Stephen H. White

LTC Stephen H. White, a former editor of Infantry Magazine, wrote, “I Am The Infantry” in 1955. The epic poem is an adaptation of a similar poem titled “I Am The Guard”, the original manuscript of which was discovered by LTC White in the archives of the Information Section of the National Guard Bureau in Washington. Unfortunately the author of the original is unknown.

The infantry version was first published in the July 1956 issue of Infantry Magazine. LTC White, assisted by Col. Francis X Bradley and SP4 Howard Webber, later revised it to its present form. After revision of the text, SP4 Joseph Giordano added the artwork surrounding the poem. In July 1959, the new version along with its illustrative border was published on the back cover of the July-September issue of Infantry Magazine.

Webmaster’s Note: I have been unable to locate a photograph of the cover mentioned above. Any and All assistance in obtaining a copy would be appreciated. Please contact me via the email link below.

I AM THE INFANTRY!

Stephen H. White: I Am The Infantry!I am the Infantry – Queen of Battle!
For two centuries I have kept our Nation safe,
Purchasing freedom with my blood.
To tyrants, I am the day of reckoning:
to the suppressed, the hope for the future.
Where the fighting is thick, there am I…

I am the Infantry!
FOLLOW ME!

I was there from the beginning;
meeting the enemy face to face, will to will.
My bleeding feet stained the snow at Valley Forge;
my frozen hands pulled Washington
across the Delaware.
At Yorktown, the sunlight glinted from the sword
and I, begrimed…
Saw a Nation born.
Hardship… And glory I have known.
At New Orleans, I fought beyond the hostile hour,
showed the fury of my long rifle…
and came of age.

I am the Infantry!
FOLLOW ME!

Westward I pushed with wagon trains…
moved an empire across the plains…
extended freedom’s borders
and tamed the wild frontier.

I am the Infantry!
FOLLOW ME!

I was with Scott at Vera Cruz…
hunted the guerilla in the mountain passes…
and scaled the high plateau.
The fighting was done when I ended my march
many miles from the old Alamo.

From Bull Run to Appomattox, I fought and bled.
Both Blue and Gray were my colors then.
Two masters I served and united them strong…
proved that this nation could right a wrong…
and long endure.

I am the Infantry!
FOLLOW ME!

I led the charge up San Juan Hill…
scaled the walls of old Tientsin…
and stalked the Moro in the steaming jungle still…
always the vanguard,

I am the Infantry!

At Chateau-Thierry, first over the top,
then I stood like a rock on the Marne.
It was I who cracked the Hindenburg Line…
in the Argonne, I broke the Kaiser’s spine…
and didn’t come back ‘till it was “over, over there.”

I am the Infantry!
FOLLOW ME!

A generation older at Bataan, I briefly bowed,
but then I vowed to return.
Assaulted the African shore…
learned my lesson the hard way
in the desert sands…
pressed my buttons into the beach at Anzio…
and bounced into Rome
with determination and resolve.

I am the Infantry!

The English Channel, stout beach defenses
and the hedgerows could not hold me…
I broke out at St. Lo, unbent the Bulge…
vaulted the Rhine…
and swarmed the Heartland.
Hitler’s dream and the Third Reich
were dead.

In the Pacific, from island to island…
hit the beaches
and chopped through swamp and jungle…
I set the Rising Sun.

I am the Infantry!

In Korea, I gathered my strength around Pusan…
swept across the frozen Han…
outflanked the Reds at Inchon…
and marched to the Yalu.

FOLLOW ME!

In Vietnam, while others turned aside,
I fought the longest fight,
from the Central Highlands
to the South China Sea
I patrolled the jungle,
the paddies and the sky
in the bitter test that belongs to the Infantry.

FOLLOW ME!

Around the world, I stand… ever forward.
Over Lebanon’s sands, my rifle steady aimed…
and calm returned. At Berlin’s gates,
I scorned the Wall of Shame.
I spanned the Caribbean in freedom’s cause,
answered humanity’s call.
I trod the streets of Santo Domingo
to protect the innocent.
In Grenada, I jumped at Salinas,
and proclaimed freedom for all.
My arms set a Panamanian dictator to flight
and once more raised democracy’s flag.
In the Persian Gulf, I drew the line in the desert,
called the tyrant’s bluff
and restored right and freedom in 100 hours.
Duty called, I answered.

I am the Infantry!
FOLLOW ME!

My bayonet… on the wings of power…
keeps the peace worldwide.
And despots, falsely garbed in freedom’s mantle, falter… hide.
My ally in the paddies and the forest…
I teach, I aid, I lead.

FOLLOW ME!

Where brave men fight… there fight I.
In freedom’s cause… I live, I die.
From Concord Bridge to Heartbreak Ridge,
from the Arctic to the Mekong,
to the Caribbean…
the Queen of Battle!

Always ready… then, now, and forever.

I am the Infantry!
FOLLOW ME!