42nd DISCOM (Division Support Command)
The 42nd Infantry Support Command (DISCOM) is a tri-state unit located in New Jersey, New York and Vermont. The 42nd DISCOM provides division-level logistics and health service support to all units of the 42nd Infantry Division. Like all other National Guard units, the 42nd DISCOM has a dual mission, federal and state. The federal mission is to provide Combat Service Support (CSS) to the 42nd Infantry Division (Mechanized) in order to sustain it's tactical authorities in the protection of life and property and the preservation of peace, order and public safety. To this end, the 42nd DISCOM is committed towards maintaining a well-trained unit ready to accomplish all its missions.
The DISCOM Mission is to provide effective and uninterrupted support to the fighting forces in the Division. In peacetime the DISCOM trains toward that goal, while supporting all Division operations and exercises. The DISCOM provides a ready force of soldiers and equipment to assist in NJ communities when disaster or emergencies strike. DISCOM vehicles and soldiers are a familiar site during weather emergencies like blizzards or floods.
The 42d DISCOM has three forward support battalions (FSB) which provide direct support to the fighting forces and one main support battalion (MSB) which provides backup and more general support to the entire division. The 250th Forward Support Battalion and the 50th Main Support Battalion are located in New Jersey. New York and Vermont each have one forward support battalion. In New Jersey, the DISCOM also provides command and control of the 1st Battalion, 112th Field Artillery and the 250th Signal Battalion. p>Fort Drum is located 20 miles south of the Canadian border in upstate New York. Most New Jersey Army National Guardsmen will spend their entire annual training at Drum. The New Jersey National Guard flexed its combat muscles at Fort Drum for almost all of August 2000. During the first half of the month, the 50th Brigade and the 42nd DISCOM (Division Support Command) practiced wartime skills in the north country. The 50th Brigade/DISCOM task force had to contend with cold, wet weather, alternating with hot dry, dusty conditions during their rotation. They echoed the old saying that "if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change." The 42nd DISCOM supported all maneuver training with medical, maintenance, supply, and transportation personnel, in addition to LANES training, a mass medical casualty exercise, and extensive night operations. DISCOM also moved howitzers, armored personnel carriers, tanks, and spare parts between New York and New Jersey during AT.
The unit was organized 22 February 1917 in the New Jersey National Guard at Newark, NJ, as the Supply Company, 1st Infantry. It was drafted into Federal Service on 5 August 1917. It reorganized and was redesignated on 11 October 1917 as the Supply Company, 113th Infantry an element of the 29th Infantry Division. It demobilized on 27 May 1919 at Camp Dix, NJ.
The unit reorganized and was Federally Recognized on 20 June 1919 in the New Jersey National Guard at Newark as the Supply Company, 6th Infantry. It was reorganized and redesignated on 1 March 1921 as the Service Company, 6th Infantry; and on 17 June 1921 as Service Company, 113th Infantry, an element of the 44th Division. It was inducted into Federal service on 16 September 1940 at Newark (113th Infantry relieved 20 February 1942 from assignment to the 44th Division). It inactivated on 25 September 1945 at Camp Rucker, AL.
The unit converted and was redesignated on 1 August 1946 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 50th Armored Division Trains. It reorganized and was Federally recognized on 29 October 1946 at Newark. It was reorganized and redesignated on 1 April 1959 as Headquarters and Headquarters, Detachment, 50th Armored Division Trains; it concurrently relocated to Elizabeth.
It consolidated on 31 January 1963 with the 50th Armored Division Band (organized in 1920) and the consolidated unit was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters and Band 50th Armored Division Support Command. It reorganized and was redesignated on 1 March 1964 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company and Band, 50th Armored Division Support Command; and on 1 December 1971 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 50th Armored Division Support Command (50th Armored Division Band concurrently withdrawn-hereafter separate lineage). It relocated on 1 September 1980 to East Orange.
The unit reorganized and was redesignated on 1 September 1993 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 42nd Infantry Division Support Command.
In 1997, the 42nd DISCOM reaffirmed this commitment as a relevant force by providing outstanding logistical and operational support for both federal and state missions. DISCOM units conducted or participated in approximately 112 community and/or domestic actions in 1997. Some of these activities included: Operation Guard Care, a humanitarian operation to provide support and services to homeless veterans; New Jersey National Guard youth camp at Sea Girt; Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and Boss Lift, a program that enables employers to visit military installations and observe first hand their "citizen soldier" employees in training; Operation REEFEX, a New Jersey National Guard project that uses excess, obsolete military equipment to build artificial reefs off the Atlantic coast to prevent coastal erosion and to provide a home for marine life; the Garden State Games, an athletic event for physically challenged youngsters and community exhibitions, athletic events, parades, dedications, retirements and military funerals. From equipment to soldiers, DISCOM units around the state gave back to their communities the support their communities have given them.
42nd DISCOM soldiers consistently demonstrated their ability to respond quickly and effectively whenever or wherever they were needed. While working along with federal, state and local civil authorities, they responded with the same enthusiasm and professionalism inherent in their units.
Elements of the 42nd DISCOM supported seven major annual training periods at Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Dix, N.J.; Fort A.P. Hill, Va.; and Camp Irwin, Calif. (the National Training Center); successfully providing logistical support in maintenance, medical and logistical operations. These multiple support missions assisted units from the 50th, 3rd and 186th Brigades of the 42nd Infantry Division. Specialized teams provided maintenance and logistical support to maneuver units conducting tactical field exercises and tank gunnery and participated in the Battle Field Training Experiment conducted by the Training and Training Technology Battle Lab.
Medical Operations (Company C, 250th Forward Support Battalion & Company F, 50th Main Support Battalion) supported run Mobilization Exercises (MOBEX). During each exercise, medical soldiers processed approximately 100-700 soldiers through various stations which included: vaccinations for hepatitis B, dental examinations, vision checks (prescription and color blindness), as well as physical exams. As a result, soldiers records were updated in accordance with current divisional standards to ensure maximum deployability of unit personnel.
While the DISCOM achieved outstanding results in support operations, tremendous gains were realized on the personnel side. Commanders at all levels continued to work with the employers of our soldiers educating them on the Guard's real world mission. By gaining a better appreciation of what our soldiers do, employers will be more understanding of the reason for their employee's absence due to military training requirements. This has resulted in increased soldier attendance at annual and weekend training, improved performance and military skill qualification, and an overall increase in the strength of the DISCOM, from 97% to 107%.
With strength maintenance as the DISCOM's number one priority, several recruiting and retention initiatives were implemented. First, unit level retention seminars were conducted with an emphasis on the front line leaders and the unit sponsorship programs. This had an excellent effect on retention statistics enabling DISCOM to not only exceed its strength maintenance goals but also lead the state in the lowest percentage of soldier losses or attrition (9.06%). Second, retention and strength maintenance activities were integrated within the yearly training program ensuring some type of retention activity was conducted during each training quarter. The wide spread support given to such events as our annual Hail & Farewell and the DISCOM Golf Tournament are clear indicators of community involvement and motivated soldiers.
In 1998, DISCOM units conducted or assisted in approximately 66 community and/or domestic actions in 1998. These included transportation missions, equipment loans and soldier support. Some of these activities were related to Operation Guard Care, a humanitarian operation to provide assistance to homeless veterans; New Jersey National Guard Youth Camp at Sea Girt; Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Boss Lift, a program that enables employers to visit military installations and observe their citizen-soldier employees; Operation REEFEX, a project that uses excess, obsolete military equipment to build artificial reefs off the coast which prevent beach erosion and provide a home for marine life.
Also in 1998, elements of the 42nd DISCOM supported numerous major annual training periods at Fort Drum, New York; West Point, Letterkenny, Pennsylvania; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Fort Irwin, California, and a variety of home station locations. DISCOM assisted units from the 50th Brigade, New York's 3rd Brigade, and Vermont's 86th Brigade, as well as all elements of the 42nd Infantry Division. Specialized teams provided maintenance and logistical support to units conducting tactical field exercises and tank gunnery training, and participated in the Battle Focused Training Exercise conducted by the Training and Training Technology Battle Lab at Fort Dix. A large logistical element of the DISCOM participated in the Battle Command Training Program War Fighter Exercise (BCTP-WFX) at Fort Leavenworth. This major exercise included units of the entire 42nd Infantry Division from across the United States. This is the third Warfighter Exercise in which DISCOM has participated.
In 1999, 42nd DISCOM units conducted or assisted in approximately 66 community and/or domestic actions in 1999. These included transportation missions, equipment loans and soldier support. Some of these activities were related to Operation Guard Care, a humanitarian operation to provide assistance to homeless veterans; New Jersey National Guard Youth Camp at Sea Girt; Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Boss Lift, a program that enables employers to visit military installations and observe their citizen-soldier employees; as well as a variety of community exhibitions, athletic events, parades, dedications, retirements, military funerals, and The Adjutant General's Annual 5K Run, an event which encourages community involvement and promotes physical fitness. Elements of the 42nd DISCOM supported numerous major annual training periods at Fort Drum, NY; West Point, Letterkenny, PA; Fort Leavenworth, KS; Fort Irwin, CA, and a variety of home station locations.
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