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US Army General: ‘In time of war, send me all the Alabamians you can get!’ (video)

(Above: Cliff Sims discusses the legendary “Fourth Alabama” with State Sen. Phil Williams)

Yellowhammer News CEO Cliff Sims hit the shooting range recently with state senator Phil Williams, who also happens to be an Airborne Ranger and currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Army National Guard.

Williams has served for 25 years in various reserve component Special Operations and Airborne units. Since 9/11 he has served two combat tours in the Global War on Terror, one each in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as one tour in the Pentagon on the Army Staff’s Special Operations Division. He is currently the Battalion Commander for the First of the 167th Infantry, known as the legendary “Fourth Alabama,” consisting of over 750 Infantrymen and support soldiers.

“It probably has more battle streamers on their guidon than the majority of the units in the actual entire Army,” Williams said of the battalion he commands. “The Fourth Alabama dates back to pre-Civil War. I think they were formed up first in 1836.”

Williams laid out in detail the history of the battalion from that point through the early 1900s, then turned his attention to World War I, where the Fourth Alabama’s fierce reputation reached new heights.

“They went to World War I and a number of major battles took place where the Fourth Alabama figured very prominently,” he explained. “They were attached to the 42nd Division — the Rainbow Division. And the Rainbow Division became legendary among American forces, and within that, the First of the 167th Infantry (the official name of the Fourth Alabama). There’s actually a statue built on the battlefield at Croix Rouge Farm (France) just for the battalion that I command.”

So famous were the Fourth Alabama’s battlefield exploits, in fact, that General Edward H. Plummer, who commanded the men during the early days of their service, exclaimed, “In time of war, send me all the Alabamians you can get!”

General Douglas MacArthur (then a Major) added that the Fourth Alabama’s service to their country had not “been surpassed in military history.”

Check out Yellowhammer’s interview with Sen. Williams above to learn more about Alabama’s legendary fighting force, how he balances his role as a state senator with his role as a battalion commander, and more.

Follow Yellowhammer on Twitter @YHPolitics.