Military


Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division
7th Infantry Division (Light)
"Bayonets"

Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division uncased its colors during a reactivation ceremony on 10 October 2012 on Joint Base Lewis McChord's Watkins Field. The unit had been formally activated on 1 October 2012. The unit subsequently took over administrative control of the three brigades of the 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, and the 17th Fires Brigade. The resulting entity was referred to commonly as the 7th Infantry Division, but none of the units were officially redesignated as elements of the 7th Infantry Division. This informal designation continued with the announcement of major Army-wide force structure changes in June 2013, with "4th Stryker BCT, 7th Infantry Division" among the units slated to be inactivated. This in fact referred to 4th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division was first constituted on 6 December 1917 in the Regular Army as Headquarters, 7th Division and organized on 1 January 1918 at Camp Wheeler, Georgia. Sent to France to fight in the Great War, the Division participated in the Lorraine 1918 campaign. Following the end of the Great War and its return to the United States, the Division was inactivated on 22 September 1921 at Camp George G. Meade, Maryland.

Headquarters, 7th Division was activated on 1 July 1940 at Camp Ord, California. Following the US entry into the Second World War, the unit was redesignated on 9 April 1942 as Headquarters, 7th Motorized Division, and was sent to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska to stop the Japanese invasion attempt. There it was reorganized and redesignated on 1 January 1943 as Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division. 7th Infantry Division went on to fight in the Eastern Mandates, Leyte, and Ryukyus campaigns during World War II.

7th Infantry Division went on to fight in the Korean War, participating in a total of 10 campaigns there: UN Defensive, UN Offensive, CCF Intervention, First UN Counteroffensive, CCF Spring Offensive, UN Summer-Fall Offensive, Second Korean Winter, Korea Summer-Fall 1952, Third Korean Winter, and Korea Summer 1953. The Division remained in Korea and Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division was reorganized and redesignated on 1 July 1960 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Infantry Division The 7th Infantry Division continued manning the line in Korea until 1971, when the Division returned to US soil for the first time since 1943. The Division was inactivated on 2 April 1971 at Fort Lewis, Washington.

The Division was reactivated on 21 October 1974 at Fort Ord, California and in October 1985, the Division converted to the new light division structure. The unit took on a rapid reaction mission that had previously been intended for the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized). The lightfighters of the Bayonet Division were called to Honduras in 1988 for "Operation Golden Pheasant" (technically Exercise Golden Pheasant) and deployed elements to Panama in 1989-90 in support of Operation Just Cause. For the latter the unit was awarded a campaign streamer for its colors.

In August 1993, part of the Division moved to Fort Lewis, Washington, where the Division was inactivated on 16 June 1994. The 7th Infantry Division began reassembling itself on 4 June 1999, at Fort Carson, Colorado, in order to become the first Active Component/Reserve Component division. The Division was formally activated there on 16 October 1999. The Reserve units that made up the 7th Infantry Division were the 39th Infantry Brigade (Light) (Separate) (Enhanced) Brigade of the Arkansas Army National Guard, the 41st Infantry Brigade (Light) (Separate) (Enhanced) of the Oregon Army National Guard, and the 45th Infantry Brigade (Light) (Separate) (Enhanced) of the Oklahoma Army National Guard. The Division also provided training support to the Mississippi Army National Guard's 155th Armored Brigade (Heavy) (Separate).

In its new role, the 7th Infantry Division provided training assistance for subordinate units and others in preparation for Small Scale Contingency Operations (SSCO) rotations, Joint Readiness Training Center rotations, Brigade Command and Battle Staff Training rotations and annual training. The 7th Infantry Division, assigned to Fifth US Army, deployed a Division Tactical Command Post to serve as higher headquarters for annual training and field exercises. In addition, 7th Infantry Division conducted synchronization conferences with enhanced separate brigades, State Area Commands, the numbered armies in the continental United States, and the National Guard Bureau to ensure training support for annual training, Opposing Force, and evaluations. The 7th Infantry Division also conducted quarterly Unit Status Report Briefs with its 3 enhanced separate brigades to discuss readiness and resource issues affecting those units.

By the early 2000s, the 7th Infantry Division had provided training assistance and support for subordinate units in preparation for deployments in support of Operation Southern Watch and the NATO Stabilization Force (SFOR) in the former Yugoslavia (Rotations 8, 9, and 10 specifically). With the realignment of training units and responsibilities with the transformation of Fifth US Army into US Army North (USARNORTH), the 7th Infantry Division was inactivated again in 2006. Its training responsibilities were passed to Division West, First US Army.

On 25 April 2012, the US Army announced that it would establish a new 2-star headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in response to the installation's growth and its strategic importance in the new Defense Strategic Guidance. The new unit, to be designated Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division, would provide oversight for personnel, equipment, training and readiness for the 3 brigade combat teams of 2nd Infantry Division in CONUS, the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, and the 17th Fires Brigade. This would provide an intermediate command for these units, especially elements of 2nd Infantry Division, whose next higher headquarters remained in Korea. The I Corps commander would remain the Joint Base Lewis-McChord commander and the new unit would report to I Corps.

Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division uncased its colors during a reactivation ceremony on 10 October 2012 on Joint Base Lewis McChord's Watkins Field. The unit had been formally activated on 1 October 2012. On 15 November 2012, the Commander, Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division was designated by the Secretary of the Army, pursuant to Article 22(a)(8), Uniform Code of Military Justice, as a General Court-Martial Convening Authority, effective 1 October 2012. This authority was to transfer to any successor organization or command.




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