53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team


Col. Sam Sargeant - Commander, 53rd IBCT 
Command Sgt. Maj. James Reid - Command Sergeant Major, 53rd IBCT 



The 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) is the largest formation in the state of Florida. The IBCT's federal mission is to disrupt or destroy enemy military forces, control land areas including populations and resources, and prepare to conduct combat operations to protect US national interests. For the state of Florida, the IBCT deploys to conduct National Guard Civil Support in response to civil disturbances, disasters, and other events as directed. Additionally, it is prepared to provide mission command and sustain Military Assistance for Civil Disturbance, Quick Reaction Force, or National Guard Reaction Force (NGRF).

Training Year (TY) 2023 was primarily focused on the individual and squad/section level as the brigade reset its training following successful deployment. Each individual battalion/squadron conducted their Annual Training period focused on a "return to the basics." The 2-124 IN Battalion served as the host battalion for the execution of the Expert Infantry/Soldier Badge event at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Florida, from May 12-22, 2023. Soldiers throughout the state and COMPO 1 attended, aiming to earn the title of an Expert Infantryman or Soldier. The event started with 141 candidates and ended with only 14 successfully earning the Expert Infantryman Badge/ Expert Soldier Badge.

The Gator Brigade continued its support and participation in the State Partnership Program, sending teams to Barbados and Saint Kitts as a part of the Combat Engineer Exchange. The training's focus was to discuss and engage in various search and rescue methods, equipment, and operations.

As the Title 42 restrictions were preparing to be lifted along the United States Southwest Border in Texas, the 53rd IBCT answered the call to support its sister state. The 1-124th Infantry Battalion, 2-116th Field Artillery Battalion, and two companies from the 753rd Brigade Engineer Battalion were activated to provide approximately 800 Soldiers in support of the operation from May to June 2023, to fill critical staffing shortfalls at the southwest border. Each unit manned observation posts, conducted roving patrols, and performed static security to enhance the protection of Texas for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Just as the TY began for the 53rd IBCT, it ended in the same manner. As Category 4 Hurricane Idalia formed in the Gulf of Mexico in August 2023, the 53rd IBCT activated to serve as the main effort for the Florida Natonal Gurad's response efforts along the Big Bend. The Brigade mustered and immediately moved into the projected impact areas prior to landfall. As the storm damaged the rural areas of the various North Florida counties, the 53rd IBCT was in the right position to provide immediate search & rescue and route clearance support. Each battalion and squadron were given various counties to provide any required mission support, which included commodity distribution and security support post-landfall. The Gator Brigade continued to show why it is the premier IBCT in the nation and an organization that can be trusted to meet the needs of the citizens of the great state of Florida.

The Gator Brigade will complete an eXportable Combat Training Center rotation at Camp Shelby Joint Training Center, Mississippi, in August 2024. It was additionally selected with the honor of being one of the first IBCTs to complete a National Training Center rotation at Fort Irwin, California, in August 2025. The Gator Brigade is excited for what is to come for TY24 as it is confident that the TY will end with each formation stronger and each Soldier a better and more proficient warfighter.

From the Front!