The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


Chapter 2

The Army and the Nation

The Army serves the Nation and defends the Constitution, as it has done for nearly 230 years. The Army has had enormous impact on the course of events throughout that time. This chapter provides a brief description of the Army's role in our Nation's history and of the environment the Army operates in today. This chapter also shows the Army's place as a department of the Executive Branch of the federal government.

Section I - A Short History of the US Army
    Colonial Times to the Civil War
    The Civil War to World War I
    The World Wars and Containment
    Post-Vietnam and the Volunteer Army
    The War on Terrorism
Section II - The Operational Environment
    Full Spectrum Operations
    Homeland Security
    Army Transformation
Section III - How the US Government Works
    The Constitution
    Branches of Government
    Department of Defense
    Department of the Army

For more information on Army history, see the Center of Military History (CMH) homepage at

Much of Section I can also be found in CMH's 225 Years of Service: The US Army 1775-2000 and American Military History from the Center of Military History's Army Historical Series.

For more information on the operational environment, see FM 3-0, Operations. For more information on Army Transformation see the Army homepage at or Army Knowledge Online.

For more information on the US Constitution and our American system of government, see Ben's Guide to the US Government at, the House of Representatives homepage at, or the Federal Government information website at

For more information on the Department of the Army organization and missions, see FM 1, The Army, AR 10-5, Headquarters, Department of the Army, and DA PAM 10-1, Organization of the United States Army and the Army Homepage.



2-1.     The Army's institutional culture is fundamentally historical in nature. The Army cherishes its past, especially its combat history, and nourishes its institutional memory through ceremony and custom. Our formations preserve their unit histories and proudly display them in unit crests, unit patches, and regimental mottoes. Such traditions reinforce esprit de corps and the distinctiveness of the profession. Our history of past battles bonds and sustains units and soldiers. History reminds soldiers of who they are, of the cause they serve, and of their ties to soldiers who have gone before them. An understanding of what has happened in the past can, in many cases, help a soldier solve problems in the present. 2-2

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana


2-2.     The oldest part of our Army, the Army National Guard, traces its heritage to the early European colonists in America. In December 1636, the Massachusetts Bay Colony organized America's first militia regiments, some of which still serve today in the Army National Guard. Those first colonists and the regiments they formed were primarily made up from colonists who came from England, who brought with them many traditions, including the distrust of a standing army inherited from the English Civil War of the 17th century.

2-3.     The colonists used the militia system of defense, requiring all males of military age (which varied as years went by) to serve when called, to provide their own weapons and to attend periodic musters. Theirs was a reliance on citizen-soldiers who served in time of need to assist in the colony's defense. The various colonies (later states) organized and disbanded units as needed to face emergencies as they arose. Throughout our Nation's history, volunteer citizen-soldiers have stepped forward to fill in the ranks and get the job done.

2-4.     In 1754, George Washington, then 22 years old, led Virginia militiamen in a fight against French regulars at the beginning of the French and Indian War. On one side of the war were the British and American colonists with Indian allies versus the French and their Indian allies. At stake was whether the colonies could continue to expand westward or be limited to the eastern seaboard of the continent. This war would determine who would control North America, the French or the British and American colonists. Such groups as Rogers' Rangers won fame with their abilities and successes. England won the war and assumed control over the area east of the Mississippi-a vast empire in itself.

2-5.     In 1763, the British king decreed that most of the newly acquired territory was off-limits to new colonization and reserved for the use of the native American Indians. The American colonies saw this as complete disregard for what they saw as their right to use the western territories as they saw fit. The following year, Britain imposed the first in a series of taxes designed to pay the cost of British forces stationed in America. The colonists objected to these new taxes. The Billeting Act of 1765 required the Americans to quarter and support British troops. But it was the Stamp Act of that year that most infuriated the colonists. The Stamp Act required that a stamp be affixed to nearly all published materials and official documents in the colonies, as was the case in Great Britain, to produce revenue required for the defense of the colonies.

2-6.     Patrick Henry and the Virginia legislature denounced the Stamp Act as "Taxation without Representation." Americans broke into tax offices and burned the stamps. The level of opposition astonished the British, who thought the Stamp Act was an even, fair way of producing the revenue needed to pay for the defense of the colonies. In the next few years, additional taxes imposed upon other goods further angered Americans. Emotions ran high in Boston where tax officials were occasionally mistreated, causing the British to station two regiments there, which only agitated Americans even more, prompting a number of violent incidents.

Crispus Attucks in the Boston Massacre

On the evening of March 5, 1770, a barber's apprentice chided a British soldier for allegedly walking away without paying for his haircut. The soldier struck him and news of the offense spread quickly. Groups of angry citizens gathered in various places around town.

A group of men, led by the towering figure of Crispus Attucks, went to the customs house and began taunting the lone British guard there. Seven other soldiers soon came to his support. Attucks was a man who had escaped from slavery and became a sailor to maintain his freedom. He also was a man of some leadership ability. He and a growing crowd confronted the soldiers. In some accounts Attucks struck a British soldier but others say there was no such provocation. In any event, the British fired and Attucks lay dead, struck by two bullets. Samuel Gray, James Caldwell, Samuel Maverick and Patrick Carr also died instantly or in the following days and six others were wounded. Citizens immediately demanded the withdrawal of British troops. The deaths of these men "effected in a moment what 17 months of petition and discussion had failed to accomplish."

The town's response was significant. The bodies of the slain men lay in state. For the funeral service, shops closed, bells rang, and thousands of citizens from all walks of life formed a long procession, six people deep, to the Old Granary Burial Ground where the bodies were committed to a common grave. Until the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Boston commemorated their deaths on March 5, "Crispus Attucks Day."2-3


2-7.     The Declaration of Independence of 4 July 1776 is rightly associated with the birth of our Nation, but the revolution had already been under way for over a year. On 19 April 1775 at Lexington Green, 70 Massachusetts citizen-soldiers stood their ground and refused to allow a British regiment through to destroy a weapons cache in Concord. Without orders, someone on one of the sides fired "the shot heard 'round the world.2-4-1 " The British fired and charged, killing eight of the Massachusetts soldiers in what began eight years of war but ended with an independent Nation that one day would become the beacon of freedom for uncounted millions around the world. Those first days of our Army and the Republic it served were difficult times. We lost many battles, but won just enough to hang on and maintain the resolve to continue the fight.

2-8.     The United States Army began 14 June 1775, when the Continental Congress adopted the New England army besieging Boston as an American Army. The next day Congress selected George Washington to command the first Continental Army: "Resolved, that a General be appointed to command all the continental forces, raised, or to be raised, for the defence of American liberty.2-4-2 " This resolution of the Second Continental Congress established the beginnings of the United States Army as we know it today. Those early days were tough and the British roughly handled the Army. Yet the Battle of Bunker Hill on 17 June 1775 showed the patriots that they could stand up to British regulars.

.The Whites of Their Eyes. The Battle of Bunker Hill.

.The Whites of Their Eyes. The Battle of Bunker Hill.2-4-3

New York

2-9.     In one of the first major actions of the war, General Washington defended New York against a far more mobile British force on Long Island, whose evident intent was to seize New York. The patriots were preparing defenses around New York City and expected an attack. But Washington was desperate for information on British intentions and finally resorted to sending a spy to reconnoiter the enemy positions. Captain Nathan Hale volunteered for the mission.

2-10.     After landing on Long Island's northern shore, Captain Hale moved toward New York. He soon discovered that the British had already begun their attack against the Continental Army. Though the immediate purpose of his mission was negated, Hale continued to try and obtain information of value to the patriots' cause. Perhaps betrayed by a kinsman, perhaps just unlucky, Captain Hale was captured on 21 September 1776 with incriminating notes of British dispositions. He was brought before General Howe, the British commander. Captain Hale admitted his spying and without a trial, Howe ordered him to be hanged the following morning. Nathan Hale went bravely to his death, knowing he would be an example to his fellow patriots. His last words were, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.2-5-1 "

2-11.     Despite Captain Hale's bravery, the Americans lost New York to the British and withdrew to New Jersey and then Pennsylvania. General Washington knew that the Nation needed a victory to keep up its spirit and with many soldiers near the end of their enlistment, knew such a victory must come sooner than later. Those were the conditions when Washington decided to attack the Hessian garrison of Trenton, New Jersey. Sailors turned soldiers of Glover's Regiment from Marblehead, Maine ferried the little force of 2,400 across the icy Delaware on Christmas, 1776. After marching nine miles through heavy snowfall, they charged into the town early the next morning, taking the Hessians utterly by surprise. In 90 minutes it was over and the Army had won a victory to keep the fires of liberty alive for awhile longer. Even though more defeats on the field of battle were ahead, our people, our soldiers and our leaders never lost heart.

These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it NOW deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

Thomas Paine2-5-2


2-12.     Nearly a year later, the Battles of Saratoga again tested the determination of the patriots. The British had intended to seize Albany, New York by simultaneous advances from Canada and New York City along the Hudson River in order to divide the colonies along that vital waterway, with a third axis from Oswego along the Mohawk Valley. The British attack from New York never materialized, instead becoming diverted to Philadelphia. American forces, swelled by many new volunteers from the state militias, were able to mass against the British coming south from Canada. In a series of battles in September and October 1777, America won its first major victory-a pivotal event in the war. It showed the world that America remained unbowed and determined to win and led to active assistance from the French that complicated the war for the British. Ultimately, the British had to contend with America, France, Spain, and the Netherlands.

The Marquis de Lafayette-Patron of Liberty

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette was born into French nobility in 1757. After service in the French army, Lafayette became interested in the cause of American freedom. He desired to provide actual assistance and not only sent money to America but also offered his services to the American Congress in 1776. Since official French policy at the time was to remain neutral, Lafayette went secretly to America. In July 1777, Congress appointed him a major general, though stipulated he would have to serve at his own expense-Lafayette received no pay.

After taking part in several battles in which he demonstrated both his bravery and his skill in combat, Congress appointed Lafayette to command an invasion of Canada. Unknown to him, Lafayette's appointment was wrapped up in a strange conspiracy known as the Conway Cabal. A group of officers had decided that the conquest of Canada was more important than loyalty to America or to General Washington. Lafayette, who was intensely loyal to General Washington, was appointed simply to provide the pretense of legitimacy to the affair. He soon saw the plot for what it was. After determining the mission had insufficient resources, he succeeded in canceling the ill-advised attack entirely. Lafayette continued to lead well in battle elsewhere.

Soon after France allied herself to America, Lafayette decided he could serve the American cause best by returning to France in order to strengthen the relationship and enhance cooperation between the Nations. Lafayette provided a full report on the situation in America and persuasively argued for complete support of the Americans, including ground troops. He returned to America with many French soldiers. The assistance of France was essential to winning the Revolutionary War. With the Marquis de Lafayette, General Washington won the Battle of Yorktown in 1781.

Lafayette continued his support long after the Revolution, though he returned to his native France. He returned to the United States in 1825 for a yearlong visit and was greeted by thunderous applause wherever he went. Americans still remembered his important role in winning freedom. Lafayette died in 1834 and was buried in Paris. An American flag flies over his grave.2-6

Valley Forge

2-13.     Our soldiers endured the harsh winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge but learned how to make war under the tutelage of a Prussian drillmaster named Friedrich Wilhelm "Baron" von Steuben. The self-styled "Baron" (he wasn't really a baron, but the soldiers didn't care) took the ragtag remnants of two years of hard campaigning and turned them into a force that could stand against the might of the British empire. Von Steuben carried out the program during the late winter and early spring of 1778. He taught the Continental Army a simplified but effective version of the drill formations and movements of European armies, proper care of equipment, and the use of the bayonet, a weapon in which British superiority had previously been marked. He attempted to consolidate the understrength regiments and companies and organized light infantry companies as the elite force of the Army. He impressed upon officers their responsibility for taking care of the soldiers and taught NCOs how to train and lead those soldiers.

I would cherish those dear, ragged Continentals, whose patience will be the admiration of future ages, and glory in bleeding with them.

Colonel John Laurens2-7-1

2-14.     Von Steuben never lost sight of the difference between the American citizen soldier and the European professional. He realized that American soldiers often had to be told why they did things before they would do them well. He applied this philosophy in his training program. After Valley Forge, Continentals would fight on equal terms with British regulars in the open field. Much of what von Steuben taught our soldiers is still in use today. After his training took effect, the Continental Army became the equal of the British forces. Nonetheless, operations in the northern states degenerated into a stalemate that lasted to the end of the war.

Von Steuben Instructs Soldiers at Valley Forge, 1778

Von Steuben Instructs Soldiers at Valley Forge, 17782-7-2

War in the South

2-15.     The Revolutionary War after 1777 was mainly fought in the southern states. There it was a war between patriots and Tories-Americans who remained loyal to the crown and were recruited by the British to fight the rebels. As such, it was more a civil war than not, and neighbors and brothers fought each other in engagements that became increasingly vicious and merciless. They fought as much to protect their homes and families as for the future of the new nation.

2-16.     On the patriot side, much of the combat power existed in bands of guerrillas, employing hit and run tactics that helped whittle away British strength and interrupt supplies. Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox," led one of these partisan groups. What he lacked in numbers he made up for in audacity and thorough knowledge of the terrain, his soldiers, and his enemy. Over the course of three years he harassed the enemy, cut his communications, and caused the British to divert many soldiers to eliminating him.

2-17.     The Tories were usually more organized, often led by a British officer, and fought more in line with existing British tactical doctrine. But some of the Tory units took up the practice of burning houses and destroying crops to deny them to the patriots. It had the effect of pushing the southern population, much of whom had been loyal to the Crown, into the American cause. One of these Tory units was under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton. Tarleton was the British commander on the field at the American disaster of the Battle of Waxhaws.

2-18.     In May 1780, the British captured Charleston, South Carolina and its garrison, leaving the entire south open to attack. The prospects of American victory had never looked worse. But General Washington appointed Nathanael Greene as commander of the Southern Army. Greene began to wear down the British by leading them on a six-month chase through remote areas of the Carolinas and Virginia.

2-19.     Greene never won a battle, but maintained constant pressure on the enemy with local guerrilla groups. The British, low on supplies, began stealing from any Americans they encountered, infuriating them. The British recourse to theft and destruction of property turned the local populace against the British. Many had been sympathetic to the Loyalist cause, but no more. The British actions directly resulted in their defeat at the Cowpens on 17 January 1781. Greene's persistence won back the south as the British abandoned post and city to return to the seacoast where they could maintain unhindered communications.


2-20.     Part of Greene's strategy was to split his Army to cause the British to weaken their forces in pursuit. It worked when the British commander detached Tarleton's command, reinforced by two regiments of British regulars, to pursue one of the columns of Continentals and militia, commanded by Brigadier General Daniel Morgan. Though untrained in tactics or strategy, Morgan knew his soldiers' strengths and weaknesses and that of his enemy. He turned to face the British in a field known as Hannah's Cowpens and won a victory that altered the course of the war.2-8

2-21.     Though outnumbered by Tarleton's force, Morgan chose a low, sparsely wooded hill to defend. He would place most of his his militia in the front, instructing them to fire two shots before withdrawing. Behind these militia troops would be his stalwart Continentals and trusty Virginia militia in the main line and a small cavalry force as his reserve. Morgan intended for the first lines of militiamen to fire at close range to strike down enemy leaders and depart the field as if retreating. Then when the British charged after them, they would run into the main line of Continentals and Virginians. He spent much of the evening before the battle ensuring all his soldiers knew the plan and what was expected of them. He knew each soldier would do his duty.

2-22.     Tarleton's aggressiveness was also something Morgan counted on when the battle began the next morning. As expected, after the militia fired and withdrew, the British closed on the main line of patriots. They attempted to outflank the American right, and a misunderstood order caused the Continentals there to move to the rear. Tarleton thought they were retreating and plunged recklessly after them. But Morgan turned the Continentals about and charged the attacking British. While engaged to the front, the American cavalry and the reformed militia surrounded Tarleton's force of 1,100 and killed, wounded, or captured all but 50 who barely escaped, including Tarleton himself. This decisive victory seriously reduced the British strength in the south.

Yorktown and Victory

2-23.     Soon the British began a withdrawal to Yorktown where they would evacuate part of the force to New York. Instead the French fleet arrived and drove off the outnumbered British vessels that were guarding the Chesapeake Bay. They landed 3,000 more French troops to join the 12,000 Americans and French that had surrounded Yorktown and began a blockade to deny reinforcements or evacuation from Yorktown. The resulting siege ended when the British surrendered on 19 October 1781, the day "the world turned upside down.2-9 "

2-24.     The victory at Yorktown broke the will of the British to continue the war and ultimately decided it in America's favor. The Revolutionary War officially ended 3 September 1783 with the signing of a peace treaty in Paris. The British recognized the United States as a free and independent nation and that the US boundaries would be the Mississippi River in the west and the Great Lakes in the north. The area west of the Appalachian Mountains was called the Northwest Territory.


2-25.     The United States initially were governed by a document called the Articles of Confederation. After a few years Congress called for a convention simply to mend the document's flaws. But the convention soon decided to write a new instrument, the Constitution. When it was ratified the Constitution left in place a small professional Army supplemented by the militia of all able-bodied males, under strict civilian control. Read more about the Constitution in Section III.

Fallen Timbers

2-26.     Despite the treaty provisions at the end of the Revolutionary War, the British did not evacuate the Northwest Territory. Even so, American Settlers began moving into the territory. The native American Indians in the area believed the land was theirs because of previous treaties and resisted this encroachment. Americans suspected that the British were arming the Indians and perhaps encouraging their resistance. A confederation of tribes led by Chief Little Turtle of the Miami soundly defeated two major Army expeditions sent to protect the American settlers from Indian raids. This caused a crisis of confidence in the effectiveness of the Federal government and of the Constitution itself. President Washington appointed General Anthony Wayne to prepare a force to remove the Indian threat to the settlers if ongoing negotiations failed.

2-27.     The negotiations did indeed fail. The US would not ban settlers from moving across the Ohio River and the Indian tribes would not allow such intrusion without a fight. On 11 September 1793, President Washington ordered General Wayne to attack. Wayne built forts deeper and deeper into Indian territory and defeated all attacks against them, severely shaking the Indians' confidence in their leaders and in their ability to win the struggle. By August 1794, Wayne had offered the remaining tribes a chance to end to the fighting but received no response.

The Road to Fallen Timbers

The Road to Fallen Timbers2-10

2-28.     Expecting a battle, Wayne made known the Army would attack on 17 August. Realizing that the Indian warriors habitually did not eat on the day they expected combat, Genereal Wayne waited an additional three days believing many of the Indians would leave to seek food. He attacked on 20 August 1794 near Toledo, Ohio, and fought the remaining 800 Indian warriors in a forest that had suffered severe damage from a recent storm, giving the battle its name "Fallen Timbers." In less than two hours Wayne defeated the Indian force, paving the way for the Treaty of Greenville that secured southern and eastern Ohio and effectively ended British interference in the Northwest Territory.


2-29.     The young Nation more than doubled in size in 1803 when it acquired a huge expanse of territory from France in what became known as the Louisiana Purchase. President Jefferson sent the "Corps of Volunteers for North Western Discovery" to explore and assert American authority over the area. Sergeants John Ordway, Nathaniel Pryor and Charles Floyd (and later Sergeant Patrick Gass when Floyd died along the Missouri River) joined two Army officers, Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

2-30.     With a select group of volunteers from the United States Army and civilian life they ventured west towards the Pacific coast. The skill, teamwork, and courage of each soldier contributed significantly to the success of the expedition. When the soldiers finally returned in September 1806 after traveling almost 8,000 miles in under two and a half years, their journey had already captured the admiration and imagination of the American people.

WAR OF 1812

2-31.     In the early 1800s Britain and France were at war with each other and desperate for men and materiel. Both belligerents seized American ships at sea but Britain was the chief offender because its Navy had greater command of the seas. The British outrages took two distinct forms. The first was the seizure and forced sale of merchant ships and their cargoes for allegedly violating the British blockade of Europe. The second, more insulting type of outrage was the capture of men from American vessels for forced service in the Royal Navy.

2-32.     The seat of anti-British sentiment appeared in the Northwest and the lower Ohio Valley, where frontiersmen had no doubt that their troubles with the Indians in the area were the result of British intrigue. Stories circulated after every Indian raid of British Army muskets and equipment being found on the field. By the year 1812 the westerners were convinced that forcing the British out of Canada would best solve their problems. Then on 1 June 1812, President Madison asked Congress to declare war, which it narrowly did by six votes in the Senate.

2-33.     American strategy was simple; conquer Canada and drive British commerce from the seas. But in practice, it became clear that public support for an enterprise was critical to the success of American operations. After a few abortive attempts to invade Canada in which many regional militia units were unwilling to take part, the Army quietly went into winter quarters. Repeated attempts throughout the war to make gains in Canada met with similar misfortune.

2-34.     In 1813 American forces attempted to take the western panhandle of Florida and southern Mississippi, then territories of Spain. Defending the area were a few tribes of Indians that had long been difficult to control. Initially poor logistics preparation stymied the small American force of volunteers, but after reorganization and additional reinforcements, they drove the remaining tribes into Spanish-held Florida.

2-35.     In 1814 the Army fought its finest engagements of the war. Though strategically the US was frustrated yet again in failing to conquer Canada, time after time the Army fought hard and well against the very best units of the British Empire, many of which were veterans of the war against Napoleon. At Lundy's Lane, where Sergeant Patrick Gass fought with distinction2-12-1 , Baltimore and Plattsburg, well-trained regulars and volunteers acquitted themselves superbly against what was then believed to be the finest infantry in the world.

2-36.     In setbacks like Bladensburg, poor training and poor leadership were the reasons why 5,000 hastily assembled Regulars, militia and naval gunners were swept aside by an inferior British force that then entered and burned Washington. Yet many of these same militia, after two weeks of training, were resolute and inflicted heavy loss on the British in the defense of Baltimore.

2-37.     News of the British defeats at Baltimore and at Plattsburg caused the British government to reevaluate its objectives in North America. As a result it redoubled efforts to reach an agreement in peace negotiations that were already underway, ultimately resulting in peace by the Treaty of Ghent on 24 December 1814, two weeks before what was probably the most famous battle of the war.

The Battle of New Orleans

2-38.     In late 1814 the British sent 9,000 soldiers to capture New Orleans in order to isolate the Louisiana Territory from the United States. They landed at a shallow lagoon some ten miles east of New Orleans. During an engagement on 23 December 1814, General Andrew Jackson almost succeeded in cutting off an advance detachment of 2,000 British, but after a 3-hour fight in which casualties on both sides were heavy, Jackson was compelled to retire behind fortifications covering New Orleans.

2-39.     Opposite the British and behind a ditch stretching from the Mississippi River to a swamp, Jackson prepared the defense with about 3,500 soldiers and another 1,000 in reserve. It was a varied group, composed of the 7th and 44th Infantry Regiments, Major Beale's New Orleans Sharpshooters, LaCoste and Daquin's battalions of free African-Americans, the Louisiana militia, a band of Choctaw Indians, the Baratorian pirates, and a battalion of volunteers from the New Orleans aristocracy. To support his defenses, Jackson had assembled more than twenty pieces of artillery, including nine heavy guns on the opposite bank of the Mississippi. He was forced to scour New Orleans for a variety of obsolete and rusty small arms to equip his entire force. Knowing many of these dueling pistols and blunderbusses were nearly useless against British muskets, he shaped the battlefield to his advantage by erecting formidable earthworks, high enough to require scaling ladders for an assault.

2-40.     After losing an artillery duel, the British commander decided to launch a frontal assault with 5,400 of his force. On 8 January 1815, waiting patiently behind high banks of earth and cotton bales, the Americans opened a murderous fire, first with artillery and then with small arms. In the area of the main attack the British were decimated and the commanding general killed. The British successor to command, horrified by the losses, ordered a general withdrawal. Over 2,000 British soldiers were killed or wounded as opposed to 13 on the American side.

2-41.     Soon after, word came that a peace treaty had been signed on Christmas Eve-two weeks before the battle. The War of 1812 was over, and the Army had kept the Nation free. 2-12-2 Although the United States did not conquer Canada (President Jefferson once said it would be "a mere matter of marching"), it did gain new respect abroad and inspired a sense of national pride and confidence. The US Army was recognized as a formidable force.


2-42.     After Wellington's victory at Waterloo in June 1815, Americans feared there would be another war with Britain. Such fears prompted congress to triple the size of the peacetime regular Army (to 10,000), begin an impressive program of building fortifications along the vulnerable eastern seaboard, and improve the facilities at the US Military Academy at West Point. Because of these efforts, America enjoyed 30 years of relative peace, although sharply punctuated by wars with the Creek and Seminole Nations, the Blackhawks, and other Indian tribes.

2-43.     For the first time since von Steuben's Blue Book, the Army developed written regulations to standardize many aspects of Army operations. The Army Regulations of 1821, written by General Winfield Scott, covered every detail of the soldier's life such as the hand salute, how to conduct a march, and even how to make a good stew for the company. General Scott was one of the most prolific writers in the Army of the early 19th century. Based on his combat experience in the War of 1812 and other conflicts, he wrote a manual of infantry tactics that was used with minor modification until the Civil War.

2-44.     Scott believed that the US Army needed a formal system of tactics to enable it to operate effectively. The tactics of the time, based on the line formation, were a result of the small arms technology of that period. Infantry armed with muskets had an effective range of less than one hundred meters. This fact and the extremely slow rate of fire of the weapons meant that to mass fires required massing soldiers. Soldiers had to operate in tightly packed units. But firepower was really a means to an end. The bayonet charge was the decisive movement and the ability to maintain a tightly packed formation simply assured the attacker would be able to outnumber the defender at the point of attack.

2-45.     General Scott also explained the School of the Soldier, providing explicit detail on how a soldier stands, walks and moves, all to most efficiently move large groups of soldiers about the battlefield and to ensure their fire was concentrated where the commander desired it. Scott's Tactics2-13 provides us a distant echo of how our Army trains today. In the School of the Soldier, School of the Company, and the School of the Battalion, we see familiar traces of individual and collective training. It may be said that Winfield Scott turned the US Army into a professional fighting force with the methodical application of standardized training techniques.

2-46.     As America grew, western expansion and exploration brought settlers into more frequent conflict with the Indian nations. Much of the regular Army was stationed on the western frontier to try and maintain peace and order. But the expansion was free of European interference, due to the isolation gained by Britain's naval supremacy that kept the peace at sea. That isolation enforced the Monroe Doctrine and allowed the Army to turn its focus to the west. At times the Army was the buffer between the settlers and the native Americans while at other times it was directed to move the Indian tribes, by force if necessary, from their lands. One such action turned into the Black Hawk War, in which Abraham Lincoln participated as a captain of volunteer infantry.

2-47.     From 1821-1830 large numbers of Americans, at the invitation of the Mexican government, moved into the area called Texas. This soon became the focus of a dispute that would lead to war with the United States. The growing numbers of settlers from the United States created suspicion in the Mexican government which then ordered a halt to all immigration and began to reassert its authority in the area. Volunteers from across the United States went to Texas to lend their support.

The Alamo

2-48.     In December 1835 Texians (immigrants from the United States) and Tejanos (Hispanic Texans), fighting for independence, seized the towns of San Antonio de Bexar and Goliad and began preparing them as outposts for an expected Mexican counterattack. The volunteers in San Antonio, under the command of Colonel James C. Neill, expertly strengthened the existing fortifications centered on the old mission of the Alamo. After Neill had to leave to attend an illness in his family, Colonel Jim Bowie and Lieutenant Colonel William B. Travis jointly commanded the garrison at the Alamo, fully expecting Colonel Neill to return in a few weeks.

2-49.     The Mexican Army under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna would not give them that time. Santa Anna arrived outside the Alamo on 23 February 1836 and immediately demanded the surrender of the garrison, who promptly refused by firing a cannon in reply. General Santa Anna prepared for a siege and began pounding the fort with his artillery.

2-50.     Travis took over sole command on 24 February 1836 when Colonel Bowie fell seriously ill. He sent a number of messages calling for reinforcements but only 32 more volunteers had arrived by 1 March 1836. By 5 March 1836 only 189 Texians and Tejanos defended the Alamo. Still, they kept the enemy at their distance, sniping at Mexican work parties and gun crews. But on 5 March, even though the siege and bombardment were having effect on the Alamo's fortifications and defenders, General Santa Anna abruptly decided to assault the fort before dawn the next morning.

2-51.     At 0400 on 6 March 1836, Santa Anna began his assault. About 1,800 Mexican soldiers attacked in four columns, but the rifle and cannon fire of the defenders repelled the first two attempts to scale the outer walls. The vast advantage in numbers allowed the Mexican force to continue its attack and succeeded in breaching and scaling the walls on the third try. The Mexican soldiers poured into the Alamo, killing every defender, but suffered over 600 casualties in doing so. It was a very costly Mexican victory that served to rally Texans in subsequent battles.2-14

2-52.     After Sam Houston's decisive victory at San Jacinto the following month, Mexican forces withdrew from Texas. For the next nine years Texas operated as an independent republic although the Mexican government did not recognize it as such. At the same time, Texas was trying to become part of the United States. Their efforts were frustrated for a time over the issue of slavery, but on 1 March 1845 Congress resolved to admit Texas to the Union. Because Mexico had desired to regain control of Texas for itself, she promptly broke off diplomatic relations with the United States and both countries prepared for war. In addition to regulars, volunteers from Texas and Louisiana joined General Zachary Taylor at the Rio Grande where they built a number of fortified positions to pressure Mexico into accepting that river as the international boundary.

War with mexico

2-53.     Hostilities began 25 April 1846 near Matamoros and were soon followed by the Battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. In these successive battles, the Army fought a defense against a force that was twice as large. The next day, they attacked an entrenched enemy force and drove it from the field. Enlisted soldiers demonstrated their toughness and resiliency, and the officer corps provided skillful leadership, particularly in the use of artillery. Yet these early victories were incomplete because Taylor's force had no means to cross the Rio Grande in pursuit of the defeated Mexican force. By the time Taylor had brought boats from Point Isabel, the enemy had withdrawn into the interior of Mexico.

2-54.     To provide the necessary resources to win the war, Congress authorized an increase of the Regular Army to 15,540 and also authorized the President to call for 50,000 volunteers to serve for one year or the duration of the war. The United States' objective in the war was to seize all Mexican territory north of the Rio Grande and Gila rivers all the way to the Pacific. This area comprised what we know today as New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. To accomplish this huge task the Army would attack to destroy the Mexican Army's offensive capability and occupy key points in northern Mexico to obtain favorable terms. In attacks along three axes in northern Mexico, the US Army never lost a battle. But Mexico continued to resist and American leaders concluded that a direct strike at Mexico City was necessary.

2-55.     The Army under General Winfield Scott made its first ever major amphibious landing at Vera Cruz on 9 March 1847. While heavily fortified, the city fell within the month and soon the Army was moving west. During the next five months, the Army's soldiers again displayed fine fighting qualities at Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Churubusco, and Chapultepec. Army officers distinguished themselves as scouts, engineers, staff officers, military governors, and leaders of combat troops. Many of these officers, including Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, Thomas J. Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, and George B. McClellan, would command the armies that would face each other in the American Civil War fourteen years later.

2-56.     Ultimately, Mexico capitulated and signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on 2 February 1848. After full ratification on both sides, Mexico recognized the Rio Grande as the boundary of Texas and gave control of New Mexico (including the present states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and part of Wyoming) to the United States in exchange for $15 million. This addition to the United States and the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute with Great Britain opened a vast area that would occupy the Army's attention until the Civil War.


2-57.     Slavery had been a bitterly divisive issue among Americans since before the Revolutionary War. By the Presidential election of 1860, a number of political compromises had averted war. Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln's platform included that he would not support extending slavery into the western territories. Southerners believed this would give political advantage to the northern states. In addition, Congress had imposed a tax on certain imported manufactured goods in order to protect American industries, most of which were in the north. But it was the issue of the expansion of slavery that most directly led to war.


2-58.     After American voters elected Lincoln as President, South Carolina seceded from the Union. Other southern states soon followed, though some took a wait and see approach. Virginia, for example, did not secede until after Fort Sumter fell when the President ordered a partial mobilization to suppress the rebellion. The American Civil War had been avoided for many years but began when South Carolina militia forces fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in April 1861.

2-59.     The regular Army at the beginning of the Civil War was tiny in comparison to the task at hand and it was almost totally engaged with peacekeeping on the western frontier. Both the North and the South had to call for volunteers to fight for their respective sides. Initially, many in the North thought it could suppress the rebellion in a short time so the President called for volunteers for a short period of enlistment. The rush to the Colors on both sides following the call for volunteers reflected the country's tradition of a citizenry ready to spring to arms when the Nation was in danger.

2-60.     In overall command at the beginning of the war was General Winfield Scott (the same officer who fought in 1812 and against Mexico and wrote the 1821 regulations). He understood that the defeat of the South would take a long time and the Union would have to attack the Confederacy's economy. His plan was to conduct a naval blockade of the South to prevent imports and exports, split the Confederacy by seizing the length of the Mississippi, and maintain continuous pressure along the entire front while waiting for the Confederacy to either dissolve from internal dissension or seek peace negotiations. But this strategy would take time, so much so that it was initially ridiculed as the "Anaconda Plan" because of the slow effect it would have. War fever was high and politicians, newspaper editors, and the public wanted action. They thought that if the Federal (Union) forces could simply seize the capital of the Confederacy, the South would just give up.

Early Battles

2-61.     The Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run showed the need for more thorough preparation and for more soldiers. That realization allowed professional Army officers like Major General George B. McClellan to begin the hard work of transforming volunteers into soldiers. Within months, the Army increased to almost 500,000 men, and it would grow much larger in the ensuing years. Regular Army personnel, West Pointers returning from civilian life, and self-educated citizen-officers all did their part in transforming raw recruits into an effective fighting force.

2-62.     Ultimately, the North adopted the essential elements of Scott's Anaconda Plan and it did, indeed, take time. The four years of bloody warfare that followed cost nearly as many Americans' lives as in all our other wars combined, before and since. Civil wars, by their nature, are brutal and merciless. Yet, for the common soldier on both sides, there were examples of extraordinary courage, compassion, and fortitude. That they endured is testament to the natural strength of the American soldier.

2-63.     The Confederacy had clear disadvantages in comparison to the Union states. The smaller population of the South and the huge disparity in manufacturing capability were the most obvious of these. But these were partially offset, at least initially, by the great skill of southern commanders and the established trade the Confederacy continued with European nations. The South's greatest advantage was that it simply had to endure to succeed. For the Union to win it would have to conquer the Confederacy or force it to negotiate a truce that included rejoining the Union. This put the northern states on the strategic offensive in order to succeed.

2-64.     In its efforts to restore the Union in 1861 and 1862, the Army achieved mixed results. It secured Washington, DC, and the border states, and provided aid and comfort to Union loyalists in West Virginia. In cooperation with the Union Navy, the Army seized key points along the southern coast, including the port of New Orleans, while the Navy conducted an increasingly stronger blockade of the Confederacy. Under such leaders as Major General Ulysses S. Grant, the Army occupied west and central Tennessee and secured almost all of the Mississippi River.

2-65.     In the most visible theater of the war, however, the Union Army of the Potomac under a series of commanders made little progress against the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee. After victories in the battles of Seven Days and Second Bull Run, Lee invaded Maryland. The Union victory at the Battle of Antietam forced Lee to return to Virginia, although subsequent defeats at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville brought the Union effort in the East no closer to success than it had been at the start of the war.

Antietam and Emancipation

Lee crossed the Potomac in 1862 for a number of compelling reasons. Primarily he wanted to maintain the initiative in the war. A battle on northern soil would show the people of the Union that it was going to be a long, hard struggle to subdue the Confederacy. Perhaps it would push them to vote more pro-southern politicians into office in the coming election. He also hoped that such an invasion would encourage European support of the Confederacy. Finally, since it was harvest time, he wanted his army to subsist on northern crops.

President Lincoln wanted to prevent any European alliance with the Confederacy. Since the Europeans were opposed to slavery, he thought freeing the slaves would make it politically impossible for European nations to side with the South. Emancipation would also gain the full and continuing support of abolitionists in the North. But issuing an Emancipation Proclamation while Union armies were losing battles might be seen as an act of desperation, rather than one of strength.

The Battle of Antietam on 17 September 1862 was a bloody day on which 6,000 soldiers were killed and 17,000 wounded in a twelve-hour period. In tactical terms, Antietam was a draw. General Lee's army was severely outnumbered at the outset and his enemy, Major General George McClellan, knew his invasion plan, yet the Confederates still held the field at the end of the day. But the terrible losses Lee sustained meant he could not continue operations on Union territory without risk of complete destruction. Lee's resulting withdrawal from Maryland was a strategic victory for the Union and provided Lincoln the opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.2-18

2-66.     President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation on 22 September 1862 freed the slaves in any areas still under Confederate control as of 1 January 1863. This had no real effect until the Union Army took control of those areas, but it expanded the Army's mission of restoring the Union to include freeing the slaves in the Confederate states. Soon Union armies moving through the South were followed by a fast-growing multitude of African-American refugees, most of them with little means of survival.

2-67.     The Army gave food, clothing, and employment to the freedmen, and it provided as many as possible with the means of self-sufficiency, including instruction in reading and writing. African-Americans in the Union Army were among those who achieved literacy. After years of excluding African-Americans, the Army took 180,000 into its ranks. Formed into segregated units under white officers, these free men and former slaves contributed much to the eventual Union victory. One of the notable units was the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, which led an assault on Battery Wagner at Morris Island on 18 July 1863.

The First Medal of Honor Recipient

Congress authorized the creation of the Medal of Honor on 12 July 1862 and on 25 March 1863, Private Jacob Parrott, Company K, 33d Ohio Volunteer Infantry, received the first Medal of Honor ever awarded.

In April 1862 Private Parrott and 23 other volunteers were part of a raid into Georgia to destroy track and bridges on the railroad line between Atlanta and Chattanooga. They penetrated nearly 200 miles south and boarded a train headed north. During a scheduled stop at Big Shanty, Georgia, the group stayed on the train while the engineer, conductor, and the rest of the passengers went to get breakfast. Then the Union soldiers uncoupled the engine, tender and three boxcars from the rest of the train. Most of the men got into the rear car, while the raid leader boarded the engine with Privates Wilson Brown and William Knight, both engineers, and another soldier who acted as fireman. The group steamed out of the station without incident.

The Union soldiers drove the train north but soon the Confederates began to chase them in another locomotive. The raiders tried to burn bridges, but because they were followed so closely were unable to destroy any. Even dropping off some of the train cars along the way did not slow the pursuers. Eventually, they ran out of fuel north of Ringgold, Georgia and the raiders tried to escape on foot. All were captured, including Private Parrott. He returned to the Union after a prisoner exchange in March 1863. For his part in the undercover mission, Private Jacob Parrott became the first recipient of the Medal of Honor, soon followed by other surviving raiders.2-19


2-68.     In June 1863 General Lee decided to invade the North again. He intended to draw the Union Army of the Potomac out of its strong defensive positions guarding Washington, DC, and destroy it on ground of his choosing. At the very least, he intended to disrupt the plans of the Army of the Potomac. Lee led his Army of Northern Virginia into Pennsylvania and the Army of the Potomac followed. They met at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on 1 July 1863, where Union cavalry had occupied favorable defensive positions on Seminary Ridge west of the town. The cavalry held long enough for infantry and artillery of the Army of the Potomac to begin arriving. But then more Confederate units marched in from the north and outflanked the Union positions. They drove the Union soldiers back through Gettysburg onto Cemetery Ridge and Culp's Hill east of the town, where the Union line held.

2-69.     On 2 July 1863 Lee attacked again, on both the Union right and left. Though poorly coordinated and starting late in the day, it nearly succeeded. On the Union left, resolute soldiers from Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota helped prevent the Confederates from flanking the Union Army. On that day the names Peach Orchard, the Wheatfield, Devil's Den, and Little Round Top were etched into US Army history.

The 1st Minnesota at Gettysburg

On the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Union III Corps moved forward of the Union lines on Cemetery Ridge to occupy a position about 600 meters to its front. While the position was good, the III Corps was too small to secure its flanks and therefore was vulnerable. This became obvious when two Confederate divisions crashed into the III Corps' southern flank.

The fighting in the Peach Orchard and the Wheatfield lasted through the afternoon, but ultimately the III Corps was overwhelmed and began streaming back over Cemetery Ridge with the Confederates in close pursuit. If they succeeded in pushing over the ridge they could outflank the Army of the Potomac and defeat it on northern soil, with disastrous consequences to Union morale. Major General Winfield Hancock, seeing the danger, ordered two brigades to Cemetery Ridge to plug the gap left by the retreating III Corps, but it would take time. The only troops in the area were the soldiers of the 1st Minnesota Infantry. Hancock galloped to its commander, Colonel William Colvill, Jr., and pointing at the enemy closing on the ridge told him, "Colonel! Do you see those colors? Take them!" With no hesitation Colvill and his 262 soldiers moved down the slope toward the 1,600 Confederate soldiers.

The 1st Minnesota drove into the enemy, causing confusion and stopping them in their tracks. Though they suffered terrible casualties, the volunteers from Minnesota bought the five minutes needed to move two brigades into position on Cemetery Ridge and so prevented a rout of the Army of the Potomac. At the end, only 47 of the 262 soldiers on the rolls that morning were left standing. This casualty rate of 82% was the highest of any Union regiment in the war.2-20

2-70.     On 3 July 1863, the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, General Lee thought he could still win with one last attack. After an intense artillery preparation about 13,000 Confederate soldiers advanced across a mile of ground swept by Union artillery and small arms fire into the center of the Union line. With the Confederates was Major General George Pickett's division. The courage of Americans on both sides was never more clearly demonstrated than during Pickett's Charge. Despite the loss of half the attacking force, the Confederate infantry reached the Union line where infantry and artillery turned them back with crippling losses, effectively ending the battle. During the Battle of Gettysburg, a total of 51,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed, wounded or became missing but it was unquestionably a Union victory. Though the war would not end for nearly two more years, Gettysburg gave the Union renewed hope in victory.

2-71.     In July 1863 Grant's triumph at Vicksburg gave the North control of the entire Mississippi River. The capture of Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the fall of 1863 opened the way for an invasion of the Confederate heartland. Appointed commander of all the Union armies, Grant planned not only to annihilate the enemy's armies but also to destroy the South's means of supporting them.

Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam, --

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic that they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln

President Lincoln's letter to Mrs. Lydia Bixby of Boston, Massachusetts2-21

2-72.     Grant wore down Lee's army at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, and Petersburg during the 1864 and 1865 campaigns. His commander in the West, Major General William T. Sherman, drove through Georgia and the Carolinas, burning crops, tearing up railroads, and otherwise wrecking the economic infrastructure of those regions. "Sherman's March" showed that victory might be hastened by destroying the enemy's economic basis for continued resistance and demoralizing his population.

2-73.     In March and April 1865 Grant pursued Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia to Appomattox Court House, Virginia. General Lee recognized further bloodshed would not alter the outcome of the war and surrendered his army on 9 April 1865. The Confederate formation under General Joseph Johnston surrendered to General Sherman on 26 April 1865, twelve days after the assassination of President Lincoln. The last major Confederate unit west of the Mississippi gave up on 26 May 1865.

2-74.     The bloodiest war in American history was over, slavery was gone, over 600,000 Americans on both sides had died, but the Union was preserved and the South would be rebuilt. The Army's role in reunifying the nation was not finished with the end of the war. The Army had already established military governments in occupied areas, cracking down on Confederate sympathizers while providing food, schools, and improved sanitation to the destitute. This role continued after the collapse of the Confederacy, when Congress adopted a tough "Reconstruction" policy to restore the Southern states to the Union.

"The Surrender." General Lee meets General Grant at Appomattox, 9 April 1865.

"The Surrender."
General Lee meets General Grant at Appomattox, 9 April 1865.2-22

2-75.     The Army maintained order in the former Confederate states. Keeping watch over local courts, the Army sought to ensure the rights of African-Americans and Union loyalists, a task that became increasingly difficult as support for Reconstruction waned and the occupation forces declined in numbers. At the same time, military governors expedited the South's physical recovery from the war. Through the Freedmen's Bureau, the Army provided 21 million rations, operated over fifty hospitals, arranged labor for wages in former plantation areas, and established schools for the freedmen. The Army's role in Reconstruction ended when the last federal troops withdrew from occupation duties in 1877.


2-76.     Soon after the Civil War the bulk of the Regular Army returned to its traditional role of frontier constabulary. Early settlers from Europe had been in conflict with native Americans as early as 1622. For over 250 years there were periodic wars and battles as settlers moved west into the wilderness. Conflict often resulted as the Indian nations fought to preserve their way of life while the Army fought to protect settlers, property, and the continued expansion of the United States.

2-77.     Army officers negotiated treaties with the Sioux, Cheyenne, and other western tribes and tried to maintain order between the various tribes and the prospectors, hunters, ranchers, and farmers moving west. Native American tribes were pushed off lands they had inhabited for centuries. They fought against the encroachment, periodically raiding settlements, work parties or wagon trains. When hostilities erupted, the Army was usually ordered to force the Indians onto reservations. Campaigns generally took the form of converging columns invading hostile territory in an attempt to bring the enemy to battle. Most of the time, the tribes lacked the numbers or inclination to challenge an Army unit of any size.

The 7th Cavalry at the Little Bighorn

In 1875, the Sioux and Cheyenne left their reservations, infuriated at violations of their sacred lands in the Black Hills. They gathered in Montana with Sitting Bull and vowed to fight. Victories in early 1876 made them confident to continue fighting through the summer. The 7th Cavalry and other units moved to find and destroy hostile encampments and force the Indians back onto their reservations.

On 25 June 1876 Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer, commanding the 7th Cavalry, learned that a Sioux village was in the valley of the Little Bighorn River in Montana. He expected that the village contained only a few hundred warriors at most and that the Indians would try to slip away from the cavalry as in previous engagments. Custer divided his force of 652 soldiers into four columns to simultaneously attack the northern and southern ends of the village and also block any escape. But the plan did not account for difficult terrain or the fact that the village was much larger than he expected. The village actually contained 1,800 well armed warriors, and they intended to stay and fight.

At about 1500, Major Marcus A. Reno's element of 175 soldiers began their attack on the southern end of the village. Hundreds of Indian warriors spilled out of the village and routed the cavalrymen. By 1630 the Indians had turned their attention to Custer's column of 221 soldiers approaching the village from the east. The Indians pushed them back onto a ridge and encircled them. In an hour all of the soldiers in Custer's group were dead. Though the united Sioux and Cheyenne nations had achieved a great victory, it had aroused the American public who demanded retribution. The boundaries of the reservation were redrawn to exclude the Black Hills and settlers flooded the area. Within a year the Sioux and Cheyenne were defeated.2-23

2-78.     The Army contributed in other ways to the development of the West. One Army officer, Captain Richard H. Pratt, established the US Indian Training and Industrial School at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, to teach Native American youth new skills. At the same time, other soldiers conducted explorations to finish the task of mapping the continent. The surveys from 1867 through 1879 completed the work of Lewis and Clark, while discoveries at Yosemite, Yellowstone, and elsewhere led to the establishment of a system of national parks. Army expeditions explored the newly purchased territory of Alaska. For ten years before the formation of a civilian government, the Army governed the Alaska Territory.


2-79.     As the nineteenth century drew to an end, the Army again served the Nation during the American intervention in Cuba's war of liberation from Spain in 1898. A US Navy battleship, the USS Maine, anchored in the harbor at Havana, Cuba, mysteriously exploded on the night of 15 February 1898 killing 266 American sailors. Public opinion quickly turned hostile toward Spain and Congress declared war on 25 April 1898. The Army once again struggled to organize, equip, instruct, and care for raw recruits flooding into its training camps. By the end of June 1898 the Army had embarked 17,000 soldiers enroute to attack approximately 200,000 Spanish soldiers occupying Cuba.

The 1st Volunteer Cavalry-"The Rough Riders"- at Kettle Hill near Santiago, Cuba on 1 July 1898.

The 1st Volunteer Cavalry-"The Rough Riders"- at Kettle Hill near
Santiago, Cuba on 1 July 1898.2-24

2-80.     The expeditionary force that included Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt's volunteer cavalry regiment began landing in Cuba on 22 June 1898. The Army drove the Spanish from the San Juan Heights overlooking the port of Santiago, causing the enemy ships in the port to flee into the waiting guns of the United States Navy. Other expeditionary forces landed in the Spanish possessions of Puerto Rico and the Philippines, following Commodore George Dewey's naval victory at the Battle of Manila Bay. With the end of the war and American acquisition of the Philippines, the Army's task of establishing American authority led to a series of arduous counterguerrilla campaigns to suppress the insurrectos-Filipinos who still fought for independence.

Private Augustus Walley in Cuba

On 24 June 1898 during the Battle of Las Guasimas, Cuba, Major Bell of the 1st Cavalry had gone down with a wound to the leg. Another officer attempted to carry him from the field, but his shattered leg bone broke through the skin, causing so much pain that he had to let Bell down. The fire was so intense that in one plot of ground, fifty feet square, sixteen men were killed or wounded. Still, a fellow American soldier was badly hurt and in need of assistance. Private Augustus Walley of the 10th Cavalry, the "Buffalo Soldiers," his compassion overcoming self-preservation, ran to help the wounded soldier. He and the officer together dragged Major Bell to safety.

Conspicuous gallantry under fire was not new to Walley. He had received the Medal of Honor while assigned to the 9th Cavalry for his actions on August 16, 1881 in combat against hostile Apaches at the Cuchillo Mountains, New Mexico. During the fight Private Burton's horse bolted and carried him into enemy fire where Burton fell from his saddle. Assumed dead, the command was given to fall back to another position, but Burton called out for help. Private Walley, under heavy fire went to Private Burton's assistance and brought him to safety.

Walley was recommended for a second Medal of Honor for his role in saving Major Bell at Las Guasimas. Instead he received a Certificate of Merit for his extraordinary exertion in the preservation of human life. In 1918 Congress upgraded Certificates of Merit to the Distinguished Service Medal and in 1934 to the Distinguished Service Cross.2-25-1

2-81.     The experience of the Spanish-American War, the perception of increased external threats in a shrinking world, and other looming challenges of the new century called for a thorough reform of Army organization, education, and promotion policies. The new Secretary of War, Elihu Root, added an Army War College as the high point of the service's educational system. He also took steps to replace War Department bureaus and a commanding general with a chief of staff and general staff that could engage in long-range war planning. Also, a new militia act laid the foundation for improved cooperation between the Regular Army and the National Guard. These reforms, as well as some first steps toward joint Army-Navy planning, reflected the emphasis on professionalism, specialization, and organization that characterized the Progressive Era and were in accord with Secretary Root's conviction that the "real object of having an Army is to prepare for war." Subsequently, Congress authorized 100,000 as the regular Army strength in 1902.

2-82.     After the turn of the century, the Army began to look into the value of aircraft. Balloons used for artillery spotting had already proven their worth in the Civil War. But new developments, the dirigible and the airplane, caught the interest of President Theodore Roosevelt. On 1 August 1907 Captain Charles D. Chandler became the head of the Aeronautical Division of the Signal Corps, newly established to develop all forms of flying. In 1908 the corps ordered a dirigible balloon of the Zeppelin type, then in use in Germany, and contracted with the Wright brothers for an airplane. Despite a crash that destroyed the first model, the Wright plane was delivered in 1909. The inventors then began to teach a few enthusiastic young officers to fly; Army aviation was born.2-25-2


2-83.     Years of injustice and chafing under dictatorial rule caused the Mexican people to revolt in 1910. The United States attempted to stay out of the affair but was reluctantly drawn into the Mexican Revolution. A number of incidents raised tension between the United States and Mexico, and America began to take sides in the conflict. In May 1916 Pancho Villa's Mexican rebels killed eighteen American soldiers and civilians in a raid on Columbus, New Mexico. Part of the 13th Cavalry, then garrisoned in Columbus, drove Villa off and hastily pursued, killing about 100 "Villistas" before returning to Columbus. 2-26

2-84.     In an attempt to bring Villa to justice or destroy his ability to raid the US, President Woodrow Wilson sent Brigadier General John J. Pershing to lead an expedition south of the border in an unsuccessful pursuit of Villa. The Mexican government threatened war over the violation of its territory, causing Wilson to call up 112,000 National Guardsmen and to send most of the Regular Army to the border. But the two nations avoided a larger conflict and America withdrew the punitive expedition.


2-85.     World War I began in August 1914 after a Bosnian separatist murdered the Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his wife during a visit to Sarajevo. Austria-Hungary demanded that Serbia allow them to investigate the crime but under conditions that Serbia would not accept. Because of numerous alliances and agreements, Austria-Hungary's subsequent declaration of war on Serbia soon embroiled most of Europe. For nearly three years the United States remained technically neutral, though its trade favored the Allies who controlled the seas. America, with its large immigrant population, was not eager to go to war against any of the nations in Europe. Even after German submarines sank the passenger ships Lusitania and Sussex, the United States refrained from joining the conflict. The war in Western Europe degenerated into a bloody stalemate, nearly destroying an entire generation of young men. Both the western allies and Germany launched offensive after offensive in the hopes of achieving a breakthrough that would end the war but all in vain.


2-86.     On 23 February 1917 the British turned over to the US Government an intercepted note from the German foreign minister to the German ambassador in Mexico. In the note were instructions to offer Mexico an alliance in the event of war with the United States and promising that Mexico could regain Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Coupled with Germany's recent resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare, this was the last provocation America needed. On 2 April 1917 President Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany because "the world must be made safe for democracy."

2-87.     A much more professional Army spearheaded American intervention in World War I. After Wilson's war message in April 1917, Army officers worked with business and government counterparts to mobilize the nation's resources. Yet enormous difficulties resulted from the huge size of the effort. To meet the need for a massive ground force capable of fighting on the European battlefield, the Army drew on its Civil War expertise and on popular acceptance of a more activist federal government to develop a more efficient system of manpower allocation through conscription.

Lafayette, we are here.

LTC Charles E. Stanton, at the grave of the Marquis de Lafayette2-27

2-88.     The 1st Infantry Division reached Paris in time to participate in a Fourth of July parade, raising French spirits at a low point in the war. Ultimately, 8 regular Army divisions, 17 National Guard divisions, and 17 newly organized National Army divisions served in France. The US divisions were twice the size of Allied and German divisions but American soldiers and marines had a lot to learn about trench warfare. At training centers near the front they practiced and received a hint of what lay ahead.

2-89.     Though slower to arrive than France and Britain wished, the sight of fresh, eager, and strong American soldiers in great numbers, with millions more available, raised the allies' spirits and eroded German morale. But the Allies wanted American soldiers sent directly to British and French formations as individual or unit replacements. However, the Commander in Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), General John J. Pershing was determined to preserve the independence of the AEF. He would not allow Americans merely to be absorbed into existing British and French units.

2-90.     This stance was based not only on national pride but also on President Wilson's vision that the United States would have to take a more active, leading role in the post-war world. Enabling that role would require a significant role in the war as a distinct fighting force. On occasion Pershing did offer the use of American regiments and in a few instances, even smaller units in the British and French sectors. In fact, two US divisions fought as a corps in the British sector. But Pershing resisted all attempts to get American soldiers sent directly to British and French units as individual replacements.

Harlem Hellfighters

By early 1918 General Pershing relented somewhat in his policy of not sending Americans directly to the Allies. He provided the infantry regiments of one of the African-American infantry divisions, the 93d, (the US Army was still segregated at the time) directly to the French Army. One of these regiments, the 369th Infantry, was formed from the National Guard's 15th New York and was in combat longer than any other American regiment in the war.

In May 1918, Privates Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts of the 369th were part of a five-man patrol on duty in a listening post along the front line. The other three soldiers were off-watch and sleeping in a dugout to the rear when a 24-man German raiding party caught the post by surprise with a grenade attack. Both Johnson and Roberts were seriously wounded but fought off the first attack and crawled to their own supply of grenades. Throwing them one after another like baseballs at batting practice, they fought back with explosives as Johnson shouted, "turn out the guard," over and over. Grabbing his rifle, he shot a German soldier and clubbed another. He then saw three enemy soldiers trying to drag Roberts away.

Out of grenades and with his rifle now jammed and broken, Johnson pulled out his knife and attacked the three Germans, killing one. Roberts broke free and continued fighting. Hit by fire, Johnson fell wounded and dazed, but nonetheless took a grenade off a dead enemy soldier and threw it at his attackers. It devastated the remaining enemy and they withdrew leaving their dead and a number of rifles and automatic weapons. When reinforcements arrived, they found the two soldiers laughing and singing. Privates Johnson and Roberts were both peppered with shrapnel and shot several times, but remained in good humor and reportedly saw the experience as a great adventure.

Later promoted to Sergeant, Johnson was the first American in World War I awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm, France's highest award for gallantry. On 13 February 2003, Sergeant Henry Johnson received the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously. 2-28-1

2-91.     Germany saw the potential of the United States and resolved to defeat the French and British allies before US power could be fully brought into the war. In July 1918 the Germans launched an offensive that carried it nearly to the outskirts of Paris. In the line east of Chateau-Thierry was the 3d Infantry Division, just arrived to try to stem the German advance at the Marne River.

2-92.     The division's infantry regiments were deployed along the south bank of the Marne River with the French 125th Division on its right. Attached to the French division were four companies of the US 28th Division, National Guardsmen from Pennsylvania. As the German attack reached and began crossing the Marne River, the French units were forced to withdraw but did not inform the American Guardsmen. The Keystone soldiers fought against many times their own number, delaying and inflicting heavy losses on the enemy, but ultimately most of the Americans were killed or captured. Nonetheless, their bravery and sacrifice helped make the historic stand of the 3d Division possible.

2-93.     The 38th Infantry Regiment soon found itself under attack from three sides and the other regiments of the 3d Division under great enemy pressure, as well. Wave after wave of German infantry crossed the Marne and assailed the front and flanks of the 38th, but the resolute Doughboys held on. When asked by a French commander if his division could hold, Major General Joseph Dickman replied, "Nous resterons la"-We shall remain there. They did, helping to break the German attack and entering into Army history. 2-28-2 Two months later the US First Army attacked at St. Mihiel. In the Meuse-Argonne campaign, the AEF contributed to the final Allied drive before the Armistice.

Sergeant Edward Greene at the Marne

Sergeant Greene was a cook for the 3d Division's Battery F, 10th Field Artillery in July 1918. He was without a mission when his field kitchens were destroyed in the pre-assault bombardment prior to the German attack across the Marne river. Sergeant Greene, without being ordered, began carrying ammunition forward to his battery's guns.

For several hours while under constant artillery shell fire and enemy observation, he performed his mission until wounded. He had to be ordered to the rear for medical attention. Sergeant Greene received the Distinguished Service Cross.2-29

2-94.     World War I was the impetus for many new innovations in weaponry, industry, and medicine. In an attempt to break the stalemate on the Western Front, the Germans used chlorine gas as a weapon in 1915. Not having anticipated the effectiveness of the weapon against unprepared troops, they did not exploit the resulting panic among the Allied soldiers in the affected area. The Allies soon developed defensive measures to mitigate the effects of chemical weapons, though even today they have terrifying potential against unprotected targets.

2-95.     The British first brought the tank to the Western Front in 1916. But while its initial use was poorly exploited, even later, well-prepared attacks using tanks did not always achieve hoped for success because of the poor reliability and maneuverability of the equipment. Nonetheless, the dawn of tank warfare showed many great military thinkers that fixed fortifications and static positions would soon be obsolete. The US Army fielded two tank brigades in Europe, one of which was commanded by Colonel George S. Patton. The tanks were mostly of French manufacture with American crews, and they also suffered from poor mechanical reliability and maneuverability across the moonscape of "no-man's land." But when the AEF was able to break into the open country, tanks were very useful and gave an indication of their future capabilities.

Corporal Harold W. Roberts at Montrebeau Woods

Corporal Harold W. Roberts was a tank driver in A Company, 344th Tank Battalion during the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives. His company was advancing under heavy enemy artillery fire in the Montrebeau Woods. After about a mile, the tank commander/gunner, Sergeant Virgil Morgan and Corporal Roberts saw a disabled tank with a soldier crouched by it. As Roberts stopped his tank, the soldier crawled toward them, opened the door and asked for help. They said they could not help at the moment but would return after the battle and render aid and drove off into the heart of the German artillery barrage.

Ahead lay a large mass of bushes that they thought was a machine gun nest and drove the tank into it. In an instant, they found themselves overturned. Recovering from the shock they discovered the tank had fallen into a tank trap with about 10 feet of water in it. The tank had only one hatch and with water rushing in Roberts said to Morgan, "Well, only one of us can get out, and out you go." With this he pushed Sergeant Morgan from the tank. Morgan tried to assist Roberts, but with the heavy gunfire around the area, was unable to do so. After the enemy fire ceased, Sergeant Morgan returned but found Roberts dead.

Corporal Roberts was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the second tanker to receive it. Camp Nacimiento, California, was renamed Camp Roberts in 1941. It was the only Army installation at the time to be named for an enlisted soldier.2-30

2-96.     The airplane also demonstrated its potential. The Army first began experimenting with aircraft before the war and, when war came, attempted to build an air component to support its ground forces. Many enthusiastic pilots fought in France, such as Eddie Rickenbacker and Frank Luke. By the end of the war most American pilots were still flying French or British aircraft as American industry had not caught up with the demand. Nonetheless, aircraft and American flyers had proven their worth and that of the US Army Air Service.

2-97.     As a direct result of US entry into the war, Germany realized victory was out of its reach. It still hoped to gain armistice terms allowing it to retain captured territory. But as the American forces helped push the German army back and the naval blockade of Germany made her citizens' lives more miserable, revolutionary elements within Germany began to exert influence. Finally it was clear to the German High Command that it could not continue the war without risking complete destruction of the nation and negotiated for peace.

2-98.     The Armistice ended the fighting at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Known for many years as Armistice Day, it is now called Veteran's Day in the United States. A final peace treaty was signed at Versailles the following year, although the United States negotiated a separate treaty with Germany in 1921. With the other allies, the US Army began an occupation of Germany west of the Rhine near Cologne on 1 Dec 1918 but had withdrawn all soldiers by 24 January 1923.

The Unknown Soldier

During and after World War I the Graves Registration Service positively identified most of the remains of US servicemen who died in Europe during the war. There were 1,237 who were never identified. Congress resolved to construct a tomb as a final resting-place for one of the unknowns to honor all of them.

On 24 October 1921, four caskets carrying the remains of unidentified American soldiers were brought to a room in the Hotel De Ville in the French town of Chalons-sur-Marne. One American soldier entered, alone. Sergeant Edward F. Younger, Headquarters Company, 2d Battalion, 50th Infantry, from Chicago, Illinois, had fought in the war as a private, corporal and sergeant. He was wounded twice and had received the Distinguished Service Cross for valor in battle. In his hands he carried roses, a gift of Mr. Brasseur Bruffer, a former member of the city council of Chalons, who had lost two sons in the war. As a French band played a hymn outside, Sergeant Younger slowly walked around the caskets several times and finally paused in front of one of them. Gently he laid his roses on the casket, and then came to attention, faced the body, and saluted. He had chosen "The Unknown."

"I went into the room and walked past the caskets," he later explained. "I walked around them three times. Suddenly I stopped. It was as though something had pulled me. A voice seemed to say: 'This is a pal of yours.'"

The remains were later transported to the French port of Le Havre, put onboard the cruiser USS Olympia, and sailed for home, arriving on November 9th. The body lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda for two days as over 90,000 people quietly filed by. On 11 November 1921, this brave soldier, whose true identify will forever be a mystery, was formally interred on native soil. Since then unknown soldiers from World War II, the Korean War and, for a time, the Vietnam War, have joined him. The Unknown Soldier from the Vietnam War was later identified; the space where he once rested remains empty.2-31


2-99.     Revolutionary turmoil in Soviet Russia induced President Wilson in August 1918 to direct Army participation in allied stability and support operations in European Russia and in Siberia. As a result, about 15,000 soldiers deployed to the Murmansk area and Siberia. These Army contingents guarded supplies and lines of communication but incurred about as many combat casualties as the Army did in Cuba in 1898. After the withdrawal of American occupation forces from Germany and Russia, few Army forces remained stationed on foreign soil. The Marine Corps provided most of the small foreign garrisons and expeditionary forces required after World War I, particularly in the Caribbean area.

2-100.     One result of WWI was the creation of the League of Nations. This international body, roughly similar to the United Nations of today, was envisioned as a forum where disputes could be settled peacefully. If peaceful negotiations failed, the League could collectively force one or more belligerents to comply with League mandates. The United States never joined the League due to a variety of reasons, including George Washington's warning against "entangling alliances" and since a condition of membership was a pledge to provide military forces when and where the League called for them.

National Defense Act of 1920

2-101.     Legislation following the First World War included the new National Defense Act of June 4, 1920, which governed the organization and regulation of the Army until 1950. The Act has been acknowledged as one of the most constructive pieces of military legislation ever adopted in the United States. It established the Army of the United States as an organization of three components: the professional Regular Army, the National Guard, and the Organized Reserves (Officers' and Enlisted Reserve Corps). Each component would contribute its appropriate share of troops in a war emergency. In effect the Act acknowledged the actual practice of the United States throughout its history of maintaining a standing peacetime force too small to meet the needs of a major war and, therefore, depending on a new Army of civilian soldiers for large mobilizations.

2-102.     The training of reserve components now became a major peacetime task of the Regular Army. For this reason the Army was authorized a maximum officer strength more than three times that before WWI. The act also directed that officer promotions, except for doctors and chaplains, would be made from a single list, a reform that equalized opportunity for advancement throughout most of the Army. The Regular Army was authorized a maximum enlisted strength of 280,000, but Congress soon reduced that to below 150,000.

2-103.     The Act of 1920 contemplated a National Guard of 436,000, but its actual peacetime strength became stabilized at about 180,000. This force relieved the regular Army of any duty in curbing domestic disturbances within the states from 1921 until 1941 and stood ready for immediate induction into the active Army whenever necessary. The War Department, in addition to supplying large quantities of surplus World War I materiel for equipment, applied about one-tenth of its military budget to the support of the Guard in the years between wars. Guardsmen engaged in regular armory drills and 15 days of field training each year. The increasingly federalized Guard was better trained in 1939 than it had been when mobilized for Mexican border duty in 1916. Numerically, the National Guard was the largest component of the Army between 1922 and 1939.

2-104.     From 1921 to 1936 Americans thought that the United States could and should avoid future wars with other major powers by maintaining a minimum of defensive military strength, avoiding entangling commitments with Europe, and attempting to promote international peace and arms limits. Subsequently a treaty in 1922 temporarily checked a naval arms race. As long as both the United States and Japan honored treaty provisions, neither side could operate offensively in the Pacific. In effect, these provisions also meant that it would be impossible for the United States to defend the Philippines against a Japanese attack.

Transformation in the 1920s

After World War I ended, America discovered it had defeated its principle adversary and there were no known nation-state opponents. Technology provided new, more lethal weapons, notably the tank and the airplane, which the Army sought to use effectively. The Army began to put intellectual effort into determining both the best ways to use existing technology and in how to best defend from current or future threats realizing that warfare, tactics, weapons and priorities would also change over time.

This situation, in some ways similar to the Transformation process our Army is undergoing today, took advantage of an expected respite from major conflicts. The Army conducted wargames, simulations and in-depth studies during the 1920s and 1930s. While industry continued to develop better radios, tanks, planes, and other tools of war, the Army continued to think through the problems of integrating the new technology, training soldiers, mobilization, and supporting mechanized forces. But the Army had a serious drawback in the inability to conduct large-scale exercises to confirm theory. Officers could visualize new techniques might work, but could not prove them nor incorporate valid lessons learned from actual application.

During this period the Army spent a great deal of its scarce resources on educating officers so they could be adaptive and versatile leaders. The Command and Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and the Infantry School at Fort Benning were two of the most important centers, not only in the educational processes, but also in the development of doctrine and concepts.2-33-1

2-105.     The "war to end all wars,"2-33-2 -World War I-was poorly named. A number of conflicts erupted in the 1920s and in 1931 the Japanese army seized Manchuria. Japan quit the League of Nations and a few years later renounced naval limitation treaties. In Europe, Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, and by 1936 Nazi Germany had denounced the Treaty of Versailles, began rearming, and reoccupied the demilitarized Rhineland. Italy's Benito Mussolini began his career of aggression by attacking Ethiopia in 1935. A revolution in Spain in 1936 not only produced another fascist dictatorship but also a war that became a proving ground for World War II. The neutrality acts passed by the US Congress between 1935 and 1937 were a direct response to these European developments. The United States opened diplomatic relations with Soviet Russia in 1933 and in 1934 promised eventual independence to the Philippines.

2-106.     The Army concentrated on equipping and training its combat units for mobile warfare rather than for the static warfare that had characterized operations on the western front in the First World War. To increase the maneuverability of its principal ground unit, the division, the Army decided after field tests to reorganize the infantry division by reducing the number of its infantry regiments from four to three, and to make it more mobile by using motor transportation only. The planned wartime strength of the new division was to be little more than half the size of its World War I counterpart.


2-107.     The German annexation of Austria in March 1938 followed by the Czech crisis in September of the same year showed the United States and the other democratic nations that another world conflict was likely. War had already begun in the far east when Japan invaded China in 1937. After Germany seized all of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, war in Europe became inevitable. Hitler had no intention of stopping with that move and Great Britain and France decided that they must fight rather than yield anything more. On 23 August 1939 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to a non-aggression pact, a partition of Poland and a Soviet free hand in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. On 1 September 1939 Germany invaded Poland. France and Great Britain responded by declaring war on Germany, a course that could not lead to victory without aid from the United States. Still the majority of Americans wanted to stay out of the new war if possible, and this tempered the Nation's responses to the international situation.

2-108.     Immediately after the European war started, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed a limited national emergency and authorized increases in regular Army and National Guard enlisted strengths to 227,000 and 235,000 respectively. At his urging Congress soon gave indirect support to the western democracies by ending the prohibition on sales of munitions to nations at war. British and French orders for munitions helped to prepare American industry for the large-scale war production that was to come.

Expansion of the Army

2-109.     Under the leadership of the Chief of Staff of the Army, General George C. Marshall, in the summer of 1940 the Army began a large expansion designed to protect the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere against any hostile forces from Europe. To fill the ranks of the newly expanded Army, Congress approved induction of the National Guard into federal service and the calling up of the Organized Reserves. Then it approved the first peacetime draft of untrained civilian manpower in the Nation's history in the Selective Service and Training Act of 14 September 1940. Units of the National Guard, draftees and the Reserve officers to train them, entered service as rapidly as the Army could build camps to house them. During the last six months of 1940 the active Army more than doubled in strength, and by mid-1941 it achieved its planned strength of one and a half million officers and men. The increase in ground units and in the Army Air Corps laid the foundation for even larger expansion when war came the following year.

2-110.     On the eve of France's defeat in June 1940 President Roosevelt had directed the transfer or diversion of large stocks of Army World War I weapons, and of ammunition and aircraft, to both France and Great Britain. The foreign aid program culminated in the Lend-Lease Act of March 1941, which openly avowed the intention of the United States to become an "arsenal of democracy"2-35 against aggression. Prewar foreign aid was a measure of self defense; its basic purpose was to help contain the military might of the Axis powers until the United States could complete its own protective mobilization.

2-111.     The Nazis invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941. Three days later US Army troops landed in Greenland to protect it against German attack and to build bases for the air route across the North Atlantic. The President also decided that Americans should relieve British troops guarding Iceland. The initial contingent of American forces reached there in early July followed by a sizable Army expeditionary force in September. In August the President and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met in Newfoundland and drafted the Atlantic Charter, which defined the general terms of a just peace for the world. The overt American moves in 1941 toward involvement in the war against Germany had solid backing in public opinion, but Americans were still not in favor of a declaration of war.

2-112.     As the United States prepared for war in the Atlantic, American policy toward Japan toughened. Although the United States wanted to avoid a two-front war, it would not do so by surrendering vital areas or interests to the Japanese as the price for peace. When in late July 1941 the Japanese moved large forces into former French colonies in southern Indochina (now Vietnam), the United States responded by freezing Japanese assets and cutting off oil and steel shipments to Japan. The US demanded Japanese withdrawal from the occupied areas. Although the Japanese were unwilling to give up their newly acquired territory, they could not maintain operations for long without US oil and steel. They continued to negotiate with the United States but tentatively decided in September to embark on a war of conquest in Southeast Asia and the Indies as soon as possible. To enable this they would attack the great American naval base of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. When intensive last-minute negotiations in November failed to produce any accommodation, the Japanese made their decision for war irrevocable.

The United States Enters World War II

2-113.     The Japanese attack of December 7, 1941 on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines at once ended any division of American opinion toward participation in the war. America went to war with popular support that was unprecedented in the military history of the United States. This was also the first time in its history that the United States had entered a war with a large Army in being and an industrial system partially retooled for war. The Army numbered 1,643,477 and was ready to defend the Western Hemisphere against invasion. But it was not ready to take part in large-scale operations across the oceans. Many months would pass before the United States could launch even limited offensives. Still, General Marshall had overseen a huge expansion of the Army and ensured its soldiers received the best training possible to prepare them for war.

Once again, the destiny of our country is in the hands of the individual soldier. Upon your courage and efficiency depends the salvation of all that we hold dear. Prepare yourselves, then, to become good soldiers. For you will strike the mighty blows that will surely destroy the evil tyrants who menace our freedom, our homes, and our loved ones.

Message from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, The Army and You, 19412-36-1

2-114.     During the first year after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Army's major task was to prevent disaster and preserve American morale while building strength for the eventual counteroffensive. Cut off from relief, American and Philippine soldiers under General Douglas MacArthur held out for over four months against superior Japanese air, naval, and ground power before they were forced to surrender. MacArthur obeyed President Roosevelt's orders to evacuate to Australia prior to the final capitulation. But he vowed to return to the Philippines, a promise which, combined with the heroism of the American and Philippine defenders, gave the Nation a needed symbol of defiance.

2-115.     In India Lieutenant General Joseph W. "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell surveyed the remnants of his Chinese army after an arduous retreat from Burma and frankly admitted, "We got a hell of a beating. I think we ought to find out what caused it, go back, and retake it." The bombing raid on Tokyo in April 1942 led by Colonel James H. Doolittle gave American morale a boost. The US Navy's victory in the Battle of Midway helped to seize the initiative away from the Japanese forces. But it was not until November 1942 that American soldiers could take the offensive on a large scale, with the invasion of North Africa and the campaigns on Guadalcanal and New Guinea. When they did so, they learned hard lessons in the demands of modern combat. At Buna they bogged down in the jungle against strong Japanese positions. After having overrun Morocco and Algeria against little opposition, they took heavy losses at the hands of the German Afrika Korps near Kasserine Pass in Tunisia.

2-116.     During 1943 and early 1944, the Army overcame its early mistakes and helped turn the tide against the Axis. In Tunisia, American troops recovered from the defeat at Kasserine Pass to participate in an offensive that forced the surrender of Axis forces in North Africa. Under the leadership of General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr., they joined with Allied forces to drive the Germans and Italians from the island of Sicily. American and Allied troops then landed on the Italian mainland and, against fierce German opposition, slowly advanced up the peninsula to Rome by early June 1944. As early as 1942, US Army Air Force bombers took the war to the German heartland and began preparing the way for the invasion of France.

A veteran of the last war pretty well summed up the two wars when he said, "this is just like the last war, only the holes are bigger."

Ernie Pyle2-36-2

2-117.     In the Pacific, MacArthur's forces captured Buna and leapfrogged their way along the northern New Guinea coastline. Soldiers, marines and sailors advanced through the Solomon and Marshall Islands of the South and Central Pacific. In northern Burma Stilwell's Chinese army, aided by a specially trained force of Americans known as Merrill's Marauders, drove back Japanese defenders and laid siege to the key crossroads city of Myitkyina. By restoring land communications with China, Stilwell hoped to supply the Chinese with the means to defeat the Japanese on the Asian mainland while American forces converged on Japan from the Pacific.

"Tip of the Avalanche." The 36th Infantry Division Lands at Salerno, Italy on 9 September 1943.

"Tip of the Avalanche."
The 36th Infantry Division Lands at Salerno, Italy on 9 September 1943.2-37

2-118.     The immense mobilization of resources and the long drive back from initial defeat led ultimately to the advance into the Axis homelands. In mid 1944, Allied forces everywhere were advancing. In the Pacific, US forces continued a methodical island-hopping campaign and prepared for the liberation of the Philippines. Allied forces in Italy struggled with the terrain, weather, and the German army, but made progress anyway, capturing Rome on 4 June 1944. In Great Britain, the Allies were ready to spring across the English Channel to the coast of Normandy.

2-119.     On D-Day, 6 June 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower's Allied armies landed in France. The 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions parachuted into Normandy in the early morning darkness. Just after dawn, the 1st, 4th, and 29th Infantry Divisions assaulted the beaches codenamed Utah and Omaha. At the same time, British and Canadian soldiers were landing further east on the beaches known as Gold, Juno and Sword.

2-120.     The US sirborne drops scattered soldiers inland from Utah beach, causing extreme confusion among the enemy. The 4th Infantry Division got ashore at Utah with few losses. On Omaha beach the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions had more difficulty. Veteran German soldiers occupied strong fortifications on bluffs overlooking the beaches. Their heavy fire at first put the success of the landings in jeopardy. But the personal courage and adaptability of individual soldiers allowed them to eventually get across the beach, up the bluffs, and inland. The cost of gaining the foothold in France was high. Over 6,000 Americans were killed, wounded, or missing. 2-38-1

A Company, 116th Infantry on D-Day

Many soldiers of the 116th Infantry Regiment were National Guardsmen who had originally signed on with units in Virginia and Maryland. They were part of the 29th Infantry Division and their regiment was in the first wave of the landing on Omaha beach. 200 soldiers of A Company, 116th Infantry were in seven of the first landing craft to hit the beach that morning. Many of them came from Bedford, Virginia.

Strong currents had pushed many landing craft off target that morning, but A Company was right on target-the sector codenamed Dog Green. These soldiers landed almost alone as adjacent units landed further east. With no other Americans in sight, German defenders there concentrated all their fire on those seven landing craft.

One of the landing craft exploded after hitting a mine or being struck by a German artillery shell. Another dropped its ramp right in front of a German machine gun nest that killed every soldier before he could get off the boat. In ten minutes, every officer and every noncommissioned officer were dead or wounded. As A Company struggled ashore, German fire eventually hit all but a few dozen soldiers.

But their sacrifice brought weapons, explosives, and ammunition ashore, even if strewn across the beach, which was critical to the following waves of soldiers coming ashore. As the tide rose, these soldiers would abandon their equipment in the deep water but retrieved and used what A Company soldiers had died to bring to the beach.

Bedford, at the time a town of a little over 3,000, lost 19 of her sons on D-Day and 4 more before the war was won.2-38-2

2-121.     Also in June 1944 American soldiers and marines came ashore on the Mariana Islands, part of the inner ring of Japan's Pacific defenses. After two months of near stalemate in the hedgerows of Normandy, American troops under Lieutenant Generals Omar N. Bradley and Patton broke through the German lines and raced across France. In little over a month following the breakout, Allied armies had liberated nearly the whole country. A second invasion near Toulon on 15 August sealed the German army's fate in France.

2-122.     The Allied advance slowed in September due to gasoline shortages brought on by the lack of a large, nearby port and the high tempo of operations. The respite gave the Germans time to reorganize their defenses along the French-German border. By stripping units and reinforcements from the Russian front, Hitler gambled on a surprise counteroffensive in the Ardennes in December that became known as the Battle of the Bulge.

2-123.     The German attack in the Ardennes on 16 December 1944 was a surprise for the Allies because it fell on a sector that General Eisenhower thought was poorly suited for decisive offensive operations. In defensive positions early that morning were units that were brand new to the European Theater of Operations (ETO) or those that were recovering from extended duty on the line. The German attack also surprised these soldiers. But it wasn't long before they began to resist, slowing the German attack.

Krinkelt-Rocherath during the Battle of the Bulge

Krinkelt-Rocherath was the name of two adjacent villages on the northern shoulder of the Ardennes attack. Defending these villages were a patchwork of units, including parts of the 2d Infantry Division.

On 19 December 1944 Technician Fourth Grade (Tech/4) Truman Kimbro, Company C, 2d Engineer Combat Battalion, led a squad to emplace mines on a crossroads near Rocherath. Nearing the objective, he and his squad were driven back under withering fire from an enemy tank and at least 20 infantrymen. All approaches to the crossroads were covered by intense enemy fire. Tech/4 Kimbro left his squad in a covered position and crawled alone, with mines, toward the crossroads. Close to his objective he was severely wounded, but continued to drag himself forward and placed his mines across the road. As he tried to return to his squad he was killed by enemy fire. The mines laid by Tech/4 Kimbro delayed the enemy armor and prevented attacks on withdrawing columns. He received the Medal of Honor posthumously.

Even though Americans would soon withdraw from Krinkelt-Rocherath, soldiers were fighting hard and delaying the enemy at nearly every crossroad and village. The northern shoulder would hold.2-39

2-124.     The Ardennes battle ended 31 January 1945 and cost over 80,000 American casualties, but the Allies ultimately prevailed due to the courage and skill of US Army soldiers. While very difficult fighting remained, German offensive power was seriously weakened. The fighting near Colmar, France, was as difficult as any thus far in the war. At nearby Holtzwihr 2LT Audie Murphy performed the actions for which he would receive the Medal of Honor.

2-125.     In the east, the Soviet Army was within reach of Berlin while in Italy the Allies were steadily moving north to the Po River Valley. In Germany itself, US and British forces were poised to cross the Rhine River. On 7 March 1945 soldiers of the 9th Armored Division found an intact bridge at Remagen, Germany. Realizing the importance of the opportunity, they stormed across without hesitation, the first Allied soldiers to cross the Rhine. Other crossings followed on 22 and 23 March 1945.

2-126.     Once across the Rhine, German resistance soon crumbled and the Army raced across Germany, into Czechoslovakia and Austria, linking up with Allied units coming up from Italy and with the Soviet Army at Torgau, Germany on 25 April 1945. The war in Europe ended 8 May 1945.

2-127.     In Burma, the fall of Myitkyina in August 1944 and further Chinese and American advances to the south finally reopened the Burma Road in February 1945. In the Pacific, American soldiers and marines captured the Marianas in July 1944, bringing US Army Air Force B-29 bombers within range of the Japanese home islands. General MacArthur's forces landed at Leyte in October, fulfilling his promise to return to the Philippines. By February 1945 the US Sixth Army had recaptured Manila after bitter house-to-house fighting and was securing the main Philippine island of Luzon. The campaign would take a total of seven months and cost 40,000 American casualties.

A squad leader of the 25th Infantry Division points out a suspected enemy position near Baugio, Luzon on 23 March 1945.

A squad leader of the 25th Infantry Division points out a suspected enemy
position near Baugio, Luzon on 23 March 1945.

2-128.     Soldiers and marines invaded the island of Okinawa, part of Japan itself, on 1 April 1945. Defending the island were 120,000 Japanese soldiers and sailors, occupying strong fortifications inland. Capturing the island took nearly three months of bitter fighting. All but 7,000 enemy soldiers died, as did tens of thousands of Okinawan civilians caught in the terrible battle. Over 7,000 American soldiers and marines were killed at Okinawa. Army and Marine divisions suffered a 35% casualty rate. The US Navy was under near constant Kamikaze attack as the battle wore on and 5,000 American sailors also lost their lives.

Private First Class Desmond T. Doss at Okinawa

Private First Class Doss was a company medic with the 307th Infantry Regiment in the 77th Infantry Division near Urasoe Mura, Okinawa. On 29 April 1945, the 1st Battalion assaulted a high escarpment. As our soldiers reached the top, enemy artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire inflicted about 75 casualties and drove the others back. PFC Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the wounded, carrying them one by one to the edge of the escarpment. There he lowered them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands.

On 4 May PFC Doss treated four men who had been cut down while assaulting a strongly defended cave. He advanced through a shower of grenades to within 8 yards of the enemy in the cave's mouth, where he treated the wounded before making four separate trips under fire to evacuate them to safety.

On 5 May, when an American was severely wounded by fire from a cave, PFC Doss crawled to him where he had fallen 25 feet from the enemy position, rendered aid, and carried him 100 yards to safety while continually exposed to enemy fire.

During a night attack on 21 May, PFC Doss remained exposed while the rest of his company took cover, giving aid to the injured until he was himself seriously wounded in the legs by the explosion of a grenade. Rather than call another medic from cover, he cared for his own injuries and waited 5 hours before litter bearers reached him and started carrying him to cover. PFC Doss, seeing a more critically wounded man nearby, crawled off the litter and insisted the bearers give their first attention to the other man. Awaiting the litter bearers' return, he was again struck, this time suffering a compound fracture of an arm. He bound a rifle stock to his shattered arm as a splint and then crawled 300 yards over rough terrain to the aid station.

PFC Doss received the Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman on 12 October 1945.

2-129.     When American soldiers and marines completed the campaign on Okinawa in June, they had closed the ring around Japan. This effectively isolated it from its conquered territories in Asia and continued bombing by Army Air Force B-29's crippled its industry. But since the Japanese government continued to ignore Allied demands for surrender, an invasion of Japan seemed necessary. The Battle of Okinawa showed what the cost might be if the United States had to invade the Japanese home islands. Estimates of total American casualties in an invasion of Japan ran from 100,000 to as high as one million. Japanese casualties, both combatant and noncombatant, would have been far heavier.2-42-1

2-130.     With this knowledge, President Truman authorized the use of two atomic bombs against Japan, destroying Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 and Nagasaki on 9 August 1945. Faced with the prospect of utter destruction of his country and people, Japan's Emperor Hirohito ordered his armed forces to cease resistance. In Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945, Japan and the Allies signed the document that ended the most destructive war in history. Over 405,000 Americans had died, including 235,000 soldiers killed in action.


2-131.     The Army was the principal occupation force in Europe and in Japan after the war ended. As after all of America's wars, the Nation demobilized rapidly, so that by 1950 the active Army had a total of 591,000 soldiers in 10 Divisions in Japan, Europe, and the US. The reserve component included 730,000 soldiers and 27 divisions.

The 7th Infantry Division Band on the capital grounds in Seoul in 1945.

The 7th Infantry Division Band on the capital grounds in Seoul in 1945.2-42-2

2-132.     The end of WWII left the United States and the Soviet Union as the greatest military powers in the world. Within two years after Hiroshima, Americans found themselves in a "Cold War," a long-term global struggle of power and ideology against the Soviet Union and international communism. Aware that technology and changes in world politics had ended the age of free security, the nation could no longer afford to leave to others the task of fending off aggressors while it belatedly mobilized. Americans gradually came to accept alliance commitments, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a sizable professional military establishment that stressed readiness and even a peacetime draft.

Equipment of the US Army Constabulary. Army units occupying Germany in the years after World War II were called constabulary units. Shown here are vehicles used by the Constabulary in 1946-from left to right: M8 armored car, M24 Chaffee light tank, 1/4-ton jeep. Overhead is an L-5 Sentinel observation aircraft.

Equipment of the US Army Constabulary.
Army units occupying Germany in the years after World War II were called
constabulary units. Shown here are vehicles used by the Constabulary in
1946-from left to right: M8 armored car, M24 Chaffee light tank, 1/4-ton
jeep. Overhead is an L-5 Sentinel observation aircraft.2-43

2-133.     The National Security Act of 1947 was a sweeping reorganization of the US military. It established the Department of Defense and separate military departments of the Army, Navy, and a new, separate United States Air Force made up of the former Army Air Force. The US Air Force today cherishes as its own the traditions and stalwart service of the Air Service, Army Air Corps, and Army Air Force.

2-134.     The United States had demobilized after WWII but nonetheless attempted to contain Soviet expansion. Eastern Europe was inextricably under communist control, but the western Allies did help Greece avoid falling under communist domination. In 1949 the Soviet Union successfully tested an atomic bomb, an event that possibly emboldened communist expansion. While the next 40 years were free of direct conflict between the US and USSR, a number of smaller wars erupted as the US and western Allies attempted to contain this expansion.


2-135.     The first major test of the US resolve to contain communist expansion came on 25 June 1950 when seven infantry divisions and a tank brigade of the North Korean People's Army (NKPA) struck south across the 38th parallel. That was the line that in the last days of WWII the US and USSR agreed would be the demarcation line between the occupation forces of those two countries as they moved onto the Korean peninsula. The NKPA invasion was, at the time, thought to be part of a grand plan by the USSR to achieve world domination through force of arms.

2-136.     The North Korean forces quickly overran the poorly equipped army of the Republic of Korea (ROK), and North Korean troops entered Seoul on 28 June. President Truman decided that the United States, with the United Nations (UN), had to assist with military forces if the ROK was to remain a free and independent nation. The United States alerted and deployed Army forces from occupation duty in Japan, and a task force first met the enemy north of Osan on 5 July 1950. Task Force Smith was overwhelmed by NKPA forces in that first engagement, but despite the loss, America continued to help South Korea resist the aggression.

Task Force Smith

The first ground combat unit in Korea was a task force built from the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry of the 24th Infantry Division, then on occupation duty in Japan. Commanded by LTC Charles Smith, the task force arrived in Pusan without two of its companies. The mission was to move to Taejon and block the enemy as far north as possible. On 4 July 1950 a battery of 105-mm artillery joined the task force. The infantry dug in north of Osan on high ground that had visibility all the way to the next town of Suwon, and the artillery emplaced a mile back. The road on which any NKPA force must advance led right through the task force.

Despite the excellent position, the task force had serious disadvantages. It was alone, with no support on the left or right. It was armed with few anti-tank weapons and most of these would not penetrate the frontal armor of an enemy T-34 tank, and no anti-tank mines were available.

At 0730 on 5 July 1950, a column of T-34 tanks approached from Suwon. The soldiers of the task force stayed at their posts while 33 tanks bore down on them. The artillery, recoilless rifles, and bazooka teams engaged these tanks but most of them passed through the task force's positions undamaged. They kept moving south, cutting comunications with the artillery.

About an hour after the tanks had passed through, LTC Smith saw trucks and over 1000 infantry approaching from Suwon. The task force repelled all attempts at frontal attacks, but soon the enemy was moving on the flanks. Without artillery support, low on ammunition, and with more and more enemy infantry moving around his force, LTC Smith decided at 1430 to disengage and head toward Ansong, east of Osan. Most of the task force's casualties occurred while withdrawing, but the whole force might have been lost had they stayed any longer. The task force lost its cohesion and small units and even individual soldiers made their way to friendly lines. By 7 July LTC Smith could account for only 250 of his 400 soldiers. It was a rough start in a long war.2-44

2-137.     Two years before the Korean War started, President Truman had directed the Armed Forces to integrate, that is, to end the practice of segregating African-Americans into separate units. But the Army had not fully implemented that executive order when fighting began in Korea. As casualties mounted and manpower needs increased, large numbers of replacements, including African-American soldiers, came into the Korean Theater of Operations. It became clear that to be effective and efficient, the Army in Korea had to accelerate integration. The Army began to assign soldiersto units regardless of race. By mid-1951 no segregated units remained in Korea.

Artillery gun crew waits for the order to fire on the enemy, 25 July 1950.

Artillery gun crew waits for the order to fire on the enemy, 25 July 1950. 2-45

2-138.     During the first few months of the war the US Army and UN forces fought a series of defensive actions to buy time to bring sufficient combat power into Korea to attack. By the end of August 1950, the UN was entrenched in the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula called the Pusan Perimeter. Air and ground action had reduced NKPA forces to the point where the UN could counterattack. In conjunction with a US Army and Marine amphibious assault on 15 September 1950 at Inch'on, west of Seoul, the UN forces broke out of the Pusan perimeter. The NKPA was soon in full retreat and the UN began a pursuit. On 26 October 1950 the ROK Army 6th Division reached the Yalu River, along the Chinese border and the US 7th Infantry Division did so on 21 November 1950.

2-139.     As the US led UN forces passed the 38th Parallel on 7 October 1950, The People's Republic of China (PRC) warned the UN through intermediaries that it would not allow an approach to the Chinese border. The UN Command ignored these warnings, as well as subsequent evidence of Chinese intervention in Korea. The UN advance was halted by Communist Chinese Forces (CCF) along the Ch'ong'Chon River and around the Changjin (Chosin) Reservoir. UN forces transitioned to the defense as 300,000 CCF soldiers poured into, around, and through UN lines. The UN retreated through the fierce winter of 1950-1951. But soldiers regained their confidence with a series of offensives beginning in January 1951 that led to the recapture of Seoul, stabilizing the situation.

Chaplain Emil J. Kapaun in Korea

On 2 November 1950 the 8th Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division, especially the 3d Battalion, suffered heavy losses in fighting with Chinese forces. Chaplain (CPT) Emil J. Kapaun, a veteran of the Burma-India Theater in World War II, was with them.

The battalion was nearly destroyed in the battle. Enemy soldiers captured Chaplain Kapaun while he was with a group of over 50 wounded he had helped gather in an old dugout. Ordered to leave many of those for whom he had risked his life, Kapaun and a few ambulatory wounded eventually reached a prison camp. For 6 months, under the most deprived conditions, he fought Communist indoctrination among the men, ministered to the sick and dying, and stole food from the enemy in trying to keep his fellow soldiers alive. Eventually, suffering from a blood clot, pneumonia, and dysentery, he died there on 23 May 1951. Chaplain Kapaun received the Legion of Merit posthumously.

At a memorial service for Chaplain Kapaun in 1954, Chief of Chaplains Patrick J. Ryan relayed the feelings of former prisoners, "Men said of him that for a few minutes he could invest a seething hut with the grandeur of a cathedral. he was able to inspire others so that they could go on living-when it would have been easier for them to die."2-46

2-140.     The United States and South Korea provided the vast majority of the manpower and America provided most of the materiel to fight the Korean War. Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Turkey, and other nations also provided cobat forces. In addition, the US Army could not have succeeded without the National Guard and US Army Reserve units that mobilized and went to Korea.

2-141.     While both sides had indicated willingness to end the war roughly along the current front lines, they would continue to fight it out for 2 more years as negotiators attempted to find a formula for peace. This period was marked by offensives on each side that tried to gain concessions in the negotiations with pressure on the battlefield. Some of the bloodiest actions of the war occurred in these battles that tested the will of the UN or the Chinese to continue the war. The problem at the truce negotiations rested primarily on the issue of the return of prisoners of war (POW). The communists wanted all POWs returned without qualification while the UN, recognizing that many enemy soldiers had been forced into service, wanted to allow those who wished to stay in South Korea to do so.

2-142.     When Dwight D. Eisenhower became President of the United States and Stalin died in the Soviet Union, uncertainty enveloped the communist cause. In addition, Chinese leader Mao Zedong began to see that the war in Korea was detracting from his ability to address issues inside China. These factors contributed to a new commitment to end the war. As peace became closer and closer a reality, so too did both sides desire to gain as favorable terrain as possible. This led to a number of battles in the last days before the truce was signed. The Armistice became effective on 27 July 1953.

Corporal Gilbert G. Collier, the Last Army Medal of Honor Recipient of the Korean War

Corporal Collier was assigned to F Company, 2d Battalion, 223d Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division. On 20 July 1953, Corporal Collier was point man and assistant leader of a night combat patrol when he and his commanding officer slipped and fell from a sixty-foot cliff. The leader, incapacitated by a badly sprained ankle, ordered the patrol to return to the safety of friendly lines. Although suffering from a painful back injury, Corporal Collier voluntarily remained with his leader.

The two managed to crawl over the ridgeline to the next valley, where they waited until the next nightfall to continue toward their company's position. Shortly after leaving their hideout, they were ambushed and in the ensuring firefight, Corporal Collier killed two of the enemy but was wounded and separated from his companion. Ammunition expended, he closed with four of the enemy, killing, wounding, and routing them with his bayonet. Mortally wounded in this fight, he died while trying to reach and assist his leader. He was posthumously promoted to sergeant and then received the 130th Medal of Honor of the Korean War.

The Armistice that ended the Korean War went into effect 7 days later on 27 July 1953.


2-143.     The containment policy, drawing a line against communism throughout the world, led the Army to the Republic of Vietnam. In 1950 the United States began aiding the French colonial rulers of Indochina, who were attempting to suppress a revolt by the Communist-dominated Viet Minh. When the French withdrew from Indochina in 1954, the former colony became the nations of Laos, Cambodia, and North and South Vietnam. US Army personnel played a key role in American assistance to the fledgling South Vietnamese state. This aid increased in the early 1960s as the Kennedy administration came to view Vietnam as a test case of American ability to resist Communist wars of national liberation. Army Special Forces teams formed paramilitary forces and established camps along the border to cut down the infiltration of men and materiel from North Vietnam, and other Army personnel trained South Vietnamese troops and accompanied them as advisers in field operations.

2-144.     Despite American efforts, the South Vietnamese government seemed near to collapse through late 1963 and 1964, as repeated coups and ongoing Communist infiltration and subversion undermined the regime's stability. In early 1965 President Johnson began a process of escalation that put 184,000 American troops in South Vietnam by year's end.

Landing Zone (LZ) X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley

On 14 November 1965, the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, an understrength infantry battalion of the 1st Cavalry Division, conducted an air assault to find and destroy enemy forces suspected to be on the Chu Pong Mountain near the Ia Drang Valley. What they found was a "reinforced North Vietnamese regiment of 2000 soldiers fresh off the Ho Chi Minh trail who were aggressively motivated to kill Americans."

The first helicopter touched down at 1048 hours. Shortly after that, while the rest of the battalion was still flying in, the enemy struck. Over the next three days the 450 soldiers of 1-7 Cav fought waves of North Vietnamese infantry who were determined to wipe out the Americans. Alternately attacking and plugging gaps to prevent the enemy from closing the LZ, soldiers fought with what they had available. SPC Willard Parish was a mortar gunner in C Company. But at LZ X-Ray, he took up an M60 machinegun. On the second morning the enemy had brought hundreds of soldiers right up to the battalion's lines. When they attacked, SPC Parish's training took over and, unaware of time, fought until he ran out of 7.62 mm ammunition. Then he stood up and kept firing at the enemy with a pistol in each hand. When all was quiet later, there were over 100 enemy bodies in front of his position. SPC Parish received the Silver Star for his actions.

The battalion had suffered over 100 killed and wounded and the enemy was close to overrunning the LZ which would isolate the battalion. The commander LTC Harold G. Moore committed his last reserve, the reconnaissance platoon, to counterattack and stabilize the C and D Company sectors. Then, after his soldiers marked their units' positions, he ordered strikes by over two dozen aircraft and called on the fires of four batteries of artillery. That ended the immediate threat long enough for reinforcements from the 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry to arrive, having moved cross-country from another LZ.

Some of these fresh troops took part in an attack that rescued a platoon from B Company, 1-7 which had been cut off since shortly after the battle began. Those soldiers, after being pinned down and isolated from the rest of their company, had drawn up a tight perimeter and expertly used artillery fires to defeat numerous enemy attacks. SGT Ernie Savage had not lost another soldier since he took command of the platoon after its other leaders had been killed.

Early the next morning, the North Vietnamese attacked with 300 soldiers against B Company, 2-7 Cavalry, reinforcements who had arrived late the first day. Three times they attacked and three times the B Company troopers threw them back with heavy casualties. Just after daylight the North Vietnamese tried again. In less than 15 minutes, the field was piled with enemy dead, but B Company had only 6 wounded. The enemy had had enough in this fight. 1-7 Cav and the attached units had lost 79 soldiers killed and 121 wounded in the three days of combat but had inflicted over 1,300 casualties on the enemy.2-48

2-145.     From 1965 to 1969 American troop strength in Vietnam rose to 550,000. The Johnson administration sought to force the North Vietnamese and their Viet Cong allies in the South to either negotiate or abandon their attempts to reunify Vietnam by force. Barred by policy from invading North Vietnam, General William C. Westmoreland adopted a strategy of attrition, seeking to inflict enough casualties on the enemy in the South to make him more amenable to American objectives. In the mountains of the Central Highlands, the jungles of the coastal lowlands, and the plains near the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon, American forces attempted to locate the elusive enemy and bring him to battle on favorable terms. As the North Vietnamese admitted after the war, these operations inflicted significant losses but never forced the communists to abandon their efforts.

Specialist Fifth Class Dwight H. Johnson

Specialist Fifth Class (SP5) Johnson, a tank driver with B Company, 1st Battalion, 69th Armor, was a member of a reaction force near Dak To, Vietnam on 15 January 1968. The force was moving to aid other elements of his platoon, which was in contact with a battalion size North Vietnamese force. SP5 Johnson's tank, upon reaching the battle, threw a track and became immobilized. He climbed out of the vehicle armed only with a .45 caliber pistol. Despite intense hostile fire, SP5 Johnson killed several enemy soldiers before he had expended his ammunition.

Returning to his tank through a heavy volume of antitank rocket, small arms and automatic weapons fire, he obtained a submachinegun with which to continue his fight against the advancing enemy. Armed with this weapon, SP5 Johnson again braved deadly enemy fire to return to the center of the ambush site where he eliminated more of the determined foe. When the last of his ammunition was expended, he killed an enemy soldier with the stock end of his submachinegun. Now weaponless, SP5 Johnson ignored the enemy fire around him, climbed into his platoon sergeant's tank, extricated a wounded crewmember, and carried him to an armored personnel carrier. He then returned to the same tank and assisted in firing the main gun until it jammed.

In a magnificent display of courage, SP5 Johnson exited the tank and again armed only with a .45 caliber pistol, engaged several North Vietnamese troops in close proximity to the vehicle. Fighting his way through devastating fire and remounting his own immobilized tank, he remained fully exposed to the enemy as he engaged them with the tank's externally-mounted .50 caliber machinegun until the situation was brought under control. SP5 Johnson received the Medal of Honor.

The Tet Offensive

2-146.     On 29 January 1968 the Allies began the Tet-lunar new year expecting the usual 36-hour peaceful holiday truce. Instead, determined enemy assaults began in the northern and central provinces before daylight on 30 January and in Saigon and the Mekong Delta regions that night. About 84,000 VC and North Vietnamese soldiers attacked or fired upon 36 of 44 provincial capitals, 5 of 6 autonomous cities, 64 of 242 district capitals and 50 hamlets. In addition, the enemy raided a number of military installations including almost every airfield.

2-147.     The attack in Saigon began with an assault against the US Embassy. Other assaults were directed against the Presidential Palace, the compound of the Vietnamese Joint General Staff, and nearby Ton San Nhut air base. At Hue, eight enemy battalions infiltrated and fortified the city. It took three US Army, three US Marine Corps, and eleven South Vietnamese battalions to expel the enemy in fighting that lasted a month. American and South Vietnamese units lost over 500 killed in recapturing Hue, while enemy battle deaths may have been nearly 5,000. Among civilian casualties were over 3,000 civic leaders executed by the communists. Heavy fighting also occurred around the Special Forces camp at Dak To in the central highlands and around the US Marine Corps base at Khe Sanh. In both areas, the Allies defeated all attempts to dislodge them.

2-148.     In tactical and operational terms, Tet proved a major defeat for the communists. Instead of gathering support from the South Vietnamese, it further alienated the people of the South and in fact pushed them toward greater cooperation with their government. The soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam performed professionally and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. All told, the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese suffered over 40,000 casualties in the month-long battle. But strategically, images of dead Americans in the US Embassy and the unexpected fury of the offensive discouraged the US public and eroded support for seeing the war through to victory. 2-49

2-149.     Over the next five years, the Army slowly withdrew from Vietnam while carrying out a policy of "Vietnamization" that transferred responsibility for the battlefield to the South Vietnamese. Throughout the process, President Richard M. Nixon sought to balance the need to respond to domestic pressure for troop withdrawals with diplomatic and military efforts to preserve American honor and ensure the survival of South Vietnam. While some American units departed, other formations continued operations in South Vietnam and even expanded the war into neighboring Cambodia and Laos.

It's time that we recognized that ours was in truth a noble cause.

President Ronald Reagan2-50

2-150.     By the end of 1971, the American military presence in Vietnam had declined to a level of 157,000, and a year later it had decreased to 24,000. In the spring of 1972, Army advisers played a key role in defeating the Easter offensive, an all-out conventional attack by the North Vietnamese Army. But within two years of the Paris Peace Accords of 1973, Saigon fell in April 1975 to the North Vietnamese communists.


2-151.     Although women had long served proudly as nurses, clerks, and telephone operators and in other supporting roles, they only officially become part of the Army with the Army Nurse Corps' formation in 1901. They achieved full military status only with the creation of the Women's Army Corps (WAC) in 1943. Even after World War II, WACs faced numerous restrictions. They could not constitute over 2 percent of the Army, serve in the combat arms, or obtain promotion to general officer rank. They also faced discharge if they married or became pregnant. With the reexamination of the role of women in American society during the 1960s and 1970s, and given the Army's need for qualified recruits for the post-Vietnam all-volunteer Army, these restrictions began to dissolve.

A female soldier assigned to the 725th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) removes missiles and rocket-propelled-grenades from an Iraqi armored vehicle during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

A female soldier assigned to the 725th Ordnance Company (Explosive
Ordnance Disposal) removes missiles and rocket-propelled-grenades from an
Iraqi armored vehicle during Operation Iraqi Freedom.2-51

2-152.     In 1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson eliminated the restrictions on percentages of women and promotions, opening the door to the first female generals in the Army in 1970. During the 1970s the Army expanded the number of military occupational specialties (MOSs) open to women and moved to ensure equal opportunity within those MOSs. The Army abolished involuntary separation for parenthood, allowed women to command men in noncombat units, and established innovative programs to assist military couples with assignments, schooling, and dependent care. In 1972 women first entered ROTC, and in 1976 they entered the US Military Academy.


2-153.     The end of the draft and the advent of the all-volunteer Army soon followed the end of the Vietnam War. While the Army struggled with the same problems as the rest of American society, it built an enlisted education system that helped overcome those problems. The NCO Education System is not only the envy of the world; it has produced a professional, competent and dedicated corps of noncommissioned officers.

2-154.     The Army maintained readiness to defend America's interests throughout the 1970s and 1980s, opposite Soviet-led Warsaw Pact forces in Europe. It demonstrated that readiness in annual REFORGER (REturn of FORces to GERmany) exercises and constant training at Hohenfels, Grafenwohr and other training areas. The vigilance of the Army and hundreds of thousands of soldiers over decades along the German border was rewarded in 1989 when the Berlin Wall was dismantled. Soon thereafter the Soviet Union itself unraveled and the Cold War ended.

2-155.     US Army soldiers serving in the Republic of Korea have deterred aggression on that peninsula since the end of the Korean War. Despite periodic clashes and incidents along the DMZ soldiers have helped prevent another outbreak of war.


2-156.     Both Operations Urgent Fury (Grenada, 1983) and Just Cause (Panama, 1989) were US interventions to protect American citizens in those countries. The murder of Grenada's prime minister in October 1983 created a breakdown in civil order that threatened the lives of American medical students living on the island. At the request of allied Caribbean nations, the United States invaded the island to safeguard the Americans there. Operation Urgent Fury included Army Rangers and paratroopers from the 82d Airborne Division. This action succeeded in the eventual reestablishment of a representative form of government in Grenada at the cost of 18 soldiers, sailors, and marines killed in action (KIA).

2-157.     Manuel Noriega took control of Panama in 1983. Corruption in the Panamanian government became widespread and eventually Noriega threatened the security of the United States by cooperating with Colombian drug producers. Harassment of American personnel increased and after a US marine was shot in December 1989, the US launched Operation Just Cause. This invasion, including over 25,000 soldiers, quickly secured its objectives although 23 Americans were KIA. Noriega surrendered on 3 January 1990 and was later convicted on drug trafficking charges.


2-158.     Saddam Hussein's armies overran Kuwait in August 1990 and appeared poised for a further advance on Saudi Arabia. Rapid deployment by the US XVIII Airborne Corps and US Marine Corps, as well as air and sea power, deterred an Iraqi attack and bought time for the US VII Corps and allied forces to take position along the Saudi-Kuwaiti border. By January 1991 logisticians had built an enormous infrastructure in the desert to support a force of 500,000 troops.

On the move during Operation Desert Storm.

On the move during Operation Desert Storm.2-53

2-159.     After negotiations failed to dislodge Iraqi forces from Kuwait and an overwhelming bombing offensive softened the enemy defenses, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf and his Saudi counterpart Lieutenant General Khalid ibn Sultan sent their multinational ground forces across the border in late February 1991. Within 100 hours, the coalition destroyed almost 4,000 Iraqi tanks, captured an estimated 60,000 Iraqis, and ruined 36 Iraqi divisions at the cost of 148 American KIA. Although Saddam Hussein remained in power in Iraq, Operation Desert Storm liberated Kuwait and destroyed much of the offensive capability of the Iraqi army.


2-160.     In the early 1990s Somalia was in the worst drought in over a century and its people were starving. The international community responded with humanitarian aid but clan violence threatened international relief efforts. As a result the United Nations formed a US-led coalition, Operation Restore Hope, to protect relief workers so aid could continue to flow into the country and end the starvation of the Somali people. US soldiers also assisted in civic projects that built and repaired roads, schools, hospitals, and orphanages.

2-161.     On 5 June 1993, Pakistani forces operating under UN command were ambushed during a mission to find and destroy arms caches, killing 24 soldiers. The UN resolved to capture all those responsible for their deaths, including Mohammed Aideed, leader of the powerful Somali National Alliance (SNA). In August, US Special Operations Forces (Task Force Ranger) deployed to Somalia to assist in the manhunt. As the search intensified, increasing violence caused the various national contingents on the UN force to curtail or even withdraw from operations entirely. But Task Force (TF) Ranger successfully captured several SNA leaders on a number of missions.

Task Force Ranger

On 3 October 1993 TF Ranger descended on the Olympic Hotel in Mogadishu to capture key members of Aideed's group. As Rangers established security around the hotel, helicopters loitered to provide support. Other US Special Operations soldiers entered the building and took custody of Aideed's operatives. Soon small arms fire began, wounding several members of the security team. The SNA had reacted a few minutes faster than in previous raids. At that moment the US ground convoy pulled up, ready to extract the team and its prisoners.

Then SNA forces shot down one of the hovering helicopters. Rangers and Air Force personnel secured the crash site only 300 meters away from the hotel. But when a second helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) it crashed 3 kilometers away. A ground rescue attempt of this crew failed but two US Special Operations soldiers in another helicopter saw growing numbers of SNA approaching the crash site and volunteered to attempt a rescue. They landed near the downed helicopter but the aircraft that inserted them was itself hit by RPG fire and had to withdraw. With no air cover and little hope of rescue, MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randall Shughart defended the downed crew against overwhelming numbers of SNA gunmen. They were killed, but the pilot survived. MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart received the Medal of Honor posthumously.

As darkness fell, TF Ranger soldiers near the hotel and the first crash site were under constant attack by SNA forces. Ammunition, water and medical supplies were running dangerously low and there were many wounded. Pakistani and Malaysian armor joined American infantry and Rangers in forming two relief columns to break through to the surrounded Task Force Ranger soldiers. After fighting street by street for two hours, the relief forces found and evacuated the soldiers from the raid and first crash site, but found no one at the second crash site.

The mission succeeded in capturing a number of SNA leaders; 18 Americans died and 84 were wounded. But those who fought there refused to leave any of their fellow soldiers behind.2-54

2-162.     America withdrew completely from Somalia in 1994. That same year, ethnic hatred in Rwanda led to murder on a genocidal scale. Up to a million Rwandans were killed and two million Rwandans fled and settled in refugee camps in several central African locations. Appalling conditions, starvation, and disease took even more lives. The international community responded with one of the largest humanitarian relief efforts ever mounted. The US military quickly established an atmosphere of collaboration and coordination setting up the necessary infrastructure to complement and support the humanitarian response community. In Operation Support Hope, US Army soldiers provided clean water, assisted in burying the dead, and integrated the transportation and distribution of relief supplies.


2-163.     In December 1990 Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected President of Haiti in an election that international observers deemed largely free and fair. However, once Aristide took office in February 1991 Haitian military officers deposed him and he fled the country. The human rights climate deteriorated as the military and the de facto government allowed atrocities in defiance of the international community's condemnation. Large numbers of Haitians attempted to flee by boat to the United States, many losing their lives in the process. The United States led a Multinational Force to return the previously elected Aristide regime to power, ensure security, assist with the rehabilitation of civil administration, train a police force, help prepare for elections, and turn over responsibility to the UN. Operation Uphold Democracy succeeded both in restoring the democratically elected government of Haiti and in stemming emigration. In March 1995 the United States transferred the peacekeeping responsibilities to the United Nations.


2-164.     During the mid-1990s Yugoslavia was in a state of unrest as various ethnic groups tried to create separate states for themselves. Serbia attempted through military force to prevent any group from gaining autonomy from the central government. After four years of conflict, the warring parties reached a negotiated settlement in 1995. NATO forces, including US Army units, bridged the Sava River and moved into Bosnia to keep the peace intact in Operation Joint Endeavor. Army soldiers continue to help maintain stability in the region and by so doing have saved many thousands of lives in Bosnia because of their service.

2-165.     In 1999 it became evident to the world that Serbian forces brutally suppressed the separatist movement of ethnic Albanian Muslims in the province of Kosovo, leaving hundreds dead and over 200,000 homeless. The refusal of Serbia to negotiate peace and strong evidence of mass murder by Serbian forces resulted in the commencement of Operation Allied Force. Air strikes against Serbian military targets continued for 78 days in an effort to bring an end to the atrocities that continued to be waged by the Serbs. Serbian forces withdrew and NATO deployed a peacekeeping force, including US Army soldiers, to restore stability to the region and assist in the repair of the civilian infrastructure.



2-166.     Terrorists of the al-Qaeda network attacked the United States on 11 September 2001, killing nearly 3000 people, damaging the Pentagon, and destroying the World Trade Center in New York City. The United States, with enormous support from the global community, responded 7 October 2001 with attacks on the al-Qaeda network and the Taliban-controlled government of Afghanistan that was supporting it. In Operation Enduring Freedom, US and allied forces quickly toppled the Taliban regime and severely damaged the al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan. Special Operations Forces led the way in ground operations and conventional Army units began arriving in Afghanistan 4 December 2001. On 2 March 2002, Operation Anaconda began, in which US Army and allied units began assaults on Taliban and al-Qaeda forces still remaining in southeastern Afghanistan. Enemy forces that stood and fought were destroyed and the rest scattered.

Soldiers assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), fold the American Flag during a retreat ceremony at Kandahar International Airport, Afghanistan.

Soldiers assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), fold the
American Flag during a retreat ceremony at Kandahar International
Airport, Afghanistan.2-56

2-167.     The Army, through its continuing operations in Afghanistan, provides support to its fledgling democracy and continues to seek out remnants of the al-Qaeda network remaining in that nation. The goal is to help Afghanis rebuild their country and give their people the benefits of a truly representative government while at the same time reducing the threat of terrorism to the US.


2-168.     After the Persian Gulf War, Saddam Hussein had retained power in Iraq. In defiance of numerous resolutions in the United Nations, despite the presence of inspection teams, and ignoring the world's demands that Iraq disarm, Saddam Hussein continued to build weapons of mass destruction (WMD). By late 2002 it had become evident to the United States that the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein was providing weapons, training and other support to terrorists around the world. Intense diplomatic efforts by the United States were unable to remove of Hussein and his regime. The United States deployed its Armed Forces to the Gulf and prepared for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

2-169.     With a coalition that included Great Britain, Australia, Poland and 44 other nations, the United States on 20 March 2003 began offensive military operations to remove Saddam Hussein from power and liberate Iraq. US Army, US Marine Corps and British forces entered Iraq and in only two weeks of simultaneous air and ground attacks had defeated most organized Iraqi forces and were on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Soldiers from the 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized) in firing positions during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Soldiers from the 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized) in firing positions
during Operation Iraqi Freedom. 2-57

2-170.     The 3d Infantry Division seized the main airport of Baghdad and began powerful armored incursions into the city itself. The 101st Airborne Division and US marines likewise closed in on Baghdad. In northern Iraq, the 173d Airborne Brigade and Special Operations Forces alongside free Iraqi forces from Kurdish areas defeated enemy units and liberated most of the northern area of the country. In the west, Special Operations Forces neutralized enemy units while searching for sites containing WMD. Throughout the country, Special Operations Forces provided intelligence and targeting data. In numerous, sharp engagements, Army units performed with bravery and great skill in defeating enemy regular and irregular forces while limiting US and civilian casualties. Operation Iraqi Freedom succeeded in liberating Iraq from a despot and bringing the hope for peace to the troubled Mideast. By the time major combat ended on 1 May 2003, 115 Americans had been killed in action, including 53 soldiers.

2-171.     Despite continued attacks by remnants of Hussein's regime, the Army has helped create a secure environment for providing increased humanitarian assistance to impoverished areas. Stability and support operations continue to eliminate remaining pockets of Baathist resistance, restore utilities and services to the Iraqi people and create the conditions in which the people of Iraq can form a new and peaceful government.

2-172.     US Army soldiers play a leading role in the war on terrorism and providing security to the Nation. Make no mistake about it: you are defending not only the Constitution and our way of life, but the very lives of our people and your own loved ones. Our enemies will try to strike us again. But the Army and all the Armed Forces, working with civilian branches of government and our allies, will make every effort to prevent such attacks.

2-173.     The Army performs a long list of missions in support of American foreign policy and in response to domestic needs. The collapse of the Warsaw Pact in the early 1990s shifted the main focus of the Army's activities since World War II. Ancient hatreds and old rivalries have created conflict and chaos in many parts of the world. In Korea the Army still helps defend an armed border against a powerful enemy dedicated to the forced reunification of the country under Communist rule. The Army also has supported American foreign policy with peacekeeping or support operations in Macedonia, the Sinai and East Timor, and it has worked extensively with foreign and domestic agencies to curb terrorism. Since the 1980s the Army has worked closely with the Drug Enforcement Agency, the US Customs Service, and foreign agencies to halt the flow of illicit drugs into the United States. Initially, the Army merely loaned equipment; now it also trains and transports personnel and shares intelligence.

2-174.     From California and Florida to Kurdistan and Somalia, the Army has aided victims of floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, war, famine, forest fires, and other natural and man-made disasters. It has helped with toxic waste removal as part of the Superfund cleanup program. It has provided helicopters and paramedics to communities lacking the resources to respond to medical emergencies. America's Army has given hope to oppressed peoples around the world. While performing all these contemporary missions, the Army has sought to anticipate and prepare for the future.

2-175.     The more activist role of the federal government in American life since 1900 has resulted in the Army responding more often to such challenges as disaster relief, international terrorism, and organized crime. Still, a review of American history makes clear that the missions of the Army have always included a number of tasks beyond warfighting. The precise character of the Army's missions has varied depending on the needs of the nation at a particular time, whether fighting a war for survival, developing a transportation network and skilled engineers to support it, providing disaster relief, keeping the peace, or supporting American diplomacy. Throughout our long history, one can truly say of the Army, "When we were needed, we were there."


2-176.     To fully understand the events of history, how battles unfolded, and why things occurred the way they did, it is often helpful to walk the ground on which they happened. If you have the opportunity, go see the Gettysburg Battlefield. You may be surprised at how big the overall battlefield is or what a small area the 20th Maine fought in at the Little Round Top. If you see Pointe du Hoc near Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, you can better appreciate why Allied planners thought it had to be taken. Verdun, France was the scene of a bitter struggle between France and Germany in the First World War. There you can begin to understand some of the terrible and heroic sacrifices of both sides. Some battlefields, like Antietam near Sharpsburg, Maryland are well preserved and maintained by the National Park Service. Volunteers or state agencies maintain other battlefields, such as Mine Creek near Pleasonton, Kansas. Still others are on private property and you need permission to enter, like the fields near Varennes, France where the 3d Infantry Division and its 38th Infantry Regiment earned the nickname "Rock of the Marne."

2-177.     But history isn't just about battlefields, of course. The Grand Canyon will take your breath away the first time you see it. Riding to the top of the "Gateway Arch" in St. Louis is worth the trip. You can't help but feel pride and awe visiting the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. The contrast between the roar of Niagara Falls and the quiet isolation of the Badlands is amazing. It is no less amazing than the diversity of our people. We Americans have our differences; in origin, in appearance, in priorities and in how to get things done. But still we are one nation, and when something is important enough, we unite to accomplish a task like no other nation on earth can. Go see for yourself. You are defending America, go see what she is all about.


2-178.     The operational environment is the "composite of the conditions, circumstances, and influences that affect the employment of military forces and bear on the decisions of the unit commander" (Joint Pub 1-02). The operational environment that exists today and in the near future (out to the year 2020) includes threats that extend from small, lower-technology opponents using more adaptive, guerrilla or terrorist type methods to large, modernized forces able to engage deployed US forces in more conventional ways. In some possible conflicts combinations of these types of threats could be present.

2-179.     Although we may sense dangerous trends and potential threats, there is little certainty about how these threats may be used against America. Uncertainty marks the global war on terrorism, and soldiers will continue to operate in small scale contingencies and conflicts. These may require small, dispersed teams of junior officers, NCOs and junior enlisted soldiers and even civilians or contractors. Yet large scale conventional combat operations will also be possible. Victory in battle will require versatile units and agile soldiers, who can deploy rapidly, undertake a number of different missions, operate continuously over extended distances without large logistics bases, and quickly maneuver with precision to gain positional advantage. Soldiers must be capable of conducting prompt and sustained land operations at varying intensity resulting in decisive victory.

2-180.     The operational environment now and in the near future has the following characteristics:

  • Constant, high intensity, close combat.
  • No rear areas, no sanctuary.
  • Information operations effects down to the tactical level.
  • Constantly changing rules of engagement (ROE) and tactics.
  • Combatant and non-combatant roles blurred.
  • Extreme stress, leader fatigue.

2-181.     Soldiers in the operational environment must understand the following:

  • All soldiers, regardless of battlefield location, must be fully prepared to engage in close combat.
  • Rapid changes will require quick and accurate assessment of combat situations.
  • Rapid individual judgment and decision-making function at lower levels.
  • Dispersed distances will challenge discipline, motivation, and confidence in self and team.
  • Presence of media will test soldiers' poise, bearing, and understanding of commander's intent.
  • Increased physical and psychological stress over longer time frame.

2-182.     Soldiers who succeed in the operational environment are imbued with the warrior ethos and are physically and mentally tough. They are also confident, decisive, and exercise sound judgment in their decisions. Successful soldiers are self-disciplined and capable of taking the intiative in a disciplined manner that helps the team accomplish the mission. Such soldiers are also self-motivated and take active roles in their teams.

2-183.     Soldiers who succeed in the operational environment are expert in both warfighting and in the use of emerging technology. In the operational environment soldiers will have to be versatile, taking on new tasks and able to learn quickly to adapt to changes in the environment. Because of the probability of operating in dispersed, small teams, successful soldiers have leader potential and can step up to the challenge of leading other soldiers when required. Above all, soldiers in the operational environment know their own strengths, weaknesses, and take action to improve themselves.


2-184.     The Army operates in war or military operations other than war (MOOTW) by conducting offense, defense, and stability and support operations. These make up the full spectrum of military operations and may occur in a variety of missions extending from humanitarian assistance to disaster relief to peacekeeping and peacemaking to major theaters of war. These missions could occur simultaneously or transition from one to another. For example, a unit may be conducting an operation to destroy a cache of weapons while only a few kilometers away other soldiers are providing medical services to some of the local population. Full spectrum operations require skillful assessment, planning, preparation and execution. In order to successfully accomplish these missions, commanders focus their mission essential task list (METL), training time, and resources on combat tasks and conduct battle-focused training (for more on training see Chapter 5).

2-185.     The challenge soldiers face in full spectrum operation means that you should conduct good training and always reach or surpass the standard. Effective training is the cornerstone of success on the battlefield or in other missions. Training to high standards is essential because the Army cannot predict every operation it deploys to. Battle-focused training on combat tasks prepares soldiers, units and leaders to deploy, fight and win. Upon alert, initial-entry Army forces deploy immediately, conduct operations and complete any needed mission-specific training in country. Follow-on forces conduct pre- or post-deployment mission rehearsal exercises, abbreviated if necessary, based on available time and resources.


2-186.     Homeland security is the sum total of operations intended to prepare for, prevent, deter, preempt, defend against, and respond to threats and aggressions directed towards US territory, sovereignty, domestic population and infrastructure. It also includes crisis management, consequence management, and other domestic civil support. It encompasses five distinct missions: domestic preparedness and civil support in case of attacks on civilians, continuity of government, continuity of military operations, border and coastal defense, and national missile defense. The objectives of Homeland Security are to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, minimize the damage, and recover from attacks that do occur. The Army's role in Homeland Security falls within Homeland Defense or Civil Support.

Your value to the fight is not determined by your proximity to the target.

GEN Peter J. Schoomaker2-62

2-187.     Under homeland defense the Army has requirements in four areas: defense of US territory, air and missile defense, information assurance and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) defense and response. The Army supports civil authorities with disaster response, civil disturbance response, and support to special events. Examples of these areas are the National Guard support to airport security and the WMD Civil Support Teams (CST). These WMD-CSTs support civil authorities in incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive devices. Both of these National Guard missions illustrate the importance of the reserve component in the Army's role in homeland defense.


2-188.     Change is a constant. People, organizations, cultures and even geography change with time. Change is necessary to remain competitive and relevant. The Army is no different. Periodic modernization has been required throughout the Army's history.

2-189.     The Army is transforming itself into a force that is more strategically responsive and dominant at every point on the spectrum of military operations. Transformation is about changing the way we fight so we can continue to decisively win our Nation's wars. The 21st century operational environment and the potential of emerging technologies require Army Transformation. The global war on terrorism reinforces the need for a transformed Army that is more deployable, lethal, agile, versatile, survivable, and sustainable than current forces.

2-190.     The Army is implementing change across its doctrine, training, leader development, organization, materiel, and soldier systems, as well as across all of its components. Transformation will result in a different Army, not just a modernized version of the current Army.

2-191.     Transformation consists of three related parts-the Future Force, the Stryker Force, and the Current Force. We will develop concepts and technologies for the Future Force while fielding the Stryker Force to meet the near-term requirement to bridge the operational gap between our heavy and light forces. The third element of transformation is the modernization of existing systems in the Current Force to provide these systems with enhanced capabilities through the application of information technologies.

2-192.     As the Army transforms, the Current Force will remain ready to provide the Nation with the warfighting capability needed to keep America strong and free. Through selective modernization the Current Force allows the Army to meet today's challenges and provides the time and flexibility to get transformation right. The Army is focusing resources on systems and units that are essential to both sustaining near-term readiness and fielding the Future Force while taking prudent risk with the remainder of the force. In this the Army will rebuild or selectively upgrade existing weapons systems and tactical vehicles, while also developing and procuring new systems with improved warfighting capabilities.

A Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle squad follows their vehicle out of an Air Force C130 Hercules aircraft after landing at Bicycle Lake Army Airfield at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California.

A Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle squad follows their vehicle out of an Air
Force C130 Hercules aircraft after landing at Bicycle Lake Army Airfield at
the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California.2-63-1

2-193.     The Stryker Force is a transition force that bridges the near-term capability gap between our heavy and light forces. It combines the best characteristics of current heavy, light and special operations forces. Organized in Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT), it combines today's technology with selected capabilities of the Current Force to serve as a link to the Future Force. Most importantly, the Stryker Force allows exploration of new operational concepts relevant to the Future Force.

One thing some soldiers may not fully understand yet is that transformation involves a lot more than two brigades up at Fort Lewis - it's about the future and what kind of Army we'll have for decades to come. We will continue to man, modernize and train our current forces throughout the transformation.. We will continue to need sharp, quick-thinking leaders. The variety of missions and volume of information they'll be given will place a lot of responsibility on them.

Transformation could cause as many changes in training and developing leaders in our schools as tactics and equipment. The result will be a future that lets us put a more powerful force on the ground faster and that will save a lot of lives.

SMA Jack L. Tilley2-63-2

2-194.     The end result of transformation is a new, more effective, and more efficient Army with a new fighting structure-the Future Force. It will provide our Nation with an increased range of options for crisis response, engagement, or sustained land force operations. The Future Force will have the capability to fight in a dispersed and non-linear manner if that provides a military advantage over its opponent. Future Force units will be highly responsive, deploy rapidly because of reduced platform weight and smaller logistical footprints, and arrive early to a crisis to deter conflict. These forces will be capable of moving by air and descending upon multiple points of entry. By applying their judgment to a detailed and accurate common operational picture, Future Force soldiers will identify and attack critical enemy capabilities and key vulnerabilities throughout the depth of the battle area.

2-195.     Transformation is not something the Army is doing alone. The Army is coordinating transformation efforts with similar efforts by the other Services, business and industry, and science and technology partners.


2-196.     The Declaration of Independence is an important document in US history. It says that all people have rights that no government may deny. This document signified the colonies' separation from England and the rule of George III. When the Second Continental Congress formed a committee to write the Declaration, the Committee thought it would be better for only one person to write it-Thomas Jefferson. It took Jefferson seventeen days to write the Declaration of Independence. On 2 July 1776 the Congress voted to declare independence from England. After two days of debate and some changes to the document, the Congress voted to accept the Declaration of Independence. This is why we celebrate the 4th of July as our Independence Day.

You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments, rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human law.

President John Adams


2-197.     The Declaration of Independence is an important document, but the foundation of our American government and its purpose, form, and structure are found in the Constitution of the United States. We didn't always have the Constitution. During the Revolutionary War, the states formed a "league of friendship" under the Articles of Confederation, which was ratified in 1781. The Articles provided for a national legislature but little else because the states feared a strong central government like the one they lived with under England's rule. Americans soon discovered that this weak form of government could not effectively respond to outside threats and so they called for a convention in 1787 to revise the Articles. Discussions and debate led the participants to draft an entirely new document and government.

2-198.     The Constitution was adopted 17 September 1787 and ratified 21 June 1788. It is the supreme law of the land because no law may be passed that contradicts its principles and no person or government is exempt from following it. Members of the Armed Forces all promise to support and defend the Constitution in recognition of its importance. Without the Constitution, there would be no United States of America.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Preamble to the Constitution of the United States

2-199.     The Preamble of the Constitution describes the purpose of the Constitution and, by extension, our Federal, that is, national Government. In order to achieve this purpose the writers of the Constitution established three main principles on which our Government is based:

  • Inherent rights: Rights of all persons living in the United States.
  • Self-government: Government by the people; citizens selected by fellow citizens to govern.
  • Separation of powers: Branches of government with different powers that provide checks and balances to the other branches.

2-200.     The United States Constitution is a remarkable document. In about 4,500 words it lays out the framework of our system of government and in another 3,000 (the Amendments) enumerates individual rights and changes to the basic document. It provides us with a firm foundation and yet also, with effort, can change as our country changes. The Constitution establishes a republic, an indivisible union of 50 sovereign States. In our Nation, we the people, govern ourselves. We do this by choosing elected officials through free and secret ballot at regular intervals-elections. In this way, our Government derives its power from the people. The Constitution-

  • Defines and limits the power of the national government.
  • Defines the relationship between the national government and individual state governments.
  • Describes some of the rights of the citizens of the United States.

2-201.     The Constitution specifies the powers of the federal government, and all other power remains with the people or the states. This government system based on federalism shares power given by the people between the national and state (local) governments. Issues like defense are at the federal level where sufficient resources are availbale to accomplish the tasks required to defend our Nation. On the other hand, local issues like licensing, building codes or zoning laws have been left up to the individual states to decide based upon its people's needs and philosophies.

2-202.     The Constitution can be changed through amendments to the document. It is a difficult process that requires a 2/3 majority of Congress agree to any proposed amendment and further that 3/4 of all the states also ratify (agree to) the amendment. The Constitution may also be amended in a Constitutional Convention if 2/3 of the states call for it but any changes and amendments must still be ratified by 3/4 of the states. Currently there are 27 amendments to the Constitution. The first ten amendments, accepted at the same time as the Constitution itself, are also called the Bill of Rights.


2-203.     The delegates to the Constitutional Convention wanted to ensure a strong, cohesive central government, yet they also wanted to ensure that no individual or small group in the government would become too powerful. Under the Articles of Confederation, the national government lacked authority and the delegates didn't want to have that problem again. To solve these problems, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention created a government with separate branches, each with its own distinct powers. This system would establish a strong central government, while insuring a balance of power.

The liberties and heritage of the United States. are priceless.

The Noncom's Guide, 19572-66

2-204.     Governmental power and functions in the United States rest in three branches of government: the legislative, judicial, and executive. Article I of the Constitution defines the legislative branch and gives power to make laws to the Congress of the United States. The executive powers of the President are defined in Article 2. Article 3 places judicial power in the hands of one Supreme Court and any lower courts Congress establishes.

2-205.     In this system each branch operates independently of the others-a separation of powers. However, there are built in checks and balances to prevent concentration of power in any one branch and to protect the rights and liberties of citizens. For example, the President can veto (disapprove) bills approved by Congress, and the President nominates individuals to serve in the Federal courts. The Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of a law enacted by Congress or an action by the President. Congress approves whether tax dollars may be spent on a particular action or program and can impeach and remove the President and Federal court justices and judges. See the organization of the government of the United States in Figure 2-1.

Figure 2-1. Organization of the US Government

Figure 2-1. Organization of the US Government


2-206.     After much debate the delegates to the Constitutional Convention agreed on the creation of the House of Representatives and the Senate. A major issue involved how to determine representation in the legislative body. The delegates from larger and more populated states argued that only the size of a state's population should determine congressional representation. Fearing domination, delegates from smaller states were just as adamant for equal representation. A delegate from Connecticut, Roger Sherman, resolved the issue when he proposed a two-part (bicameral) legislature, with representation based on population in one (the House of Representatives) and with equal representation in the other (the Senate).

2-207.     Congress refers many measures that may become law to various committees of legislators in each chamber. These committees consider each measure and select which will be actually brought to a vote and debated. The vast majority of issues are not brought for a vote and no other action occurs. An issue or "bill" that reaches the floor of the two chambers may not become law until both House and Senate pass it with a majority vote in each chamber. Then the bill is sent to the President for his signature, making it law. The President may also exercise his veto power, disapproving the bill and sending it back to the legislature with his reasons why it should not become law. Congress may override the veto if 2/3 of both House and Senate approve the bill. If the President takes no action, the bill becomes law after 10 days.

2-208.     The Constitution specifies certain powers of Congress with respect to the military. Congress has the power to declare war and to set and collect taxes (which pay for soldier's salaries, weapons, training, etc.). Congress determines the strength (number of people) of the Armed Forces and how much money the Armed Forces may spend. Congress also makes the basic rules for the Armed Forces and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Congress established the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces based on its power to regulate the armed forces and to establish courts lower than the Supreme Court.


2-209.     When the delegates to the Constitutional Convention created the executive branch of government, they were afraid of putting too much power in the hands of one person and intensely debated the concept. In the end, with the checks and balances included in the Constitution, the delegates provided for a single President with a limited term of office to manage the executive branch of government. This limited term was different from any form of government in Europe at the time.

2-210.     The executive branch of the government is responsible for enforcing the laws of the land. The Vice President, department heads (Cabinet members), and heads of independent agencies assist in this capacity. Unlike the powers of the President, their responsibilities are not defined in the Constitution but each has special powers and functions. The Cabinet includes the Vice President and, by law, the heads of 15 executive departments as shown in Figure 2-1. The National Security Council (NSC) supports the President, as commander-in-chief, with the integration of domestic, foreign, and military policies on National security.

2-211.     The Constitution specifies that the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces. Presidents have initiated military activities abroad over 200 times in our history, though Congress has declared war only five times. The President's signature on a bill is required before it can become law, unless 2/3 of Congress vote for its passage. The President nominates the Department of Defense and service secretaries (and other cabinet chiefs), the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the service Chiefs of Staff. He also nominates the judges of the Supreme Court and those who sit on the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Each of these nominations requires confirmation by a majority of the Senate. The President commissions the officers of the Armed Forces. The President may also veto bills of Congress.


2-212.     Article III of the Constitution established the judicial branch of government with the creation of the Supreme Court. It is the highest court in the country and vested with the judicial powers of the government. There are lower Federal courts that Congress deemed necessary and established using power granted in the Constitution, such as the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

2-213.     Courts decide arguments about the meaning of laws and how they are applied. The Supreme Court also has the authority to declare acts of Congress, and by implication acts of the president, unconstitutional if they exceeded the powers granted by the Constitution. The latter power is known as judicial review and it is this process that the judiciary uses to provide checks and balances on the legislative and executive branches. Judicial review is not specified in the Constitution but it is an implied power, explained in a landmark Supreme Court decision, Marbury versus Madison (1803). Most courts don't rule on the constitutionality of laws but rather decide matters of guilt or innocence in criminal proceedings or adjudicate differences between civil parties.


2-214.     Among the departments within the executive branch of the federal government is the Department of Defense. The National Security Act Amendments of 1949 designated the National Military Establishment as the Department of Defense with the Secretary of Defense as its head. The Department of Defense is composed of the following

  • Office of the Secretary of Defense.
  • The military departments and the military services within those departments.
  • The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff.
  • The unified combatant commands.
  • The defense agencies and DOD field activities.
  • Other organizations as may be established or designated by law, the President or the Secretary of Defense.

2-215.     The Secretary of Defense is the principal defense policy adviser to the President and is responsible for the formulation of general defense policy and policy related to DOD, and for the execution of approved policy. Under the direction of the President, the Secretary exercises authority, direction, and control over the Department of Defense.

2-216.     Each military department is separately organized under its own secretary and functions under the authority, direction, and control of the Secretary of Defense. The Secretary of each military department is responsible to the Secretary of Defense for the operation and efficiency of that department. Orders to the military departments are issued through the secretaries of these departments or their designees, by the Secretary of Defense, or under authority specifically delegated in writing by the Secretary of Defense, or provided by law. The organization of the Department of Defense is shown in Figure 2-2.

Figure 2-2. Organization of the Department of Defense

Figure 2-2. Organization of the Department of Defense


2-217.     The Joint Chiefs of Staff consist of the Chairman; the Vice Chairman; the Chief of Staff of the Army; the Chief of Naval Operations; the Chief of Staff of the Air Force; and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the principal military adviser to the President, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense. The other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are military advisers who may provide additional information upon request from the President, the National Security Council, or the Secretary of Defense. They may also submit their advice when it does not agree with that of the Chairman. Subject to the authority of the President and the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is responsible for-

  • Assisting the President and the Secretary of Defense in providing for the strategic direction and planning of the Armed Forces and allocating resources to fulfill strategic plans.
  • Making recommendations for the assignment of responsibilities within the Armed Forces in accordance with and in support of those logistic and mobility plans.
  • Comparing the capabilities of American and allied Armed Forces with those of potential adversaries.
  • Preparing and reviewing contingency plans that conform to policy guidance from the President and the Secretary of Defense.
  • Preparing joint logistic and mobility plans to support contingency plans.
  • Recommending assignment of logistic and mobility responsibilities to the Armed Forces to fulfill logistic and mobility plans.


2-218.     The Unified Commands are geographically (like Central Command) or functionally (like Transportation Command) oriented. The commanders of the unified commands are responsible to the President and the Secretary of Defense for accomplishing the military missions assigned to them and exercising command authority over forces assigned to them. The operational chain of command runs from the President to the Secretary of Defense to these commanders. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff functions within the chain of command by transmitting the orders of the President or the Secretary of Defense to the commanders of the unified commands.

2-219.     Within each unified command is an Army component command. These Army component commands provide command and control to Army units that are or become part of the Unified Command. Army units may be assigned to the command; for example, the 35th Supply and Services Battalion, assigned to the 10th Area Support Group, part of US Army, Japan and 9th Theater Support Command. US Army, Japan and 9th TSC is further assigned to US Army, Pacific Command: the Army component of Pacific Command. Army units may also be temporarily part of a Unified Command for a specific mission. For example, Army Forces, Central Command (ARCENT) exerts operational control over Army units deployed to Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.


2-220.     In our Constitution we read, "We the people. provide for the common Defence," that the Congress raises the Army, and that the President is the Commander-in-Chief. The United States Army exists to serve the American people, protect enduring national interests, and fulfill national military responsibilities. The Army performs this by deterring and, when deterrence fails, by achieving quick, decisive victory anywhere in the world and under virtually any conditions as part of a joint team.

2-221.     The institution of the Army is its essence, traditions, history, and lineage. It includes leader development, doctrine, training, professionalism, integrity, and the Army's tradition of responsibility to the nation. The Army's enduring values flow from the American ideals embodied in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. And serve to guide the actions of soldiers as individuals and groups. Throughout American military history, these values have provided a firm foundation for military leaders and soldiers. They provide all soldiers with principles of conduct and standards of behavior that exemplify those ideals and values.

2-222.     The Army maintains a relationship between the institutional Army, with its enduring values, and the organizational Army, the strategic force capable of decisive victory. Institutional changes occur slowly through deliberate evolution and are indistinguishable to the public at large. The organization changes more rapidly and visibly to meet requirements presented by national and international realities. In maintaining the balance between capabilities and requirements in the organization, the institution must not lose its enduring values. They are the foundation during periods of change and uncertainty. The challenge is to manage change, increase capability, maintain stability, and foster innovation.

2-223.     The objective of Army forces is to dominate land operations by defeating enemy land forces, seizing and controlling terrain and destroying the enemy's will to resist. Supported by the Air Force and Navy, the Army can forcibly enter an area and conduct land operations anywhere in the world. The Army also can achieve quick and sustained land dominance across the spectrum of conflict. Its capabilities help achieve national political and military objectives.

2-224.     The Army tailors forces with unique capabilities to achieve military objectives during major theater wars or smaller-scale operations. Army forces are assigned to a joint force commander under the direct command of an Army component commander or a joint force land component commander. In a joint force, a single commander exercises command authority or operational control over elements of two or more services. Within a joint force, service forces may work under subordinate joint commands or single service commands. Each military department (Army, Navy, and Air Force) retains responsibility for administration and logistic support of those forces it has allocated. You can see the organization of the Department of the Army in Figure 2-3.

Figure 2-3. Organization of the Department of the Army

Figure 2-3. Organization of the Department of the Army

2-225.     The Army is composed of two distinct and equally important components: the active component and the reserve components. The reserve components are the United States Army Reserve and the Army National Guard. The active component is a federal force of full-time soldiers and Department of the Army civilians. They make up the operational and institutional organizations engaged in the day-to-day missions of the Army. Congress annually determines the number of soldiers that the Army may maintain in the active component.

2-226.     Department of the Army civilians perform critical technical and administrative tasks that release soldiers for training and performance of other operational and institutional missions. In addition, many contractors work for the Army to support our forces at home and deployed around the world. While not members of the Army, these contractors provide vital services that sustain and enhance the Army's service to the Nation.

2-227.     The US Army Reserve is the active component's primary federal reserve force. The US Army Reserve is made up of soldiers in the Selected Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), and Retired Reserve, totaling over 1,000,000 soldiers. In the Selected Reserve you find soldiers in troop program units (TPU), active guard and reserve (AGR) soldiers, and Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMA). The troop program units are made up of highly trained combat support and combat service support soldiers that can move on short notice. The US Army Reserve gives the Army the resources it needs to deploy overseas and sustain combat troops during wartime, contingencies, or other operations. It is the Army's main source of transportation, medical, logistic, and other combat support and combat service support units and it is the Army's only source of trained individual soldiers readily available to augment headquarters staffs and fill vacancies in units.

2-228.     The Army National Guard has a unique, dual mission that consists of both federal and state roles. Although its primary mission is to serve as a federal reserve force, the Guard has an equally important role supporting the states. Until mobilized for a federal mission, their state executive (usually the governor) commands Army National Guard units. In the state role, the Army National Guard must maintain trained and disciplined forces for domestic emergencies or other missions that state law may require. In this capacity, they serve as the first military responders within states during emergencies; in their federal role, Army National Guard units must maintain trained and ready forces, available for prompt mobilization for war, national emergency, or other missions.

Our guardsmen, those who live and work within all of our nation's communities, are the Army's greatest link to the American people.

Former Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White2-73

2-229.     Regardless of component, the Army conducts both operational and institutional missions. The operational Army consists of numbered armies, corps, divisions, brigades, and battalions that conduct full spectrum operations around the world. They include the combat arms, combat support and combat service support units that deploy and operate to accomplish missions that support the overall objectives of the Nation. Both active and reserve component units take part in operational missions. Institutional missions include recruiting and training new soldiers, developing, acquiring and maintaining equipment, and managing the force, just to name a few. Regardless of where you are, you are part of a team that has important functions to support the Army's overall tasks. Your job is important. You are important to the Army whether you are active or reserve, combat arms, combat support or combat service support, infantry division or training brigade.

2-230.     The active component of the Army has nearly 480,000 soldiers. The active component has 10 combat divisions, three cavalry regiments and two separate maneuver brigades. The Selected Reserve of the US Army Reserve consists of about 205,000 soldiers. It fields a large portion of the Army's support units, especially in civil affairs, engineering, transportation, and maintenance. The Army National Guard (ARNG) has approximately 350,000 soldiers. Upon mobilization, the Army National Guard can provide up to eight combat divisions, two Special Forces groups, and 15 enhanced Separate Brigades. Figure 2-4 below shows about what percentage of the Army's soldiers are in the active component, USAR Selected Reserve (SR), and ARNG.

Figure 2-4. Make up of The Army of One

Figure 2-4. Make up of The Army of One2-74

2-231.     The Major Commands of the Army and the Army components of the Unified commands are in the active component. The Army provides units to the unified commands for specific purposes and duration. The Army component commanders of each unified command have command and control over these units. For example, Central Command normally has no Army combat units assigned to it. In the case of Operation Enduring Freedom, since 2001 a number of different divisions and smaller units have deployed to Southwest Asia (SWA) under US Army Central Command. The largest Army component is the US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), which executes the land defense of the US. It also provides military support to civil authorities and trains, sustains, mobilizes and protects strategic land forces worldwide.

2-232.     The teams and units of the Army are generally built upon the squad, the basic unit in the army structure. Squads are made up of 8 to 11 soldiers and are normally led by a staff sergeant. In some types of units, the crew is the basic element, as in armor units. Crews are made up of the soldiers who operate a particular weapon system. Tanks, for example, have a crew of four soldiers usually led by a SSG (though some crews may include higher ranking soldiers). Squads and crews combine to build nearly every MTOE unit in the Army, as follows-

  • The platoon usually consists of two to four squads or crews. A lieutenant usually leads platoons, with a sergeant first class as second in command.
  • Company, battery (in the artillery) or troop (in the cavalry) is made up of three to five platoons and is typically commanded by a captain. It usually has a first sergeant as the senior non-commissioned officer.
  • The battalion or squadron (cavalry) is composed of four to six companies/batteries/troops and is commanded by a lieutenant colonel with a command sergeant major as the senior non-commissioned adviser. The battalion is tactically and administratively self-sufficient and can conduct independent operations of a limited scope. A cavalry unit of similar size to a battalion is called a squadron.
  • The brigade, regiment or group is made up of two to five battalions under the command of a colonel with a command sergeant major as the senior non-commissioned officer. Armored cavalry and ranger units of similar size and organization are called regiments, while Special Forces and some other units are known as groups.
  • The division is typically made up of three maneuver brigades, as well combat support brigades. A division is commanded by a major general. The division performs major tactical operations for the corps and is capable of sustained operations. A command sergeant major is the senior NCO of the division.
  • A corps is made of two or more divisions commanded by a lieutenant general with a command sergeant major as the senior NCO. Corps bring additional support assets and can comand and control large operations over great distances.
  • Armies contain corps and other supporting assets. For example, the Third United States Army (TUSA) is also known as Army Forces, Central Command (ARCENT) and provides command and control for Army forces deployed in SWA.
  • 2-233.     We look to the past for lessons, we analyze the operational environment, and we adapt to win our Nation's wars. We remember that our purpose is to serve the Nation, defend the Constitution, and our way of life. But throughout all this, the Army-past, present, and future-is people.

    2-234.     Soldiers have made the US Army the world's most respected land force. That respect is a direct result of the values that soldiers embrace. As FM 1, The Army points out, "there is no moral comparison between American Soldiers and their adversaries in wars throughout our history. Thus, it is easy for Soldiers to believe in what they do."


    Join the mailing list

    One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias