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196th Field Artillery Brigade

The 196th Field Artillery Brigade is one of the largest brigades in the National Guard. Units of the Brigade stretch from Chattanooga to Memphis. Its headquarters is on historic Holtzclaw Avenue in Chattanooga.

As part of the Tennessee Army National Guard, the 196th Field Artillery Brigade serves a dual purpose. Under state command, the Brigade may be used to provide assistance and support during natural disasters or quell civil disturbances. As a result, the Brigade must train to meet both Federal and State training requirements.

Enemy forces launched a major offensive in Korea during spring 1951, and recaptured Seoul for the third time. U.S. artillery, often firing at point-blank range, was a major weapon against the terrifying "human wave," attacks which had come to characterize the fighting in Korea. Three Army National Guard artillery battalions, the 196th Field Artillery (Tennessee), 937th Field Artillery (Arkansas), and 300th Armored Field Artillery (Wyoming) won Presidential Unit Citations for supporting U.S. Army and Marine Corps divisions.

The 196th Field Artillery Brigade, Tennessee Army National Guard, organized with battalions from Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia, received the alert notification on 3 December 1990, and entered federal active duty on 9 December 1990. On 15 December 1990 the 196th Field Artillery Brigade was federalized with three subordinate battalions [various accounts provide somewhat different dates for the Desert Storm chronology, and it it not immediately possible to reconcile these discrepancies]. The 196th mobilized, trained, and was validated at Fort Campbell. On 2 February the 196th deployed to Saudi Arabia with one of its subordinate units, the 1st Battalion, 201st Field Artillery, from West Virginia. The two other units-the 1st Battalion, 623d Field Artillery, from Kentucky and the 1st Battalion, 181st Field Artillery, from Tennessee-joined the brigade several days later. The Brigade was attached to the XVIII Airborne Corps, supported the 6th French Light Armored Division during breaching operations, and the 24th Mechanized Infantry during the ground campaign.

The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 196th Field Artillery Group, Tennessee Army National Guard on 2 Apr 1974. The insignia was redesignated for the 196th Field Artillery Brigade on 16 Feb 1979. It consists of a green hickory tree bearing two scarlet arrows points up and inward between at center a blue disc charged with three white five-pointed stars (as displayed on the Tennessee State Flag), and in base a semi-circular scarlet scroll folded back at each end and inscribed "Hard as Hickory" in gold letters. The hickory tree, symbol of strength refers to Andrew Jackson's nickname "Old Hickory" and the State of Tennessee. The arrows on the silhouette rising to a point allude to Lookout Mountain and the early Indian heritage of Chattanooga where the unit was originally organized. The blue disc bearing three white stars was suggested by the State Flag of Tennessee, also the three stars with the scarlet arrows refer to the unit's fire power and battle honors in Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe during World War II. Scarlet and yellow are colors used for artillery units.

The shoulder sleeve insignia was approved on 23 Jan 1979. On a red shield arched at top and bottom, a yellow diagonal stripe extending over the shield from upper left to lower right bearing a black cannon barrel and in the upper right a blue disc bearing three stars within a white border; all within a yellow border. Scarlet and yellow are the colors used for Artillery. The vertical band, known as a "bend" in heraldry, is an allusion to the bend in the Tennessee River known as Mocassin Bend which is in Chattanooga, the home of the Brigade headquarters. The gun barrel represents the basic mission, and the blue disc with the three stars, adapted from the state flag of Tennessee, further allude to the home area of the organization.



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