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361st Civil Affairs Brigade

In October 1999, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 361st Civil Affairs Brigade was inactivated and reflagged as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 350th Civil Affairs Command. This made the Pensacola headquarters unit one of only 4 Civil Affairs Commands in the United States.

The 361st Civil Affairs Brigade shoulder sleeve insignia was approved on 6 January 1977. It consisted of a purple shield arced at top and bottom, edged with a white border with a blue wavy band fimbriated white and bearing a yellow sunburst at its center. The sunburst is symbolic of authority, enlightenment and wisdom. The sun represents Florida, the "Sunshine State," with the blue area representing the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean alluding to the location of the organization. Purple and white were colors used for Civil Affairs units.

The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 6 January 1977. It consisted of a gold color metal and enamel device with an orange enamel demi-sun burst with gold rays above 4 purple enamel wavy bars with gold fimbriation, in base a semi-circular gold scroll, folded back at each end and lined purple, inscribed "SECURE PEACE" in purple letters, overall a vertical sword with white enamel blade with purple enamel grip in front of motto scroll between "SECURE" and "PEACE." The upright sword alludes to the unit's mission to protect and secure peace. The sun was symbolic of authority, enlightenment and wisdom. The sun also represented the organization's location in Florida, the "Sunshine State," while the wavy bars represented the waters around Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean. Purple and white were colors used for Civil Affairs units.

As part of the "Total Force" concept, the US National Guard and Reserve were indispensable to US military operations. When the US decided to commit forces to Bosnia in December 1995, it was recognized that strong support from Reserve Components would be required. Throughout 1996, over 8,000 Guard and Reserve personnel supported Operation Joint Endeavor from bases in Bosnia, Croatia, the US, Hungary, Germany, Italy and elsewhere in Europe. In October 1996 eleven Reserve Component units, as well as selected individuals were notified to begin preparation for mobilization to support Operation Joint Endeavor. Approximately 500 personnel were involved.

Ten US Army Reserve units were notified as of 25 October 1996, with a projected mobilization date of 10 November 1996. These included the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade in Pensacola, Florida; the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion in Danbury, Connecticut; the 413th Civil Affairs Battalion in Lubbock, Texas; the 431st Civil Affairs Battalion in Little Rock, Arkansas; the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion in Warwick, Rhode Island; the 478th Civil Affairs Battalion in Perrine, Florida; the 486th Civil Affairs Battalion in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; the 353rd Civil Affairs Command in the Bronx, New York City, New York; the 304th Civil Affairs Battalion in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion at Fort Dix, New Jersey. This included the entire 361st Civil Affairs Brigade, comprised of troops from North Little Rock, Arkansas; Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Miami, Florida; and Lubbock, Texas. They replaced the 352nd Civil Affairs Brigade out of Maryland. The unit's jobs involved aiding the restoration of the government, helping civilians and communicating with NATO peace-keepers. Basically, the troops assisted the return of normal existence to a country ripped apart by more than three years of ethnic wars. The unit returned home in the summer of 1997.

The Headqaurters and Headquarters Company, 361st Civil Affairs Brigade was inactivated and reflagged as the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 350th Civil Affairs Command on 19 October 1999. On 30 March 2000, the Department of the Army released its list of Fiscal Year 2000 Reserve Component unit inactivations and force structure changes. These changes were principally the result of the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review recommendations to reduce 20,000 Reserve Component personnel by Fiscal Year 2000, in addition to force structure decisions that supported Army wartime requirements. The selection criteria used to determine unit inactivations included the ability of a unit to meet future readiness requirements in the following areas: deployability, recruiting, retention, facility support, training, geographic locations, and personnel issues. The subordinate units of the Brigade were reassigned by late 2000.




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