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Army Reserve Divisions

A network of seven institutional training and five exercise divisions allows the USARC to train new soldiers during mobilization and provide valuable peacetime training for Active and Reserve soldiers. The USARC also supervises specific troop units such as military police and signal commands through a system of 25 General Officer Commands, or "GOCOMs."

Army Reserve Institutional Training Divisions provide skill, leadership, and professional development training. They also provide basic combat and one-station unit-training at Army Training Centers. Army Reserve Training Support Divisions provide collective lanes and simulation training to units of all three Army components.

The Army's Training Support Divisions function and responsibilities to reserve component units include:

  • Exercise span of control for the Training Support Brigades
  • Provide realistic simulations training exercises for RC Brigades and Battalions through the assigned simulation brigades
  • Provide 90% of the personnel in the combat Support and Combat Service Support training structure
  • Facilitate binding of AC and RC into an integrated team
  • Provide the expertise on U.S. Army Reserve unique programs and procedures

The Army Reserve came out of the cold war with 12 divisions training. All they did was initial entry training. It was absolutely obvious that as the world changed and as the geopolitical activity changes, that the Army did not need 12 divisions that did nothing but do initial entry training. The Army Reserve took five divisions out completely. During the mid-1990s the Army Reserve transformed twelve training divisions, five separate training commands and 93 schools into seven Divisions (Institutional Training) DIV(IT)s. These seven divisions were completely remodeled, and are training formations rather than divisions. Often these training formations are confused with maneuver divisions in the active Army and Army National Guard. Although these formations are called Divisions, they are in reality, training formations that retain the divisional flag to preserve unit heraldry only. They average about 3,000 people, plus or minus.

These seven remaining divisions still have a latent individual training activity. They do 100 percent of the ROTC senior camps for the Army of the United States. They will do part of the training at the universities of ROTC for the Army of the United States. These DIV(IT)s provide an umbrella for individual training including initial entry training, schools providing military skill proficiency, professional development, leadership, and support to ROTC training. The wartime mission of the DIV(IT) is focused on providing military occupational skill refresher training for the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) as well as common task training. In FY 97, the Divisions' training load is 105,000 soldiers; Active Component, National Guard and Army Reserve. As part of that training load, the USAR trained 8000 initial entry soldiers for the Army. Additionally, the USAR used it's training assets to retrain Army guardsmen that are part of the Army Guard Division Redesign.

In conjunction with Forces Command, the Army Reserve transformed eleven Cold War training organizations previously known as Maneuver Exercise Commands and Maneuver Training Commands into five Divisions (Exercise) that are geographically dispersed. Similar to Divisions (IT), these divisions retain divisional flags for heraldry purposes only. The mission of these units, recently redesignated Training Support Divisions, is to conduct enhanced tactical and technical collective unit training. The training mission is accomplished using small unit collective training exercises known as lanes training and state of the art simulations technologies to conduct battle command staff training. During FY 96 and 97 these units trained 972 USAR and Army National Guard combat support and combat service support units.

The structure of the reserve components came under close scrutiny during the Korean War. By then military leaders had decided the large undermanned force of fifty-two divisions developed after World War 11 was unrealistic. On 24 October 1950 the chief of staff directed a committee to reevaluate the reserve structure and develop plans to meet both limited and major mobilizations. Six months later, before the decision to mobilize 20 divisions due to the Korean War, the committee reported that the Army needed 18 divisions on active duty-12 Regular Army and 6 National Guard-and 33 reserve divisions to back them up. The latter divisions fell into two categories for mobilization, an early ready force of 9 divisions from the National Guard and a late ready force of 24 divisions with 12 from the Guard and 12 from the Organized Reserve Corps. The units in the National Guard were to be maintained at 100 percent officer and 50 percent enlisted strength, while those in the Organized Reserve Corps were to have 100 percent of their officers but only an enlisted cadre. In March 1952 the 80th, 84th, 100th, and 108th Airborne Divisions were reorganized and redesignated as infantry divisions, and the 63d, 70th, and 75th Infantry Divisions replaced the 13th, 21st, and 22d Armored Divisions.

In the fall of 1952 Army leaders proposed that the personnel from the thirteen inactivated Army Reserve divisions be assigned to strengthen the remaining twelve divisions. A new reserve troop basis resulted, this time calling for 37 divisions, 27 in the National Guard and 10 in the Army Reserve. To keep the unneeded fifteen Army Reserve divisions active, they were reorganized as training divisions to staff training centers upon mobilization or man maneuver area commands for training troops. The continental army commanders implemented the new Army Reserve troop basis in 1955 piecemeal. They reorganized, without approved tables of organization, the 70th, 76th, 78th, 80th, 84th, 85th, 89th, 91st, 95th, 98th, 100th, and 108th Infantry Divisions as cadre for replacement training centers.

At the beginning of 1957 the Army thus had 56 combat divisions and 12 training divisions. Of these, the Regular Army fielded 18 combat divisions, many not fully manned; the National Guard 27; and the Army Reserve 11. Of the 56 divisions, 3 were airborne, 10 were armored, and the remainder were infantry.

In the summer of 1961 Congress also authorized the Defense Department to order 250,000 reservists (individuals as well as those in units) to active duty for twelve months. The subsequent closing of the Berlin border on 13 August 1961 sparked another series of mobilization measures. In October the Army Reserve's 100th Division (Training) was ordered to active military duty to open the training center at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.

The Army Staff decided to retain one Army Reserve division in each of the six Army areas and to eliminate four divisions. Army commanders selected the 63d, 77th, 8 1st, 83d, 90th, and 102d Infantry Divisions for retention and reorganized them by the end of April 1963. Each division had two tank and six infantry battalions. With the elimination of the 79th, 94th, 96th, and 103d Infantry Divisions, the Army decided to retain their headquarters as a way to preserve spaces for general and field grade officers. It reorganized the units as operational headquarters (subsequently called command headquarters [division]) and directed them to supervise the training of combat and support units located in the former divisional areas and to provide for their administrative support. If an extensive mobilization were to occur, the staff believed that these units could become the nuclei for new divisions.

On 1 July 1965, the Army's division and brigade forces consisted of 45 divisions (16 in the Regular Army, 23 in the National Guard, and 6 in the Army Reserve) and 17 brigades (6 in the Regular Army, 7 in the National Guard, and 4 in the Army Reserve).

In May 1965 President Johnson committed Regular Army combat units to South Vietnam to halt North Vietnamese incursions and suppress National Liberation Front insurgents. With the departure of units for Vietnam, the reserves took on a more significant role. To improve the readiness of the Selected Reserve Force, the Army authorized its units to be fully manned, increased their number of drill days, and raised their priority for receiving new equipment. Because of shortages in personnel and equipment, McNamara achieved a long-standing controversial goal of the Defense Department, a reduction of the reserve troop basis. Those reserve units that were judged unnecessary and others that were undermanned and underequipped could now be deleted with minimum controversy and their assets used to field contingency forces. Among the units inactivated were the last six combat divisions in the Army Reservethe 63d, 77th, 81st, 83d, 90th, and 102d Infantry Divisions-and the 79th, 94th, and 96th Command Headquarters (Division). The 103d Command Headquarters (Division) was converted to a support brigade headquarters.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:35:28 ZULU