Epic Infantry Poem & God Creates the Infantry

Posted on: November 7th, 2013 by Will Rodriguez 10 Comments
The original Follow Me statue sits in the rotunda outside the National Infantry Museum.

I started Grunts & Co to commemorate and celebrate the Infantry and be the site for those who want to learn and immerse themselves in an infantryman’s perspective, what it means to be in the Infantry, its history, accomplishments, tradition and culture.

The “Grunts” section will be where I preserve those essays, documents, presentations and media.  (For the Infantry’s closest friends I’ll be doing the same in the “And Co” section.)

The “Grunts” section is a work in progress with sections on the history, organization, Infantry roles/positions, types, mission, heraldry, awards, culture, media and more coming.

The first entries are the Epic Poem “I AM THE INFANTRY” and the comedic prayer, “And God Created the Infantry”.  “I Am the Infantry” is an inspiring poem written in the epic style chronicling the US Army’s Infantry history from the nation’s founding until today.   The Infantry School at Ft. Benning added music and imagery in an audio visual production played during special ceremonies and events.  It is rarely seen outside the Infantry community.  “And God Created the Infantry” is an addendum to Genesis and describes the creation of the Infantry.  Many versions have been written since commemorating various specialties and branches but as always, The Infantry was the first.

Enjoy!  Look forward to your comments.

Be Respectful, Candid and Pertinent. No Posers, No Trolls…
  • ColonelProp

    Excellent intro.

  • LauraKinCA

    Loved the video reading of the I Am The Infantry poem! You and @ArcticWarrior first exposed me to And God Created the Infantry and it has been a favorite since then. Thanks for putting the full versions up, and somewhere I can find them whenever I want 🙂

  • LauraKinCA  I find the poem quite inspiring and the God Created the Infantry gave me many a chuckle in my uniformed days.  I’m glad I could share them and get some better visibility.

  • ArcticWarrior

    I Am the Infantry – In everyone’s Bluebook and good old Iron Mike
    Don’t forget the Infantryman’s Creed with the classic last verse –
    I am relentless, I am always there, now and forever I am the Infantry! Follow me!

  • Txazz

    LauraKinCA Awesome video.  I grew up across from Ft. Bliss so Army was the big thing for me as a kid and until I left home wandering over to Germany.  Met an Army Sgt skydiving and married him in Munich.

  • BSchroe

    I watched and listened am even more impressed. A fitting tribute to the professionally tough infantry of this country . 
      And God Created the Infantry  is a riot !
      Thanks Major Rod

  • clluelo

    Thanks Maj. The I am Infantry poem and video is wonderful. And God Created the Infantry is a firm fovorite with me. Thanks for posting these !

  • TeufelshundeUSMC

    ArcticWarrior ColonelProp YankeePapa

    “There are a dozen different ways of delivering destruction in impersonal wholesale, via ships or missiles of one sort or another, catastrophes so widespread, so unselective that the war is over because that nation or planet has ceased to exist. What we do is entirely different. We make war as personal as a punch in the nose. We can be selective, applying precisely the required amount of pressure at the specified point at a designated time. We’ve never been told to go down and kill or capture all left-handed redheads in a particular area, but if they tell us to, we can. We will.

    We are the boys who will go to a particular place, at H-hour, occupy a designated terrain, stand on it, dig the enemy out of their holes, force them then and there to surrender or die. We’re the bloody infantry, the doughboy, the duckfoot, the foot soldier who goes where the enemy is and takes them on in person. We’ve been doing it, with changes in weapons but very little change in our trade, at least since the time five thousand years ago when the foot sloggers of Sargon the Great forced the Sumerians to cry Uncle!”Juan “Johnny” Rico
    “But if you want to serve and I can’t talk you out of it, then we have to take you, because that’s your constitutional right. It says that everybody, male or female, should have his born right to pay his service and assume full citizenship — but the facts are that we are getting hard pushed to find things for all the volunteers to do that aren’t just glorified KP. You can’t all be real military men; we don’t need that many and most of the volunteers aren’t number-one soldier material anyhow…[W]e’ve had to think up a whole list of dirty, nasty, dangerous jobs that will…at the very least make them remember for the rest of their lives that their citizenship is valuable to them because they’ve paid a high price for it…A term of service is…either real military service, rough and dangerous even in peacetime…or a most unreasonable facsimile thereof.”Fleet Sergeant Ho

  • SueRiggsJohnson

    Awesome.  My 2nd oldest grandson will be graduating at Fort Benning March 10, 2016 en route to Fort Bragg!

  • EdShinn

    ************  First few lines of the original poem ” I AM THE INFANTRY “********

    I am the Infantry, Queen of Battle
      For two thousand years 
    I have been the bulwark of our nations defense
    I am the Infantry, FOLLOW ME

    With the Conestoga, I crossed the plains
    etc,

    These were the words and first lines written by an unknown soldier. He was believed to write these original words during WWII as found in an unclaimed American helmet, owner unknown. 

    The original lines were titled ” Follow Me ” 
    All the original verses, some 21 or 22 of them can be found in the ‘Library of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina’
    As a knob cadet, I read it several times as ordered, to memorize everything and research the poem for an upperclassman, Cadet Lt Richard Stewart, class of ’68. Stewart was a Vietnam casualty, having lost both legs in a land mine explosion in 1970 and died a few years later.

    What I found: 
    The original poem was written on an envelope found in an American soldiers helmet by a Frenchman somewhere along the Rhine, it was presumed to be partially addressed to be sent home and had many corrections and original spelling errors. Not understanding it’s content, it was given to an American infantryman returning home at wars end.
    Given to the US military the envelope was in major disrepair and given to General Mark Clark’s staff, the General later became The Citadel’s President Emeritus. Assumed to be handled by the General, no-one ever claimed the letter or reference to it. It ended up in a small book of anonymously written poems and was left at The Citadel, in the Citadel Library,I don’t remember much else, but was left “Author Unknown” and should stay that way.

    I get upset when I see so many take credit for and change the poem, I researched it lately on-line, to see if it was still at my school. Not that my info wasn’t through 3rd party sources, I have seen the original book and having read from it so many times in 1966, the changes, additions and copies referenced to it are limitless. A real shame for such a beautiful poem and WWII soldier. Just because the original words are not regularly used in today’s literature and probably not understood, that is not a reason for this literary freedom of right to change someone else’s works and claim them as their own.

    Can’t say much more, but that’s the way it is and was, sorry for my concerns.

    Ed Shinn  ’70