65th Regional Readiness Command
65th Regional Support Command
Under the direct command of the United States Reserve Command (USARC) exercise command and control of all US Army Reserve Troop Program Units, Reinforcement Training Units, Mobilization Designee Detachments, Equipment concentration sites and Area Maintenance Support Activities within the Geographic Area of Responsibility. Provides for the organization, administration, training proficiency, operational capability, administrative control and mobilization readiness of all assigned and attached units. Upon mobilization, assumes command of designated mobilization station. Man, Equip, Train, Deploy and Sustain all U.S. Army Reserve Units in Puerto Rico to ensure that the level of training required for any mission during a conflict or emergency is accomplished. Provide command and control to non-mobilized units. Provide Family Support. Support the Mobilization Station.
Organized Reserves units have served in Puerto Rico since 1922, when the 373d Infantry, a World War I National Army unit, was allotted to the Organized Reserves and organized with headquarters at San Juan. Between 14 July 1939 and 7 July 1945, 513 officers and 119 enlisted men from the Organized Reserves in Puerto Rico served in World War II. It is during the decade of the 1940's that the Organized Reserves in Puerto Rico is re-designated the Army Reserve in Puerto Rico, but without a Headquarters. Reserve units like the 448th Engineer Battalion and 346th Transportation Battalion come to be, but, the units were self-administrated and reported directly to the Commanding General, Antilles Command.
In the 1950's, the 324th Logistical Command was activated as the Headquarters for the reserve forces in Puerto Rico. Although the headquarters was assigned to the Antilles Command, reserve units continued to be self-administrated and reported directly to the Antilles Command.
In the early 60's, both the Antilles Command and the Reserve Forces reported to the Commander of Fort Buchanan. In December 1965, the 324th Logistical Command was inactivated and once again the reserve forces were left without a Headquarters. The lack of a headquarters to provide mission and training objectives led a provisional group of enterprising officers, most of them from the inactivated 324th, to organize annual training and camps for the reserve.
On 31 March 1968, the 166th Support Group was activated by order of the Secretary of Defense, as a result of a general reorganization of the United States Army Reserve. It's first commander, COL José Bosch, was given command and control of all assigned and attached reserve units in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The 166th Support Group was headquarter at the Fort Buchanan Army Garrison Headquarters under the control of the U.S. Navy. On December 1969, the 166th Support Group was re-organized and placed under the control of Third U.S. Army. From February 1970 through March 1972, the Group Headquarters was relocated from Fort Buchanan to the 600-men center in Puerto Nuevo. But, in March 1972 it was moved back to Fort Buchanan.
In 1973, the 166th Support Group was again re-organized and placed under First U.S. Army. However, the 166th Support Group Commander reported to First Army through the Commander of Headquarters, Fort Buchanan Army Garrison, who reported to Forces Command. On 14 July 1973, COL Antonio Rodríguez-Baliñas took command of the 166th Support Group and 5 months later, December 1973, the Support Group was placed directly under First U.S. Army. The new commander was determined to make the reserve forces in Puerto Rico grow and develop. At this time the reserve had a strength of 1,300 soldiers and consisted of the 166th Support Group, 448th Engineer Battalion, 346th Transportation Battalion, 369th Station Hospital, 268th Transportation Co., 264th CCS Co., 338th Finance Section and three Military Police Hospital Guard units in St. Thomas and St. Croix.
Finally in 1974, the 166th Support Group was given full command and control of all USAR units in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and given the mission and functions of a major U.S. Army Reserve Command, under First U.S. Army. This was accomplished through the hard work and leadership of COL Rodriguez-Baliñas who wanted full autonomy for the Army Reserve Forces in Puerto Rico. With his commitment to growth and development there was an unprecedented expansion of units in the island. The command grew to twenty-seven Company and Detachment sized units. These next generation units were: 301st Military Police Co., 432nd Transportation Co., 429th Personnel Service Co., 699th Engineer Co. and the 491st General Supply Co. Also new USAR Centers are established in Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Ramey Air Force Base, Fort Allen and Fort Buchanan. The authorized strength soared to 5,500 troops.
On February 1977, the USAR Forces in Puerto Rico became a General Officer Command with the establishment of the Office of the First U.S. Army Deputy Commander with BG Antonio Rodríguez-Baliñas as its first General Officer. The 166th Support Group remained as the major headquarters under the Office of the Deputy Commander. Two years later the USAR Forces in Puerto Rico won the Best Major U.S. Army Reserve Command Award. This was also a time of aggressive civic action programs with multiple engineering efforts and medical assistance being provided to municipalities deep within the island's heartland.
On 24 July 1980, COL Augusto Gautíer assumed command. With his promotion in August 1981, he became the second general officer to command the reserve forces in Puerto Rico. On 16 April 1981, the 166th Support Group was inactivated; activating the 7581st U.S. Army Garrison under First U.S. Army. Two years later, Permanent Order 87-3, dated 1 October 1983 placed the 7581st U.S. Army Garrison under the command of Second U.S. Army. Changes were taking place as the command grew. On 24 July 1984, COL Félix A. Santoni assumed command of the newly activated 7581st U.S. Army Garrison. He becomes the third Brigadier General on 10 February 1985.
On 19 August 1987, COL Edgardo A. González took command of the 7581st U.S. Army Garrison. He was promoted to Brigadier General on 18 April 1989. Under his command, the 7581st U.S. Army Garrison was inactivated and replaced by the U.S. Army Reserve Forces - Puerto Rico (USARF-PR). It was during his tenure that the command underwent one of its greatest challenges, the mobilization of eight USARF-PR units in support of Operation Desert Storm. From September 1990 through October 1991 over 1,000 reservist are activated and deployed in support of the Persian Gulf War.
On 18 August 1991, COL Jorge Arzola assumed command of the USARF-PR, with a strength of over 5,000 soldiers. He was promoted to Brigadier General on 3 June 1992. Under his command the reserve forces achieved its vision of "PRIMEROS", the premier Reserve Command in the Nation. He also accomplished another goal, on 16 January 1993, the USARF-PR is inactivated, giving way to the activation of the 65th U.S. Army Reserve Command. With the 65th ARCOM, a new era begins for the Army Reserve Forces in Puerto Rico. Numerous unit reorganizations took place and the command readiness brought the ARCOM to its highest level ever.
On 18 February 1995, COL Luis A. Berríos was designated acting commander of the 65th ARCOM. On 21 May 1995, COL Berríos passes the ARCOM Colors to COL Paul E. Lima whose "PUSHING THE ENVELOPE OF EXCELLENCE" motto and philosophy sustains the 65th ARCOM as the top ranked ARCOM in the Nation. Brigadier General Lima was promoted on 15 March 1996. In 1997, the command was asked to mobilize reservists in support of United Nations efforts in Bosnia. Thirty-two soldiers from the 35th Signal Battalion deployed in support of Operation Constant Guard and 32 soldiers returned home safe.
On 28 March 1998 the unit was redesignated as the 65th U.S. Army Regional Support Command, the highest designation of an Army Reserve Command. The circle was completed on 16 October 1998 with the activation of the 166th Area Support Group in support of U.S. Army South (USARSO).
The 65th RSC is a command whose soldiers are "PRIMEROS" and service with pride and distinction. A heritage we are proud of, as we enhance readiness and take care of our soldiers.
The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally authorized for the Puerto Rican Department on 9 Sep 1942; redesignated for the Antilles Department on 3 Apr 1944 and on 2 Feb 1948 the insignia was redesignated for the U.S. Army Forces, Antilles. The insignia was redesignated for the 7581st USAR Garrison on 3 Nov 1981 and redesignated to the U.S. Army Reserve Forces Puerto Rico on 18 Dec 1990. The insignia was canceled and authorized for the 65th U.S. Army Reserve Command on 28 Sep 1992. On 28 Mar 1998 the shoulder sleeve insignia was redesignated for the 65th Regional Support Command. The turreted battlement of the Morro Castle is associated with the organization and is a landmark in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The distinctive unit insignia was originally authorized for the 7581st U.S. Army Garrison in 22 Oct 1986. It was redesignated for the U.S. Army Reserve Forces Puerto Rico with the description and symbolism revised on 31 Dec 1990. On 28 Sep 1992 the insignia was redesignated for the 65th U.S. Army Reserve Command. It was redesignated for the 65th Regional Support Command on 29 Mar 1998.
In late 2003 all Regional Support Commands were re-designated to Regional Readiness Commands.