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88th Regional Readiness Command
88th Regional Support Command

The 88th U.S. Army Reserve Regional Readiness Command (88th RRC) was established in 1996 at Fort Snelling, St. Paul, Minn. as the command/control and support headquarters for all Reserve units in the six state region of the upper Midwest. The 9 Major Subordinate Commands and Reserve combat support (CS) and combat service support (CSS) units in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio all call 88th RRC their higher headquarters. The 88th Regional Support Command (88th RSC) was redesignated the 88th Regional Readiness Command in mid 2003.

The mission of the 88th RRC is to exercise command and control of assigned units, ensure operational readiness, provide area support services, and support emergency operations. This is accomphished through our goals in the areas of Readiness, Soldier and Civilian Care and Quality of Life, Dynamic and Challenging Training, Resource Management, Information Management, Safety and Environmental Stewardship and Community Relations, Domestic Operations and Emergency Support. Through accomphishment of those seven goals by its soldiers and civilians, units and commands, the 88th Regional Readiness Command expects to become the premier regional support command that is the model for others to follow by exceeding customer expectations.

The bulk of the Total Army's CS and CSS (medical, area/corps support, transportation, quartermaster, signal, engineer, maintenance, military police, public affairs and port operations) units reside in the Army Reserve. In peacetime, unit members train for mobilization. They also participate in community projects and disaster relief operations in the communities where they live and work.

The history of the 88th begins with the 88th Infantry Division. The division was organized on August 25, 1917 at Camp Dodge, Iowa. In August 1918, the division arrived in France. During World War I, the men of the "Cloverleaf Division," as they were called, fought with distinction in the Alsace campaign. The division returned to Camp Dodge and was demobilized on June 10, 1919. Two years later, it was reconstituted in the organized reserves at Minneapolis, Minn.

In July 1942, the 88th Infantry Division was ordered to active service at Camp Gruber, Okla. It went overseas in December 1943, and fought gallantly in the North Apennines, Po Valley and Rome-Arno campaigns. The 88th Infantry Division arrived at Casablanca, French Morocco, 15 December 1943, and moved to Magenta, Algeria, on the 28th for intensive training. It arrived at Naples, Italy, 6 February 1944, and concentrated in the Piedmont d'Alife area for combat training. An advance element went into the line before Cassino, 27 February, and the entire unit relieved British elements along the Garigliano River in the Minturno area, 5 March. A period of defensive patrols and training followed. On 11 May, the 88th drove north to take Spigno, Mount Civita, Itri, Fondi, and Roccagorga, reached Anzio, 29 May, and pursued the enemy into Rome, 4 June, after a stiff engagement on the outskirts of the city. An element of the 88th is credited with being first to enter the Eternal City. After continuing across the Tiber to Bassanelio the 88th retired for rest and training, 11 June. The Division went into defensive positions near Pomerance, 5 July, and launched an attack toward Volterra on the 8th, taking the town the next day. Laiatico fell on the 11th, Villamagna on the 13th, and the Arno River was crossed on the 20th although the enemy resisted bitterly. After a period of rest and training, the Division opened its assault on the Gothic Line, 21 September 1944, and advanced rapidly along the FirenzuolaImola road, taking Mount Battaglia on the 28th. The enemy counterattacked savagely and heavy fighting continued on the line toward the Po Valley. The strategic positions of Mount Grande and Farnetto were taken, 20 and 22 October. From 26 October 1944 to 12 January 1945, the 88th entered a period of defensive patrolling in the Mount Grande-Mount Cerrere sector and the Mount Fano area. From 24 January to 2 March 1945, the Division defended the LoianoLivergnano area and after a brief rest returned to the front. The drive to the Po Valley began on 15 April. Monterumici fell on the 17th after an intense barrage and the Po River was crossed, 24 April, as the 88th pursued the enemy toward the Alps. The cities of Verona and Vicenza were captured on the 25th and 28th and the Brenta River was crossed, 30 April. The 88th was driving through the Dolomite Alps toward Innsbruck, Austria, when the hostilities ended on 2 May 1945.

From the date of its landing in Naples until the end of hostilities, the 88th Infantry Division was one of the most battle-tested divisions, earning the nickname "Blue Devils" from the fearful Germans. The 88th remained in Italy as part of the Trieste Occupation Forces. It was inactivated at Leghorn, Italy, in October 1947. The 88th RSC now proudly bears the numeric designation and wears the shoulder insignia of this historic combat division.

The 88th Infantry Division (ID) that fought in World War I and World War II has, over the years, evolved from the infantry division that liberated Rome into the Army Reserve's 88th Regional Readiness Command (RRC) - a command that provides trained soldiers worldwide to protect this nation's interests. Though the missions of the 88th ID and the 88th RRC are very different, it's always important to remember where you came from. Keeping that memory of what the 88th was has been the 88th Infantry Division Association. The 88th Infantry Division Association is the catalyst keeping the members of the 88th ID in touch with each other for more than 60 years. At one time, the association had more than 6000 members. That figure is now just about 2800. The decreasing number of members is threatening the dissolve of the association - the loss of an important part of 88th history. "The fact is, in another 10 years we wont have enough members to keep having reunions, let alone afford to print our quarterly publication," said William Konze, 88th ID Assoc. member who sits on the board of directors.

In late 2003 all Regional Support Commands were re-designated to Regional Readiness Commands.

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Fort Snelling, MN by disestablishing the 88th Regional Readiness Command. This recommendation was part of a larger recommendation to re-engineer and streamline the Command and Control structure of the Army Reserves that would create the Northwest Regional Readiness Command at Fort McCoy, WI.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:33:13 ZULU