the 3rd Regiment was primarily a northern Minnesota organization. The Minnesota units were reorganized into the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division on 1 October 1917 and became the new 125th Field Artillery Regiment. Troops of the 34th Division units landed in France in 1918 and of the division units, only the 125th Field Artillery earned a battle steamer in World War I.

In February 1941, the Regiment was inducted into federal service for World War II. In January 1942, the regimental headquarters was disbanded and the 1st Battalion was redesignated the 125th Field Artillery Battalion. The 125th Field Artillery Battalion distinguished itself in WW II where it was frequently teamed with the 135th Infantry Regiment. The battalion fired over 250,000 rounds of artillery ammunition in 480 days of combat, more than any other battalion.

The battalion was again ordered into active federal service on 16 January 1951 for the Korean conflict and served at Camp Rucker, Ala. until 2 December 1954 when released from active duty. Many Soldiers of the battalion saw action in Korea as replacement troops.

The unit was reorganized in 1959, 1963, 1968, and finally in 1972 as the 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery.

In March of 1990, the battalion deployed to the Republic of Korea to participate in Team Spirit 90 as part of I Corps. This was the first overseas deployment of a battalion-sized element from Minnesota since WW II. While in Korea, the battalion received a fully trained status in every category evaluated.

In 1996, 1-125 FA was assigned a mission as part of a NATO Composite Force (NCF). The battalion served as a part of the NATO forces for the defense of Norway and included forces from Norway and Germany as well as the U.S. The battalion trained annually in Norway as part of the Norwegian 6th Infantry Division until 2002. 

In 2003, the battalion mobilized and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Elements of the battalion provided force protection and security for Air Force bases in Turkey, Italy, Belgium and the United Kingdom. The battalion demobilized in spring 2004. During the same period, several elements of the battalion mobilized and deployed to support stability operations in Bosnia and Kosovo.

In mid-2005, as part of Army-wide transformation, the battalion severed its command relationship with the 34th Division Artillery and became the organic Strike Battalion of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (1/34 BCT). Transformation represented little change to the battalion’s legacy mission as the Direct Support Field Artillery Battalion to the 1st Brigade.

The 1-125 FA has M109A6 self-propelled howitzers, M577 command tracks, and the AFATDS tactical computer system. The 1-125 is continually upgrading equipment and the training proficiency of its Soldiers.

In the fall of 2005, the HHB&B/1-125FA were again mobilized – this time to prepare for deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The battalion trained at Camp Shelby Mississippi and was augmented with elements from Kansas (B/1-161FA) and Kentucky (B&C/2-123AR), as well as nearly 150 individual replacements from 32 states and territories. Though still designated as Strike, 1/34 BCT, the battalion prepared for a mission as a motorized security task force.   

In the summer of 2011, the battalion mobilized and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. The battalion provided force protection at Camp Arifjan, Camp Patriot, and S-POD E in Southern Kuwait for a 10-month mission.

Campaign Participation Credit

World War I -  Streamer without inscription

World War II -  Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, North Appenines, Po Valley

War on Terror - Global War on Terror Streamer

Iraq - Iraqi Campaign Streamer

- French Croix de Guerre with Palm, World War II, Streamer embroidered BELVEDERE
- Meritorious Unit Commendation, Streamer embroidered SOUTHWEST AISIA 2006-2007
Other Resources

125th FA During WWII

125th Field Artillery History

DIVARTY History.pdf

125th Field Artillery Timeline.pdf

125th Field Artillery History.pdf

The Institute of Heraldry- 125 Field Artillery Regiment