80th Division (Institutional Training)

The 80th Division (Institutional Training) is made up of over 3,000 reservists assigned to 40 units in Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Its annual economic impact is about $25 million. In addition to the salaries of full-time civilian and military personnel, this figure also includes drill and annual training pay to reservists, money spent locally for the purchase of supplies, services, maintenance support, equipment, facility construction and renovation, and the G.I. Bill college tuition payments to reservists attending school.

In 1988 and again in 1990 the Division carried out its then-wartime mobilization mission with 10-week exercises named "Old Dominion Forward," conducted at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. With its drill sergeants rotating on 17-day cycles, the 80th set up a Mobilization Army Training Center (MATC) and trained nearly 700 new soldiers.

The Division moved into a new training mode in 1992 with a Training Base Expansion (TBE) at Fort Benning, Georgia. The following year it was replaced with Professional Roundout Training (PROTRAIN) missions at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where reservists worked side-by-side with the Active Army drill sergeants in training new soldiers.

As an Institutional Training Division, the 80th took command and control of 10 Army Reserve Forces Schools in October 1995. In September 1996 the Division reorganized into seven brigades. Four are chartered to give formal classroom and "hands on" training in Combat Support, Combat Services Support, Professional Development and Medical Services and one each will train Initial Entry soldiers and Initial Entry Military Police soldiers. One brigade will furnish Training Support to all the others.

Upon mobilization, the 80th Division will proceed to Fort McClellan, Alabama, and support expansion of the U.S. Army Training Center by conducting Basic Combat Training (BCT) and One Station Unit Training (OSUT) in Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) 54B (Chemical Operations Specialist) and MOS 95B (Military Police), using Mobilization Program of Instructions. The 80th will continue to provide specified instructor personnel from its school brigades, as directed, to any Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) installation to support MOS-specific training requirements.

The 80th Division (Institutional Training), as it is known today was constituted August 5, 1917, in the National Army as Headquarters, 80th Infantry Division and was activated later that month at Camp Lee (now Fort Lee), Virginia. Made up primarily of draftees from Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, the new division was nicknamed the "Blue Ridge Division." The unit shoulder patch reflects this tradition with three mountain peaks representing the three states.

The 80th reached full strength of 23,000 soldiers and sailed for France, landing June 8, 1918 during World War I. By mid-August the Division completed training with the British Third Army and joined forces on the front lines, where it took part in the Somme and the Meuse-Argonne offensives. During the night of November 5, 1918, the 80th was replaced on the front lines by units of the 1st Division and held in reserve until the cessation of hostilities on November 11.

The 80th returned to the States in May 1919, and was inactivated at Camp Lee on June 26. It was reconstituted into the organized reserve on June 24, 1921 and organized September 1, 1922, at Richmond, Virginia. Because of funding and personnel shortages, Army Reserve divisions were never more than cadre units during the inter-war period.

On July 15, 1942, just 20 days short of its 25th birthday, the 80th Division was again ordered to active service. Soldiers reported to Camp Forest, Tennessee, and later trained at Camp Phillips, Kansas, and the California-Arizona maneuver area. On July 4, 1944, the 80th boarded the Queen Mary and a few days later landed at Greenock, Firth of Clyde, Scotland. It proceeded south to Northwich, England, for more training. The Division crossed the English Channel to France and began landing on Utah Beach shortly after noon on August 2, 1944. The 80th got its baptism of fire on August 8 when it took over the LeMans bridgehead in the XX Corps area.

During the next nine months the 80th served in General George S. Patton's Third Army, fighting its way across Northern France, Belgium, and into Germany. By war's end some 80th units had gotten as far as Austria and Czechoslovakia. Along the way the Division saved the City of Luxembourg from German troops commanded by Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt during the Battle of the Bulge (the Ardennes Offensive), by making a 150-mile motorized march in just 36 hours to form a defensive line around the city. With the 4th Armored and 26th Infantry Divisions, the 80th Division's 2nd Battalion, 318th Infantry, and the 1st Battalion, 319th Infantry, helped relieve American forces surrounded at Bastogne.

The Division crossed the Our and Sauer rivers into Germany the first week of February 1945, breaking through the "West Wall." The advance moved with such speed that in one six-day period the Division covered 125 miles. By early April it crossed the Rhine River and took the industrial city of Kassel. Proceeding eastward, it also captured Gotha, Erfurt, and Weimar-Buchenwald (location of the infamous concentration camp). By V-E Day the 80th Division had amassed 277 days of combat and had captured more than 200,000 enemy soldiers.

The Division returned to the States in January 1946 and was placed on inactive status. Six months later it was redesignated as the Reserve Airborne Division. The Division was reorganized as a Reserve Infantry Division on May 10, 1952, and then as a Reserve Training Division on March 1, 1959. On October 1, 1994, the 80th was redesignated as an Institutional Training Division.

Two 80th Division units were called to active duty in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm. The 424th Transportation Company of Galax, Virginia, was activated November 17, 1990. After training and equipping at Fort Eustis, Virginia, it deployed to Saudi Arabia January 5, 1991. For its service in the war the 424th was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation. It was cited for operating "... under adverse conditions in a combat zone, logging over 850,000 accident- free road miles, in the countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq." By the end of the war, elements of the 424th had advanced as far as the Euphrates River in support of coalition assault units. The 424th returned to the United States on June 29-30, 1991, and to home station July 3rd. Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 318th Regiment, 4th Brigade, at Fort Story, Virginia, were activated January 23, 1991, and reported to Fort Eustis to train recalled reservists. Because of the short duration of the ground war in Iraq and Kuwait, additional Individual Ready Reserve troops were not called up and the 3rd Battalion was released from active duty and returned to home station March 17.

80th Training Command History THE BEGINNING and WORLD WAR I The 80th Division was organized in August 1917 at Camp Lee, VA. It was part of te National Army, and units were made up mostly of men from Pennsylvannia, West Virginia and Virginia. The Division became known as the Blue Ridge Division, that name choosen by Maj. Gen. Adelbert Cronkhite, in respect of the mountains from which the men had come. Four infantry regiments (317th, 318th, 319th, 320th), three field artillery battalions, three machine gun battalions (313th, 314th, 315th, respectively) and several units reporting to the Engineer battalions served in the Division, under the 159th and 160th Brigades, 155 Field Artillery Regiment and 305th Engineers. Many of the earlier recruits were assigned to fill units of other Divisions that were sent to Europe in the early days of World War I, and the 80th Division, some 25,000 strong, sailed for France in May 1918. The Division trained with the British Army in Artois and Picardy, France, and participated in the initial phases of the Somme Offensive. From there, 80th troops were abruptly moved to St. Mihiel for the first American Army offensive, serving under General John J. Pershing. General Pershing praised the actions of the 80th Division for having gained all of their battle objectives. Commander Cronkhite recognized his men with the statement, "The 80th Only Moves Forward", the motto that has been carried with the Division since 1918. In October 1918, the U.S. Army troops began using Springfield and Browning Automatic Rifles. Prior to that, British Enfields and French Cha Chat automatics had been used. With barely three weeks training with the newer rifles, the 80th troops were thrust into the third and final phase of the Meuse Argonne Offensive. The 80th Division was the only one that saw action during each phase of that offensive. The 80th Division was the third most active Division in the American Expeditionary Forces, and was ranked number one of the National Army Divisions, and third overall behind the First and Second Regular Army Divisions. Men of the 80th Division received 619 awards and decorations. The Division suffered 1,232 battle deaths and more than 5,600 wounded in action. Campaign streamers were authorized for Picardy, Somme Offensive, Lorraine, and Meuse-Argonne. The 80th Division returned to the United States in May 1919, and the Division was demobilized in June 1919. POST-WORLD WAR I Citing a need for a ready army, the 80th Division was reconstituted June 24th, 1921, allotted to the organized reserves and headquartered in Richmond, VA. It remained a reserve unit and formed the nucleus of the Division that was ordered to active service July 15, 1942, and sent to Camp Forest, TN, for training. WORLD WAR II The 80th Division was sent to Europe in June 1944, landing on Utah Beach in July. In Europe, they joined General George Patton's Third Army in the European Theater of Operations, served 276 days in combat and became known as Patton's Iron Men. They fought in four major campaigns: Northern France, Ardennes, (Battle of the Buldge), Rhineland and Central Europe, for which battle streamers were awarded and are carried on the Division's colors to this day. In World War II, the Army restructured the Divisions, reducing the number of infantry regiments to three per Division, and in April 1943, the 320th Infantry was assigned with the 35th and eventually returned to the 80th. Even though it was assigned to the 35th, the 320th fought alongside the infantries of the 80th, covering much of the same battleground that the four infrantries of the 80th has seen in World War I. Maj. Gen. Horace McBride commanded the 80th in its march across Europe, during which two major river assaults, across the Rhine and Mosselle, were successfully completed. In spite of inclement weather, lack of fuel and tremendous loss of life, men of the 80th persevered. The Division was instrumental in the liberation of Ebensee and Buchenwald concentration camps. 80th Division battle casualties in World War II included 3,480 killed in action, 12,484 wounded in action, 1,077 captured and interned. The 80th had the third highest number of KIAs per day in all of the European Theater of Operations. Four Soldiers received the Congressional Medal of Honor (21% of all CMOH awarded to the 42 Divisions of the Third Army); there earned six Presidential Unit Citations, 11 Meritorious Unit Citations, 22 Distinguished Serivce Crosses, 671 Silver Stars, 3,337 Bronze Stars, as well as other miscellaneous medal and citations awarded to the men of the 80th Division. POST-WORLD WAR II to 1990 The Division was inactivated in January 1946, but reactivated in December of that year as the 80th Airborne Division. Since then, the Division has been reorganized several times. As an Airborne Division, it became one of 24 organized Reserve Corps divisions. In 1952, it was reorganized as the 80th Infantry Division and remained as such for seven years. In March 1959, it was reorganized as the 80th Division (Training), with a primary focus of providing Initial Entry Training to trainees at Fort Bragg, NC, and Fort Jackson, SC, a mission and structure that lasted for many years. In 1988 and 1990, the Division carried out ten-week exercises for wartime mobilization missions named, "Old Dominion Forward" at Fort Bragg, setting up training for nearly 700 new Soldiers. OPERATION DESERT SHIELD / OPERATION DESERT STORM In 1990 and 1991, two 80th Division units were called to active duty during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. The 424th Transportation Company out of Galax, VA, deployed to Saudi Arabia in January 1991 after training at Fort Eustis, VA. The unit received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for operating under adverse conditions and logging 850,000 accident-free road miles. They advanced as far as the Euphrates River in support of coalition assault units. They were returned to the U.S. in June 1991. Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 318th Regiment, stationed at Fort Story, VA, activated in January 1991, and were sent to Fort Eustis to train recalled reservists, but Ready Reserve units were not deployed because the ground war in Kuwait and iraq had ended, so the Battalion returned to home station in March. TRAINING MISSION REORGANIZATION in the 1990s In 1992, the Division began a new training mode with a Training Base Expansion mission at Fort Benning, GA. The mission changed to Professional Roundout Training at Fort Jackson, SC, the following year when Reservists worked with active duty Army drill sergeants in training new Soldiers. October 1994 marked the fourth major reorganization since World War II, when it became Headquarters, 80th Division (Training). Maintaining the Initial Entry mission, it expaned to provide "The Army School System" or TASS mission. The 80th took command and control of 10 Army Reserve Forces Schools, and along with legacy divisions from World War II (84th, 95th, 98th, 100th, 104th, and the 108th) became one of seven Institutional Training (IT) Divisions, located in seven regions throughout the U.S. The 80th Division (IT) provided instructions for units in Region B which included Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Delaware. Seven brigades of the 80th Division (IT) carried out specific training missions in the above states and proceeded to Fort Leonard Wood, MO, to support expansion of the U.S. Army Training Center and to conduct Basic Combat Training (BCT), One Station Unit Training (OSUT) and other specialized training, as directed by Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM (Sept. 11, 2001 - current) OPERATION NOBLE EAGLE After Sept. 11, 2001, specialized training to support Operation Noble Eagle commenced with Drill Sergeant and Instructor units mobilized to training posts in the U.S. OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM In 2004, 80th Division (IT) units provided training and reconstruction support to the Afghanistan government during Operation Enduring Freedom. OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM In 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 80th Division (IT) mobilized and deployed to Iraq in support of the largest activation of the Division's Soldiers since World War II, serving in every specialty and skill as a part of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, with then Brig. Gen. John McLaren in command. Two Soldiers were killed in action and two others died stateside while mobilized during this conflict. 80th Division Soldiers earned more than 1,144 medals and citations including 31 Purple Hearts, 469 Bronze Stars, 84 Combat Infantry Badges (CIB) and 187 Combat Action Badges (CIB). The unit continues to support the Global War on Terrorism with individual and group deployments to the theater of operations as required. U.S. ARMY RESERVE TRANSFORMATION On October 1, 2008, the 80th Division (IT) transformed to become the 80th Training Command (TASS). It expanded from the five states in Region B to reach across the entire country. Of the seven IT Divisions, only three remain, with the 80th taking command of the entire TASS mission for the Army Reserve. The 80th expanded from eight brigades and 12 battalions to three divisions (94th, 100th, 102nd), 13 brigades, 63 battalions, and 14 training centers. The 80th Training Command has a proud heritage throughout many transformations and tours of combat, having been led by many fine commanders. Although changing and evolving, "The 80th Only Moves Forward."

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:32:33 ZULU