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804th Medical Brigade

The 405th Combat Support Hospital has its peacetime trace through the 804th Medical Brigade to the 94th Regional Support Command. Peacetime missions include conducting physical exams for New England units and Battle Focus training in DEPMEDS and Force Protection. Wartime mission consists of providing hospital service and support to supported forces in the Corps.

"Medical Response to Disasters: A Military and Civilian Partnership" is an annual Medical Symposium partially sponsored by the 804th Medical Brigade.

Reserve dental and medical teams provide much-needed care to Native Americans at locations in South Dakota, Montana and Minnesota as part of Operation Walking Shield. Medical units from the 804th Medical Brigade, headquartered in Devens, Mass., along with other Army Reserve units, provide on-going support at reservations in Leech Lake, Minn., Crow Agency, Mont., Rosebud, S.D. and Pine Ridge, S.D. The teams from the 804th were made up of Army Reserve soldiers from the 405th Combat Support Hospital, West Hartford, Conn.; 309th Combat Support Hospital, Bedford, Mass.; 399th Combat Support Hospital, Taunton, Mass.; and the 287th Medical Detachment, Chicopee, Mass. Teams began support as early as April 2001 and will continue at some locations through September 2001. Dental teams provide services such as oral surgery, pediatric dentistry, endodontics, extractions, cleanings, x-rays and exams. Medical support included examinations, minor surgery, laboratory work, pharmacy, x-ray and psychiatric care. These missions are part of Operation Walking Shield, which was conceived and developed by the Walking Shield American Indian Society for the purpose of helping to improve the quality of life among Native American people who live on Indian reservations.

In October of 1944, the unit was constituted in the Army of the United States as the 804th Medical Service Detachment. In November of that year it was activated in England, European Theater of Operations. It was reorganized and redesignated in April 1945 as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 804th Hospital Center. In January 1946, it was inactivated in England, having had command and control of a maximum of sixteen subordinate units.

In October of 1947, it was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 804th Hospital Center, and allocated to the organized reserves assigned to the Fifth Army. The unit was activated at St. Paul, Minnesota, in January of 1948. In October 1949, it was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters, 804th Hospital Center, and then activated at St. Paul in December 1950. In July 1952 the unit was withdrawn from assignment to the Fifth Army and assigned to the First Army and it was activated at Boston Army Base, Boston, Massachusetts on 20 August, 1952. On 1 April 1968, the 804th Hospital Center was attached to Headquarters, 804th Hospital Center, and assigned to Headquarters, XIII U.S. Army (though still attached to the 94th U.S. Army Reserve Command) and in June it was again assigned to the 94th U.S. Army Reserve Command.

On 1 August 1974, the unit was relocated from Boston USAR center, Boston Army Base, to Armed Forces Reserve Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

On 16 September 1993, the unit was reorganized and redesignated as the 804th Medical Brigade. In August 1994, the unit relocated from Hanscom Air Force Base to Burke U.S. Army Reserve Center, Fort Devens, Massachusetts. With the conversion of Fort Devens to Devens, the brigade moved one last time in May 1996 to its current location on Lexington Street.

The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 804th Hospital Center on 14 Dec 1979. It was redesignated for the 804th Medical Brigade on 8 Apr 1999. It consists of a disc divided horizontally white and maroon bearing two green serpents entwined with their heads extending at the top, the disc bearing overall at center a red cross charged with a gold lamp of knowledge; and atop the cross between the serpents' heads a six-pointed gold star; around the base of the disc the inscription "TO YOUR HEALTH" in gold letters. Maroon and white are the colors used for the Army Medical Department. A red cross is emblematic of aid and assistance. The disc, base of the design, connotes unity. The serpents, lamp and star allude to the caduceus and the mission with the color green alluding to the ancient academic gowns of medicine. The lamp indicates enlightenment and the star represents the six New England states comprising the unit's command.

The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved for the 804th Hospital Center on 17 Jul 1990. It was redesignated for the 804th Medical Brigade on 8 Apr 1999. On a white hexagon one point up, with a maroon border, with a maroon cross throughout bearing a yellow six-pointed star. Maroon and white are the colors traditionally associated with the Medical Corps. The cross reflects medical aid and assistance while the gold star expresses excellence and achievement. The six-pointed star, echoed by the hexagon configuration of the insignia, alludes to the six New England states comprising the unit's command.

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