95th Division (Institutional Training)
The 95th Division (Institutional Training) is a Major Subordinate Command of the US Army Reserve Command with Headquarters formerly in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at the Harry L. Twaddle U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Center. The Department of Defense, in 2005, recommended relocating the division to Fort Sill, OK.
The Division has over 3,500 soldiers assigned in Army Reserve centers located throughout the states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa. The Division consists of an Infantry (BCT) Brigade, an Artillery (FAOSUT) Brigade, a Training Support Brigade, four Institutional (TASS) School Brigades, a Provisional Senior ROTC Brigade, a Drill Sergeant School, the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Company, and the 95th Division Band.
In peacetime, the mission of the 95th Division (Institutional Training) is: Support of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command, TRADOC, by conducting Field Artillery Initial Entry Training and Basic Combat Initial Entry Training at the Army's Field Artillery Training Center, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The Division's Institutional Training Brigades provide soldiers of the Army Reserve, National Guard and Active Army with Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and Professional Development courses under the The Army School System (TASS) to prepare them for increasing levels of responsibility and readiness.
In the event of mobilization, the Division will provide Drill Sergeants and TASS Instructors to backfill and augment TRADOC installations and the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) Center and School, as well as continue to provide instruction to members of the Reserve not affected by the mobilization.
The initial activation of the 95th Division was begun at Camp Sherman, Ohio, September 5, 1918. The activation order directed the Division's composition to include the following major units: the 189th Infantry Brigade, the 190th Infantry Brigade, the 170th Field Artillery Brigade, the 358th Machine Gun Battalion, the 320th Engineer Battalion, the 620th Field Signal Battalion and the 95th Division Trains. The organization and training of all units except the 320th Engineer Battalion and the 95th Division Trains was fully under way at the time of the Armistice. Brig. Gen. Mathew C. Smith, commander of the Division during it's brief World War I history, received orders early in December, 1918, to demobilize the Division, and this demobilization was completed December 21, all officers and men being discharged or transferred. From this date to the Division's activation during the Second World War, the unit existed as an organized reserve division with headquarters in Oklahoma City.
The Division's World War II pre-combat history extended over more than two years of training and travel throughout the breadth of the United States and to include later the United Kingdom and France. Early in its post-activation period, the Division indicated a high degree of personnel intelligence for Army division as the result of Army General Classification Test scores. It was rated equally high in physical fitness tests which were conducted following the completion of basic training. Its performance on three sets of maneuvers, laid the groundwork for a latent combat efficiency. The Division's World War II history can be said to have begun when Maj. Gen. Harry L. Twaddle was named commanding general in March, 1942.
The 95th Infantry Division arrived in England on 17 August 1944. After receiving additional training, it moved to France, 15 September, and bivouacked near Norroy-le-Sec, 1-14 October. The Division went into the line, 19 October, in the Moselle River bridgehead sector east of Moselle and South of Metz and patrolled the Seille River near Cheminot, repulsing enemy attempts to cross the river. On 1 November, elements went over to the offensive, reducing an enemy pocket east of Maizieres. On the 8th, these units crossed the Moselle River and advanced to Bertrange.
Metz, the queen city of Moselle, had withstood all attacks by military forces since 451 A. D., and the Germans intended to maintain this record. The original fortifications, completed before 1870, consisted of an inner ring of 15 forts and an outer perimeter of 28 steel and concrete bastions built by the Germans in 1912. In 1941, the Germans improved and modernized the installations. The forts were reinforced with 210 MM guns and 105 MM guns placed in revolving steel turrets which would withstand fire from high velocity direct-fire weapons.
Against heavy resistance, the 95th captured the forts surrounding Metz and captured the city, 22 November. At 1435 on the afternoon of 22 November 1 944, Maj. Gen. Walton H. Walker reported to Lt. Gen. Patton that Metz was completely secured. It was during the battle for Metz that war correspondents nicknamed the men of the 95th "The Bravest of the Brave". The German defenders gave them another name that the Division carries proudly: "The Iron Men of Metz."
The Division pushed toward the Saar, 25 November, and entered Germany on the 28th. The 95th seized a Saar River bridge, 3 December, and engaged in bitter house-to-house fighting for Saarlautern. Suburbs of the city fell and, although the enemy resisted fiercely, the Saar bridgehead was firmly established by 19 December. While some units went to an assembly area, others held the area against strong German attacks. On 2 February 1945, the Division began moving to the Maastricht area in. Holland, and by 14 February, elements were in the line near Meerselo in relief of British units. Relieved, 23 February, the 95th assembled near Julich, Germany, 1 March. It forced the enemy into a pocket near the Hitler Bridge at Uerdingen and cleared the pocket, 5 March, while elements advanced to the Rhine. From 12 March, the 95th established defenses in the vicinity of Neuss. Assembling east of the Rhine at Beckum, 3 April, it launched an attack across the Lippe River, 4 April, and captured Hamm and Kamen on the 6th. After clearing the enemy pocket between the Ruhr and the Mohne Rivers, the Division took Dortmund, 13 April 1945, and maintained positions on the north bank of the Ruhr.
In July 1945, the Division returned to the United States amidst welcoming celebrations at Boston's harbor. The retraining began for the Pacific Theater, but the atomic bombing of Japan brought surrender of the country and the "Iron Men" were not needed. The 95th Infantry Division had fought in Europe for nearly 12 months involving 145 days of combat including a continuous period of more than 100 days. The 95th captured more than 439 centers of population, including Germany's ninth largest city, Dortmund.
In 1952, the Organized Reserve was redesignated as the United States Army Reserve. The same year the Division underwent some other changes, one being the addition of the 291st Regiment, Tulsa, Oklahoma, from the 75th Division. The second change that year for the Division was the withdrawal of assignment of the 377th Infantry Regiment from the 95th and assignment to the 75th Infantry Division. The 377th had headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana since its activation after World War II.
1955 saw further changes to the Division and again changes of assignment of subordinate elements. On 1 January 1955, the 291st Regiment was again assigned to the 75th Infantry Division from the 95th and was subsequently inactivated 31 January 1955. On 30 January, the 377th Regiment was reassigned to the 95th from the 75th and its headquarters moved from New Orleans to Tulsa, Oklahoma on 31 January. The same date saw the relocation of the 379th Regimental headquarters from Hot Springs, Arkansas where it had been since 1947, to Little Rock, Arkansas.
On 1 April 1958 the 95th Infantry Division was redesignated as the 95th Division (Training) and a major reorganization of mission assignments was underway. Personnel trained for infantry combat, artillery, military police and combat support roles, were now to undergo re-training to enable them to train others. The Division had a new role, a new place in the sun as one of the 13 Training Divisions in the U.S. Army Reserve arsenal. The same year the Division's size increased as the 291st Regiment was reassigned again from the 75th and was redesignated as 291st Regiment (Advanced Individual Training). With the reorganization of the Division all of the Regiments were redesignated. The 95th Regiment became the 95th Regiment (Common Specialist Training) with headquarters at Shreveport, Louisiana. The 377th became the 377th Regiment (Basic Combat Training) as did the 378th and 379th. A new role, a new mission and new Summer Camp training sites.
In 1967, the nickname given the Division by the Germans during the battle for Metz, became the officially recognized nickname of the Division, the "Iron Men of Metz". The Institute of Heraldry approved the adoption of the nickname and a new crest to be worn by all non-regimental elements of the Division. The crest symbolized and commemorated the crossing of the Moselle River and the breakthrough at Metz by the blue wavy band and the black fortress. The blue wavy band further alluded to the Distinctive Unit Citation the Division received for the action in World War II. The arrow alludes to the letter "V" for victory, and the nickname given the organization.
In January 1968 the Division was reorganized along the lines of the active Army training units in that all Regimental headquarters were redesignated as Brigades. The Division consisted of the First Brigade (Basic Combat Training), Second Brigade (Basic Combat Training), Third Brigade (Advanced Individual Training) and Fourth Brigade (Combat Specialist Training). Further additions to complete makeup included a Committee Group consisting of instructor personnel teaching common specialties in Basic Combat Training. The Division was now a Fourth U.S. Army General Officer Command (GOCOM) and assumed command of some non-divisional reserve units.
The "Iron Men of Metz" began to amass more accolades, this time ones for the experience they displayed at their new assignment and the expertise displayed by their personnel. Maj. Gen. Herman H. Hankins replaced the retiring General Massad in 1968. The 95th Division (Training) was now well on its way into becoming the "top" training division in the Army Reserve. The mission assigned was to conduct Basic, Advanced and Common Specialty training for 12,698 trainees. The Division was conducting Annual Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, a partnership that would last for nearly seven years without a break.
In November 1973, a new Armed Forces Reserve Center was completed and the Division Headquarters relocated from the Center at N.E. 36th and Martin Luther King Blvd., in Oklahoma City to the new facility near Tinker Air Force Base.
The next changes for the Division came in 1975 with Maj. Gen. Walter L. Starks assuming command. The change of Command occurred at Fort Polk, Louisiana amid retirement ceremonies for General Hankins. But the 3,600 man GOCOM, now under Fifth U.S. Army, was still to see further changes.
On 1 August, 1975, the 95th Division Maneuver Training Command (MTC) was organized by Fifth U.S. Army General Order. The 315 strength unit was organized in Oklahoma City and added greatly to the GOCOM strength and mission capabilities.
The active Army introduced the "One Station Unit Training" concept, OSUT, which was to put the Army's old training centers into obsolescence. The new concept meant that the Division would no longer go to Annual Training as one unit, but would be split among many training centers of the U.S.
The Division was located in three states, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The First Brigade (BCT) is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma and has elements of the 377th, and 379th in Regiments in its Battalions. The Second Brigade (BCT) is headquartered in Lawton, Oklahoma with elements of the 378th and 379th Regiments. The Third Brigade (A IT) is headquartered in Stillwater, Oklahoma, a move made in September 1975, and consists of only 291st Regiment elements. The Fourth Brigade (CST) is headquartered in Bossier City, Louisiana, a suburb of Shreveport, and includes the 95th Regiment and one element of the 379th. The Committee Group (BCT) is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas and has no Regimental elements. The 95th Support Battalion was headquartered in Midwest City, Oklahoma with the Division Headquarters, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 95th Division Leadership Academy, and the 95th Division Maneuver Training Command.
On 1 January 1979 the Division was reorganized into an OSUT Infantry Structure. Permanent Order Number 136-5, dated 5 December 1978 called for the deactivation of the 95th Support Battalion and redesignation of the four brigades as OSUT Infantry Brigades and the Committee Group was redesignated as the 95th Training Command.
The mission of the 95th Division (Tng) was to establish a U.S. Army Training Center and conduct OSUT Infantry and Basic Training. The Division will have the capability of receiving and training 20,000 young soldiers in such subjects as military conduct and courtesy, basic rifle marksmanship, chemical biological and radiological training, first aid, offensive and defensive tactics, patrolling, weapons, land navigation, communications, and drill and ceremonies.
The Division experienced tremendous expansion in October 1984 with the addition of the 4073d US Army Reception Station, in Lafayette, Louisiana with a strength of 809 personnel. The 402d Brigade's effective activation is 16 March 1985 and consists of the Brigade Headquarters and Training Group in Lawton, Oklahoma and five battalions of the 89th Regiment located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Amarillo, Denton, Fort Worth and Wichita Falls, Texas. The mission of the 402d Brigade has been designated to expand the training base for the Army's Field Artillery Training Center located at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
During the period 26 May 1987 through 15 August 1987, elements of the 95th Division (Tng) conducted a Mobilization Army Training Center (MATC) exercise at Fort Polk, Louisiana. This mission constituted a mobilization exercise for the purpose of receiving over 619 new soldiers, in-processing through the Reception Battalion, assignment to training companies, conduct of 8 weeks basic training, out-processing, and shipment of the soldiers to their next duty station. Several previous such exercises had been conducted, but never had the entire process been conducted solely by a Reserve Training Division to include the Reception Battalion, and other CAPSTONE-aligned units scheduled for mobilization at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to close the Major General Harry Twaddle United States Armed Forces Reserve Center, Oklahoma City, OK, and to relocate the 95th DIV to Fort Sill, OK. This recommendation would improve operational effectiveness by putting the Training Division at the major training site in its region (Fort Sill).
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