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Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 4:19 am
Post subject: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

- Roy_A_Lingle
Hi Bob! Hi Folks!

- bsmart

- Roy_A_Lingle
Hi Folks!
Interesting report on Iwo Jima. It has been a while sense I read about that battle. This is the first time I have heard that a U.S. Army Infantry (145th) Division had moved in and replaced the VAC.

Roy I think you mean the 147th Infantry Regt. (Seperate) There were no Infantry Divisions above the 106th


That was another alertness check to see if anyone was paying attention to my flub up! Well done Bob! You passed the test!

I guess I forgot who was writting that report. It is comman in the Marine Corps to refur to regiments by their number and the title Marines. As in 9th Marines is the 9th regiment of Marines. While the Army normally refurs to divisions by the number and type. As in the 106th Infantry is the 106th division of infantry. So when I saw the 147th Infantry, I forgot a Marine was writting that report.

No divisions above 106? I guess that explains why I had never heard of the 147th Infantry Division. Confused
Sgt, Scouts Out!


I don't think you're going to slide on it that easy Rolling Eyes I can't agree that the army 'assumed' the unit was a division. I've read and heard of many references to units that were Regiments and not Divisons. In fact historically I think most references were to Regiments

If I say 7th Cav I'll bet you think of the unit that went with Custer to Little Big Horn. That was The 7th Cavalry Regiment. The Old Guard is the 3rd Infantry that's the 3rd Infantry Regiment not Division.

When Divisions were first created as a standing organizational unit early in the 20th Century the were simply Divisions It was the 1st Division, 29th Division, etc. The 'Infantry' designater did not come until just before WWII, at about the same time they went from Square Divisions (2 Brigades of 2 Regiments each) to Triangular Divisions ( No brigades and only 3 Regiments) Of course that was about the same time that Armor Divisions were created. I think Armor units are usually assumed to be divisons. My guess is that may be because for most of their existence they were not organized by regiments but by 'Combat Commands' whicjh were purposly left very nebulous and did not carry many traditions. Even after Regiments stopped being a functional organization the various battalions (which had become the basic building block of larger units) were given almost artificial Regimental lineages.

Now where is this going some of you may ask

I think it may be time to consign the division to to the dustbin of history.

Especially with the new Army structure that began with 'Units of Action' and then had those cumbersome legalistic names changed to Brigades I think that it is time to make a major switch in Army Lineage policy.

I suggest that the army take the Name and insignia of the WWII Divisons and give each one to a Brigade. The Army has so few Divisons these days that many historic and well regarded units (and insignia) are just sitting on the Hearldry shelf. At the same time the 'Division' has grown form the operational unit that moved and fought together into an administrative monstrocity that even when it deploys leaves a large foundation back at it's 'home station'.

Shoulder patches grew out of the tactical signs that Danial Butterworth developed in the Civil War to be able to tell which units troops (and he was mainly worried about skulkers and malingerers) were assigned to. With Brigades being the level at which I see units being employed at why not make that the level at which we bind the troops via identifiable units?

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:48 am
Post subject: Re: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

FYI, "Unit of Action" (and UEs for that matter) has been out of use for about a year now. They're all just BCTs (Brigade Combat Teams) now.

For the time being, divisions still appear to have some use, but I agree they are becoming more of administrative centers/groupings as brigades have taken on more of the operational level of warfare.

Neil
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Sabot
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:38 am
Post subject: Re: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

I think they should have gone to a pseudo-regimental system when naming the BCTs. Instead of having 1st Bde, 3rd ID, it should have been named after one of the major regimental units from the brigade (for instance, 66th Armor). Then the battalions in the BCT would be 1/66, 2/66, 3/66 etc.

Too bad we killed the separate brigades. They are just about what the BCTs ended up being.

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:56 am
Post subject: Re: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

- Sabot
I think they should have gone to a pseudo-regimental system when naming the BCTs. Instead of having 1st Bde, 3rd ID, it should have been named after one of the major regimental units from the brigade (for instance, 66th Armor). Then the battalions in the BCT would be 1/66, 2/66, 3/66 etc.


Interesting... But the branches/schools would oppose that - a lot...

Would all armor/infantry regiments become generic maneuver regiments? - which would mean effectively merging the armor & infantry branch into a generic maneuver branch. We might be headed in that direction eventually, with the move of the Armor Center & School to Benning - but no merger of the branches as yet...

Or would infantry battalions in an Armor BCT become an infantry battalion in an armor regiment? And vice versa? Armor back in the infantry branch? My head is spinning...

And never mind the supporting artillery, forward support, and engineer battalions...

Neil
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:09 am
Post subject: Re: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

As I remember it a 'Combat Team' meant that the base unit had been augmented with support units to make it a self supportng and more well rounded Combat unit that was capable of independent operations.

So a BCT would be more than the base infantry, armor, etc that had made up the old regiment. That is why I suggested making them the replacement for the Division. For the Reserves/Guard that would also reverse the trend of combining state units that used to stand on their own into Divisions that cross regional lines.

The new brigades would still have the mix of supporting arms that old WWII era divisons had but shed the support and administarative tail they have grown over the years and return to being primarily operational units.

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Hellfish6
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:42 am
Post subject: Re: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

One of my little pet peeves is that despite all this talk of moving to a brigade-centric force, very little has been done toward that goal. Brigades are still part of divisions and, for the most part, still deploy as part of their parent division. There's very little modularity in practice, it seems. I think the Army History Center made the determination that all the new brigades would still be part of divisions, so we've now got the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Brigades of the 1st Infantry/1st Armored/1st Cavalry Divisions. To me, this doesn't really foster a culture of modularity or brigade-centrism.

There was a proposal a year or two ago to name each BCT uniquely - the six airborne brigades would inheiret the names of the six historical airborne divisions and seperate brigades. You'd have the 82nd, 101st, 11th, 13th, 17th and 173rd Airborne Brigades, each with their own unit patches. The Heavy BCTs would adopt the historical names of armored divisions and seperate brigades and historically mechanized infantry divisions. The Light BCTs would get their names and patches from other historical infantry divisions and brigades.

I think naming brigades individually would greatly enhance esprit and certainly foster the modularity mentality in the Army. Plus, how cool would it be to see the 2nd Armored Division patch again?

Here is the US Army today:

www4.army.mil/soldiers...rForce.pdf
Soldiers Magazine

Here is the proposed renaming convention:

www.ausa.org/pdfdocs/Lowe.pdf
Army Magazine March 2005
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Dubliner
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:51 am
Post subject: Re: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

nt


Last edited by Dubliner on Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joe_D
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:42 am
Post subject: Re: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

Hi folks,
From what I've seen the units are already set up for operations, unlike how we did it 5 years ago. That's cross attach platoons and company's to make up the task force. We got 3-67 Armor here under the new system. Tanks, Bradleys, Engineers, Etc all part of the Battalion. Same with the medium and light units. I think it's much better than the old way, at least you all know each other. BTW , BCT's are what they all are called with the exception of the SBCT's (Stryker). They still mark their bumper numbers that way too.
Speaking for myself only (for what it's worth), The division thing is kinda confusing and out dated now anyway. Everyone is attached here or falls under this or that. It get's pretty interesting when a troop decides what unit patch to where on the right shoulder. I know a lot of guys that after one year in country can wear up to 4 different patches. Kinda crazy. I guess that's why we went to velcro, just carry the patches in the pocket and change them out when needed. Naming Brigades individually would cut down on the confusion some. Besides, I'd like to see a 3AD patch again.

Joe D
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:31 pm
Post subject: Re: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

Well, hell! Call me old-fashioned (because, in fact, I am....not for nothing does minha esposa call me "meu vaio") but if we're improvising units to the mission, what was wrong with "task force X"or if really short-lived, a "reinforced whatever" if you have to "go heavy"...since surnamed units (i.e. "Team Desobry") are out of security/fashion these days. At least everyone understood what you meant in the context mentioned by Bob (though I wonder, from afar, if he meant "Combat Command" as opposed to "Combat Team").

A lot of this unit nomenclature seems like just so much sophistry to this guy. Sorry....just had to vent. Rant mode off. We now return you to our currently serving forces, already in progress. Rolling Eyes
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Sabot
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:10 pm
Post subject: Re: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

- Neil_Baumgardner
- Sabot
I think they should have gone to a pseudo-regimental system when naming the BCTs. Instead of having 1st Bde, 3rd ID, it should have been named after one of the major regimental units from the brigade (for instance, 66th Armor). Then the battalions in the BCT would be 1/66, 2/66, 3/66 etc.


Interesting... But the branches/schools would oppose that - a lot...

Would all armor/infantry regiments become generic maneuver regiments? - which would mean effectively merging the armor & infantry branch into a generic maneuver branch. We might be headed in that direction eventually, with the move of the Armor Center & School to Benning - but no merger of the branches as yet...

Or would infantry battalions in an Armor BCT become an infantry battalion in an armor regiment? And vice versa? Armor back in the infantry branch? My head is spinning...

And never mind the supporting artillery, forward support, and engineer battalions...

Neil
Take a walk through the Infantry Museum at Ft. Benning. You would be surprised at how many "armor regiment" insignias were originally infantry regiments. The infantry used to own the tanks. One of my old regiments was 68th Armor. That was once 68th Infantry Regiment (Light Tanks).

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:02 pm
Post subject: Re: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

- Doug_Kibbey
Well, hell! Call me old-fashioned (because, in fact, I am....not for nothing does minha esposa call me "meu vaio") but if we're improvising units to the mission, what was wrong with "task force X"or if really short-lived, a "reinforced whatever" if you have to "go heavy"...since surnamed units (i.e. "Team Desobry") are out of security/fashion these days. At least everyone understood what you meant in the context mentioned by Bob (though I wonder, from afar, if he meant "Combat Command" as opposed to "Combat Team").

A lot of this unit nomenclature seems like just so much sophistry to this guy. Sorry....just had to vent. Rant mode off. We now return you to our currently serving forces, already in progress. Rolling Eyes


There are still task-organized battalions - that is unless we go to fully combined arms/maneuver battalions at some point... BCTs are Brigades - they just have more responsibility now (wide area of control aka "battlespace").

Divisions may still be necessary for full-out conventional campaigns, if one can still conceive of one...

Its all kinda a normal progression of warfare IMO. Back in Napoleonic times, the division was a tactical level instrument whereas corps and armies did operational level maneuver. I'm sure there was somebody (in fact I know there was) in the 1920s/30s complaining about the division becoming a more important formation due to mechanization, etc so that regiments & brigades took over the tactical battle.

Now we're one more step removed - with brigades at the operational level.

Neil
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:11 pm
Post subject: Re: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

In 1999, I was a member of the 'BlackJack' Bde ( 2nd Bde, 1st Cav ) deployment to Bosnia. We replaced 1st Bde, 1st Cav. MND-North was commanded by the 1st Cav CG, which meant we were under 'our own' Divisions control.

Due to rotations, HQ 1st CAV conducted a TOA (Transfer of Authority) to 10th Mtn Div (HQ element) half-way thru our rotation. From that period, till our departure ( several months ) we were 'sliced' to 10th Mtn Div.

I use this 'aged' example, to show that current BCT rotations under a different higher command is not new.

JOE.....I second your 'wish' for the 3rd AD patch. SPEARHEAD !! (how I miss her... Crying or Very sad )
(I'm sure "YAMBO" would agree to that also... Laughing

BTW Joe: I'll forward some 'REAL OLD' photos of the 'ol man' I dug up.

Just my 2 pfennigs.... Wink
Don

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bsmart
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:48 pm
Post subject: Re: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

- Doug_Kibbey
At least everyone understood what you meant in the context mentioned by Bob (though I wonder, from afar, if he meant "Combat Command" as opposed to "Combat Team").


I chose my words with care Wink I meant Combat Team as in Regimental Combat Team or Brigade Combat Team. I left off Regiment or Brigade because I wanted to concentrate on the concept that adding Team to the unit size indicated that it was based on the unit (Regiment or Brigade) but supplemented with attached units.

The Combat Command was a subordinate unit in the 1943 style 'light' Armored divison. It was meant to be a headquarters that any portion of the divisions units could be attached to to complete a given mission. I believe the intent was to create two subordinate commands that the division commander could alter at will but I also believe that very quickly the commands became somewhat stable with units being assigned on a semipermanent basis. I don't think the concept survived the war by much.

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:19 pm
Post subject: Re: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

- bsmart
- Doug_Kibbey
At least everyone understood what you meant in the context mentioned by Bob (though I wonder, from afar, if he meant "Combat Command" as opposed to "Combat Team").


I chose my words with care Wink


Bob...
As I figgered you would...I'm just not home (or in-country) at the moment and couldn't check my own sources to see if CC or CT was the more precise term. Not that it seems to matter much these days, anyway. Thanks to your clarification, I don't have to do any checking! Wink

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bsmart
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:57 am
Post subject: Re: Divisions, Regiments, Brigades (and history)

No problem, So are we going to see any good pictures from this trip?

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