Volcano Patch and Insignias

Insignia of Filipino Battalions and Regiments

Courtesy of the US Army Institute of Heraldry, (Credit: Ret. Sgt Pelagio Valdez)

Volcalno Patch
Symbolism: The volcano represents the area in which the units were located. The three stars are taken from the Philippines Coat of Arms which represents the principle islands - Luzon and Mindanao, and the Visayan Islands.
Background: The insignia was originally requested and authorized on August 6, 1942 for the 1st Filipino Battalion.

1st Filipino Infantry Battalion

In April of 1942 the U.S. Army’s 1st Filipino Battalion was formed, however as the battalion began to swell in numbers the unit was split into two regiments, and new insignias were created to distinguish the Infantry Regiments apart. The red, white, and blue colors on the shield represents the national colors of both the Philippines and the United States. These colors reflect the Filipino heritage in this U.S. Army regiment. The unit was granted the motto, “LAGING UNA,” which means “ALWAYS FIRST,” in Tagalog.

1st Reconnaissance Battalion
This patch is found on the unit’s Shoulder Sleeve Insignia. The Distinctive Unit Insignia (DUI) consists of the “Carabao” from the U.S. Army’s Philippine Scouts combined with the “Southern Cross” of the 23rd Infantry Division. The unit’s motto “BAHALA NA” is a warrior's expression of a fatalistic stance to life in a challenging situation of uncertain risk. The English translation of this battle cry means, “COME WHAT MAY,“ or “WHATEVER HAPPENS, WILL HAPPEN.”

2nd Filipino Infantry Regiment
No records have surfaced to indicate that the Army ever authorized a coat of arms for the 2nd Filipino Regiment. The origin of the 2nd Filipino Regiment’s Distinctive Unit Insignia (DUI) is still unknown. Their battle cry was "SULUNG" which translates to "First", insinuating to be first.
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