25th Infantry Division Insignia

"Tropic Lightning"

The Divisionís shoulder patch, a lightning bolt superimposed on a taro leaf, was formally adopted during late 1943. The 25th Division had used "Lightning" as the telephone code-name for the Division Headquarters since its arrival on Guadalcanal in December of 1942. The "Lightning" epithet was adopted because the Japanese found it difficult to pronounce the letter "L". The Marines called the unit the "Lightning Division". "Lightning" was subsequently changed to "Tropic Lightning", as the Division had spent the year in the tropics. The taro leaf of the shoulder patch is reminiscent of the birth of the 25th from elements of the famous Hawaiian Division. It is also suggestive of the Pacific Region where the Division was established, and where it had fought. The taro plant has arrow-shaped leaves, often brilliantly colored, and is native to the Pacific isles. The rootstock of the taro plant is edible, its pulp being similar to that of a potato. It is used in the preparation of poi, a staple of Hawaiian cuisine. The bolt of lightning symbolizes speed and aggressive spirit. The colors of red and gold were those of the late Hawaiian Monarchy.

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