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74th Group Army

The 74th Group Army of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, affiliated to the Army in the Southern Theater, is stationed in the West Lake of Huizhou, Huizhou City, Guangdong Province.

The group army comprises various modern units such as infantry, artillery, armored signal, antichemical warfare, engineer, air defense, air, and electronic countermeasure units. Though Group Armies often are considered to be corps-sized units, in reality they control many fewer personnel and units than do corps in the US military. A group army with an all brigade maneuver force would be more comparable to a US division than a corps. After the reductions of the late 1990s, the variation in group army structure has increased considerably from previous years. In the 1990s, a Group Army could vary in size from 65,000 to 100,000+ personneL, but by 2020 the totals were about half these numbers.

After the formation of the 74th Army of the Army in 2017, it had:

  • 1st Amphibious Combined-Arms Brigade
  • 125th Amphibious Combined-Arms Brigade
  • 16th Heavy Combined-Arms Brigade
  • 154th Medium-sized Combined-Arms Brigade
  • 132nd Lightweight Combined-Arms Brigade
  • 163rd Lightweight Combined-Arms Brigade
  • 74th Special Operations Brigade
  • 74th Army Aviation Brigade
  • 74th Artillery Brigade
  • 74th Air Defense Brigade
  • 74th Chemical Engineering Prevention Brigade
  • 74th Service Support Brigade
The official English version of the 2013 "China National Defense White Paper" does not use the term "group army", but refers to China's "combined corps". The State Council Information Office, April 2013 release "Diversified Employment at The Armed Forces of China" stated: "The PLAA mobile operational units include 18 combined corps , plus additional independent combined operational divisions (brigades), and have a total strength of 850,000. The combined corps , composed of divisions and brigades, are respectively under the seven military area commands (MACs)". By force of custom, these units are still called Group Armies.

The group armies are the main part of the PLA. In November 2015, the Central Military Commission held a three-day PLA reform meeting in Beijing, during which President Xi Jinping, also the chairman of the Central Military Commission, gave guidelines on reform. After the reshuffle, the People's Liberation Army was regrouped into five new theater commands to replace the former seven military area commands. China announced a military reshuffle with 84 newly adjusted or established corps-level units. The change in designation is significant. In the past, armies only included the PLA army, but in the future, the air force, navy and Rocket Forces will also be included in the group armies and given a new designation. The previous 18 group armies have been reorganized into 13 new ones. All major combat units of the PLA follow a group army-brigade-battalion system.

In 2017, based on the existing 18 Group Armies were adjusted, 13 Group Armies and formed. China's military established five Theater Commands for its operations on 01 February 2016, realigning forces previously distributed under 7 Military Regions. In this round of deepening national defense and military reforms, after the establishment of the army's leading institutions and theaters, in accordance with the principle of "the general management of the military commission, the theater's main battle, and the service's construction", the 18 group armies that previously belonged to the original seven military regions were reassigned to each theater. On 27 April 2017 the Central Military Commission decision adjust the formation of the original 18 Group Armies into 13 newly formed Group Armies. with each of the five Theater Commands. After adjustment, the army forces in each theater had jurisdiction over 2 to 3 Group Armies that are relatively balanced.

The new Group Armies are new units without prior history, rather than a simple renumbering of units that otherwise retained their unit history. The authors of wikipedia mistakenly report that the new Group Armies are redesignations of existing units. For instance, it is reported that "The 78th Group Army ... was established in 2017, by seemingly a redesignation of the former 16th Group Army." But the legacy Group Armies had survived a variety of reshuffles prior to 2017, and if the intent had simply been to tidy up the organzation charts the legacy unit designation could have been preserved, which it was not.

In combat, individual exploits and personal valor are important, but team effort wins the fight. The military pays close attention to team performance, to the organizations in which its soldiers serve and fight, and to the flags and colors that symbolize those organizations. In the same way that patriots fight for their country's flag, in many Armies of the world, soldiers fight for their unit colors. The older an organization, the more soldiers, both active and retired, had the opportunity of serving in and identifying with it and the more opportunities the organization had to win battle honors. In the US Army the term reflagging was coined in the 1980s to describe the phenomenon formerly called a "transfer less personnel and equipment." For those soldiers who have served in the "Big Red One," the "Wolfhounds," or "The Blackhorse Regiment," unit pride is very much a part of their lives. In the US Army, the adoption of the Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS) in 1957 to provide a flexible regimental structure that would permit perpetuation of unit history and tradition.

But this is precively contrary to the reforms of 2015-2017, the intent of which was to completely reboot the upper echelons of the Chinese military. The PLA did not have well established patterns of rotating officers among commands, unlike the US military which has long rotated officers every few years to avoid the emergence of local cliques. Instead, an officer might spend his entire career in series of vertial promotions within the same geographic unit. The 2015-2017 aimed to break up this pattern, which would help to defeat strutures of corruption and nepotism, as well as establish an officer corps and command struture that clearly owed its position [and loyalty] to Chairman Xi Jinping.

President Xi Jinping encouraged the officers and soldiers of a company of the 74th Group Army of the Chinese People's Liberation Army to carry forward their fighting spirit and build a strong military unit. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks when answering a letter from the company known as the "hard-boned sixth company" 18 January 2020. Xi urged the entire company to pass on their "red genes" and hone their capabilities to win wars. He also extended Chinese New Year's greetings to them and their families. A heroic military unit, the company was conferred the honorary title of "hard-boned sixth company" by the Ministry of National Defense in 1964. Xi visited the unit in 2004 and sent his greetings to the soldiers and officers again in 2014.

Honored Troops

The units that have been awarded the honorary title are:

  • Red 1st Regiment : Former Army 42nd Army Infantry 1st 6th 3rd Division 4th 8th Regiment. In 2017, he was transferred to the Armys 74th Army and formed a synthetic brigade mainly with the Red Group
  • Baitai Mountain Heroes : Former Army 41st Army Infantry 1st 2-3rd Division 3rd 609th Regiment (formerly Northeast Field Army 4th Twelve Division 35th Regiment). A brigade transferred to the 74th Army of the Army in 2017
  • Five Brave Company of Langya Mountain : Former Army 42nd Army Infantry 1st 6th Division 4th 8th Regiment 3rd Battalion 7th Company. Transferred to the Army Seventy-fourth Army in 2017
  • Capable of attacking and defending the heroic battalion : the third battalion of the forty-eighth division of the former Army 42nd Army Infantry 1st 363rd Division
  • Interspersed with the Hero Battalion : The First Battalion of the First Two Fourth Division, Third Seventy-Two Regiment of the 42nd Army Infantry of the former Army
  • Panlong Mountain Hero Company : Former Army 42nd Army Infantry 1st 24th Division 3rd 72nd Regiment 6th Company
  • Huangcailing Guarding Hero Company : Former Army 42nd Army Infantry 1st 24th Division 30th Regiment 4th Company
  • Yantai Peak Defense Hero Company : Former Army 42nd Army Infantry 1st 24th Division 371st Regiment 4th Company
  • March Eighth Line Sharpen Hero Company and Flood Rescue Hero Company : Former Army 42nd Army Infantry 1st 24th Division 3rd 72nd Regiment 4th Company
  • Attacking Hero Company : Former Army 42nd Army Infantry 1st 363rd Division 4th 8.9th Regiment 3rd Battalion 7th Company
  • Six companies with hard bones : the sixth company of the first regiment of the first division of the first army mechanized infantry. A brigade transferred to the 74th Army of the Army in 2017
  • Huangtuling Heroes Battery Company : A company of the former Chinese People's Liberation Army stationed in Hong Kong. A combined brigade transferred to the 74th Army of the Army in 2017
  • Miyun Jiandao Company : A company of the former Army 42nd Army. A combined brigade transferred to the 74th Army of the Army in 2017
  • Northward Anti-Japanese Pioneer Company : Three companies of one battalion of an artillery brigade of the 42nd Army of the former Army. Transferred to the 74th Army of the Army in 2017
  • See bayonets : a brigade from a brigade of the former Hainan Military Region (formed from the original Tongfan division in 2003). In 2017, transferred to the Army Seventy-fourth Army

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Page last modified: 01-08-2021 14:09:18 ZULU