U.S. 34 in the state of Iowa is officially designated the Red Bull Highway in honor of the 34th Infantry (Red Bull) Division.
The 34th Infantry Division is a division of the United States Army National Guard that participated in World War I, World War II and continues to serve today, with most of the Division part of the Minnesota and Iowa Army National Guard. It holds the distinctions of being the first U.S. division deployed to Europe in World War II, and having spent more days in combat and having taken more enemy-defended hills than any other U.S. Army division in that war.
The 34th Infantry Division was inactivated on November 3, 1945. The division was reformed within the Iowa and Nebraska Army National Guards in 1946-7, but it disbanded again in 1963, being replaced in part by the 67th Infantry Brigade. It also retained its division headquarters as a command headquarters to supervise training of combat and support units in the former division area for some years.
The division was reactivated as a National Guard division for Minnesota and Iowa on February 10, 1991, upon the 50th anniversary of its federal activation for World War II. At that point the division transitioned into a medium division, with a required strength of 18,062 soldiers. The division's force structure was spread across seven states (Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Illinois, Colorado, and Michigan).
The division was one of the first National Guard divisions to transform its component units to the new combat brigade structure. In 2005, it was ranked 1st out of eight National Guard divisions with regard to readiness indicators. The majority of the division's current 11,000 soldiers are located across two states - Minnesota and Iowa. The Minnesota Army National Guard provides the division headquarters, located in Rosemount, a southern suburb of the Twin Cities.
The 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 34th Infantry Division served sixteen months in southern Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Due to the combat subdued version of the division patch they wear, they were nicknamed "The Desert Bulls".
The United States Army Rangers also trace their lineage back to the 34th Division. The modern incarnation of the Rangers were developed from 34th Infantry volunteers in Ireland under the command of Major William O. Darby. Of the original five hundred twenty WWII Rangers, two hundred eighty one came from the 34th Infantry Division.
Minnesota Army National Guard, headquarters of the 34th Infantry Red Bull Division
34th Infantry Division Association
History of the 34th Infantry Division