1st Medical Brigade
1st Medical Group
The mission of the 1st Medical Brigade, the "Silver Knights," is to provide command and control, administrative assistance, and technical supervision of assigned and attached medical units, while providing combat health support to supported forces; and be ready to deploy medical support packages on short notice.
As of 2005, the 1st Medical Brigade was the oldest color-bearing medical unit in the United States Army. The 1st Medical Brigade was first organized in France in 1917 as the 1st Sanitary Train from units that had been deployed along the Mexican border. It was assigned to the 1st Division (which would later become the 1st Infantry Division), the first American Unit committed to offensive operations in World War I. It 9s this event, the Battle of Cantigny on 28 May 1918, which the unit's organization day commemorates.
During World War I, the unit evacuated and treated over 20,000 casualties, to include the first Americans wounded in action, the first wounded Germans captured by the Americans, and the first casualties resulting from a German gas attack against American troops. Conditions in France were rough, and medics of the 1st Sanitary Train often had to carry litter patients over 1,000 meters through trenches filled knee-deep with mud and water.
In 1919, the 1st Sanitary Train returned to the United States and in 1921 it was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Medical Regiment. This unit was stationed at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, where it served as the demonstration unit for the Medical Field Service School. In 1937, elements of the Regiment deployed to Kentucky, where they provided disaster relief following a devastating flood. In 1939, the Regiment again deployed, this time to Gettysburg, where they provided medical support for participants in the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
In 1943, the Regiment was broken up and its headquarters element was reorganized and redesignated as that of the 1st Medical Group. In 1944, the Group entered the European theater of operations where it provided medical support to the Ninth US Army. In 1945, the Group returned to the United States, where it was inactivated at Fort Benning, Georgia.
In 1950, the Group was reactivated in Frankfurt, Germany, where it provided hospitalization, evacuation, dental, and veterinary services to Allied personnel. In 1954, the Group moved to Verdun, France, where it was inactivated in 1962. In 1968, the Group was again activated, this time at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where it was attached to the Medical Field Service School and given the mission of training newly activated medical units prior to their deployment to the Republic of Vietnam.
In 1975, the Group deployed to Guam to support Operation New Life, a large scale support project for Southeast Asian refugees. In 1977, the Group moved to Fort Hood, Texas, where it provided corps-level medical support to the III Corps. In October of 1990, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 1st Medical Group, deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
The 507th Medical Company, an element of the 13th Corps Support Command's 1st Medical Group, completed the fielding of its UH-60As in November of 1997. The unit continued to perform lifesaving missions, but had better assets with which to do that vital job. The 82nd Medical Company at Fort Riley, Kansas, began its fielding of the UH-60A in FY99. The completion of the 82nd Medical Company's fielding resulted in the removal of the UH-1 from the III Corps active-duty inventory.
On 6 June 2000, the 1st Medical Group was redesignated the 1st Medical Brigade. The Brigade had operational control over 9 separate units in 4 different states. Three of these were located at Fort Hood while the remaining units were located at Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Riley, Kansas; and Fort Polk Louisiana. The 1st Medical Brigade also supported Darnall Army Community Hospital and was the chief proponent for sponsoring the Expert Field Medical Badge competition at Fort Hood.
As part of the transformation of the US Army to the modular force structure, the 13th Corps Support Command was reorganized and redesignated as the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). The 1st Medical Brigade remained assigned to this unit.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|