The Cottonbaler Creed

Before you stands a damn fine soldier … a COTTONBALER … by God! I can be counted on to accomplish any mission … any task … any job. I have been in the arena. My face is covered with dust, sweat, and blood. I have known the sweet fragrance of freedom for I have paid the price. I am a damn fine soldier … a COTTONBALER … by God!

I earned my nickname at Chalmette in the War of 1812. We stacked cotton bales on the levee and with Andrew Jackson stood the fury of the British square. With spent musket and cannon the British retired from the field that day. They had met some damn fine soldiers … COTTONBALER … by God!

I remember the Alamo … traveled south and left my mark and my blood at Monterey, Vera Cruz and Cerro Gordo. I marched triumphantly into Mexico City … proudly proclaiming … COTTONBALERS … by God!

The sound of fury from Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Chickamauga and Chattanooga still rings in my ears and I witnessed the closing acts of the internal strife at Gettysburg. I had fought my brother but done my job … a COTTONBALER … by God!

I helped win the West … met a proud adversary after Little Big Horn and can count my fallen comrades against the Creeks, Seminoles and Utes. I stormed the slopes of San Juan Hill and Santiago and met triumph in the Philippines. I am a COTTONBALER … by God!

My rest was short … I crossed over the sea and marched into France. I fought and died at Chateau Thierry … stood like a rock on the Marne … and smashed onward into Meuse Argonne and St. Mihiel. I left behind a lot of damn fine soldiers … all COTTONBALER … by God!

Peace at last … and rest … but not for long. I assaulted the beaches of Morocco and bloodied my tired feet in Tunisia, Sicily, Naples, Anzio, and Rome. I then landed on the French Riviera, pushed on to the Vosges Mountains, and spent a hard winter in the Colmar Pocket. There I earned the French Croix de Guerre. I fought on into the Rhineland, pushed through the Ardennnes, viewed the horrors of war near Dachau, marched into Nuremburg and witnessed a dying Third Reich in Berchtesgaden. We led the way … COTTONBALERS … BY GOD!

I was one of the first to see action in Korea. I unslung my rifle and hitched up my belt once again. I stopped the Chinese, relieved battered Marines, and kept the corridor open with my blood. I spilled my guts in the “Iron Triangle” and showed my courage with eight Medals of Honor. They were all DAMN FINE SOLDIERS … ALL COTTONBALERS … BY GOD!

In South Vietnam I fought the tough Viet Cong through rice paddies, steaming jungles, and mountains. I met the determined NVA and rose to every challenge in that country far away. I fought and spilled my blood when others chose to run. I did my duty. I honored my country. I am a DAMN FINE SOLDIER … A COTTONBALER … BY GOD.

In Germany, I stood tall for all those years and helped bring down the Berlin Wall and roll up the Iron Curtain. My resolve, my strength, my presence brought peace and freedom from Communism. But the peacemaker found little rest and tyranny struck again. From the forests and swamps of Georgia I came to the sands of Saudi Arabia. I again shouldered my ruck and my weapon. I left behind my family and gave up my comforts. I answered the trumpet's call. I came with my brothers and sisters to draw a line for freedom. I destroyed the Iraqi Army's will to fight and freed the people of Kuwait. The torch had been passed to a new generation, and I met the test … a DAMN FINE SOLDIER … A COTTONBALER … BY GOD.

A decade passed and I was called again to the ancient lands of Iraq. I picked up my gear, loaded my Bradley, and shipped out with a tearful goodbye. I stopped briefly in Kuwait where my brothers had tread not so long ago. I churned up the desert, charged on in sandstorms, fought courageously in the Najaf Escarpment, and cities and towns like Nasiriyah and Samawah. I broke through the Karbala Gap, and met tyranny head on in Baghdad. I sacrificed my blood for freedom for all the people of Iraq. With the door to Iraq open and the stage set for democracy, I returned home. ALL PROUD SOLDIERS … ALL COTTONBALERS … BY GOD!

Today I stand ready, a fighting team, WILLING AND ABLE … waiting again for the trumpet's call. When you speak of freedom, I AM FREEDOM. When you speak of the Infantry, I AM THE INFANTRY. My brothers before me, present, and those to come, ALL PROUD SOLDIERS … ALL DAMN FINE SOLDIERS … ALL COTTONBALERS … BY GOD!

Association Officers and Board of Directors
History of the 7th Infantry Regiment
7th Infantry Regiment Lineage and Honors
7th Infantry Regiment Coat of Arms and Crest

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