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I was reading a book in which I saw that the Baron de Steuben had collected strength reports from each brigade of the Continental Army when he was training them in Valley Forge, but it did not go into any detail. How would a strength report be collected? What would it include? For example, would it be that one brigade can move quickly or that they are good at bayonet charges, or something else?
I presume you're asking about his service in the Continental Army of the American Revolution?
This would be numerical strength: how many men are fit for service in each platoon, company, battalion and regiment of the brigade. This will change daily during a campaign, usually downwards, as men fall sick, are injured, or desert. Since the Continental Army was not well-organised before the Baron became Inspector-General, all of those things were likely common, and simply requiring officers to report their units' strength regularly will motivate them to manage things better.
On November 17, 1917, the same year that America entered World War I, the 4th Division was formed at Camp Greene, North Carolina to begin its long tradition of service to our country. Filled with draftees, the Fourth Division, whose insignia had been adopted by its first commanding general, Major General George H. Cameron, became known as the &ldquoIvy&rdquo division. Its insignia consisted of four green ivy leaves on a khaki background. The Division also derived its numerical designation from the Roman numeral IV (4 and IV mean the same thing) hence the nickname, &ldquoIvy&rdquo division. The division&rsquos motto is &ldquoSteadfast and Loyal&rdquo.
In April 1918, the Ivy Division embarked en route to fight in France. By the time the &ldquoGreat War&rdquo ended some months hence, the Ivy Division would serve with distinction. They were the only American combat force to serve with both the French and the British in their respective sectors, as well as with all Corps in the American sector.
When the war ended on November 11, 1918, the Ivy Division had earned five battle streamers. Over 2,000 officers and men had been killed in action, total casualties were almost 14,000.
As war clouds engulfed Europe, the 4th Division was reactivated on June 1, 1940 at Fort Benning , Georgia. Selected as an experimental unit, the 4th Motorized Division began a three-year, wide-open experiment. From August 1940 through August 1943, the division participated in the Louisiana Maneuvers, then moved to the newly opened Camp Gordon, Georgia where they participated in the Carolina Maneuvers, and finally moved to Fort Dix, New Jersey where they scrapped the motorized experiment and were re-designated the 4th Infantry Division. A move in September 1943 to Camp Gordon Johnston, Florida gave the division realistic amphibious training in preparation for the assault on fortress Europe.
Chosen as the spearhead amphibious division of the D-Day landing on the Normandy coast of France, the men of the 4th Infantry Division stormed ashore at H-Hour (0630 hours) on a stretch of the French coast named - for this operation and forever after - Utah Beach. It was for his actions that day that Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr ., Assistant Division Commander, earned the first Medal of Honor of the division.
After their successful D-day landing, the men of the Ivy division fought through the hedgerows of the Cotentin Peninsula en route to taking the critically important port of Cherbourg on June 25, 1944. The division was in continuous action during the period of June 6 to June 28 when the last resistance around Cherbourg was eliminated. During this period, the 4th Infantry Division sustained over 5,450 casualties and had over 800 men killed.
With hardly a pause to catch their breath, the Ivymen continued to attack through the hedgerow country and, along with the 2nd Armored Division, spearheaded the breakthrough at St. Lo on July 25, 1944. Exploiting the break in the German lines, the division continued the attack across France. On August 25, 1944 they, along with the French 2nd Armored Division, were the troops who earned the distinction of liberating Parisfrom four years of Nazi rule. Passing through the wildly applauding Parisians, the Ivymen left the victory parade to outfits following in their wake and continued to pursue the Germans.
On September 11, 1944, a patrol from the 4th Infantry Division became the first Allied ground force to enter Germany. Fighting in the Siegfried Line followed. Mid November found the division in the bloodiest battle of its history. The most grueling battle in Europe was fought in the Hurtgen Forest. Fighting in the cold rain and snow and in a forest of pine and fir trees 150 feet in height, the Ivymen slugged it out yard-by-yard and day-by-day against determined German artillery and infantry resistance. By early December, the division had fought through what had become a twisted mass of shrapnel-torn stumps and broken trees and had accomplished its mission. Casualties in the Hurtgen often exceeded 150 percent of the original strength of a rifle company.
With the Hurtgen Forest behind them, the division moved into a defensive position in Luxembourg and was soon engaged in the Battle of the Bulge. General George S. Patton wrote to Major General Raymond Barton of the 4th Infantry Division: &ldquoYour fight in the Hurtgen Forest was an epic of stark infantry combat but, in my opinion, your most recent fight &ndash from the 16th to the 26th of December &ndash when, with a depleted and tired division, you halted the left shoulder of the German thrust into the American lines and saved the City of Luxembourg, and the tremendous supply establishments and road nets in that vicinity, is the most outstanding accomplishment of yourself and your division.&rdquo
As the German push was halted in the Bulge, the Ivy Division resumed the attack and continued the pursuit through the Siegfried Line - the same location it had crossed in September - and fought across Germany as the war ground on in the first four months of 1945. When the war ended on May 8, 1945, the 4th Infantry Division had participated in all of the campaigns from the Normandy Beach through Germany. Five more battle streamers were added to the 4th Infantry Division colors and personnel of the Division during this period wear the five campaign stars of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe. The division suffered almost 22,000 battle casualties and over 34,000 total casualties, including over 5,000 who were killed or died of injuries, during their eleven months of fighting across Europe. For 199 straight days, the 4th Infantry Division was in constant contact with the Germans.
On July 11, 1945, the Ivy Division returned to New York harbor and began preparing at Camp Butner , North Carolina, for the invasion of Japan. Fortunately, the war ended before that was required.
The Cold War found the 4th Infantry Division again standing tall in defense of freedom. While others fought the Communists in Korea, the Ivy Division returned to Germany in 1950 and for the next six years stood strong against the Communist threat to Western Europe. After returning to the States in 1956, the division trained at Fort Lewis, Washington, for the next time they would be called into battle. The next time was in Vietnam in the late summer of 1966, twenty-two years and two months after the Ivymen landed on Utah Beach.
In August 1966, led by the 2nd Brigade, the Ivy Division headquarters closed into the central highlands of Vietnam. On September 25, 1966, the division began a combat assignment against the North Vietnamese that would not end until December 7, 1970.
Eleven additional battle streamers would be added to the 4th Infantry Division colors as the Ivy Soldiers fought in places such as the Ia Drang Valley, Plei Trap Valley, Fire Base Gold, Dak To, the Oasis, Kontum , Pleiku , Ben Het , An Khe , and Cambodia. With the largest assigned area of operations of any division in Vietnam, the Ivy division was charged with screening the border of South Vietnam as the first line of defense against infiltration down the Ho Chi Minh trail through Laos and Cambodia, and, to preempt any offensive on the more populated lowlands. Triple canopy jungles, extreme heat, and seasonal monsoons were constant challenges to the division as were the North Vietnamese Regulars and Viet Cong. By the time the Ivy Division completed their assignment in Vietnamand returned to Fort Carson, Coloradoat the end of 1970, 2,497 Ivy Soldiers had been killed and 15,229 had been wounded. Eleven Ivy division Soldiers earned the Medal of Honor during that period.
Resuming training and Cold War missions, the 4th Infantry Division remained stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado from 1970 through 1995. During this period, the division was converted to a Mechanized organization and frequently sent units to Europe to continue the Cold War mission of standing against the Communist threat. It was during their time in Fort Carson that the division assumed the nickname, &ldquoIronhorse&rdquo .
In December 1995, the Ivy Division was moved to Fort Hood, Texas when the 2nd Armored Division was deactivated as part of the downsizing of the Army. Combining five armor battalions of the 2nd Armored Division with four mechanized infantry battalions of the 4th Infantry Division, the Ivy Division again became the experimental division of the Army, as it had been in the early 1940&rsquos. Until completing the mission in October 2001, the Ivy men and women led the United States Army into the twenty-first century under the banner of Force XXI . They developed and tested state-of-the-art digital communications equipment, night fighting gear, advanced weaponry, organization, and doctrine to prepare the United States Army for wars in the new century, in addition to being ready to deploy to any hot spot in the world.
That hot spot was to be the country of Iraq. On 18 January 2003, the 4 th Infantry Division, under the leadership of MG Raymond Odierno , was given the deployment order for movement to Iraqas part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In record time for a heavy armored Division, the 4 th Infantry Division, augmented by artillery, engineer, and support troops from active duty, National Guard, and Army reserve units to make them &lsquoTask Force Ironhorse&rsquo , loaded their equipment onto 37 ships bound for Turkey.
The Turkish government refused to allow the Division to land as the northern force in the planned assault into Iraq. For two months the Ivy Soldiers awaited word on where they would be going. In March, word arrived that the division would be landing in Kuwait with immediate movement into Iraq. On 18 April, the Division entered combat north of Baghdad. Their initial assignments were the airfields at Taji and Balad , which were quickly secured, followed by moving into and establishing their headquarters in Tikrit , Saddam Hussein&rsquos home town. Joined by other brigade sized units, including 173 rd Airborne Brigade which made the first ever combat jump from C-17 airplanes (March 25, 2003 into northern Iraq), the 4 th Infantry Division became the command for Task Force Ironhorse , a force of over 32,000 Soldiers.
During the year long deployment from March 2003 to April 2004, the Division and other Task Force Ironhorse units, carried out aggressive offensive operations designed to hunt down the last holdouts of the old regime. At the same time, the Division had the massive job of rebuilding the infrastructure of the many villages within their Area of Operations and reestablishing a governmental structure. In Operation Red Dawn, conducted on 13 December 2003, in 4 th Infantry Division, in coordination with a special operations unit, captured Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq. His capture has been described by the news media as the number one news story of 2003.
On 18 June 2004, soon after their return to the US, MG James D. Thurman (Left) assumed command of the 4 th Infantry Division. The division went through a massive reorganization, forming combined arms battalions consisting of Infantry, Armor, and Engineer companies, with support units also assigned in each unit. All the equipment that had been returned from Iraq began the long process of rebuild and upgrade. The Division also stood up a 4 th Brigade Combat Team, bringing the total strength of the division to slightly over 20,000 personnel. The end goal was to have the Division postured so it could return to Iraq in the fall of 2005, which they did.
The Division returned to Iraq starting in the fall of 2005, this time to Baghdad where MG Thurman now led Multi-National Division &ndash Baghdad ( MND-B ), with the 4 th Infantry Division as the command component. With attached units, MND-B numbered over 30,000 personnel and was responsible for the largest population area of Iraq, including the always volatile city of Baghdad.
This deployment saw a rise in the sectarian violence which was beginning to plague the new government. Accomplishments during this critical year were many. A new government was elected and installed. Iraqi security forces were beginning to take a larger role in the security of their own country. Infrastructure improvements continued so that larger sections of the population were afforded clean water and improved electrical service. Oil production was back to its pre-war levels and improvements were made to schools and medical facilities. In December 2006, the Division again returned to its home at Forts Hood and Carson.
Within a month of their return to the US, on January 19, 2007, MG Jeffrey Hammond assumed command of the 4 th Infantry Division and began the task of resetting the equipment, retraining the personnel, and preparing for a return to Iraqin late 2007.
On December 19, 2007, the 4ID again assumed command of Multi-National Division &ndash Baghdad with a fifteen month mission to exploit the gains made during the &ldquosurge&rdquo in 2007. The mission was defined as clear, control, retain, and transition. In a Christmas letter, MG Hammond explained the challenge for the next fifteen months as, &ldquoto continue to build upon the momentum built by Soldiers of Multi-National Division &ndash Baghdad. To do this we must, first and foremost, in partnership with the Iraqi Security Forces, continue to protect the Iraqi people, aggressively hunt the enemy down, and build upon the partnerships with the Iraqi people, their security services and the local and provincial governments&hellip&rdquo
On Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008, all hell broke loose in Baghdad. After experiencing attack rates which had been reduced by 63% between September 2007 and February 2008, the attacks during the last few days of March brought the attack level back up to what had been experienced when the surge was still taking hold in the fall of 2007. Mortar and rocket attacks, launched primarily from Sadr City, rained down on the International Zone. IED , small arms, and indirect fire attacks were launched against MND-B and Iraqi Security Forces bases, convoys, and patrols at a level which had not been seen since early in 2007. Through April into mid May, MND-B forces built a wall separating the southern portion of Sadr City from the volatile northern section and systematically cleaned out the aggressor forces, bringing a new level of calm to the entire city of Baghdad by early summer as the uprising of the JAM militia was stopped.
Through the summer, fall and winter, work continued to transition the lead from Coalition to Iraqi Security Forces ( ISF ) and the 4ID and MND-B prepared to turn over the lead to the ISF on 1 January 2009. That was accomplished on schedule with the ISF taking lead as the New Year came in. On 31 January 2009, successful provincial elections were conducted, without a significant enemy attack on election day. A few weeks later, the 4ID once again returned to FortHood , ending their third deployment to Iraq since 2003.
In the three deployments to Iraq, 84 4ID /Task Force Ironhorse Soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice in 2003-2004, 235 4ID /Multi-National Division &ndash Baghdad Soldiers lost their lives in 2005-2006, and 113 4ID /Multi-National Division &ndash Baghdad Soldiers were killed in 2007-2009.
July 2009 MG David Perkins took command to become the 56 th Commanding General of the 4 th Infantry Division. With this change of command, even more significant events happened as the 4ID completed 14 years calling Fort Hood, TX home and returned to Fort Carson, CO, where they had served from late 1970 through late 1995. Immediately, the division&rsquos brigades started preparing for their next return to combat.
The 4 th Infantry Brigade Combat Team completed a year long tour in Afghanistan that began in May 2009 the 3 rd Brigade Combat Team has completed a deployment to southern Iraq, as an Advise and Assist Brigade, which began in March 2010 1 st Brigade Combat Team deployed to Afghanistan in late summer 2010 and 4ID HQ and DSTB deployed in October to Iraq, for the fourth time. The 2 nd Brigade Combat Team, which returned from Iraq late in 2009, returned to combat duty in 2011.
From early 2003 through 2011, the 4ID focused on Iraq and played a key role in the successful completion of that war, including the capture of Saddam Hussein. Since 2009 we have had Brigade elements deployed to Afghanistan and that effort continues today.
MG Joseph Anderson became Division Commander on November 16, 2011. Fort Carson is now the home base and as 2012 begins the 4ID is resetting, refitting, and training to deploy as required to serve our nation for their next operation in the Global War on Terror.
Maj . Gen. Paul LaCamera , assumed command of the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, on March 14, 2013.
Since January 2013, three 4ID BCTs have deployed to Kuwait as the Army&rsquos Mid-East Ready Reaction Brigade. From July 2013 to July 2014, 4ID HQ was deployed to Afghanistan.
Sergeant's Clinton L. Romesha and Ty Michael Carter received the nation's highest military award for extraordinary gallantry and selfless actions during the Battle of Kamdesh at Combat Outpost Keating, Afghanistan, on Oct. 3, 2009. Both were assigned to Bravo Troop, 3-61 Cavalry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
Maj . Gen. Ryan F. Gonsalves assumed command of 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson May 14, 2015.
A Medal of Honor was presented posthumously on June 2 nd 2015 to the family of WWI soldier Sergeant William Shemin for his heroic actions in 1918 when he put his own life in grave peril rescuing his comrades. He was assigned to Company G, 2 nd Battalion, 47 th Infantry Regiment ( 4 th Infantry Division), and the only 4ID WWI Soldier to be awarded the national highest medal.
A third Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan was presented to Capt . Florent A. Groberg during a White House ceremony, November 12, 2015 for action on August 8, 2012 while providing a personal security detail in the city of Asadabad .
As they have done since the Division's birth in December 1917, The 4 th Infantry Division Soldiers are 'Steadfast and Loyal' and 'Fit for Any Test' &ndash they remain, 'The Mighty Fourth Division &ndash America&rsquos Best'.
Campaign participation credit
World War I:
World War II:
Counteroffensive, Phase II
Counteroffensive, Phase II
Counteroffensive, Phase IV
Counteroffensive, Phase V
Counteroffensive, Phase VI
Counteroffensive, Phase VII
Liberation of Iraq &ndash 2003
Transition of Iraq &ndash 2003 - 2004
Iraqi Governance &ndash 2004 - 2007
National Resolution &ndash 2005 - 2007
Iraqi Surge - 2007 - 2008
Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for PLEIKU PROVINCE ( 1st Brigade Only)
Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for DAK TO DISTRICT ( 1st Brigade Only)
Belgian Fourragere 1940
Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action in BELGIUM
Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action in the ARDENNES
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1966&ndash1969
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1969&ndash 1970
Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class for VIETNAM 1966&ndash1969
Army Superior Unit Award (Selected Units) for Force XXI Test and Evaluation (1995&ndash1996)
Valorous Unit Award ( 1st Brigade Combat Team & Supporting units) for Operation Red Dawn, Iraq &ndash 2003
How would a strength report be collected from a brigade? - History
The 16th Infantry Regiment has a very rich history. Few, if any, other regiments in the United States Army can match the number and variety of campaigns in which this regiment’s Soldiers have fought and served or the number of honors they have won. The regiment has fought in 20 different countries and its Soldiers have served peacefully in many others. Its leaders are the men who have led these great Soldiers through those events and helped make the larger history of the U.S. Army the amazing story that it is. Within these pages you will find many of the stories, images, and details that compose that history.
Major Delancey Floyd-Jones led the regiment through its battles from Gaines Mill to Gettysburg.
During the spring and summer of 1864, the regiment participated in General Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign and fought at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Jericho Mills, Cold Harbor, and finally in the Siege of Petersburg. In November the regiment was once again sent to New York for a short period, then after short stints at Lafayette Barracks in Baltimore and Camp Parole at Annapolis in Maryland, it was returned to the Army of the Potomac to perform duties as part of the Army of the Potomac’s Provost Guard in February 1865. By the spring of 1865, only a few of those soldiers sworn in at Fort Independence in 1861 were still present to participate in the regiment’s last wartime task—to help disarm General Robert E. Lee’s weary Confederates at Appomattox that April. During its Civil War actions, the regiment earned 12 campaign streamers and 3 of the regiment’s members, Captain Henry C. Wood, Forst Lieutenant John H. Patterson and Captain James M. Cutts, earned the regiment’s first Medals of Honor.
16th Infantry Regimental Band at Fort Riley, Kansas, circa 1877.
The 16th Infantry remained in the South at various locations performing Reconstruction duties until 1877 when it was called farther west to participate in various Indian campaigns. Westward expansion continued to cause friction and conflict with the Indians, so the regiment was initially sent to posts in Kansas and Oklahoma. The headquarters was established for the first time at Fort Riley with which the regiment was to later establish a long-term association. During this period several companies served in the campaigns against the Ute and Cheyenne Indians and but experienced little actual combat. The regiment then moved down to Texas in 1880. While in the Lone Star State, soldiers of the 16th Infantry served in the campaigns against Victorio’s Apaches in New Mexico and guarded various posts and patrol stations throughout west Texas. In 1886, Company K provided the guards to escort Geronimo into captivity at Fort Pickens, Florida. At Pine Ridge in 1890-91, the regiment participated in the “Wounded Knee” campaign and helped to bring to an end the Indian wars in the American West. Finally, the US Army’s long and arduous task of keeping open the westward roads to America’s expansion across the continent was complete. The 16th Infantry’s participation in the Indian wars of the west garnered the regiment another 3 campaign streamers.
After brief stays at Camp Wheeler, Alabama, Fort Crook, Nebraska, and Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, the 16th Infantry then received orders to go to the Philippines to help put down the ongoing insurrection there. The regiment arrived in Manila on 26 June 1899 and was initially assigned the duty of guarding the Manila and Dagupan Rail Road. Over the next 6 months, troops of the regiment participated in numerous small skirmishes somewhat reminiscent of those in which it would later engage in Vietnam. In December 1899, the regimental headquarters and several companies participated in a small campaign designed to retake the city of San Ildefonso back from a large insurgent force. Soon after this excursion, the regiment was redeployed to Nueva Viscaya Province to pacify and administer the area. The singular incident of note during that effort was the repulse of a force of over 300 insurgents on 14 September 1900 at Carig by a detachment consisting of 24 men from L and D Companies commanded by Sergeant Henry F. Schroeder. Schroeder was later awarded the regiment’s fourth Medal of Honor for that feat. By the fall of 1900, the regiment had administered the province so well that it was considered the most orderly area on Luzon.
The 16th Infantry returned to the United States at San Francisco on 8 July 1901 and from there was posted, less the 1st Battalion, to Fort McPherson, Georgia. The 1st Battalion was concurrently assigned station at Fort Slocum, New York, to provide support to the recruit training operations there. After a few years of routine garrison duty, the regiment was once again ordered to the Philippines in the spring of 1905. Stationed predominantly at Fort McKinley near Manila, this tour in the islands was much calmer than the previous. The only incident of note was a small expedition to Leyte Island to put down a minor uprising of the Pulajane tribesmen there. On return to Fort McKinley, the regiment discovered that the Philippine Division now had a new commander, Brigadier General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing. This brief association with the general was the start of an on again-off again relationship that would continue through World War I.
The 16th Infantry once again arrived home to America at San Francisco on 16 September 1907. This time it was split between Fort Crook, where most of the regiment was stationed, and Fort Logan H. Root, Arkansas, to which the 1st Battalion was posted. The command remained at these posts conducting routine garrison duty for the next 3 and a half years. The only noteworthy incident during this period was the deployment of 4 companies sent to help quell disturbances by the White River Utes at the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.
The men of the 16th Infantry trudge into the depths of central Mexico, 1916.
In the fall of 1909, the regiment received orders once again for another overseas move, this time to Alaska. Arriving in July 1910, the regiment was widely distributed in little posts across the huge Alaskan Territory. In July 1912, the 16th Infantry arrived back home once again at San Francisco, but this time it remained there for duty at the Presidio, and assigned to the 8th Brigade. Less than 2 years later, the brigade received a new commanding general who was none other than “Black Jack” Pershing. Within two months, Pershing was ordered by the War Department to move his brigade to the Mexican Border to help secure it from depredations by Mexican bandits and paramilitary forces commanded by Francisco “Pancho” Villa. On arrival in April 1914, the regiment was posted to Camp Cotton in the city of El Paso. For the next two years, in addition to the normal garrison duties, the troops conducted foot patrols along the dusty Mexican border, showing the flag, and attempting to keep the area under some semblance of control. In January 1916, disturbances by Mexican citizens, ostensibly fomented by Villa organizers, caused Pershing to deploy the regiment into the city to restore calm and order. Two months later, Villa raided Columbus, New Mexico, which, in turn, caused President Woodrow Wilson to order Pershing to take an expedition into Mexico to find and punish the Mexican bandit.
Assembling a largely cavalry force, Pershing selected two infantry formations to accompany the expedition, the 16th and 6th Infantry Regiments. The long march into the interior of Mexico was hot and dusty. After several weeks of movement between Colonia Dublan and El Valle, the 16th Infantry finally settled in the latter place in June. There the soldiers built mud brick huts for quarters and began to return to what amounted to a garrison routine, except for the occasional patrols into the nearby mountains and valleys to hunt for rumored Villistas. Though the cavalry had several clashes with Villista and Federali forces, the infantry maintaining a dull and boring existence for the next 8 months. In February 1917, Wilson recalled Pershing’s expedition from Mexico.
During the period between 1898 and 1917, the 16th Infantry participated in three small conflicts in foreign lands. In each, the regiment ably performed all tasks and missions with its usual efficiency. For its work in these conflicts the regiment added another 3 campaign streamers to its colors. It would soon have the chance to add more. The war in Europe was heating up and within two more months, America would be at war again, this time with Germany.
B Company macrhes to Easter services on Governors Island circa 1936.
Two years later, the division was transferred once again, but this time, the brigades, regiments, and smaller units were sent to garrison small posts all over the northeastern US. The 16th Infantry was posted to Fort Jay, New York, on Governors Island in the middle of New York harbor. The regiment would remain there until 1941, during which time it became known as, “New York’s Own” and adopted as its regimental song, “The Sidewalks of New York.” During this period the regiment engaged in the normal peacetime training routine of the 1920s and 30s which consisted of troop schools and individual, squad, and platoon training in the winter and spring, followed by the training of the Organized Reserve, R.O.T.C., and C.M.T.C. during the summer at Camp Dix. The fall was reserved mainly for maneuver and marksmanship training which were also usually held at Camp Dix. The regiment, along with the rest of the 1st Division, also participated in the First Army maneuvers of 1935 and 1939. After the latter maneuver, the entire division was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia, to participate in a corps-level maneuver experiment designed to improve the employment of the new “triangular” division structure. The regiment returned to Fort Jay that summer in time to participate in the next First Army maneuver in upstate New York in September 1940. The following January, the 1st Division was assembled at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, where it was brought to full war strength and conducted the training requirements of the US Army’s Protective Mobilization Plan. The regiment, along with the rest of the Big Red One, also conducted a number of amphibious training exercises which provided an indicator of how the division was to be used in any impending conflict.
The 2nd Battalion parades through Paris, 4 July 1917. USASC
Prior to being committed to battle, the 16th Infantry Regiment, began training in July 1917 in the Gondrecourt area with the French 47th Division, Chasseaurs d’Alpines, nicknamed the “Blue Devils.” Throughout the summer and fall the training went apace and soon it was time for exposure to actual combat. On 3 November 1917, while occupying a section of trenches near Bathlémont, the 16th Infantry became the first U.S. regiment to fight and suffer casualties in the trenches during World War I when it repelled a German night raid. The French government later erected a monument at Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, honoring the first three 16th Infantry Regiment soldiers killed during the fight with the inscription: “Here lie the first soldiers of the Great American Republic fallen on French soil for Justice and Liberty.”
In the months that followed, the 16th Infantry would sustain even more casualties in defensive battles in eastern France at Ansauville, Cantigny, and Coullemelle. The regiment’s first major attack was made during the bloody three-day drive near Soissons in July 1918. Along with the rest of the Big Red One, it relentlessly attacked until the German rail line that supplied their front line troops was severed forcing a major withdrawal of the enemy’s forces. The regiment also participated in the US First Army’s huge offensive to reduce the St. Mihiel salient in September. Arguably the regiment’s most gallant action was the grueling drive that liberated the little village of Fléville in the Argonne forest region on 4 October 1918. This feat was significant in that the 16th Infantry was the only regiment in the entire First U.S. Army to take its main objective on the first day of the Meuse-Argonne Campaign. To this day that action is celebrated annually during the 16th Infantry Regiment’s Organization Day. The 16th Infantry also participated in the 1st Division’s final drive of the war when the division attacked to seize the city of Sedan. Though the division was stopped short of that objective by international politics, the verve and vigor of that drive demonstrated the regiment lived up to the division’s new motto, “No mission too difficult, no sacrifice too great—Duty First!”
During the Great War, the 16th Infantry suffered its greatest number of wartime casualties to date, all in a single year of combat. It sustained 1,037 soldiers killed in action or mortally wounded, and 3,389 wounded. In addition to the 7 campaign streamers earned by the regiment and the 2 Croix de Guerre granted by the French government, its soldiers were awarded at least 97 Distinguished Service Crosses, and thousands were cited for “gallantry in action” in General Orders which was the equivalent of today’s Silver Star. In recognition of the regiment’s service in France, Brigadier General Frank Parker paid the following tribute:
There is to my thinking, nothing finer in this world than the self-effacing role of the true private soldier of infantry, and nowhere in this war has the private soldier of infantry been truer to his Country’s expectations of him than in the Sixteenth Infantry. All Honor, then, to these men, and to those gallant officers and non-commissioned officers, who have taught, inspired and led these private Great Hearts in the van of the American Expeditionary Forces.
The 16th Infantry, along with the rest of the 1st Division, marched into the Coblenz Bridgehead in late 1918 to perform occupation duty there for the next 9 months. In August 1919, the division received orders to come home and boarded ships at Brest, France, later that month.
Next came Sicily. Shortly before 0100 hours on 10 July 1943, the first wave of the 16th Infantry boarded landing craft for the assault on that island. After achieving a relatively bloodless hold on the beachhead in the darkness, the regiment pushed into the hills beyond. There the regiment was soon hit hard with an armored counterattack by German tanks. Despite numerous enemy tanks and reinforcements, the 16th Infantry desperately held on by receiving assistance from the heavy guns of the U.S. Navy and the timely arrival of the regiment’s Cannon Company. By 14 July 1943, the regiment had moved through Pictroperzia, Enna, and Villarosa. Fighting against snipers and well-fortified positions, the regiment moved forward by a series of flanking movements and by 29 July had taken the high ground west of the Cerami River. In early August, the regiment reached the town of Troina in eastern Sicily. At Troina the regiment experienced some of the most bitter fighting it would see during the war. After a four-day brawl with the battle-hardened troops of the 15th Panzer Grenadier Division, the men of the 16th Infantry finally captured the town and soon after the Sicily campaign ended.
Subsequently, the regiment sailed to Liverpool, England, and from there entrained on 16 October 1943 for Dorchester, to carry out seven months of grueling training in preparation for the Allied invasion of Europe. On 1 June 1944, the men of the 16th Infantry departed their D-Camps in southwestern England and embarked on amphibious assault ships at the port of Weymouth. Units of the 16th Infantry boarded the USS Samuel Chase, the USS Henrico, and the HMS Empire Anvil, preparatory to their third—and most important—amphibious assault mission. Late on the afternoon of 5 June 1944, the troop-laden ships slipped out of Weymouth harbor and headed for the beaches of Normandy.
Succinctly stated, the 16th Infantry’s mission on D-Day was “To assault Omaha Beach and reduce the beach defenses in its zone of action, proceed with all possible speed to the D-Day Phase Line, and seize and secure it two hours before dark on D-Day.” The long awaited assault on “Fortress Europe” began in the early hours of 6 June 1944 as the 16th Infantry Regiment moved toward Omaha Beach. About 600 yards offshore, the regiment’s landing craft began to encounter intense antitank and small arms fire. As the lead elements, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, approached the beach, it became readily apparent that many of the enemy’s strong points had not been eliminated by the pre-invasion bombardment. Many landing craft, and their occupants, were hit as they plowed through the heavy seas toward shore. As landing craft dropped their ramps, men were killed and wounded as they attempted to get out of the boats. Others were hit as they struggled through the surf or tried to run across the sand weighted down with water-logged equipment.
The survivors of the first wave slowly built up a firing line along the low pile of shale. As more units arrived, they found the now disorganized lead troops pinned down and congested. Still, here and there men attempted to move forward. Many were shot down, but others made it in close to the base of the bluff where they found the area mined and criss-crossed with concertina wire. In a few places, small organized bodies of troops made efforts to get through the enemy defenses. Eventually, an assault section of E Company under First Lieutenant John Spalding and Staff Sergeant Philip Streczyk managed to cross a minefield, breach the enemy wire, and struggle their way to the bluff. Colonel George Taylor, the regimental commander, noting the small breakthrough stood to his feet and yelled at his troops, “The only men who remain on this beach are the dead and those who are about to die! Let’s get moving!” Soon other troops began making their way up the bluffs along Spaulding’s route while other gaps were blown through the wire and mines. By vicious fighting, some hand-to-hand, other sections, platoons, and eventually companies made it to the top and began pushing toward Colleville-Sur-Mer.
By noon of that bloody day, the 16th Infantry had broken through the beach defenses and established a foothold that allowed follow-on units to land and move through. The evening of D-Day plus 1 found all of the units of the regiment ashore, many of them well inland by that time, but some were combat ineffective due to casualties. A few weeks later, at an awards ceremony on 2 July 1944, Generals Eisenhower, Bradley, and Gerow came to praise the troops of the regiment for their heroic efforts and to present the Distinguished Service Cross to a number of the regiment’s officers and men. At the ceremony, Eisenhower told the members of the regiment:
I’m not going to make a long speech, but this simple little ceremony gives me an opportunity to come over here, and through you, say thanks. You are the finest regiment in our army. I know your record from the day you landed in North Africa, and through Sicily. I am beginning to think that your Regiment is a sort of Praetorian Guard, which goes along with me and gives me luck.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower
2 July 1944
After D-Day, the 16th Infantry became the division reserve, and after a brief rest, continued moving inland. In late July, the regiment was still in division reserve when it was ordered to be prepared to assist in a breakout through the German line near St. Lo. After the saturation bombing of the Panzer Lehr Division on 25 July, the Big Red One closely followed the 9th Infantry Division in the breakout attempt. Two days later the 16th Infantry was launched on an attack through a break in the lines near Marigny and drove on the city of Coutance where it established battle positions on 29 July. By this time, the Germans were in headlong retreat and attempting to establish a new line well to the east. Their efforts would fail and the German Seventh Army would be largely destroyed as it attempted to escape via the Falaise Gap. Meanwhile, in an effort to keep up with the retreating Germans, the men of the 16th Infantry piled on trucks, tanks, and anything else they could find to move eastward as quickly as possible. After motoring south past Paris, the regiment caught up with the enemy again near Mons, Belgium, where it helped the 1st Infantry Division destroyed six German divisions in August and early September.
From Mons, the regiment pushed on with the Big Red One toward Aachen, Germany, just across the German frontier. For the next three months, the men of the 16th Infantry would experience some of the most grueling fighting of the war in the infamous Hürtgen Forest near Aachen, Stolberg, and Hamich, Germany. After sustaining very heavy casualties from enemy artillery fire and the cold dreary weather, the entire division was sent to a rest camp on 12 December 1944. The stay was short, because Hitler launched Operation Wacht am Rhein four days later and the Battle of the Bulge was on. The division was sent to bolster the northern shoulder of the bulge near Camp Elsenborn. The regiment was ordered to positions near Waywertz. For the next month, the men of the 16th Infantry held defensive positions there, conducted heavy patrolling toward the German positions near Faymonville, and engaged in a number of firefights with troops of the 1st SS Panzer and 3rd Fallshirmjaeger Divisions. All of this was conducted in heavy snows during one of the coldest European winters on record.
On 15 January 1945, the Big Red One launched its part of the Allied counteroffensive to reduce the Bulge. Over the next seven weeks, the regiment conducted numerous operations in western Germany culminating in the capture of Bonn on 8 March 1945. From there the Big Red One moved north to the Harz Mountains to eliminate a German force cut off there by the rapid advance of the First and Ninth US Armies. For a week the regiment conducted several attacks against die-hard enemy troops. On 22 April, the Big Red One finished clearing the Harz Mountains and soon received orders to once again head south. This time, the division was reassigned to the Third Army for its drive into Czechoslovakia.
On 28 April, the regiment arrived near Selb, Czechoslovakia, and began advancing east. For the next ten days the 16th Infantry pushed into that country arriving near Falkenau by 7 May. At 0800 that day, a net call went out to the entire regiment to cease all forward movement. The war was over. In 443 days of combat, the 16th Infantry had sustained 1,250 officers and men killed in combat. An additional 6,278 were wounded or missing in action. Its men had earned four Medals of Honor, 87 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 1,926 Silver Stars. Additionally, the regiment, or its subordinate units, was awarded five presidential unit citations and two distinguished unit citations from the United States, two Croix de Guerre and the Medaille Militaire from the government of France, and the Belgian Fourragerre and two citations from the government of Belgium. Once again the regiment had fought with valor and courage to help win a war against the nation’s enemies. It would spend the next ten years trying to win the peace in the country of its vanquished foe.
The regiment provided guards at the Nuremburg trials in 1948.
In July 1948, the regiment was reformed in Frankfurt, Germany, by reflagging the newly formed 7892nd Infantry Regiment. The regiment was then almost immediately railed to Grafenwöhr for a series of intensive training exercises designed to bring the 16th Infantry to wartime fighting proficiency. Unlike the previous three years during which the regiment was predominantly preoccupied with what were essentially Military Police duties, the regiment was now going to focus on staving off the Red threat to central Europe. To ensure they were ready, the regiment participated with the Big Red One in numerous European Command training events such as Exercises WINTERPRIME II, HARVEST, JUNIPER, COMBINE, and FERRYBOAT. The regiment maintained its sharp edges by conducting no-notice alerts at monthly, or even more frequent, intervals. The urgency of the mission increased in July 1950 when the Korean War erupted. Fear of a second communist front caused the disbandment of the U.S. Constabulary and the reinforcement of Germany with an armored division and three more infantry divisions in 1951. The defense of the Fulda Gap became the 1st Infantry Division’s area of responsibility and also the 16th Infantry Regiment’s primary focus.
Given the initial restrictions placed on U.S. Army soldiers regarding fraternization with German citizens (especially females) and the consumption of alcohol, The leaders of the 1st Infantry Division, as well as the European Command as a whole, looked for ways to keep soldiers busy and out of trouble when not on duty. One of the primary ways was a vigorous sports program. Just after the 16th Infantry was reorganized in Germany in 1948, the regiment needed to come up with a name for its various sports teams. Its soldiers chose the name “Rangers” due to the fact that the Germans had mistakenly reported the regiment as Rangers on D-day. The regiment has maintained that tradition to this this day, with modifications to the basic moniker by the various battalions over the years.
After the 1948 Grafenwöhr training exercises, the regiment had been posted to Monteith Barracks in Furth, Germany, and surrounding communities. It was during this period that the Security Platoon (also known as the Honor Guard) provided guards for the famous Nuremburg trials. In August 1952, the 16th’s headquarters was transferred to Conn Barracks in Schweinfurt, Germany, while the most of the regiment’s subordinate units were assigned to Ledworth Barracks in that city. Schweinfurt was to be the regiment’s last station in Germany before returning home.
In 1955, the army tested a system of rotating units to Europe which became known as Operation GYROSCOPE. In June 1955, the 16th Infantry Regiment became the first Big Red One unit to return to the United States via GYROSCOPE when it was replaced by the 86th Infantry, 10th Infantry Division at Conn Barracks. The new duty station for the regiment, as well as for the rest of the Big Red One was Fort Riley, Kansas.
MG Chauncey Merrill presents the colors of the Army Reserve’s 3rd Battle Group, 16th Infantry to Colonel Irving Yeosock in May 1959.
After spending 2 years at Fort Riley, participating in a number of various exercises and conducting an iteration of Basic Combat training, in March 1959, the 1st Battle Group was transferred to Baumholder, Germany, and assigned to the 8th Infantry Division. Over the next three years, the battle group function as part of the US Army Europe’s first line of defense against potential Soviet aggression against Europe. It participated in Exercises such as WINTERSHIELD and B Company was sent to France in 1961 to act as soldiers in the movie, The Longest Day.
The next element of the regiment to actually organize under the Pentomic concept was the 3rd Battle Group, 16th Infantry. In May 1959, the battle group was activated at Worcester, Massachusetts, and assigned to the 94th Infantry Division. The unit spent the next four years conducting the normal drill and summer camps of a reserve unit. On 7 January 1963, it was reorganized and redesignated as the 3rd Battalion, 16th Infantry and reassigned to the 187th Infantry Brigade (Separate). It was the first unit of the regiment to reorganize under what was known as the Reorganization of Army Divisions (ROAD) that eliminated the Pentomic structure of five battle groups. The infantry division was returned to a structure that included nine battalions that were now organized into three brigades.
The 1st Battle Group remained at Baumholder until 1 April 1963 when it was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry and reassigned to the Big Red One at Fort Riley. The 1st Battle Group remained at Baumholder until 1 April 1963 when it was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry and reassigned to the Big Red One . At Fort Riley, on 2 March 1964, the 1st Battalion was more or less split in two and the 2nd Battle Group was reactivated with the 1st Battalion’s excess personnel and concurrently reorganized and redesignated as the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry. The two active battalions of the regiment participated in supporting R.O.T.C. summer camp and Fort Riley and Exercise GOLD FIRE 1 before receiving warning orders for deployment to the Republic of Vietnam in the spring of 1965.
The 2nd Battalion in Vietnam
In 1965, the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment became the first element of the regiment to deploy to South Vietnam. The battalion arrived on the USNS Gordon on 14 July 1965 as a part of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and debarked at Vung Tau. This event marked the first time since the Philippine Insurrection that the Rangers had set foot on Asian soil. The troops were initially sent to Long Binh north of Saigon and there the battalion immediately began building a base camp appropriately named Camp Ranger. Even while the construction was going on, the battalion began conducting platoon-size missions around the camp. In late July, a patrol from Company A was surprised by a small group of Viet Cong in a clearing southeast of the camp. In the brief firefight that ensued, one Viet Cong was killed which marked the first confirmed VC killed by soldiers of the 2nd Brigade. There would be many more in the years that followed.
In the many ensuing operations, the Rangers found themselves fighting in some of the most difficult conditions known to an infantryman. The elusive enemy had to be found before he could be destroyed and to find him the troops had to remain almost constantly in the field on search missions. “Search and Destroy” operations such as those conducted during Operations MASTIFF, BUSHMASTER, ABILENE, BIRMINGHAM, EL PASO, ATTLEBORO, CEDAR FALLS, and JUNCTION CITY usually found the battalion operating far from its base camp area throughout the III Corps Tactical Zone. The sites of these missions included many areas that were to be come well-known to many U.S. infantrymen during the Vietnam years: the impenetrable jungles of Tay Ninh near Cambodia Hobo Woods the “Iron Triangle” near Lai Khe the Michelin Rubber Plantation the Trapezoid, and War Zones C and D. In all these places, the 2nd Rangers inflicted heavy losses on enemy manpower and supplies.
After a series of patrols and search and destroy missions largely in the areas around Camp Ranger, the battalion participated in Operations BUSHMASTER I and II in and near the Michelin Rubber Plantation. The 2nd Rangers participated in these missions in November and December 1965 along with the 1st Battalion and the regiment’s old chums from World War I, the battalions of the 18th Infantry. This mission was followed by SMASH II in mid-December and MALLETs I and II in late January and early February. In late February the 2nd Rangers operated once again with their brother battalion when the Big Red One’s 2nd and 3rd Brigades deployed to the vicinity of Ben Suc to clear out a notorious VC support zone and bring the 272nd People’s Liberation Army Front (PLAF) Regiment to battle. The operation ended in late February with little damage to the 272nd Regiment, but with vast quantities of enemy supplies and equipment located and destroyed or confiscated.
A machine gun team from C Company, 2-16 Infantry sometime before the battle at Courtenay Plantation.
In March, the 2nd Battalion moved to a new home at Camp Bear Cat. Once settled into its new location, the battalion received a warning order for the next operation, ABILENE. ABILENE was a division-level effort to find and destroy several enemy formations operating due east of Saigon. The major incident during this huge mission took place near the village of Xã Cam My and the Courtenay Plantation. On the afternoon of Easter Sunday, 11 April 1966, C Company became engaged in one of the toughest battles of the war. Encountering the D800 Battalion set up in a well-fortified base camp, the 2nd Rangers fought fiercely, often hand to hand, for hours into the night. Although the company suffered heavy casualties, over 30 KIA, its Soldiers held their own until a relief force arrived the following morning. The VC battalion, however, had paid heavy toll for its attempt to overrun C Company. With over 100 killed in action and its base camp destroyed, the remnants of the enemy unit were forced to flee to avoid complete destruction as the rest of the battalion continued the search.
ABILENE was followed by Operation BIRMINGHAM which took place on the Cambodian Border west of Tay Ninh. During BIRMINGHAM, A Company, and elements of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, took on the 3rd Battalion 70th Security Guards Regiment at Lo Go on 30 April. This severe five-hour battle resulted in at least 54 confirmed KIAs and perhaps as many as another 50 enemy dead.
Throughout the rest of 1966, the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry participated a series of pacification operations. The overall mission of these operations was to move into a semi-populated area and conduct extended operations to find and destroy enemy troops and support areas. These consisted of Operations EL PASO I, II, and II, ALLENTOWN, and FAIRFAX. In the latter mission, the 2nd Rangers inflicted numerous losses among the local VC guerrillas by setting up night ambushes along the Saigon River in the Thu Duc District just northeast of Saigon.
Shortly after the beginning of the new year, the 2nd Rangers participated in Operation LAM SON in the Phu Loi area. This pacification operation had been continuously maintained on a rotational basis by several infantry battalions for over six months prior to the arrival of the 2nd Battalion. The operation made use of practically all infantry tactics used in counterinsurgency operations, including day and night ambushes, village seal and search missions, heliborne assault, search and clear, and search and destroy operations. During LAM SON, the battalion compiled an impressive record and it was reported that the 2nd Rangers were the most successful infantry battalion to conduct such operations since the start of the mission.
In late February, the 2nd Battalion was pulled out of LAM SON to join in Operation JUNCTION CITY, the largest single mission of the war. Though a huge effort, the 2nd Rangers’ own experience was largely uneventful. It conducted numerous, but fruitless, search and destroy sweeps near the Cambodian Border in an attempt to find the Central Office of South Vietnam (COSVN), the controlling headquarters for VC units in the III Tactical Zone. During most of the rest of 1967, the battalion continued to conduct pacification efforts with 5th Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) Division partner units and conduct patrols, ambushes, and search and destroy missions near Ben Cat.
2LT Harry Smith and SFC Joe Shine develop plans during Operation Plumb Bob.
The end of January 1968 saw the beginning of the infamous Tet Offensive, the VC effort to overrun and win the war in South Vietnam. Both battalions of the regiment were intimately involved in the US Army’s own counteroffensive operations during this period. On the second day of the offensive, the 2nd Battalion, operating in conjunction with the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, took on the 9th PLAF Division’s 273rd Regiment. Over the next two days, the infantry/ cavalry team killed at least 372 enemy soldiers, including the regimental commander and staff, and destroyed a supporting a artillery battery. During the rest of the month the battalion kept parts of Highway 15 open, guarded bridges, and conducted countless patrols and ambushes in the An My—Di An—Phu Loi area. By March, the VC effort was thoroughly defeated and the enemy had sustained over 45,000 KIA.
Flush on the heels of what was a significant US-RVN victory, the 2nd Rangers partook in Operations QUYET THANG and TOAN THANG. These were pacification operations designed to consolidate gains made during Tet as well as start moving U.S. Army efforts more toward working with ARVN units to provide local security for key hamlets in villages in the hinterlands. As part of TOAN THANG, the battalion conducted a seal operation at Chanh Luu, a village east of Ben Cat, and succeeded in capturing 268 VC soldiers that were hiding there after their defeat during Tet. In September while conducting pacification efforts near “Claymore Corners,” the 2nd Battalion was suddenly redeployed by air to the vicinity of Loc Ninh to help hunt for the 7th People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) Division’s 141st Regiment. In a classic meeting engagement on 12 September, the battalion battled and pursued the 141st Regiment over the next two days inflicting hundreds of casualties and over fifty known KIA.
After the operations around Loc Ninh, the battalion was assigned to the “Accelerated Pacification Campaign” in November and continued on this effort into the new year as part of the LAM SON mission in the Phu Loi area north of Di An. Throughout 1969, the 2nd Rangers performed numerous and varied missions in support of the pacification campaign. In April it joined in Operation PLAINSFIELD WARRIOR in the “Trapezoid,” and in numerous search and destroy missions in June and July around Ben Cat and Lai Khe. Later in July the battalion was assigned the road security mission along a section of the highway to Song Be. Known as the “Thunder Run,” the route was so-named due to the many mortars, rockets, and mines the enemy used to interdict US and ARVN traffic along the road. The battalion remained engaged in that mission until September 1969 when it was transferred permanently to Lai Khe where it joined the 1st Battalion under the Big Red One’s 3rd Brigade, an assignment that held for the remainder of the war.
Late in September, the 3rd Brigade participated in Operation IRON DANGER, the first division-level mission of the year. While the 1st Battalion was sent to find and destroy elements of the Dong Nai Regiment near Bau Bang, the 2nd Rangers deployed to the “Rocket Belt” to engage the C-61 Local Force Unit. The battalion initially provided security for the construction of Fire Support Base (FSB) Lorraine and then conducted sweeps through the Rocket Belt, the “Deadman,” and the T-Ten stream complex looking for the C-61 until December. Both battalions experienced few contacts and discovered that their respective enemy forces were starving due to the success of the pacification campaign. The enemy at this point was far more interested in findng food than in fighting the Americans.
The remaining three months in Vietnam for the 2nd Battalion were busy in terms of patrolling operations and work with ARVN units. The battalion’s work changed in early March when it was ordered to pack up its equipment and prepare to depart Vietnam. Although its personnel were transferred home individually to be assigned to other commands, or be released from service, the battalion remained active while its colors and records were transported to Fort Riley where it would be reorganized as a mechanized infantry battalion in April 1970.
The 1st Battalion in Vietnam
The 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry arrived at Vung Tau, Vietnam, on 10 October 1965 with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. The battalion was initially moved to Camp Ben Cat in Phuoc Vinh Province north of Saigon. The division wasted no time getting this newly arrived brigade into the fight and in early November the battalion air assaulted into the field to participate in Operation BUSHMASTER I. This mission was designed to clear a zone along Highway 13 between Lai Khe and Ben Cat in Phouc Vinh Province to prevent VC interception of convoys moving along its length. The unit conducted numerous air assaults during BUSHMASTER and earned a reputation for flexibility, mobility, and aggressiveness. This was followed closely by BUSHMASTER II where both battalions of the regiment were both employed under the 3rd Brigade in “search and destroy” missions in late November and early December. The brigade’s operations centered around the Michelin Rubber Plantation, an area with which both battalions would become intimately familiar over the next four years. In the first two months of operations, the 1st Battalion had killed or captured over 1600 NVA or VC soldiers.
A 1st Battalion Soldier carries a Vietnamese boy to safety. AP-Faas
The BUSHMASTER operations were followed by MASTIFF in February 1966. This mission took the battalion to the vicinity of Dau Tiang where this time it operated with its brother battalion under the 2nd Brigade. MASTIFF was a fairly intense operation that focused on clearing out a notorious VC support zone between Dau Tiang and Saigon. In April , the 1st Rangers were sent east of Saigon to participate in the division-level ABILENE mission to find and destroy the 5th PLAF Division. On this operation the battalion operated in and around the Nui Ba Quon mountain complex in the southern sector of the mission area. ABILENE was followed in rapid succession by Operations BIRMINGHAM and EL PASO I, II, and III. On 9 July during EL PASO II, the 1st Rangers participated in the Battle of Minh Thanh Road. This effort was designed to entice the 9th PLAF Division’s 272nd Regiment into spring an ambush on the division’s 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, and a preplanned stretch of that route. Once the enemy showed himself, the 1st Battalion, along with three other battalions, would pile on the regiment and destroy it. Though the effort failed to destroy the regiment, the 1st Rangers help to kill over 300 VC Regulars and an untold number of WIAs.
After he EL PASO missions, the battalion next took part in Operation AMARILLO in August near Lai Khe, and Operations TULSA/SHENANDOAH in October and November. The latter mission was designed to bring the 9th PLAF Division to battle in War Zone C, but the enemy declined to take the bait. Operation ATTLEBORO once again saw the regiment’s two battalions operating on the same mission to find and destroy the 9th PLAF Division, this time northwest of Dau Tiang. This mission failed to develop any significant skirmishes because it was soon discovered that the enemy formation was fleeing for the Cambodian border after having over 1,100 troops KIA since the summer. The last mission for the battalion for 1966 was Operation HEALDSBURG near Lai Khe in December. The mission ended with about 2 dozen enemy casualties, but no significant battles.
In January 1967, the 1st Battalion next joined in Operation CEDAR FALLS. a major effort conducted by the 1st and 25th Infantry Divisions, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. The intent for CEDAR FALLS was to imposed severe casualties on VC units in Military Region 4, known as the “Iron Triangle” and the Thanh Dien Forest. This mission ended about mid-January and resulted in over 700 enemy casualties and huge amounts of rice and military supplies captured in various base camps in the area. CEDAR FALLs was followed by the enormous and extended Operation JUNCTION CITY. The 1st Rangers participated in two major fights during JUNCTION CITY: Prek Klok and Ap Gu. In the former battle, Platoon Sergeant Matthew Leonard from B Company was mortally wounded while demonstrating indomitable courage and superb leadership. For his actions he was awarded the regiment’s tenth Medal of Honor. The battalion next experienced two additional significant firefights during Operation BILLINGS north of Phuoc Vinh in June. These were the battles of Landing Zone (LZ) Rufe and LZ X-Ray. During the latter action, the Reconnaissance Platoon of the 1st Battalion heroically withstood an attack by a battalion of the 271st PLAF Regiment and prevented the battalion perimeter from being overrun. BILLINGS was followed by Operation SHENANDOAH II north of Lai Khe in October which once included both Ranger battalions and culminated the major operations of both for 1967.
The troops of A Company, 1st Battalion, board choppers during operations near the Michelin Rubber Plantation in August 1966. AP-Faas
The year 1968 was an eventful one for the 1st Battalion. Starting in late January, the battalion, along with almost the entire combat force of U.S. Army, Vietnam (USARV), engaged in the Tet Counteroffensive designed to defeat the massive Tet Offensive of 1968. After Tet, the battalion successively partook in Operations QUYET THANG and TOAN THANG. These operations held the battalion’s attention most of the year until October when the 1st Rangers underwent a major change. That month the battalion and the 5th Battalion, 60th Infantry swapped colors and divisions and the 1st Battalion became a mechanized infantry unit which it has remained ever since. Because of this change, the battalion soon adopted the nickname “Iron Rangers.”
Throughout 1969, the Iron Rangers were involved the Vietnamization process which was designed to start turning over the planning and conduct of the war to the ARVN. Even so, the battalion joined in a number of combat operations such as BEAR TRAP, FRIENDSHIP, KENTUCKY COUGAR, IRON DANGER, and TOAN THANG IV. During KENTUCKY COUGAR in August, the Iron Rangers ran into a battalion of the 272nd PLAF Regiment near An Loc in Long Binh Province and in an afternoon of hot fighting, accounted for 29 enemy KIA and an unknown number of wounded. During the year, the battalion accounted for an additional 426 enemy soldiers killed or captured even though the ARVN were supposed to take the lead for operations.
The last months in Vietnam saw the battalion working closely with its ARVN counterparts as it concurrently prepared to end its mission and redeploy to Fort Riley. Combat activity did not abate, however, as the Iron Rangers still conducted 690 ambush patrols in January and 803 in February. The cessation of combat activities in the Republic of Vietnam for the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry ended on 3 March 1970. Soon after, the battalion stood down and all personnel headed home. As with the 2nd Battalion, the Iron Ranger battalion remained nominally active as its colors and records were shipped to Germany for its postwar mission.
The two battalions of the 16th Infantry fought in almost every campaign of the Vietnam War. As with the regiment’s other conflicts, it sustained a high number of casualties to include over 560 men who nobly sacrificed their lives in their country’s service. These men, and tens of thousands of others, did as their country asked to the end, even though the war’s level of support was eroded over time by political bickering back home. During the almost five years of combat the regiment’s soldiers were awarded 2 Medals of Honor (both posthumous), 10 Distinguished Service Crosses, and hundreds of Silver and Bronze Star Medals. The regiment was awarded 11 campaign streamers, as well as 2 Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (with Palm) Streamers for 1965-1968 and 1969 and the Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal (First Class) Streamer for 1965-1970. In addition, C Company, 2nd Battalion was awarded the Valorous Unit Award Streamer for its actions at the battle of Courtenay Plantation.
In the mechanized configuration, the 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) assumed a new mission. With the exception of the 3rd Brigade, the division was now part of the heavy forces maintained in the United States that were tagged for deployment to Germany to reinforce NATO forces there in the event of an invasion by the Soviet Union. The 3rd Brigade, being stationed in Germany already, was an integral part of the existing NATO defenses. To prepare the bulk of the 1st Infantry Division for its wartime mission focus for the next twenty years, the division’s training largely focused on two frequently recurring exercises. One was Exercise REFORGER (Return of Forces to Germany) which was designed to prepare the division for rapid deployment to Europe. The second major training event started in 1983 and consisted of rotations to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California about every 18 months for each brigade.
Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion board a C-141 during REFORGER II in October 1970.
REFORGER II in October 1970.
While the 2nd Battalion at Fort Riley focused on those major exercises, it also participated in a number of other important training events during this period. These included things such as training assistance to the National Guard, support to the annual R.O.T.C. summer camps at Fort Riley, and occasional “adventure training,” not to mention the usual weapons range periods, maneuver training on post, and the annual Army Readiness and Training Evaluation (ARTEP) tests. It also participated in various annual division exercises such a CASUS BELLI, an annual command post exercise (CPX) that focused on one of several NATO war plans, and MANHATTAN, a division-level movements exercise that often placed the division’s vehicles on long marches over vast stretches of Kansas countryside.
In Germany, the 1st Battalion also conducted training events similar to those of the 2nd Battalion, less assistance to the National Guard and R.O.T.C. summer camps. Added to the Iron Rangers’ list of tasks however were things such as frequent rail operations to training areas at Grafenwöhr and Hohenfels and frequent trips out to the battalion’s General Defense Plan (GDP) positions to recon and evaluate how it would defend the ground. The battalion also participated in the various REFORGER exercises and occasionally trained at locations like the urban combat site in Berlin.
By the early 1970s, the Army Reserve’s 3rd Battalion was struggling to maintain its personnel strength due to the draw down in Vietnam and the US Army’s changeover to an All Volunteer force. As a result, in a major reorganization of U.S. Army Reserve units in 1976, the battalion was transferred to Maine with headquarters at Saco, and the subordinate companies located throughout that state and with its Combat Support Company in New Hampshire. The move was designed to lessen the competition for personnel with other battalions still in Massachusetts. Now known as the “Maine Rangers” the battalion headquarters was subsequently relocated to Portland, Maine, in 1977, and finally to Scarborough, Maine, in 1978. By this time the battalion had assumed a wartime mission of the reinforcement of Iceland as part of the 187th Infantry Brigade (Separate). To prepare for this mission, the battalion performed its annual active duty training in the 1970s at Fort Devens initially, then went to Fort Drum, New York and at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts, in later years. The trips to Camp Edwards in the 1980s were typically conducted in the winter months to better replicate the kind of conditions the brigade might encounter in Iceland during much of the year.
In 1983, the US Army underwent a major reorganization that encompassed a new division TOE (i.e., “Division 86” or the “J-Series” TOE) and something called the US Army Regimental System (USARS). Under USARS, the regiment was expanded by two additional active infantry battalions: the 4th Battalion (nicknamed the “Blue Devils”), stationed at Göppingen, Germany, as part of the 1st Infantry Division (Forward) and the 5th Battalion (nicknamed the “Devil Rangers”), assigned to the 1st Brigade at Fort Riley. These new battalions were activated to support the USARS and a new manning system called COHORT (Cohesion, Operational Readiness Training). Under the COHORT concept entire companies would go through basic and advanced individual training together, transfer to their new battalion, and spend the rest of the “life cycle” of the company training together until replaced by another COHORT company at the end of 3 years. Additionally, the program’s intent was that a Soldier would spend his entire career, except for non-divisional assignments such as recruiting, R.O.T.C., or Reserve Component advisory duty, in the same regiment, transferring to Germany and back again to Fort Riley, in the case of the units in the 1st Infantry Division. Although neither COHORT or USARS were successful programs, they were still nominally in effect in 1990 when the regiment was once again called to war.
In the initial stages of the operation, that is just before, during, and after the breach made in the 2nd Brigade’s sector, the major problem faced by the Rangers of the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry was not so much enemy fire (though that was a hindrance) as it as the large number of Iraqi soldiers surrendering to the troops of the battalion. By darkness of the 24th, the Rangers had not only conducted a major breach into the Iraqi defensive zone, they had also penetrated 30 kilometers to Phase Line Colorado and captured some 600 enemy troops. The following morning, the 2nd Battalion pushed on with the 2nd Brigade and quickly battled through the Iraqi 48th Infantry Division capturing its commander and destroying its command post. By the end of that day, the brigade had cut through and destroyed the Iraqi 25th Division as well and had reached Phase Line Utah where it took up a temporary defensive position.
SPC Allen C. Smith, C Company, 2nd Battalion, and GEN Norman Schwartzkopf upon the successful conclusion of Operation DESERT STORM, February 1991.
After its breaching operations, the Big Red One’s 1st Brigade, consisting in part of the 5th Battalion, 16th Infantry and the 2nd Battalion 34th Armor, turned east and drove deep into enemy territory toward Phase Line Utah. En route on the 25th, the Devil Rangers also encountered a number of enemy formations, most notably the 110th Infantry Brigade. In a brief skirmish, that brigade’s commander was scooped up by soldiers of the battalion. Like its brother battalion, the 5th Battalion was rounding up hundreds of enemy prisoners who had no fight left in them by this time. Ahead however, was the much vaunted Republican Guard known to be positioned at a place on the map called Objective NORFOLK. On the night of 26 February 1991, the 1st Brigade next collided with the Republican Guard’s Tawalakana Division and the 37th Brigade, 12th Armored Division. The fight developed into a division-level battle and before dawn the Big Red One had destroyed both enemy formations. Enemy losses included more than 40 tanks and 40 infantry fighting vehicles. The 1st Infantry Division continued to exploit its success on the 27th by capturing and pursuing the demoralized Iraqi forces for the rest of the day.
Following the Battle of Objective NORFOLK, the 5th Battalion raced ahead to assist in cutting the Iraqi lines of retreat from Kuwait City. As it approached the highway moving north out of Kuwait City and into southern Iraq, the Big Red One destroyed scores of enemy vehicles and took thousands more prisoners as the division’s units advanced. About 2000, 27 February, the division’s 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, seized the main highway leading north out of Kuwait and barred the Iraqis’ escape. By the next morning, the rest of the division had taken up positions along the highway completely blocking any further movement north by the Iraqi Army. The cease fire was announced at 0800 on 28 February and the war was essentially over. While the Rangers of the 2nd Battalion were ordered to move over the ground just taken and destroy any remaining Iraqi vehicles and equipment that could be located in the rear, the 5th Battalion was ordered to the vicinity of Safwan Airfield in Iraq. There, the Devil Rangers were tasked with securing the site where on 3 March 1991 the negotiations were held between coalition forces and Iraqi leaders to finalize the cease-fire agreements. In this conflict the regiment earned 4 campaign streamers and each of the 2nd and 5th Battalions earned a Valorous Unit Award Streamer embroidered IRAQ-KUWAIT.
As with the rest of the US Army at this time, the division, and its subordinate units, groped for just what it was preparing for in the way of potential future conflicts and enemies now that the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact had imploded. Much of the division’s training continued to focus on fighting a Warsaw Pact kind of enemy even though no such threat existed even on the horizon. Still, in the increasingly unstable environment of Third World Countries, there soon developed other real-world missions for which the US Army would be called upon to be the arbiter and honest broker, or to provide support to other forces attempting to provide stability in troubled areas. In the Fall of 1991, elements of the 3rd Battalion were called to active duty to support drug surveillance operations by the US Customs border patrol in Arizona. This mission was also supported from time to time by the active battalions of the regiment as well.
Most of the activities of the regiment’s battalions remained centered on conventional mid- to high intensity warfare and Cold War type missions. For example, in 1992 the 3rd Battalion conducted annual training on its Iceland mission at Gagetown, Canada, with the rest of the 187th Infantry Brigade. That fall, the 1st Infantry Division once again deployed to Germany on REFORGER, albeit only one reduced brigade drew vehicles from POMCUS stocks to exercise that part of the mission. Most of the exercise consisted of an electronically distributed wargame conducted as a command post exercise. In addition to these kinds of training events, the two active battalions continued to participate in rotations to the National Training Center (NTC) in California and the Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) at Hohenfels to fight against a Soviet equipped opposing force.
An Iron Ranger of the 1st Battalion on guard duty at Camp Dobol, Bosnia.
The new Clinton administration which came to office in 1993, wanted to cut the military defense budget further so that the country might enjoy a so-called “Peace Dividend.” The result of this effort was a dramatically reduced US military. These cuts also hit the regiment very hard. Like other Soldiers of the 16th Infantry, the Army Reservists of the 3rd Battalion were immensely proud of their membership in a unit with such an outstanding record. It was with great sadness then when the battalion’s colors were furled at Fort Devens on 15 April 1994. Two years later, in April 1996, the 2nd Battalion was also inactivated, leaving the Iron Rangers as the only active element remaining in the regiment.
In the mid-1990s, civil war broke out in the former Yugoslavian states of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a result, US and other NATO forces were sent in to separate the warring factions and provide stability to the region. Therefore, in August 1999, the 1st Battalion deployed to Bosnia on Operation JOINT FORGE from August 1999 to April 2000 with the 1st Brigade for peacekeeping operations as part of the NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) 6 rotation. The battalion was deployed to Camp Dobol, but had elements located at Camps McGovern, Demi and Comanche, as well.
(This section to be continued)
1-16 IN on Patrol in Ramadi, 2003
Within a few months after the initial invasion of Iraq, the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry made its first deployment in the Global War on Terrorism. In August 2003, the Iron Rangers, equipped as a standard Bradley Fighting Vehicle-equipped battalion, deployed with the 1st Brigade to Ramadi, Anbar Province, in western Iraq. The brigade was initially attached to the 82nd Airborne Division and took over Area of Operations (AO) Topeka on 26 September. Over the next year the Iron Rangers had numerous skirmishes with Sunni insurgents in and around the provincial capital city of Ramadi. Most notably, during 6-10 April 2004 when operating with elements of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Unit, the battalion fought a protracted battle with insurgents in the city. When a stranded Marine platoon was ambushed and pinned down by insurgents trying to distract US forces from the concurrent operations in Fallujah, the battalion was ordered into the city on line to take on the insurgents fighting there. Between the Marines and Iron Rangers, the insurgents in Ramadi suffered about 250 KIA by the time the battalion rumbled to the far side of the city. For the rest of the month the battalion, along with other Marine and Army units, killed between 800 and 1000 insurgents in running battles in the corridor between Ramadi and Fallujah. In addition to combat operations, during this tour the Iron Rangers trained elements of the new Iraqi Army as well as assisted with the implementation of numerous civil support projects. The battalion returned to Fort Riley in September 2004.
In 2006, as part of the 1st Brigade, the 1st Battalion was given a new mission to train Military Transition Teams (“MiTTs”) which would deploy to Iraq to advise and assist the units of the fledgling Iraqi Army. The battalion, however, was still required to maintain its ability to participate in overseas contingency operations. As a result, the battalion was reorganized into three deployable line companies (A, B, and C) and six MiTT training companies (D, I, K, L, M, and N). Between 2006 and 2008, the three deployable companies were sent on GWOT missions overseas: A Company was deployed to the Horn of Africa and B and C Companies each served in Iraq. Concurrently, the the MiTT training companies conducted one of the Army’s most important training missions back at Fort Riley. This mission was carried on by the battalion until 2009 when the responsibility was handed over to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana. For its performance in training the Army’s MiTTs, the battalion was awarded the Army Superior Unit streamer for 2006-2009. Additionally, B Company was awarded the Army Meritorious Unit Commendation streamer for its work in Iraq in 2006-2007.
PFC Robert Wimegar, left, and SSGT Troy Bearden, A Company, 2nd Battalion, pull security at the District Council Hall in the Mashtal area, East Baghdad, Iraq, in March 2007. US Army
In January 2006, the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry was reactivated at Fort Riley as a part of the newly organized 4th Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 1st Infantry Division. The 2nd Rangers were reformed as a light infantry battalion under the Army’s new modular concept. Just over a year later, in February 2007, the battalion deployed to eastern Baghdad as part of President’s George W. Bush’s Surge in Iraq. Initially the battalion was attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, then later attached to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. It was assigned the mission of providing security in the southern area of the Tisa Nissan Qada (district) in southeastern Baghdad. The battalion’s desired endstate was to pacify four of the most violent neighborhoods in Baghdad—Rustamiyah, Fedaliyah, Al Amin, and Kamaliyah—which had been dominated by Al-Qaeda and Sunni insurgents, as well as Jaysh Al-Mahdi (JAM), a Shia militia group. The battalion aggressively went to work partnering with local Iraqi Army units and police to find and eliminate any local insurgent groups in the AO. The Rangers succeeded in significantly reducing the insurgent threat by focusing on heavy local patrolling using small teams and unconventional tactics. In addition to the combat missions, however, the battalion also assisted in the creation of literacy programs, the refurbishment of schools, and the installation of sewage systems. By the time the battalion departed in 2008, its areas of the Tisa Nissan Qada had become one of the most secure areas in Baghdad.
On 1 September 2009, the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry returned to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11. This time the battalion operated under its parent unit, the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division in the vicinity of Bayji in north central Iraq. At Bayji, the battalion was assigned an advise and assist role with elements of the Iraqi 4th Infantry Division as well as with the local Iraqi Police forces which supported the local governments in its area of operations. Units of the battalion conducted several unusual operations during the tour to include an air assault operation with the Iraqi 48th Brigade to remote island near Aitha, Iraq in October as well as conducting cache search patrols in the Makhul Mountains. After a more calm, though still dangerous tour this time around, the battalion returned to Fort Riley in late April and early May 2010, with the exception of A Company, which remained until that August.
After performing the MiTT training mission for three years, the 1st Battalion began the process of reorganizing and training as one of the Army’s new Combined Arms Battalions (CAB) in 2009. As a CAB, the battalion would retain the capabilities of a mechanized infantry battalion, but two companies (C and D) would be reorganized as tank companies. In this configuration, the battalion would be reorganized into a permanent company combat team which was the standard doctrine for how such a battalion would normally fight anyway. The opportunity to adequately train in this configuration was short lived and the Iron Rangers were not even fully equipped before they came down on orders for overseas movement as a standard infantry battalion.
In August 2011, the 1st Battalion was deployed once again, this time on a unique mission to Afghanistan. For this deployment, the battalion was attached to the Combined Joint Special Operations Command-Afghanistan (CJSOCC-A) and assigned to support a new effort known as the Village Stability Operations (VSO) program. This program required that the battalion be broken down into squads and sometimes fire teams and distributed to selected villages throughout Regional Commands East, South, West, and North. The squads and teams worked with Special Forces Teams and other special operations forces to help the villagers raise detachments of Afghan Local Police (ALP) who would then provide security to the villages. Dubious initially that a conventional infantry unit could do this type of mission, the CJSOCC-A was so satisfied with the battalion’s performance that within 6 months a second infantry battalion was assigned to the mission and took over the battalion’s VSO villages in RCs South and West. This non-conventional/conventional team has remained the staple of the VSO program up to the time of this writing. The Iron Rangers returned to Fort Riley in April and May 2012 having performed an outstanding service in furtherance toward peace and security in Afghanistan.
Even as the 1st Battalion was returning home, the 2nd Battalion was deploying on its third overseas tour of the GWOT. As with its brother battalion, the 2nd Rangers were sent to Afghanistan for this tour, this time to the eastern sections of Ghazni Province. In April the Rangers assumed responsibility for 2 districts and 2 Afghan National Army (ANA) kandaks (battalions). The battalion conducted daily combat patrols side by side with their Afghan partner units to influence and secure the local population throughout the districts. At one location, Combat Outpost Muqor, the battalion’s D Company experienced double the number of firefights due to a strong local insurgency there, than the rest of the battalion did combined for the tour. Firefights there resulted in the loss of two company commanders, one of whom was KIA in the early stages of the tour.
Rangers of the 2nd Battalion take cover during a patrol in Ghazni Province in Afghanistan in 2012.
In August 2012, the 2nd Battalion underwent its first of several expansions to its AO when it assumed responsibility for a third district and a third ANA Kandak as the Surge forces in the country were being withdrawn. The new district brought new challenges, as the Rangers began patrolling the vital Highway 1 route between Kabul and Kandahar to ensure it remained open for commercial and military traffic. With reduced forces and additional ANA partners, the Rangers began to place the Afghans in the lead militarily. ANA units readily assumed responsibility for their own districts, demonstrating the sound tactical knowledge and hard-fought experience they had gained through years of fighting and US Army mentorship.
As the ANA took over the tactical fight, the Rangers’ efforts at local governance and development tasks became even more important in November as the battalion assumed responsibility for 2 more districts, 5 additional installations, and a Afghan National Civil Order Police (ANCOP) battalion. This action further necessitated the ANA taking the lead for more operations and governance needs at the district level. A separate but extremely important development during the deployment was the emergence of the Anti-Taliban Movements (ATMs) throughout Afghanistan. Somewhat similar to the “Sunni Awakening” in Iraq, the ATMs began in Ghazni in the Andar District as a popular uprising against the Taliban’s totalitarian control. The population began to vote against the Taliban for the first time in many areas and reached out to their local government and security forces to fill the security and governance void.
With Afghans in the lead for all aspects of the fight, and local Afghans actively resisting the Taliban and other insurgent forces, the stage appeared set for the ISAF mission to soon come to a close within Afghanistan as the battalion ended its own tour. The 2nd Battalion arrived home recently in February 2013 to begin the transition from a Counterinsurgency force to whatever focus the Army needs to confront its future challenges.
Concurrently, since May 2012, the 1st Battalion has been steadily acquiring the skills once again to enable it to be employed as a full fledged CAB, capable of taking on any enemy heavy force. The training of infantry squads on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and crew training and weapons firing for both Bradleys and M1A2 Abrams tanks on Fort Riley’s Multiple Purpose Range Complex are the order of the day.
In short, the operations of both battalions during the GWOT are typical of the aggressiveness, flexibility, drive, and competence demonstrated by the 16th Infantry throughout its history. Today, just like they have since the organization of the regiment over 150 years ago, the Rangers continue to be one of the finest units in the United States Army. As always, the Rangers of the 16th Infantry Regiment stand ready to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies and fight under “Old Glory” when their nation calls.
How would a strength report be collected from a brigade? - History
The Berlin Brigade was formed at the height of the Berlin Wall crisis. It was created from units already in Berlin by General Orders from the Commander-in-Chief, United States Army, Europe. General Bruce Clarke ordered that from 1 December 1961 the core of the United States military presence in Berlin, the living symbol of America's protection for the people of free Berlin, would be known as the United States Army Berlin Brigade .
Between 4 July 1945 and 1 December 1961 the security force in Berlin had been known by several different names. During the first eight months of the occupation three famous American divisions in succession occupied the former capital of the German nation: The 2d Armored Division, the 82d Airborne Division and the 78th "Lightning" Infantry Division. From 1946 through the era of the Berlin Blockade and Airlift the troop command was known as Berlin Military Post. During the ensuing decade it was known variously as Berlin Command and the U.S. Army Garrison, Berlin. During the past 18 years, however, the name "Berlin Brigade" has stuck.*
It symbolizes the pride and traditions of some 100,000 men and women of the United States Army who have served their country east of the river Elbe, the defenders of freedom.
More than two years before the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed, the United States had defied the Russian blockade and, together with Great Britain and France, had pledged itself to uphold the freedom and security of West Berlin. During the thirty-three years since 1946 when the first permanent garrison was formed, the Berlin Brigade has never fired a shot in anger. That is a measure of its success. Probably no force of its size in history has contributed more to peace and freedom in the world. Every man and woman privileged to serve with the American forces in Berlin should know how we got here and why we stayed here. This is the story of the Berlin Brigade.
*Since there has been little change in the missions of the U.S. garrison in Berlin since the early 1950's, it will be referred to throughout as the Berlin Brigade.
It was the beginning of July in 1945. A great world city - Berlin - lay prostrate and largely devastated. From the air it looked like a desolate stone desert, with its roofless buildings, its heaps of rubble. Two years of intense bombing and a fanatical struggle between the last-ditch defenders and the attacking Soviet Army had left the city in ruins.
For two months, from the cessation of actual fighting (2 May 1945), the city had been looted in the name of reparations. Refrigeration plants, mills, whole factories, generator equipment, lathes and precision tools were dismantled and loaded in rail cars for shipment to the Soviet Union.
Inhabitants of the defeated capital, dazed, were just beginning to attempt to provide themselves with the bare necessities of life. Dully they sought food, items of clothing, anything to put them back in the battle for human survival. It was in this simmering cauldron of a city -- a setting as historic as the great sacks of Rome -- that the Berlin Brigade was born.
The Berlin Command had a modest enough beginning on the first day of July, 1945. Colonel Frank Howley led a contingent of military government personnel into the city. The Russians, who up to then had full control of the city, had not allowed the Americans to scout their sector before entering. As a result, hundreds of officers and men had to find places to stay in the ruins. Many wound up sleeping in tents in the Grunewald.
By the Fourth of July, Major General Floyd L. Parks, the first American Commandant, together with elements of the 2d Armored Division had moved in to occupy the American Sector in the southwest areas of the city. Ceremonies in several parts of the U.S. Sector marked the takeover. At the Telefunken electronics factory -- now McNair Barracks -- Sherman tanks of the "Hell on Wheels" Division lined up opposite two companies of the Soviet Army. General Omar Bradley flew into Berlin especially to represent the United States on this historic occasion. In fact, U.S. forces did not complete the takeover in the American Sector until 12 July. Finally, most of the Russians moved out, but not without considerable "urging".
The occupation structure was complex. General Clay's headquarters became the Office of Military Government, United States (Zone) or OMGUS. Under General Clay, the American Commandant represented the United States on the four-power "Allied Kommandatura" for Berlin. A permanent security force for the American Sector, the future Berlin Brigade, was not formed until 1946. The troops of the 2d Armored Division remained in the city until relieved on 9 August 1945 by the 82d Airborne Division. Its Commander, Major General James Gavin, became the second U.S. Commandant.
* Still located there is the four-power Berlin Air Safety Center or BASC.
4. MILITARY GOVERNMENT AND THE MISSION
During 1945, however, the spirit of cooperation that had led the Allies to victory in World War II was not completely lost. But minor irritants were evident even then. Practically every effort of the Allied Kommandatura to restore order and a semblance of normalcy to Berlin was to some extent thwarted by the Soviets and their German sympathizers. The fact that the Red Army had taken Berlin and had been its sole occupiers for two months before the Western Allies moved into their Sectors gave the Russians an advantage that they were not slow to exploit. In the wake of the Russian Army, German Communists who had fled to the Soviet Union during the Hitler era returned to Berlin. Typical of this group was Paul Markgraf, whom the Soviets promptly named as Police President of Berlin. Since only persons who could prove that they had not been Nazis were eligible for government posts under the occupation, the Soviets were able to fill key posts in all four Sectors with pro-Soviet functionaries. In addition, the Soviets took advantage of the initial era of good feeling to influence the organization of the Allied Kommandatura. As a result it was easy for them to block real four-power government for the whole city, since they had insisted that all decisions of the Kommandatura must be unanimous. A Soviet veto was enough to disrupt or block constructive action. The Kommandatura itself, the sole legal authority in Berlin, had to transact business in four languages -- English, French, Russian and, of course, German. The end of the War in the Pacific added to the problems of American participation in the four-power occupation. Redeployment and demobilization of U.S. forces began almost immediately. Some military units in Berlin reportedly experienced a personnel turnover of as much as 300 percent in a single month.
To cope with the problem of maintaining order it was necessary to re-train battle-hardened soldiers in the techniques of civil police duties. Early in 1946 they were assigned to a mobile organization, a provisional constabulary squadron. This lightly armed unit patrolled the city in cavalry scout cars. One of its principal duties was to curb the black market gangs and the smugglers who trafficked in all types of contraband. Such gangs were, in part, responsible for further inflating the ruined Germany currency and the spreading economic chaos. The first permanent units of the Brigade, the 16th Constabulary Squadron and the 759th Military Police Battalion were formed and had taken over these missions by 1 May 1946.
New operational techniques had to be devised for using soldiers to control a civilian population governed jointly by four different countries. Differences in language magnified differences in temperament, legal philosophy and national outlook. Cooperation with Berlin's rehabilitated civil police, controlled by a Moscow-trained police president, was difficult. In many instances, problems were generated by a combination of honest misunderstanding and Soviet opposition. Eventually, however, procedures were developed to facilitate routine operations among the four occupation powers and the Berlin police. The occupation was not a complete failure. The breakdown of the four-power occupation machinery was gradual. When it finally occurred, in 1948, it was, like most milestones in Berlin's post-war history, the result of a calculated Soviet policy offensive.
In this complex and sensitive situation, the Army stood ready to guarantee United States rights under international agreements. It contributed significantly to the success of State Department programs to provide the basic human necessities for the German people and to restore economic order.
During 1946-47 it became increasingly clear that the Soviet Union's one-sided interpretation of the Potsdam Agreement violated the spirit of the agreement, as well as the United States' concept of fundamental human rights. With the Soviets demanding reparations in excess of what Germany could produce and blocking efforts in the Control Council to implement economic reforms, the Western Allies found themselves, reluctantly at first, taking the first steps on the road to reconciliation and alliance with their former enemy.
5. PROBLEMS AND MISSIONS
During the winter of 1945-46 U.S. forces were faced with the practical problems of keeping two million Berliners in the Western Sectors alive in a shattered city. Under the U.S. Military Government, the Brigade went to work. Results were quickly apparent. Restoration of basic services was the first requirement and the re-lighting of only 1,000 gas-fueled street lamps throughout Berlin, on 2 March 1946, was an event of sufficient importance to convince untold numbers of the city's inhabitants that perhaps there was some light for the future, too.
The spirit of the Berlin Brigade was perhaps lighted by that first, symbolic step back on the road to self-sufficiency and self-esteem for the Berliners. However small, it offered hope for a new beginning.
During the 33-month period from July 1945 through March 1948 Soviet representatives had persistently blocked Allied efforts to introduce economic reforms. At the Potsdam Conference the Western Allies had not agreed to the indefinite occupation of Germany, nor to its permanent division. By 1948 they were finally committed to supporting German economic recovery.
The Allies, the Berliners, the Air Force and the Army all share in the credit for the success of the airlift. To supply a city of over two million people with the planes available required a miracle of organization on the ground. "Turn-around time" became one of the vital keys to the success of the Airlift. Berlin Brigade personnel devised off-loading systems, worked as guards and checkers and supervised a German workforce of thousands. Army engineers constructed a new runway at Tempelhof in 49 days. On the site of a former German training area, they constructed a new airfield -- Tegel.
Three months after construction started, airlift planes were landing at Tegel. During this "cold war" battle for Berlin field training and many other normal garrison activities were curtailed. Tactical and service units, the available manpower of the Allied garrisons in Berlin was wholly committed to the support of the vital lifeline, the Airlift.
The Blockade lasted for some 324 days. By agreement between the Ambassadors of the four powers in the United Nations -- the so-called Jessup-Malik agreement -- the Blockade was formally ended on 12 May 1949. Operation VITTLES, as the airlift came to be called, continued for another two months while the surface transportation system was restored and stocks in the city brought up to normal levels.
The world breathed a sigh of relief when the Blockade was ended peacefully. Berlin had weathered its first major post-war crisis. Out of those eleven months of tension and exertion in a common cause, the foundation of a new bond of sympathy and mutual respect between the German and American people was laid.
7. NEW ERA - THE BRIGADE IN TRANSITION
May 12, 1949 was more than the end of the Berlin Blockade. The same day the Allied Military Governors approved a draft constitution for the Western Zones of Occupation, the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany. It was the beginning of a new era.
The end of the Blockade was followed by a period of reorganization. The military government in West Germany ended and in its place the Allied High Commission, eventually located with the new Federal German Government in Bonn, was established to supervise West Germany's transition to full sovereignty. In Berlin the remaining military government functions were combined with those of the U.S. Commandant in a new post, that of the U.S. Commander, Berlin (USCOB). At the same time Berlin Brigade was relieved of its assignment to the Office of Military Government and was assigned directly to the United States Army, Europe. This assignment remained unchanged until December 1961, when USCOB became part of the Brigade's Army chain of command as the Commander, U.S. Army, Berlin.
In 1950 Berlin Brigade began to acquire some of its now familiar characteristics. Most notable was the beginning of the long association between the Brigade and the 6th Infantry. As a result of widespread riots in the city, occasioned by a Communist-sponsored "All German Youth Rally," the 6th Infantry was activated and assigned to Berlin. Throughout all ensuing organizational changes, the 6th Infantry has formed the core of Berlin Brigade's combat strength. The last of these changes occurred in September 1972. Since that time the Brigade's three infantry battalions have all borne the flag of the 6th Infantry.
Throughout the 1950's and 60's Berlin remained a crisis center. Then as now the daily activities of the Berlin Brigade were closely linked to larger policy issues.
From the beginning the United States took the position that the right to be in Berlin -- under wartime and post-war agreements which the Soviet Union had not successfully repudiated -- was inseparable from the right to get to Berlin, the right of access. This became especially important on the autobahn, where, unlike the rail lines and the air corridors, no formal post-war agreements with the Soviets confirmed access rights. On the autobahn the men of the Berlin Brigade, in single vehicles and convoys, were frequently subjected to Soviet and East German harassment. The object was to force upon the Allies new and ever more complex restrictions on the exercise of their access rights. The only way to maintain Allied rights and to assure that the Soviets did not erode them was to use them steadily and oppose all efforts by the Soviets to introduce changes to which the Allies had not agreed. Exercising Allied rights on the surface access routes became one of the Brigade's most important missions. As a result, Brigade soldiers were often the first to bear the brunt of new Soviet tactics and policies.
9. INTENSIFYING CRISIS
November 1958 marked the beginning of a new and more prolonged period of crisis in Berlin and on the access routes. In what was known as the "Krushchev Ultimatum," the Soviet Union posed a serious threat to the future status of the city. The United States rejected the ultimatum and its six-month deadline passed without incident. A conference of Western and Soviet foreign ministers, which convened the following summer (June 1959) in Geneva, failed to reconcile the longstanding differences. The Allies demanded free, U.N.-supervised elections in all Germany as a preliminary to reunification. At this 1959 meeting of the four foreign ministers, the first since the Berlin Conferences of 1954, the Soviets made what they knew to be unacceptable demands. In effect they said that, in the foreseeable future, there was no possibility of agreement to reunify Germany on terms acceptable to the United States and the Western Alliance.
During the Berlin Wall Crisis, the basic principle of American policy remained unchanged: International agreements have the force of law and cannot be changed except by the common consent of the countries that made them. They cannot be changed by force or the threat of force, but only by negotiation. American history had shown that the American people wanted to live in a law-abiding world, which would be possible only if all countries lived up to their international commitments. The principle was simple.
The United States, Great Britain and France were (and are) in Berlin as a result of international agreements made with the Soviet Union. Those agreements apply not just to West Berlin, but to Greater Berlin as defined by law, all of it. As a result, throughout the Berlin Wall crisis, the United States refused to compromise on agreed rights deriving from the four-power status of the city. Men of the Berlin Brigade went on patrols along the Wall and to East Berlin because free circulation to all parts of the city was the right of the United States under international law. Rather than sacrifice even the tiny exclave village of Steinstuecken, General Clay flew into it by helicopter in September 1961. Thereafter, until October 1972 (when the problem was solved by agreement), a three-man detachment of Military Police from the Brigade's 287th MP Company was stationed there and rotated by helicopter. Their presence was not just symbolic it was necessary since the East Germans harassed the residents crossing the access roadway through East German territory, frequently refused ambulances and fire trucks and prevented West Berlin police from entering the village by road. As General Clay saw it Steinstuecken was by law -- and today remains -part of the American Sector.
12. THE AMERICANS ARE STILL HERE
The Brigade achieved considerable success in countering the debilitating effects of drug and alcohol abuse. Comparative statistics suggested that Berlin was not confronted with a major problem in this area. Preventive medicine through counseling centers and reeducation of the entire community coupled with a meaningful and challenging training program offered the best prospect for longterm success.
In 1972, the Army announced the concept of "decentralized" training, which fixed the initiative for planning and executing unit training at the company level. To provide additional variety and scope for initiative the idea of "adventure training" came into play the same year.
Adventure training was not a substitute for standard training requirements. Berlin Brigade units continued to train in company class rooms and areas, sports facilities and in the wooded areas of the city. They also participated in Allied field training with the British and the French. Army training tests, tank and artillery qualifications were conducted at USAREUR's Major Training Areas in West Germany.
Adventure training, however, was an opportunity that rewarded leadership initiatives, fostering esprit, the "All the Way" spirit. In this area, the "firsts" of the Berlin Brigade showed the Army in Europe what could be accomplished. During 1973-74 Berlin Brigade achievements in adventure training included mountain training in Italy, France and Scotland skiing in southern Germany crossing the English Channel in kyacks and scaling the heights behind the Normandy beaches, reenacting the World War II landing on the coast of France (6 Jun 44).
Brigade units also scored firsts in combining normal training activities with normal mission activities. Showing the flag, of course, remained a vital part of the mission. Rarely has it been shown more dramatically than in January 1975 when the 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry, accompanied by the USCOB, the Brigade Commander and members of the General Staff, conducted the first marathon Wall run" along the entire 100-mile circumference of West Berlin.
Berlin's urban environment is such that, in mission training, high priority is given to combat in cities. To facilitate this type of training, a new combat in cities range, with concrete structures closely simulating actual conditions was completed in the spring of 1975. In addition, several times each year units of the Brigade use the West German Army's training village at Hammelburg near Schweinfurt. Finally, since 1972 the Brigade Staff has periodically reviewed both training experience and recent historical models as potentially significant for Army-wide, combat in cities doctrine.
Now as in the past t is an exciting time and a rewarding experience to serve with the Berlin Brigade.
Deeply imbedded in the traditions of the Berlin Brigade are the harsh realities of the environment in which it serves. Running through what once were store fronts, through woods and along waterways, the Wall itself is an inescapable reminder of the Brigade's mission. It is not along the Wall, however, but along the city's great boulevards, especially the Kurfuerstendamm, that the reason for the mission becomes clear: Two million people, undaunted by the Wall, daily express their belief in freedom, progress and human dignity.
In May 1975, speaking before Berlin's House of Representatives, the Secretary of State recalled these basic American values, of which free Berlin had become a living symbol, adding: "This is why this city means so much to us. For thirty years you have symbolized our challenges for thirty years also you have recalled us to our duty. You have been an inspiration to all free men."
The pride and tradition of the Berlin Brigade are inseparable from the challenges of service in a unique situation. Nor is "unique" an exaggeration. The situation of West Berlin since World War II has no close parallel in human history. From uniqueness has evolved a unique and complex set of problems. A careless action can create an international incident a hasty or ill-considered action can create a precedent which opens the door to still other, unforeseen difficulties. The facts of geography are adverse and Berlin remains vulnerable to every wind of change.
In the 19 years since Checkpoint CHARLIE came into being, virtually overnight, events have endowed the area with a dramatic mystique. It has been the scene of historical events and continues, in fact, to have a high potential for incidents. However, like the Wall itself, the drab physical reality of the Checkpoint area is in striking contrast with the dramatic situations of the Wall-crisis era. The Checkpoint itself, and the evolution of its operations, were an integral part of Allied responses to events. Basically, it is the mission of the Checkpoint, and the personnel of the Berlin Brigade's 287th Military Police Company who man it, to support the exercise of Allied rights in Greater Berlin. On a daily basis, they enforce U.S. regulations governing official travel to the Soviet (East) Sector of Berlin. They brief individual travelers and generally carry out policies intended to minimize the possibility of involvement by U.S. personnel in incidents, such as might have political repercussions.
The history of Checkpoint CHARLIE is the history of events which, in the first place gave rise to a U.S. Army facility in the middle of Friedrichstrasse. An account of the facility alone would be of technical interest only, like a description of a bare stage when no performance is in progress. The Checkpoint facilities came into being in response to a crisis situation so grave that the course of events largely overshadowed the implementing details.
The following account is intentionally brief. It aims to keep the Checkpoint, insofar as possible, in the center of events. Excepting basic points relevant to the narrative, Checkpoint procedures and regulations governing travel to East Berlin have been omitted. These are dealt with principally in U.S. Army, Europe and U.S. Command, Berlin Regulations 550-180. Under these regulations, it is the responsibility of commanders, supervisors, sponsors and the individuals concerned to ensure that Berlin-based personnel and persons traveling to Berlin are fully informed before they enter the Soviet Sector.
2. Free Circulation - The Allied Legal Position
The wartime London Protocols (1944-45) provided for the joint military occupation of Greater Berlin. The agreed geographic and jurisdictional bases for the Protocols were the boundaries of Greater Berlin as defined by German Law in 1920. The right of free circulation for members of the respective forces, in all four Sectors, was inherent in the concept of joint occupation. In the early years of the occupation it had been repeatedly confirmed by Four-Power agreements, and by implementing arrangements and precedents having the force of Four-Power agreements. The significance of the Wall, then, was twofold. The human tragedy of the Wall, which, as it snaked across the city, walled up houses and stores and separated families, is well known. Its legal significance to the Allies, constrained to maintain their rights in order to fulfill their guarantees of continued freedom and democratic process to the people of Berlin, is less well known. The legal significance of the Wall was that it imposed, or sought to impose, among other things, a unilateral limitation on the Allied right of free circulation. In general, the Allied response to Soviet efforts to force them out of Berlin was to insist on their legal rights. This meant that the situation created by Four-Power agreements could not be changed except by the same means, agreement of all Four Powers. The Soviet Union (or its "agents", i.e. the East Germans) could not legally impose new restrictions on the exercise of Allied rights in Berlin unless the Western Allies agreed. Thus it was Allied policy to oppose as illegal Soviet-East German attempts to do so. The Wall -- that is, the sealing of the Sector-Sector (S/S) boundary and the beginning of construction of the Wall -- was a major unilateral change which, had it not been vigorously opposed, would have significantly restricted the Allied right of access to East Berlin. This threat to Allied rights, combined as it was with a significant worsening of conditions for the people of Berlin, was correctly understood as a further peril to the continued democratic existence of the Western Sectors of Berlin.
3. The Friedrichstrasse Crossing Point
The boundary between the Western Sectors and the Soviet Sector is some 28.5 miles long, the so-called S/S border. From July 1945 to mid-August 1961, "free circulation" closely approximated what the term implies. For occupation purposes, the division of the city among the World War II Allies had been by administrative district (Bezirk). Thus the S/S border wound its way in a generally north-westerly direction, following the jurisdictional lines laid down in 1920. Near the center of this boundary the heart of the old city, "Berlin-Mitte", formed a westward salient of the Soviet Sector, which included the Brandenburg Gate. "Crossing Points" followed the main streets, the arteries of traffic. Before the war, more than 120 streets crossed the imaginary line drawn in the London Protocols. In early August 1961 some 80 crossing points remained open and passable in both directions. They were (relatively) lightly manned by East Germans and largely unfortified. Included in the 80 open crossing points were the Brandenburg Gate/Unter den Linden (east-west) and the Friedrichstrasse (north-south).
In the pre-dawn hours of 13 August 1961, the East Germans sealed the S/S border and, during the ensuing days, began construction of the Wall. Initially, 13 of the 80 pre-Wall crossing points were to have remained open. During the ensuing ten days, mass demonstrations by West Berliners at the Brandenburg Gate gave the East Germans a pretext for closing it and five more pre-Wall crossing points. Only seven remained "open", subject to severe restrictions. Friedrichstrasse was one of them. After some initial uncertainties, the East Germans announced that Friedrichstrasse would be the only crossing point open to "foreigners", including West Germans, the Diplomatic Corps in East Berlin, and personnel of the Allied Garrisons. It was also to be an authorized crossing point for pedestrian traffic.
Before the Wall, Friedrichstrasse did not differ significantly from other major crossing points. The street itself was rich in historic associations. It had been a main Berlin thoroughfare since the time of Friedrich Wilhelm (1713-1740), when troops of the Berlin garrison first marched along it to their training ground in Tempelhof. Under the German Empire (1871-1918) it had also been a main shopping street. It is probable, however, that purely practical considerations dictated the selection of principal crossing points. (Based on the sequence of events, it is possible that the East Germans first intended to keep the Brandenburg Gate open as a major crossing point, and changed their minds after the West Berliners had shown how suitable its broad approaches were for mass demonstrations.) Certainly there were several practical considerations which favored Friedrichstrasse as a main crossing point.
Friedrichstrasse is a main North-South artery and the longest street in central Berlin. Absolutely straight and some two miles in length, it bisects the Unter den Linden, running from Mehringplatz in the U.S. Sector's Kreuzberg District to the Oranienburg Gate in Berlin-Mitte. In addition, the restored Friedrichstrasse Bahnhof, pre-war Berlin's main rail terminal, is barely a mile north of the S/S border and affords access to both the U-Bahn (subway) and the S-Bahn (elevated rail system), the city's main public transportation systems. The intention to make the Friedrichstrasse station the only point of entry into East Berlin for persons using the public transportation systems was announced the same day the border was sealed. The intent to restrict Allied traffic to the Friedrichstrasse crossing point was not announced until 22 August 1961, by which time, as noted above, the number of crossing points had been further reduced from 13 to 7.
Some controls on civil traffic existed before the Wall. The political division of the city occurred late in 1948. Apparently the Soviet authorities established, or provided for the establishment of the first control points on the S/S border at that time. In December of 1948, the Communist rump of the Magistrat (or city council) in East Berlin ordered that commercial vehicles from the Western Sectors would be required to enter East Berlin at these control points. By 1953, the number of crossing points passable in both directions had been reduced to about 80. Although information is spotty, there is no evidence of overt attempts to impose controls on traffic of the Allied garrisons. (In the absence of evidence to the contrary, we can only speculate on whether the Allies had, prior to the Wall, accepted some minor restriction of free circulation where neither political fanfare nor systematic threat to the principle of Allied rights was involved, some local arrangements may have gained a kind of pragmatic sanction. Prior to 1961, the main arena appears to have been the surface access routes, not East Berlin.) Since pre-Wall controls were aimed at civil traffic, it is likely that the early control points were manned by East Germans. In September 1960, the East German regime introduced selective controls at the S/S border, restricting West Germans to the use of five specified crossing points. These early precedents, however, were of marginal significance when compared to the Wall, which marked a major turning point.
5. Significance of the Wall
As tensions in Berlin mounted in the summer of 1961, so did the flow of escapees from East Germany and the Soviet Sector. In July and early August, the number of persons escaping into the Western Sectors averaged 1,800 per day reportedly the high for a single day exceeded 3,000. From the standpoint of the Communist leadership in East Germany, the German Democratic Republic (G.D.R.) was, through massive losses of manpower, bleeding to death. West Berlin was the escape hatch, an open wound that had to be closed.
The Wall was a Draconian measure to keep East Germans in. In a Four-Power context, however, it also marked a turning point. Prior to the Wall, Soviet authorities had often been uncooperative, themselves describing East Berlin as "the capital of the G.D.R.". In the days immediately preceding the Wall, the Soviet Government loudly repeated the long-standing (since 1958) demand for the withdrawal of the Allies and the conversion of the Western Sectors to a "free city". (The Soviets did not offer convincing proposals to guarantee West Berlin's continued existence as a democratic city.) In permitting the East Germans to seal the S/S border, and to attempt to impose controls upon the Allies, the Soviets added physical separation to the other means employed against the Allies, to force their assent to unilateral Soviet changes in the Four Power status of Greater Berlin.
Despite steady Soviet-East German harassment, the Allies continued to exercise their rights in Berlin including the right of access to the Soviet Sector. The dramatic turning point in the dispute occurred in late October 1961.
Intensified surveillance of the S/S border began on 13 August when it was sealed. The decision to restrict Allied traffic to a single crossing point quickly focused attention on the Friedrichstrasse area. Paralleling rising tensions and movement toward the U.S.-Soviet confrontation that almost immediately made it famous, the physical dimension of Checkpoint CHARLIE began to take shape.
The events of August 1961 dictated a requirement for a continuous U.S. military presence in the Friedrichstrasse area, where none had been before. The new situation at the S/S border was comparable to that which had long existed on the Berlin-Helmstedt autobahn, where single points of entry (or exit) gave access to the only route used by Allied motor-vehicle traffic. Allied Checkpoints at Helmstedt-Marienborn (between East and West Germany) and Dreilinden-Babelsburg (between the U.S. Sector and East Germany) supported Allied access and the exercise of Allied access right. * In the jargon of Army voice-communications, these autobahn checkpoint had long been called ALFA (Helmstedt) and BRAVO (Berlin). When the Wall created a new situation in the middle of Berlin and a third designated access point for the Allies, it immediately entered the Berlin vocabulary as Checkpoint CHARLIE. (Apparently, this was a logical and spontaneous extension of existing usage. At any rate, there is no known written record of a formal decision on what to call the new Checkpoint.) Unlike ALFA and BRAVO, intensive press coverage of events in the area gave "Checkpoint CHARLIE" an enduring place in the world's cold-war vocabulary.
The East German measure to make Friedrichstrasse the only crossing point for foreigners, including the members of the forces in Berlin, went into effect at midnight on 22 August. During the ensuing days, combat troop of the three Allies screened the S/S border in their respective Sectors. Because of its location in the U.S. Sector, sole responsibiity for Friedrichstrasse was initially exercised by U. S. forces. An ad hoc detachment of U. S. Military Police began checkpoint operations in Friedrichstrasse on 23 August, in connection with the deployment of combat forces along the demarcation line. By 26 September, when heavier screening forces were withdrawn and thrice-daily patrols along the S/S border instituted, Checkpoint CHARLIE had become operational.
* In 1969, a new link at the Berlin end of the autobahn was completed and the Soviet Allied Checkpoints were moved to their present location near Drewitz.
On 1 September, U.S. authorities formally requisitioned space in the buildings on the West side of Friedrichstrasse in the block between Kochstrasse and Zimmerstrasse (which paralleled the actual demarcation line at that point). Number 207 Friedrichstrasse -- where travelers to East Berlin are still briefed -- and two rooms in the corner building at 19a Zimmerstrasse were allocated for use by U. S. Forces. According to a verified account, the first checkpoint operations were conducted from a desk in a U. S. Army semi-trailer placed in the middle of Friedrichstrasse in front of Number 207. * Probably the familiar white ("barracks style") structure had been set up in the middle of the street by mid-September. A rough-hewn, disproportionately large flag pole bracketed to the north end of the "shack" served to fly the colors unmistakeably near the Soviet Sector line. Although refinements were gradually added, the physical layout of the checkpoint area changed very little during the ensuing years. **
During the first year of operations, official reports referred to the Friedrichstrasse crossing point or checkpoint, carefully avoiding local jargon in reports to higher headquarters. But the Checkpoint came into being literally overnight. During its first ten weeks in operation the level of greatpower tensions underlying the events that swirled around it was the highest in Berlin's post-war history. The news media gave intensive coverage to these events, in reporting them the press took their cue from the sign the Army put up over the door at No. 207 Friedrichstrasse. By 1965 the Friedrichstrasse area was in the guide books and, literally, on the map as Checkpoint CHARLIE.
* British and French detachments were not continuously stationed at Checkpoint CHARLIE until 1962, as a result of efforts to harmonize Allied procedures and practices. (Intvw, Mr. K.M. Johnson, Berlin Command Historian with LTC Verner N. Pike, Cdr, 385th MP Bn, 27 Jan 77.)
** Although an extension to the south end provided working space for the British and French detachments, the original guard shack was in continous use for nearly 15 years. The outward appearance of the Checkpoint was changed very little by the prefabricated structure which replaced the original shack in May 1976.
7. Historical Highlights
a. U. S.-Soviet Confrontation. The events of October 1961 catapulted Checkpoint CHARLIE into world prominence. The deepening crisis over the Four-Power status of Berlin endowed it with the lingering cold-war symbolism its name still evokes. Of the many dramatic events which occurred at or near the Checkpoint, the direct confrontation between U.S. and Soviet forces across the S/S border was probably the tensest moment in Berlin's post-war history. At issue was an East German attempt to deny free, uncontrolled entry into the Soviet Sector to civilian members of the forces in Berlin. They demanded that persons not actually in uniform identify themselves. Since status as members of the forces in Berlin derived from Allied laws agreed to by the Four Powers, and confirmed by long-standing precedents, the attempt to exclude civilian officials directly affected Allied rights. Then as now, "members of the forces", including military personnel, civilian employees and their dependents were prohibited from submitting to East German controls. The issues involved were complex and were not fully resolved until 1966. However, U.S. authorities in Berlin supported by General Lucius D. Clays * were convinced that East German attempts to actually deny entry into East Berlin could not go unchallenged. As a result, U. S. forces in the Checkpoint area were reinforced with tanks and armored personnel carriers (APC) one of the APCs and two tanks were positioned north of the Checkpoint building right at the S/S demarcation line.
Beginning on 26 October, U.S. forces registered vehicles denied entry into East Berlin because non-uniformed personnel refused to identify themselves, were given an armed escort of jeep-mounted Military Police and sent back through the crossing point. Neither Soviet authorities nor East Germam police attempted to stop the escorted vehicles. By 1700 hours the next day, however, Soviet troops and armor had moved into position on their side of the S/S line. During the ensuing 24 hours, foreign and diplomatic travelers continued to move unmolested through the checkpoint. Until approximately 1100 hours on 28 October, Soviet and U. S. troops and tanks faced each other across the Friedrichstrasse boundary. At that time, both Soviet and U. S. forces withdrew into nearby staging areas on their respective sides. Inherent in the civilian-identification issue was the Four-Power status of Greater Berlin. The Western Allies insisted, in the face of Soviet disclaimers, that the Soviet Union remain responsible for its Sector. The firm U. S. position on the issue led to a Soviet demonstration, documented world-wide by the news media, of its ultimate responsibility for events in East Berlin. While the confrontation was in progress, General Clay called a news conference and pointedly announced the significance of the events then taking place: "The fiction that it was the East Germans who were responsible for trying to prevent Allied access to East Berlin is now destroyed. The fact that Soviet tanks appeared on the scene proves that the haressments. . . taking place at Friedrichstrasse were not those of the self-styled East German government but ordered by its Soviet masters".
* The former U. S. Military Governor for Germany (1947-49), GEN Clay returned to Berlin in September 1961 as President Kennedy's personal representative with ambassadorial rank.
b. Subsequent Events. Although the tense situation of 1961 was not repeated, Checkpoint CHARLIE continued to make news. Incidents related to the identification issue continued sporadically until 1966 when the present U.S. Forces Berlin identity document came into general use. Three days after the first anniversary of the Wall (17 Aug 62), the death of Peter Fechter some 100 meters east of the Checkpoint triggered mass demonstrations of West Berliners against the brutality of the East German Regime. * In the days that followed, crowds of West Berliners stoned Soviet buses as they brought their guard relief through Checkpoint CHARLIE enroute to the Soviet War Memorial in the Tiergarten (British Sector). In retaliation, the Soviets tried to bring their guard mount in with APCs. Ultimately, after a long series of incidents, Allied authorities prevailed upon them to discontinue the use of APCs, and to use the Sandkrug-Bridge crossing point, nearest their destination.
The gradual decline of cold-war tensions in Berlin greatly reduced the number and severity of incidents at the Checkpoint. As recently as 1973, however, East German border guards opened fire with automatic weapons, hitting the Checkpoint building in several places. From the number and position of rounds that hit it, some going through windows and impacting in the inside walls, it was clear that only random chance had prevented injury to U. S. personnel.
One point in the history, however, was humorous. In Section 8, sub-paragraph B. "Subsequent Events", it says that the "Allied authorities prevailed upon them (the Russians) to discontinue the use of APCs, and to use the Sandkrug Bridge crossing point, nearest their destination (the Russian War Memorial on Strasse des 17 June).
On 1 July 1946, the EUCOM history (Vol. IV of the Second Yearof the Occupation) shows 1 QM Trk battalion assigned/attached to the Berlin District. This battalion was composed of 1 light and 1 heavy truck company in addition to several technical Labor Service units. (There were also two Car Companies in Berlin). The heavy truck company was most likely the 3574th.
VEHICLE BUMPER MARKINGS
The Army Avn Det , commanded by Col William S. Cox, has a complement of
six UH-1B Huey helicopters
one L-19 reconnaissance airplane
one U-8D Seminole command airplane
The Detachment is located at Tempelhof Air Base (an Air Force installation). Its hangars are close to the commercial side of the airfield.
One of the missions of the detachment is to run helicopter patrols (aerial surveillance) along the Berlin Wall and rest of the border surrounding West Berlin -- to supplement other (jeep and boat) border reconnaissance missions performed on the ground by other elements of Berlin Brigade. These border patrol flights have been going on since the late 1940s.
The short flight (US Sector only) is run daily - once or twice a week the Det runs a long flight that encompasses the British and French sectors. A regular patrol crew consists of pilot, copilot, crew chief and a Brigade G-2 observer (who is picked up at Andrews Barracks).
Other missions of the Det include brigade troop lifts in support of field exercises and border orientation flights for visitors, including British and French officials. (British and French forces in Berlin do not maintain helicopters in their sectors.)
That fact will be recognized today when U.S. Commander, Berlin, Maj. Gen. Raymond Haddock, presents the detachment with a USAREUR and Seventh Army certificate of achievement for aviation safety.
According to Safety Officer CWO4 Eddy King, the award is for day-to-day safety, working every mission as safely as possible, not only the pilots, but the maintenance team and operations office as well.
The unit was able to maintain a zero accident record by pulling together as a team, he said.
The unit's personnel perform many checks to keep the aircraft safely in the air, and determine the ones in need of repair.
According to Maintenance Officer Capt. Thomas Gainey, they use the phase inspection system to thoroughly check out each aircraft every 150 flight hours in a six-phase series. Some of the checks include taking oil samples and changing the interior transmission filter. Others require the engine be flushed.
The safety record goes back well beyond the award dates. The last major aircraft accident was in 1969 when a helicopter made an emergency landing in a Mariendorf garden. Since then only one minor incident has been reported a bent propeller on one of the observation planes in 1982.
The Berlin Brigade's Aviation Detachment completed another year of accident-free aviation duty Sept. 29. With nine aircraft in the detachment's inventory, the unit logged more than 1,500 hours. The event commemorates 21 years of safe flying within Berlin air space.
The unit's mission includes VIP flights, air assault, static displays, and formation flying.
Aviation safety officer CW3 Frank Cicneros said, "Safety starts when we wake up in the morning and continues through the entire day, until we go to sleep. Safety is our job. If we don't do things right the first time, accidents happen and people get hurt. The combined effort has paid off. Safety is not taken for granted. Our goal has been to train safely."
Lieutenant Col. Doug Powell, Aviation Detachment commander, has a philosophy of system safety and ensures its principles are used within each section of the organization, Cicneros said.
The Operation Section is responsible for planning, scheduling and executing all missions in a timely manner. Two essential ingredients are assigning crews based on their experience level, and ensuring that all crews have been properly briefed before take off. Also, Operations mandates that each pilot in command gives pre-flight briefings to ensures the missions are fully understood. After each flight, the pilot in command is required to give a post-mission debrief to Operations detailing the mission, Cicneros said.
The Standardization Section ensures all crew members are current and qualified in their aircraft. Their rigorous standardization program consists of no-notice check rides, annual flight evaluations and written examinations, he said.
The Maintenance Section ensures that sound maintenance practices are applied before flights. This prevents in-flight maintenance-related mishaps. A system application of safety management principles includes daily inspection of each aircraft before and after every flight of the day, regular intervalinspectionsevery 25,50 and 150 hours, technical inspections of all work, and test flights to confirm flight readiness, Cicneros said.
Also, the unit's Quality Control Section works with mechanics to ensure by-the-book procedures. With 12 soldiers, nine civilians and a secretary, the maintenance team is responsible for the tool room, battery, calibration, aviation life support, avionics, and prop and rotor shops.
The Bocksberg - Berlin link , covering a distance of over 100 miles, will be the first digital troposcatter link that the Army has installed. With the Berlin link, FM stereo transmissions and reception will be provided to Berlin. Also, Helmstedt and Drachenberg (comm site west of Helmstedt) in the FRG will be able to receive AFN TV broadcasts.
I spent over three years on this site and closed it in the fall of 1993. We maintained the digital communication link between DSC stations and a direct tropospheric scatter link between ourselves and Berlin on an MD-918 system.
BBG was transferred to the Signal Support Company , HQ, Berlin Brigade. This transfer took place sometime in 1987/1988, prior to my arrival. During my stay, we were attached to Helmstedt (1989-1991), which fell under the command of the Berlin Brigade during the same period.
The opening of the east led to the closure of the site and the command of the site was transferred to the Helmstedt detachment and then on to the Berlin Brigade before final closure.
The site was maintained with 4-5 personnel with an E-5 in charge.
We inherited Pricilla, a lab mix, who we found an excellent home for before we departed. I stayed in the city of Goslar for a couple of years after transfer of the site back to the German Government.
The 11th Constabulary Squadron, previously inactivated on 20 Sept 1947, was redesignated as the 11th Armd Inf Bn on 7 April 1949 and relieved from assignment the 1st Constabulary Regiment the unit was further redesignated as 2nd Bn , 6th Inf Regt on 10 Oct 1950.
The 14th Constabulary Squadron was inactivated on 20 Dec 1948, concurrently redesignated as the 14th Armd Inf Bn and relieved from assignment to the 15th Constabulary Regiment the unit was further redesignated as 3rd Bn , 6th Inf Regt on 10 Oct 1950.
By YC, (Capt.) Sylvester J. Hunter
BERLIN, GERMANY -- Thought the readers of ARMY AVIATION would be interested in knowing a little about what goes on in the only Army Aviation Section located 110 miles behind the Iron Curtain. For record-keeping purposes, we are the Section of the 6th Inf Regt, probably the only Regiment having 3 H-13 copters assigned to it, and rarer still, only two authorized pilots. I italicize the word, "probably," for I've seen what happens to those who make bold-faced statements in "AA" about being the only units to do this or that. They're engulfed the next month by those who take exception.
Our local flying area consists of the three west sectors of Berlin or approximately 185 square miles. We are limited to this area by our own Hqs but legally we could fly in a 20-mile radius of the center of Berlin. Needless to say, we do not mind the limitation.
As for missions and operations, they are quite normal in most respects but sometimes turn out to be very interesting and amusing. For example, we held a training problem with the Regt in the Grunewald Forest (which actually is a large park). It was rather difficult for anyone to maintain the proper concentration and enthusiasm for the problem when you have a huge nudist colony right smack in the middle of the attack zone.
Periodically, the question of an L-23 is brought up. Although we certainly can use an L-23 to maintain proper liaison with the various headquarters in West Germany, the question always hits a snag someplace. We have a real need for this craft and I hope that someday certain people in the Army will realize that we are no longer Cub pilots. With only choppers authorized, you may wonder how we meet our instrument minimums. We get most of our annual instrument flying with the AF in C-47s.
In addition to supporting the Regt, we also serve the Berlin Command and USCOB with Army aviation support. Assigned AAs are Lt. Clardie A. White (Maint, Supply, & you name it) and yours truly as Chief Honcho. Also logging time with us is Maj. Donn T. Boyd, asgd to the Regt with duty in MOS 1542 (Exec, 3rd Bn). Six chopper mechanics, a clerk, and a driver complete the Berlin crew.
We got off the ship and we were put on trains for our assignments a few dozen of us were assigned to Munich we would be known as to D Battery 1st Bn 35th Artillery . The Kaserne was called Henry Kaserne and it was mostly the 24th Infantry Division. There were many tanks as well I think they were M-48s or M-60s I.m not sure about that. We wore the black red and green oak leaf patch.
We were told not to get too comfortable as we would not be staying very long. We lived out of our duffle bags and foot lockers. This was near the end of September 1963 it was starting to cool off some so fall was coming soon.We found out about a tradition in Germany that takes place every September -- its "October Fest" ( What a great place!) We were put on busses and taken to this monastery to see how beer was made and we were invited to taste test every thing which we did we had a great day.
Every morning we fall out and the first sergeant goes over the days activities and so on. So one morning we fall out as usual and first sergeant Robert Prosser turns the battery over to the Battery Commander Captain Ross E. Morrison. The BC reads a set of orders he has received which is ordering our battery to convoy to and occupy the city of Berlin. We would now be known as C Battery 94th Artillery, Berlin Brigade. This in my mind was the birth and creation of C Battery 94th Artillery.
"C" Battery mess hall, McNair Kaserne, Berlin (Richard LaCour)
We were assigned to McNair Barracks. Building 1024A and half of Building 1024B, the building was a large L shape. The other portion (of the L-shaped building) unused by C/94 was occupied by one of the 6th Infantry companies. C Battery had it's own mess hall located in the large basement area. The walls were painted with military related murals. It was very attractive. If Sgt Cook found out someone had a birthday he would bake a cake so with all the personal we had we ate a lot of cake. We got along just fine with the Ground Pounders as we called them. We often helped hide stuff for each other when inspections came around. We were near the rear gate area and the chapel was just a short walk from our back door.
When we arrived in October of 1963 we were issued six M-52 , 105 MM self propelled howitzers. In no time at all we started training on the guns setting up the crews and such. I think our first FTX was in November. We took our guns into downtown Berlin and went to the Grunewald. We setup all six of the guns and we simulated fire missions. The brigade commander ( General Frederick O. Hartel ) decided to pay us a visit. ( I think because we were the new guys in town.) He told our BC Capt Ross E. Morrison that he wanted to see foxholes. Captain Morrison advised him the ground was so frozen that making the foxholes was impossible.The general was not buying that and demanded to see foxholes dug. The Captain ordered one of the guys to start a foxhole right behind one of the guns.The general saw the results and said you may simulate the foxholes, Captain Morrison. ( We all were laughing )
I hope you'll be able to use this information in some way.
On Mar. 31, 1958, the Horse Platoon, previously assigned to the 287th MP Co., is deactivated in Berlin.
On Jun. 1, 1958, the 272nd MP Co. is deactivated leaving the 287th as the sole American Military Police unit in Berlin. Concurrently, the 287th MP Co is designated a "separate unit."
In Aug/Sept 1961, a small detachment of the 287th MP Co. is set up in Steinstuecken, a political enclave associated with West Berlin
In Oct. 1961, one platoon from the 385th MP Bn, stationed in the FRG, is attached to the 287th for duty at Checkpoint Charlie.
The Berlin unit which includes all the Army's horses and some of its men, is the Horse Platoon of the 287th Military Police Company, an integral and colorful segment of the Military Police organization within the Army's Berlin Command.
Riding and caring for the last of the present-day Army cavalry are thirty-seven "spit and polish" soldiers. Under the operational control of the Berlin Command Provost Marshal, the unit has become a showpiece after nine years of service.
Although the Horse Platoon is in no sense an official Army cavalry unit, it serves to some extent as a present-day link with the tradition of the old US Cavalry and such legendary figures as Generals Custer, Stuart and Sheridan.
A special sideline activity of the Berlin Horse Platoon is its appearance and competition in Allied military horse shows. The platoon's former First Sergeant and instructor, Thomas Lee of Shreveport, Louisiana, won more than one hundred prizes competing against the cream of French and British riders and their mounts in recent years.
All the men in the unit are volunteers, and were assigned originally to Military Police units in the US Army, European Command (USAREUR.) Most of them had civilian experience as professional horsemen, ranch hands or exercise boys. The platoon is quartered separately from its parent company and operates its own mess at billets near the stables in the southern edge of the American Sector. In the same area are the stables of the American Riding Association of Berlin whose members engage in recreational riding and inter-Allied horse shows. A large indoor arena is available for inclement weather use by both the Association and the Horse Platoon.
A typical day with the platoon includes lessons in the care and grooming of horses, jumping practice, parade techniques, formations and exercising. Athletics such as baseball and wrestling matches -- with the men mounted on horses -- are organized frequently. Such contests are considered excellent training for men and animals alike.
A popular training exercise is the equitation drill. In this activity a trooper puts his horse through a series of figure eights and similar maneuvers while the other men watch and judge each performance. Horses and men also must learn and continually practice drill quite similar to the dismounted type given to foot soldiers.
The average age of the horses is ten years, and all recent additions have been selected from choice German stock. Only two of the animals are of American origin they arrived in Europe with the 1948 United States Olympic equestrian team.
Photo was taken by band drummer & percussionist Bob Howell who married a German girl, Angie, from Berlin and still works as a full-time musician in Berlin's Theaters, Clubs & Studios to this day.
The 298th Army Band's Blazer Pocket Patch (shown above) came sewn-on to the upper pockets of our blazers (semi-formal dress coat). The dark-blue blazer was worn with grey pants -- as I remember, but I'll dig-out a photo later.
The 6941st Guard Battalion will celebrate its 40th anniversary today.
The battalion, headquartered at Roosevelt Barracks, has been providing physical security for U.S. installations in Berlin since it was formed Aug. 28, 1950.
Guard recruitment began Sept. 5 that year, and job applicants had to be male, at least 20 years old and single. Battalion members were required to live in the barracks and wear uniforms.
The battalion's S4 officer, Maj.Hein Becker, was one of the first hired, beginning as a private first class Sept. 15, 1950.
He said, "For most people hired in the 1950s, it was an interim solution to the idea of going back to a civilian job.
"I, however, liked the idea of being in a military-type unit and to work with young people."
Each Saturday, battalion members had a full field layout inspection, Becker remembered.
Later, promotions and salary also played an important role for staying with the guards, he added.
Because of structural changes and personnel strength, the battalion's original name, Labor Service Area, changed to Labor Service Center, and during 1969 was redesignated as the 6941st Guard Bn.
"The 6941st is organized like a light infantry battalion," Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Klaus Bartels said.
It consists of a headquarters company, and four guard companies: 4012th , 4014th , 4077th , and 4078th .
"Over the years, the battalion became more independent. Most parts of our jobs can be considered routine, but [there] is also a stability factor," Bartels said.
Highlights in the battalion's history include emergency assignments when the Berlin Wall was built and providing security when former President John Kennedy visited Berlin.
During the early 1980s, the battalion dealt with radicals' activities against military installations.
The battalion also provides lodging for units visiting Berlin.
In addition to train duty, the 7773 also drove an SCR-399 in the weekly convoy which went from Berlin to Braunschweig and returned the following day.
I still remember the call signs:
Berlin - ME6
Helmstedt - 0YP (that's a "zero")
the Frankfurt train - QY7F
the Bremerhaven train - QY7B.
The operating frequency was 5295 kHz. If you are familiar with the Morse code, imagine sending a name like Niederdodeleben with a Morse key from a swaying railway car. Great fun. But that was 50 years ago. Hope this fills you in a bit.
In late 1945, the Transportation Corps established the Berlin Duty Train as a method of transporting soldiers, their dependents, and U.S. Army civilians in and out of the Allied sectors of Berlin and West Germany.
Each train was assigned a train commander, a Russian-English interpreter, two Military Police, a radio operator and a conductor. The Train Commander was almost always a Transportation Corps Lieutenant, who was responsible for the safety and security of the train during its journey. The radio operator maintained constant contact with Brigade Headquarters while traveling through the Soviet zone. The Transportation Non-Commissioned Officer acted as the conductor.
13 Major Pros and Cons of the Uniform Crime Report
The Uniform Crime Report is a nationwide, cooperative statistical effort that includes over 18,000 institutions in the United States. This data goes to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to create a database on crimes that occur at the local, country, state, and federal level. The program has been administered annually since 1930, and it continues to assess and monitor the types of criminal activity that occur across the country.
The primary objective of the UCR is to generate reliable information for use in the administration of law enforcement activities. It provides assistance with the management and operation of enforcement at every level. In recent years, this information has also become one of the most critical leading social indicators in the United States. Everyone from municipal planners to sociologists use this info for their various planning and research purposes.
As with any other effort to collect data on a specific subject, the uniform crime report offers several pros and cons worth considering.
List of the Pros of the Uniform Crime Report
1. It provides specific details about crime and arrests in communities.
The methodology of the current reporting system allows the Uniform Crime Report to provide detailed information about the arrests and criminal activities that occur in various levels of society. By understanding what the trends are for this behavior, local officials can work to prevent more unwanted activities from occurring because they can identify trends in specific crimes. That makes it easier to identify potential offenders, protect possible victims, and reduce the threat of violence.
2. It collects information about specific crimes in several different categories.
The Uniform Crime Report focuses on various different crimes that can occur in the community. It tracks violent classifications, curfew offenses, and even loitering. The most common statistics that organizations pull from the UCR tend to involve the upper-tier offenses of homicide, aggravated assault, forcible rape, and robbery. Other crimes that are monitored through this report include embezzlement, drug offenses, fraud, DUIs, disorderly conduct, forgery, and counterfeiting. That is why this database serves as the primary source of crime statistics in the United States.
3. It is information that anyone can access if they wish.
You do not need to have a special permission to access the information in the Uniform Crime Report. Anyone with access to a computer can quickly see what is in the report and what it means for their community. You can access the 2018 UCR by following this link: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2018/preliminary-report
Although you are cautioned against making comparisons between cities with this information, valid assessments are possible when you take into account the various range of unique conditions that are present in each jurisdiction. This process makes it possible to understand more about what is happening at every community level when further research into the figures takes place.
4. It provides a resource that reviews hate crime statistics in the United States.
The Hate Crime Statistics Program is part of the UCR, providing information on crimes that are motivated by an offenders’ bias against their victim’s race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, culture, or ethnicity. This information is collected in other reports as well, but the Uniform Crime Report makes it easier to compare the data from past years to identify trends where a specific group might see more targeting.
5. It is the oldest reporting system currently available in the country.
The reason why the Uniform Crime Report is such a popular report to use is because it contains decades of data for reference. Since it is also run by the FBI, there is an added level of certainty available with the information because it comes from one of the top law enforcement agencies in the country. This structure gives the database opportunities to provide old-trend analysis while collecting from a broad range of information resources to ensure that the voluntary data is as accurate as possible.
6. It places the data into a usable format.
The Uniform Crime Report comes in two different forms. You can receive the raw data that you can then filter and sort by yourself to find specific information. It also comes with a report summary that makes the info easier to consume for the average person. That makes it easier to see what the historical perspective of crime is for communities or the country, making it possible to view how our population perceives this conduct differently over the years. You will receive a consistent local, regional, and national sample with the report so that various trends can be compared in each community even if the actual data points are not useful for that activity.
List of the Cons of the Uniform Crime Report
1. It is a system of reporting that relies on voluntary data.
Communities are not forced to report their information to the Uniform Crime Report each year. Although there are 18,000+ institutions which regularly provide data to the FBI, this information is not a complete picture of what is going on in our communities. Some institutions may not keep track of all of the different categories that the UCR covers as well, so the data does not always reflect the various trends which are present in the community. If the information from a report is complete, then this database is useful. Far too often, the info that one community reports can be very different from what another one offers.
2. It relies on crime discovery to be an accurate tool.
Some estimates suggest that up to 40% of the violent crime that occurs in the United States goes unreported each year. Some experts such as Steven Barkan suggest that as few as 3% of all criminal activity that happens in each community is discovered by a law enforcement official and noted in the data. That means the actual statistics on crime can be extensively higher than what the Uniform Crime Report suggests with its annual report. If you want to receive an accurate picture of what is happening in a community, then you may need to double some of the figures which are present.
3. It uses a system of hierarchy for reporting criminal activity.
The Uniform Crime Report often receives criticism for the way that it handles the statistics it receives from the community because it implements a hierarchy rule for multiple offenses. If the same person commits multiple crimes simultaneously, then the most significant crime is the only one that receives a statistical notation in the UCR.
Let’s use the example of a fatal carjacking incident. The individual charged with the incident might have several crimes charged to them during the arrest, ranging from traffic violations to the theft of the automobile to the murder of the driver. Under the structure of the Uniform Crime Report, only the homicide would receive a report. And then, if the suspect were to get in a shootout with officers and kill one of them, the incident with the official would receive a priority.
4. It does not include some crimes, even though they get reported.
The UCR does not include some data on rape because of the way the information in the report gets collected. For the Uniform Crime Report, the term “forcible rape” in past versions of the report only refers to an incident where a man forces himself onto a woman against her will. That means any rape incidents that are same-gender or an incident against a man do not count in this category. If they do receive inclusion in the report, then it may be as an aggravated assault at best. This disadvantage means that the data provided does not always accurately reflect what is happening in the community because the presence of definitions is lacking.
Although drug use is part of the Uniform Crime Report, this activity does not get reported as consistently as other criminal activities. Part of the reason for this issue is the lack of definition for this category. Since recreational marijuana laws permit usage in several states, what is legal in one community could be illegal in another.
5. It does not report data very quickly.
As of April 30, 2019, the information that is available for the Uniform Crime Report includes the first six months of 2018. This data can then be compared to that same period from the year before or any other previous year. There are times when it takes more than 12 months for the complete report to reach the public, which can make it challenging for the community to provide the necessary response to the criminal activities. An immediate response is impossible unless officials decide to use the data they’d send to the UCR for their own purposes at the same time.
6. It does not offer information about the criminals.
The Uniform Crime Report only provides information about the specific crimes that occur in a community based on its hierarchy rules. You do not receive any data about the individuals involved with the criminal conduct. Since only the highest crime is reported as well, you may receive an incomplete picture of what happens since some people commit multiple crimes of similar types frequently. It creates a system where the data can even be manipulated if the voluntary reporting purposely excludes some information.
7. It struggles to find reporting errors.
The Uniform Crime Report relies on the accuracy of the information that communities provide to it on a voluntary basis. If there are errors in the reported statistics, then the FBI has no way of knowing that this issue is present. That can make it challenging to uncover some key data points about criminal behavior, especially when the data omits certain crimes. If you were to only look at the Summary Reporting System, there are just eight crimes listed as Part I offenses. That makes it challenging to know from a law enforcement perspective what is happening in a community.
The pros and cons of the Uniform Crime Report are important to review because this tool is useful, but incomplete. It is challenging to compare data from different geographic regions in the United States because the voluntary reporting from each community might have different rules to follow. Think of this information as the first step toward determining what trends are shaping each community and the country as a whole since it can monitor several key data points at once.
II Army Corps
II Army Corps is a First Echelon unit of the Korean People's Army that is deployed along the DMZ where it can conduct offensive across the DMZ or provide defense in the event of an invasion. As the unit is a forward corps it is organized accordingly with three infantry divisions, three light infantry brigade, an armor brigade, two artillery brigades, and a river-crossing regiment.
P'yongyang established II Corps on June 12, 1950 and placed Lt. General Kim Kwang Hyop in command. During the Korean War the unit was comprised of the 2nd Infantry Division, the 13th Mechanized Division, and the 27th Infantry Division.
The NKPA plan for the invasion of South Korea called for II Corps to direct the 2nd and 12th Divisions to advance towards Hwach'on-Chunch'on-Kap'yung and Yanggu-Hongch'on-Suwon and Wonju and directed the 5th Division to advance fron Yanhyang towards Kangrung-Samch'ok. KIMH directed the 549th and 766th (the type of units were not identified) to conduct landing operations in the Chongdongjin and Imwonjin areas.
When the North Korean II Corps was reorganized in the late fall of 1950, the corps artillery regiment which had been organic to the corps during the summer campaign of 1950 was apparently not reactivated due to an acute and universal shortage of all types of artillery weapons. Upon commitment in the communist New Year's Eve offensive, the corps was still lacking in any artillery reserve. In March 1951, according to a seemingly competent source, an antiaircraft regiment organized and trained in Manchuria was assigned to the corps. The regiment was comprised of three identical battalions each of which consisted of two antiaircraft gun batteries, one antiaircraft machine gun battery and a command platoon each had a total strength of approximately 420 officers and enlisted men. Each of the gun batteries had a strength of around 100 officers and men and was equipped with four 37mm M-1939 antiaircraft guns while the machine gun battery was armed with eighteen 12.7mm Dshk M-1938 antiaircraft, machine guns but had the same strength as the gun batteries, The battalion was furthermore equipped with eight trucks which were employed as prime movers for the antiaircraft guns, shortages in communication and fire control equipment ostensibly limited the effectiveness of this unit. The regiment was deployed in the corps rear area to secure the P'yonggang Airfield and other important military targets against UN air attacks and was still assigned to the corps at the time of the source's capture in the middle of June.
An exceedingly well informed North Korean artillery officer reports that the II Corps received a new issue of artillery weapons from the USSR during the latter part of May. Each division in the corps was allegedly issued the following artillery pieces: twelve 122mm howitzers, twelve 76mm field guns, twelve 76mm howitzers, eighteen 120mm mortars, eighty-one 82mm mortars and forty-eight 45mm antitank guns. However instead of being assigned directly to the divisions, a large portion of this armament remained with the corps artillery reserve. Concurrently with the receipt of these weapons, an intensive training program was inaugurated for all artillery personnel, most of whom were without any prior artillery experience or training. This same prisoner of war claims that at the time of his defection in June 1951, Major General KIM-i1 was the artillery officer of II Corps. His staffs included Colonel Kwon-Chin-Su, the artillery section chief of staff, and Lieutenant Colonel LEE-Chong-,Sun, the tactical planning (operations) officer of the corps artillery section. While this report had not been entirely confirmed it indicates if true that artillery elements of the II Corps had achieved a combat effectiveness and level of armament which cormpares favorably with the artillery potential at the time of the initial invasion.
1965-1970: The 1st Infantry Division was one of the first two divisions sent to defend the Republic of Vietnam in 1965.
For five years the Big Red One fought main force Viet Cong (VC) and regular North Vietnamese Army (NVA) forces in the jungles northwest of Saigon. It suppressed enemy infiltration along the Highway 13 corridor to Cambodia and sought to clear the enemy from its bases in the heavy jungle of the Iron Triangle and near the Michelin Plantation. The Division made innovative use of air mobile operations, fire bases, combined arms operations and civic action. It helped take the fight back to the enemy in the wake of the 1968 Tet Offensive, an intense combat environment in which even the commanding general would be a casualty. On September 13, 1968, division commanding general MG Keith L. Ware and his aides were killed in action when their helicopter was shot down near Loc Ninh. With the 1969 policy of pacification and Vietnamization, the 1st Infantry Division returned to the United States in 1970 to its former home at Fort Riley, Kansas.
On September 13, 1968, division commanding general MG Keith L. Ware and his aides were killed in action when their helicopter was shot down near Loc Ninh.
Pictured is an M48 Patton tank used by 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division. The M48 was the primary tank used by the US Army and Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.
A UH-1 helicopter lands 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division troop. “Hueys”, as the helicopters were popularly known, were used for MedEvac, command and control, and air assault to transport personnel and materiel and as gunships in Vietnam.
Lt. Clark Welch and PFC Ben Dunn, Recon Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, with Viet Cong claymore mines, June 13, 1967.
Cobra gunship and UH-1 “Huey” helicopters in Vietnam. The AH-1 Cobra is an attack helicopter that was widely used in Vietnam . The AH-1 is also sometimes referred to as the “Huey”, “Cobra” or “Snake.”
M60 machine gun. Soldiers from Company C, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division moves an M60 machine gun from position to advance on a sniper near Bien Hoa, Vietnam, October 4, 1965.
Volume II in the Civil War Brigade Battle Series. Refight the Battle of Shiloh with this classic hex and counter game. Playable in 3 hrs.
OLD SCHOOL WARGAME
SHILOH 1862 is Volume II in Worthingtons Civil War Brigade Battle Series. With streamlined mechanics, only 8 pages of series rules, and battle specific rules, gamers can refight the Battle of Shiloh in 2 to 4 hours.
Gamers who own Volume I Antietam 1862 will be up and playing Shiloh in minutes as they share the same series game rules for each game, and each has limited special rules that reflect events significant to that battle.
Brigade Level Detail
Each infantry and cavalry piece is a brigade with each strength point 100 men, color boxes surrounding the strength show morale of green, veteran, or crack. Each artillery piece strength point represents 2 cannon. Leaders are represented to make sure players maintain command control.
Special Forces History
The Special Forces Groups can be found at the Special Forces Groups page. Below are listed individual units - whether formed up for a temporary timeframe or during a conflict, war, or special operation.
8240th Army Unit. This provisional unit was established in the early 1950s to train up anti-Communist North Korean partisans to conduct unconventional warfare in North Korea.
8251st Army Unit. In 1956 the 8251st Army Unit was activated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The name of the unit was the cover designation for the 14th Special Forces Operational Detachment (FD). This unit was designed to operate as a command and control unit within a "denied area" in the Pacific region and would later form the cadre of the newly established 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). The unit spent time at Fort Shafter, Hawaii and Fort Buckner, Okinawa. It executed Foreign Internal Defense (FID) missions in South Vietnam, the Republic of China, and Thailand. (Info taken from 1st Special Forces Facebook entry).
Delta Force. The official name of Delta Force is the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment "D". Delta Force was created in the 1970s in response to a new age of terrorism.
Intelligence Support Activity (ISA). Formed up after the failure of Operation Eagle Claw, the ISA was formed to collect actionable intelligence overseas for special operations forces that would conduct covert, clandestine, and overt missions. It now has a different name (keeps changing every few years) and is subordinate to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).
Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). The joint organization was formed to coordinate the various special operations forces across the services in the conduct of counter-terrorism and surgical strike missions.
USSOCOM. United States Special Operations Command, a 4-star command, was established in 1987 at McDill Air Force Base, Florida.
Central Intelligence Group (CIG). The CIG was formed in January 1946 - replacing the intelligence arm of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
Navy SEALs. The U.S. Navy SEALs operate on the Sea, in the Air, and on Land. Their recent exploits (Osama bin Laden raid, Maresk Alabama, etc.) have spawned a number of books and movies that has projected the unit into the public eye.
Psychological Operations. Special Forces has a long and shared history in unconventional warfare with units that conducted psychological operations. Both type units were part of larger commands with a shared mission - currently under the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC).
World War II Special Operations Units
Office of Strategic Services (OSS). The OSS was formed in World War II to conduct intelligence and unconventional warfare missions around the globe.
Jedburghs. The Jedburgh teams usually consisted of an American from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a Brit from the Special Operations Executive (SOE), and a Frenchman (French resistance or Free French Army). Teams were usually 2-4 men (or women) in strength.
1st Special Service Force. Nick-named the Devil's Brigade, the 1st Special Service Force was a joint American-Canadian command unit formed up in Helena, Montana during World War II. Many of the American and Canadian special elite units trace their heritage from this WWII unit.
Sanderson's on the St. Mary's. But how was he to advance at all without risking a repulse, seeing that there was an enemy in his path? Nor could he remain at Sanderson's with entire safety, for Seymour reported that Sanderson's could not be fortified to advantage or the troops supplied there. Gillmore then directed him to concentrate without delay at Baldwin, but that point offered scarcely more advantages of strength than Sanderson's and was, besides, twenty miles from his supplies at Jacksonville, and he had but little transportation.
Whilst General Gillmore was at his headquarters at Hilton Head and the army in the interior of Florida was beyond the reach of telegraphic communication, much of necessity was left to the discretion of General Seymour. Having obtained reliable information that the strength of the enemy in his front did not exceed his own, the excellent character of his own troops, as he reports to his chief, forbade any doubt as to the propriety of a conflict on equal terms. Accordingly he resolved to carry out the general plan on which he supposed the occupation and control of east Florida had been based, by marching at once to the Suwanee River and destroying the bridges and railroad, thus breaking up communication between east and west Florida. On the receipt of Seymour's letter communicating his determination, Gillmore promptly returned a sharp and emphatic disapproval but it was too late.
On the landing of Seymour's expedition at Jacksonville, Brigadier-General Joseph Finegan, the Confederate commander of east Florida, immediately telegraphed to Savannah and Charleston for reenforcements, and by February 10th had collected at Lake City 490 infantry, 110 cavalry, and two field-pieces of his own widely
That night he placed the men in position two and a half miles east of that town, and reenforcements were sent to him from Charleston and Savannah.
Demonstrations were made by the Union commanders at these points, but they failed to prevent the departure of reenforcements for Florida.
By the 13th a Confederate force of about 4600 infantry, 600 cavalry, and three field-batteries (12 guns) was concentrated near Lake City. This force was organized into two brigades the first, A. H. Colquitt's, made up of the 6th, 19th, 23d, 27th, and 28th Georgia regiments, the 6th Florida and the Chatham battery of Georgia artillery. The second brigade was composed of the 32d and 64th Georgia Volunteers, 1st Regiment Georgia Regulars, 1st Florida Battalion, Bonaud's Battalion of Infantry, and Guerard's Light Battery. Colonel George P. Harrison, Jr., of the 32d Georgia, commanded the brigade. The cavalry was commanded by Colonel Caraway Smith, and the Florida light artillery was unattached and in reserve. The whole force numbered about 5400 men at Ocean Pond on the Olustee, 13 miles east of Lake City.
The country along the railroad from the Suwanee River eastward is low and flat, without streams to delay the march of an army, and covered with open pine forests unobstructed by undergrowth. The only natural features which could serve any purposes of defense were the lakes and ponds scattered over the country. The position at Ocean Pond offered these advantages. From the 13th to the 20th some defensive works were begun, but little progress was made toward completing them, on a line extending from Ocean Pond on the left, a sheet of water of about four miles in length by from two to two and a half miles in width, to another pond about two miles long, on the right and to the south of the railroad. A short distance in front of the left was another pond, and in front of the right a bay or jungle, passable only within two hundred yards to the right or south of the railroad. The position possessed strength provided the enemy would attack it directly in front, but could be readily turned.
Early on the morning of February 20th, Seymour marched westward from his camp on the south fork of the St. Mary's River, to engage the enemy near Olustee, about eighteen miles distant. The country over which he marched el, presenting no strategic points, and the ground was firm, offering no difficulty to the march of troops of any amount. Colonel Henry was in advance with his small brigade of cavalry and Elder's Horse Artillery (Battery B, First U. S. Artillery). Though there was no lack of general officers in General Gillmore's command, on this expedition the three infantry brigades were commanded by colonels. Colonel (afterward General and United States Senator) J. R. Hawley led in three parallel columns, marching by flank, the center one on the road, the other two dressing on it. Colonels W. B. Barton's and James Montgomery's brigades followed in the same order of march. Captain John Hamilton's Light Battery "E," 3d United States Artillery, and Captain L. L. Langdon's "M," 1st United States Artillery, and a section of Rhode Island Artillery, under Lieutenant Metcalf, followed. One regiment, the 55th Massachusetts, was left in camp, which, with other regiments detached, reduced the force engaged to about 5500 men, with 16 field-pieces. (1)
General Finegan had thrown forward Colonel Smith's cavalry, supported by the 64th and two companies of the 32d Georgia regiments, to skirmish with the advancing enemy and endeavor to draw them on to attack in the selected position. Apprehending, however, that the Union commander would be too cautious to attack a relatively strong position which could be so easily turned, he ordered forward General Colquitt with three of his regiments and a section of Gamble's artillery to assume command of all the troops in front. About two miles east of Olustee Colquitt found the enemy, who had driven in the pickets, advancing rapidly.
The colonel of the 64th Georgia, a new regiment, never before in action, supposing that only
(1) Hawley's brigade was composed of the 7th Conn ., (Capt. B. H. Skinner 7th New Hampshire, Col. J. C. Abbott and 8th U. S. Colored Troops, Col. Charles W: Fribley - Barton's brigade of the 47th N. Y., Col. Henry Moore 48th N. Y., Major W . B. Coan and 115th N. Y ., Col. Simeon Sammon - Montgomery's brigade of the 54th Mass., Col. E. N. Hallowell 55th Mass. (not engaged), Col. N. P. Hallowell and 1st N. C., Lieut. - Col. W. N. Reed.