The Brigade was established as the 1st Provisional Brigade on 11 August 1917 in Syracuse, New York. Shortly after, it was re-designated on 22 September 1917 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Infantry Brigade and was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division. A month later the Brigade was sent to France where it saw heavy fighting as part of the AEF (American Expeditionary Force). The Brigade contained the 9th Infantry Regiment, 23 Infantry Regiment, and the 5th Machinegun Battalion.
While in France, the Brigade participated in a period of harsh training in the Bourmont area. The main reason for this was to ready themselves for the German enemies. The Brigade fought in many battles in France, including the battles of Chateau Thierry, the St. Michael Salient, and Meuse-Argonne. Throughout these battles, many soldiers from the Brigade were greatly decorated, and in fact, were the highest decorated in the AEF.
During World War I the Brigade earned six battle streamers for their participation in the major campaigns of, Aisne, Aisne-Marne, Lorraine 1918, le de France 1918, Saint Mihiel Salient, and Meuse-Argonne. For helping the French, their government awarded the Brigade four French Croix de Guerre. Three streamers, Chateau-Thierry, Aisne-Marne, and Meuse-Argonne, and the French Fourragere symbolize it. The green and red Fourragere is still worn on the left shoulder of every soldier assigned to the Brigade.
After the war was over, the Brigade remained in Germany for a period of one year with the US Army of occupation. In late 1919, the Brigade returned to its home of Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The Brigade was then deactivated on October 9 1939.
On 1 February 1963, the Brigade was reactivated and reassigned to the 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia. Two years later, On 1 July 1965, the Brigade moved to Korea to join the rest of the 2nd Infantry Division, where its mission was to guard the western corridor.
In April 1967, five North Korean infiltrators were killed at guard post Lucy. Twenty-four days later, two more agents were captured and one was killed. From May to September 1967, 264 engagements with infiltrators occurred. During the Pueblo Crisis in 1968, increased enemy activity and propaganda resulted in 74 intrusion attempts and firefights. It was at this time that the Army authorized all personnel north of the Imjin River to draw hostile fire pay. From July to October 1968, 56 incidents involving the Brigade occurred. From 1969 on until its deactivation in 1992 the infiltrations slowed and eventually came to a stop.
On 11 April 1995, the Brigade was reactivated at Fort Lewis Washington as part of I Corps, where it was comprised of following Battalions, 1-23 Infantry , 1-32 Armor, 1-33 Armor, 1-37 Field Artillery, 168 Engineer, 296 Forward Support, and Charlie Battery 5-5 Air Defense Artillery.
On 18 May of 2000, the Brigade was again reorganized as the US Army's first Initial Brigade Combat Team by losing 1-32 Armor, 1-33 Armor and 168 Engineer and gaining 1-14 Cavalry, 5-20 Infantry, 2-3 Infantry, 334th Signal Co., 209th Military Intelligence Co. and the 18th Engineer Co.
After 18 May 2000, the Brigade began its transformation by fielding new digital equipment and the U.S. Army's first Stryker Combat Vehicles. This transformation culminated on 23 September 2003 with the Brigade's certification.
On 2 November 2003, the Brigade deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, relieving 101st Airborne. For the next 12 months the U.S. Army's first Stryker Brigade proved its worth in combat and logistics operations. In October 2004 the Brigade handed the reins to 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division and began the redeployment home to Fort Lewis, WA.