196th Infantry Brigade
The 196th Infantry Brigade is a numbered training support brigade (TSB) for the Pacific region. Reserve component soldiers from throughout the USARPAC area of responsibility give the brigade the largest area of responsibility (AOR) of any of the Army's 18 TSB's.
The mission of the 196th Infantry Brigade is to provide professional, high quality training support to reserve component and National Guard units throughout the United States Army, Pacific (USARPAC) AOR; effectively provide training assistance to ensure unit pre/post mobilization readiness to meet their Full Spectrum Operations Mission Essential Task List upon notification of sourcing; provide continuous training support to active component replacement Soldiers in support of OCO and provide civil support team / CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package training and readiness oversight to specified units in the USARPAC AOR; and provide training support and assistance to USARPAC Theater Security Cooperation Program exercises. The Brigade would, on order, provide PACOM's Defense Coordinating Officer and Element (DCO and DCE) for operations requiring Military Support to Civil Authorities (MSCA) in Hawaii, nearby Islands, or American Samoa, or the mobilization and/or demobilization assistance teams (MAT/DMAT) to support the mobilization and/or demobilization of RC units from throughout the United States Army, Pacifc Area Of Responsibilty.
Elements of the 196th Infantry Brigade provided dedicated training support, coordination, advice, and assistance to the 29th Separate Infantry Brigade, Hawaii Army National Guard, and theater high priority units; conduct Training Assessment Model (TAM) evaluations on all USARPAC RC units; and provide general training support, advice, and assistance to reserve component leaders throughout the USARPAC AOR, to attain the highest state of readiness in matters relating to training, organization, administration/ logistics, operational capability, and unit strength reporting.
The 196th Infantry Brigade was first constituted on 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 196th Infantry Brigade, and assigned to the 98th Division (later redesignated as the 98th Infantry Division). The Brigade was organized in November 1921 at Buffalo, New York. Its mission then was to train soldiers. The unit was redesignated on 23 March 1925 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 196th Brigade and again on 24 August 1936 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 196th Infantry Brigade.
The unit was converted and redesignated on 20 February 1942 as the 3rd Platoon, 98th Reconnaissance Troop, 98th Division. Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 195th Infantry Brigade was concurrently converted and redesignated as the 98th Reconnaissance Troop (less 3rd Platoon), 98th Division. The Troop was ordered into active military service on 15 September 1942 and reorganized at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, as the 98th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, an element of the 98th Infantry Division. The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 13 August 1943 as the 98th Reconnaissance Troop, Mechanized.
During World War II, the 98th Infantry Division arrived in Hawaii in April 1944, and was given the mission of defending Kauai and Maui initially. Later it was made responsible for the defense of Oahu. In May 1945, the Division began intensive training in preparation for its role in the invasion of Japan, but the war ended before the unit could leave Hawaii. It went to Japan for occupation duty, where it was inactivated in Osaka on 16 February 1946. The unit was awarded 2 campaign streamers for its World War II service, one for the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, and another streamer without inscription.
While inactive, the unit was redesignated 26 February 1947 as the 98th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop. The unit was activated on 12 March 1947 at Utica, New York. Its location was changed on 4 February 1948 to Syracuse, New York. The Organized Reserves as a whole were redesignated on 25 March 1948 as the Organized Reserve Corps, which the unit subsequently fell under. The unit's location was again changed on 13 August 1948 to Rochester, New York. The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 21 February 1949 as the 98th Reconnaissance Company.
The Organized Reserve Corps as a whole were redesignated on 9 July 1952 as the Army Reserve, which the unit subsequently became a part of. The unit was disbanded entirely on 1 May 1959 at Rochester, New York. 3rd Platoon, 98th Reconnaissance Company was concurrently reconstituted in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 196th Infantry Brigade. The remainder of company thereafter had a separate lineage.
The 196th Infantry Brigade was raised again being activated on 10 September 1965 at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. Originally scheduled to be sent to the Dominican Republic in mid-1966, the 196th Infantry Brigade (Separate) (Light) was rushed to Vietnam instead and posted in the western portion of the III Corps Tactical Zone. It initiated Operation Attleboro into War Zone C of Tay Ninh Province, which developed into a major action after a large enemy base camp was uncovered on 19 October 1966. Other operations included Cedar Falls, Dadsen, Lancaster, Junction City, and Benton.
In April 1967, the Brigade was selected, along with the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division and the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, to form a provisional division-sized unit called Task Force Oregon and moved to the I Corps Tactical Zone. The Brigade stayed with this command, which was converted into the 23rd Infantry Division (AMERICAL) on 25 September 1967. The Brigade officially joined this Division on 15 February 1969. It operated throughout northern Vietnam with the 23rd Infantry Division and participated in operations Wheeler/Wallowa, Golden Fleece, Fayette Canyon, Frederick Hill, Lamar Plain, Elk Canyon I, and Elk Canyon II.
By 1969, many US troops had turned against the war for many different reasons. By 1971 morale, discipline and battleworthiness of the US Armed Forces were lower and worse than at any time in the 20th century. By every indicator, the US Army in Vietnam was approaching collapse, with individual units avoiding or having refused combat, murdering their officers, and non-commissioned officers, drug-riddled and dispirited where not near-mutinous. The latter stages of the Vietnam War produced no fewer than 10 major incidents of mutiny, and for each of these major refusals there were dozens of minor ones or situations in which combat orders were effectively thwarted. As early as mid-1969, however, an entire company of the 196th Infantry Brigade publicly sat down on the battlfield.
With the inactivation of the 23rd Infantry Division (AMERICAL) on 29 November 1971, the 196th Infantry Brigade was reconstituted as a separate provisional brigade-sized element to safeguard the same area of operations. In April 1971, the Brigade was relocated to Da Nang for major port security duties. Poor conditions continued and in April 1972, members of the 196th Infantry Brigade, the last US combat brigade in Vietnam, refused to go out in support of ARVN operations. On 29 June 1972, the 196th Infantry Brigade finally departed Vietnam as the last US Army combat brigade to leave in Increment XII of the US Army withdrawal. The Brigade was inactivated on 30 June 1972 at Oakland, California following its return from Vietnam. The unit had participated in 14 campaigns of the conflict in Vietnam: Counteroffensive Phase II, Counteroffensive Phase III, Tet Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase IV, Counteroffensive Phase V, Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, Winter-Spring 1970, Sanctuary Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase VII, Consolidation I, Consolidation II, and Cease-Fire.
A ceremony on 26 May 1998 marked the beginning of the reactivation of the 196th Infantry Brigade at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. The new 196th Infantry Brigade was organized as a numbered Training Support Brigade, providing dedicated and professional support to reserve component forces throughout the USARPAC AOR. The Brigade Headquarters was officially activated on 16 October 1999 at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
The Brigade stood up 4 battalions. The Brigade's 1st Battalion and Support Battalion (stood up in 2000) were also located at Fort Shafter on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. 2nd Battalion was stationed at Camp Denali on Fort Richardson in Alaska. The 3rd Battalion was stationed at Radio Barriagada in Guam. The Brigade worked with reserve component units in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, American Samoa, and Japan, to assist these units in staying trained and ready at all times.
The 196th Infantry Brigade spent the year 2000 conducting numerous training events for reserve component forces throughout the USARPAC AOR. The highlight of the year was the Brigade's support to the 29th Enhanced Separate Brigade, Hawaii Army National Guard. The Brigade also participated in training exercises in Alaska, with the 207th Scout Group, and in Guam with 1-294th Infantry. The 196th Brigade Engineers had been on the road throughout the summer and fall with deployments to Korea, Alaska, Guam, California, and Japan.
During the summer of 2001, the Brigade conducted numerous annual training exercises and evaluations for reserve component units across the Pacific. Highlights included annual training support for the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry and the 2nd Battalion, 299th Infantry in Hawaii and 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry in California. The Brigade also provided training support to the 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry, Guam Army National Guard, as they deployed from Guam to Hawaii for their annual training. The Brigade assisted in the mobilization of A Company, 1-184th Infantry, which deployed for a mission to southwest Asia in October 2001.
After the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, the Brigade assisted supported reserve component units in preparing for possible mobilization and assisted National Guard units in Guam, Alaska, and Hawaii in training for their airport security mission as part of Operation Noble Eagle.
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