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98th Division (Institutional Training)

The 98th Division (Institutional Training), a Direct Reporting Command of the US Army Reserve Command with its headquarters in Rochester, NY. The division consists of over 3,300 soldiers located at the Army Reserve Centers spanning all of the New England states, New York and New Jersey. The division consists of eight training brigades that incorporate US Army Reserve Forces Schools, a Reserve Forces Training Site-Maintenance, a Reserve Forces Intelligence School, a Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, and an ROTC Training detachment (8th Brigade).

The 98th Division has provided the nation with a fully trained and prepared complement of citizen-soldier ready to meet any mission. The many accomplishments of these soldiers were achieved in a historical context ripe with change. 98th Division soldiers have surmounted every obstacle from mobilization and wartime service including occupational duty during World War II, and through the various reorganizations, restructuring, and mission changes during the decades that followed.

The 98th Division (Iroquois) has the unique right to claim two birthdays-July 23, 1918 and June 24, 1921. The first date is based on the division's partial organization during the closing months of World War I. As combat on the Western Front remained static in early 1918, Army planner decided that the additional divisions might be needed to bolster Gen. "Black Jack" Pershing's American Expeditionary Force. Thus, Headquarters, 98th Division, was "constituted" on July 23, 1918 at Fort McClellan, AL. The division was organized on paper, a Chief of Staff and regimental commanders were chosen, and in October, troop-fill commenced. But armistice between Germany and the Allies ended further action. The division was demobilized in November after four months of existence, never having been completely organized.

As soldiers returned from Europe and were discharged, the War Department realized that a pool of combat expertise was being lost. This led Congress to pass the National Defense Act of 1920 which provided for a small active component force with substantial Reserve and National Guard augmentation. The federal portion was to be called the Organized Reserve. A reservist of the period summarized the significance as follows, "Someone had a dream of salvaging something from the tremendous experience that the war had brought and had evolved a plan new to Americans of the Federal Reserve force."

The 98th Division was formally established as a component of the Organized Reserve on June 24, 1921 and assigned to II Corps (A relationship which would last off and on for forty-six years). During the twenties and thirties, the 98th Division was organized as a square division with four line infantry regiments. The commands were located throughout New York.

The 98th Infantry Division saw no combat in World War II. It arrived in Hawaii, 19 April 1944, and remained on security duty until the end of the war in the Pacific. In mid-August 1945, the Division left for occupation duty in Japan, arriving on 27 September 1945. Fifty-four days after the declaration of World War II, the 98th Division became an active Army Infantry division and later formed on September 15, 1942. The troop fill-cycle started in November 1942, and notably, the geographical character of the division remained through assignment of draftees principally from New York State and the rest of New England.

In terms of organization, the 98th was activated as a triangular infantry division. The combat core consisted of three infantry regiments (389th, 390th, 391st). The colors of the 392nd , the fourth regiment of the division at the time, were cased. When staffed and organized, the division started its mobilization training.

After almost eighteen months of training and testing, the division prepared for deployment. On April 19, 1944, the 98th Division arrived at Oahu, Hawaii, where the Iroquois soldiers relieved the 33rd Division of their responsibility for the defense of the Hawaiian Islands, and began training for Asiatic deployment.

As the Pacific fleet and MacArthur's ground forces moved closer to the island empire, War Department strategists turned to planning the invasion of Japan. If they had any doubts as to the ferocity of the Japanese response to such a campaign, the kamikaze pilots and suicide infantry squads on Iwo Jima and Okinawa answered them. The planners called for two invasions: Operation Olympic about November 1, 1945 on the island of Kyushu and Operation Coronet about March 1, 1946 on Honshu. The 98th was intended to be one of the thirteen divisions of Kyushu. The Iroquois soldiers were prepared for the mission. As the division continued to train, many troops, unaware of the role slated for the division, became disheartened as months and campaigns passed them by.

In the spring of 1947, ten months after the divisional colors had been sheathed in Osaka, the Iroquois Division returned to reserve status under provision of First Army General Order 152. Activation ceremonies were held on April 18, 1947 in Syracuse, NY amid the growing realization that a more dangerous form of peace was evolving-the so called "Cold War." The division has evolved to what it is today as a training division.

The 98th Division (Institutional Training) was first constituted July 23, 1918, at camp McClellan, Alabama. It became part of the reserve structure in 1921 and continued operating in upstate New York until 1942. The division was then activated and following training in the continental United States and Hawaii, was targeted to become part of the force constituted for the invasion of Japan. The division served as an occupying force in Osaka, Japan until February 1946. Since December 1946, it has been a component of the US Army Reserve. It was first an infantry division and in 1959 was designated a training division. In 1994 a further reorganization resulted in it being designated the 98th Division (Institutional Training).

To be able to rise to any summons to protect the vital interests of America and to insure the national security of the nation requires a special kind of citizen soldier. A professional who must be willing to dedicate a portion of his or her life, away from family and community, in order to accomplish the many challenges that are a part of the life of a soldier. A reservist must be an individual who enthusiastically responds to the vigorous educational requirements and the demanding personal physical training needed to meet the same standards as their Active Components counterparts. The citizen-soldier must be an idealist believing in the great principles of freedom and democracy and knowing the price to keep them is eternal vigilance.

Throughout the times, the key focus has been to be mission capable through training. Whether it is through instruction of Drill Sergeants, training initial entry soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood in engineer skills, or through the myriad of training opportunities during annual training and drill assemblies, the 98th Division has maintained its hard-earned reputation as one of the best prepared Training Divisions in the Army.

In the first mobilization of an Army Reserve training division for overseas duty, the 98th Division (Institutional Training) deployed more than 700 of its troops starting in late October 2004, over a period of two months to Iraq to help train that nation's new Army. The 98th Division was scheduled to also provide command and control of advisory support teams as part of the Army's new Foreign Army Training Assistance Command or FA-TRAC. The division was also scheduled to also provide command and control for the ASTs, which would be stationed throughout Iraq. They unit was to conduct "train-the-trainer" non-commissioned officer and officer education courses in conjunction with NATO's training efforts and also conduct military skills courses and provide Basic Training support for the Iraqi National Guard.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:33:49 ZULU