From serving Texas to serving overseas, Arrowhead Guardsmen shoulder chaos to deploy forward
Courtesy Asset: Sgt. Christina Clardy, 36th Infantry Division
AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 22, ) – The Headquarters of the 36th Infantry Division is slated to deploy to the Middle East this fall, and has been rigorously training and preparing for the past two years. Despite their hectic training schedule for the mobilization, many division headquarters Soldiers chose to volunteer for COVID response efforts and the civil disturbance missions.
This year, Texas Governor Greg Abbott activated more than 3, service members from the Texas National Guard with elements of both Texas’ Air National Guard and Army National Guard for two separate crises. The first activation came on the heels of the COVID pandemic; Joint Task Force set up over sites where they administered over , tests. Service members assisted with the states’ decontamination efforts of nursing homes as well as delivered over 7, pallets of protective equipment to civilian-run testing sites across the state. The second activation came two-months later while the COVID efforts continued.
Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., civil unrest rocked many cities throughout the nation. Texas was no exception and the threat of unrest brought about a second wave of Guardsmen activations. Service members answered the call to support local and state law enforcement and assist in the protection of people and critical infrastructure necessary to the well-being of local communities.
“I was in the process of transferring over to the 36th Infantry Division for the mobilization when my company contacted me looking for volunteers for the COVID support mission back in March,” said Texas Army National Guard 1st Lt. Juan Bonilla, an infantryman formerly from Texas’ 2nd Battalion of the nd Infantry Regiment. “The COVID mission brought on a new kind of mission complexity within a state mission that, as far as I know, we have not encountered so far in our history -- definitely not at this widespread level.”
Bonilla worked in the Joint Operations Cell for the JTF COVID Response mission and got a small glimpse of the many moving parts that must synchronize to handle the magnitude of the state response.
“The hardest part of that mission was learning about all the different sections and parts within the mission, and how they moved and communicated to accomplish the mission as a whole,” said Bonilla about the comparison between the COVID Response and the 36th Inf. Div. Headquarters’ upcoming mobilization. “And now, as the Division Headquarters moves forward with our mobilization, I have really started to see the complexities that go into the movements and operations from a higher headquarters down both in state operations and federal operations overseas.”
Bonilla says he’s looking forward to deploying after serving during part of the COVID crisis this summer; to him, being a Texas National Guardsman is all about service.
“I want to learn as much as I can in order to use that knowledge to help our unit’s federal mission while deployed forward and when we return during our future state support missions,” he said. “I have great pride in my country and in my state. Our motto, ‘Texans serving Texans’ is a big thing for me.”
CIVIL DISTURBANCE RESPONSE
“I was having dinner with my family when I got an email informing me that I was activated for the state’s civil disturbance response,” said Texas Army National Guard Sgt. Eric Chacon, an Army medic formerly from Fort Worth’s 3rd Battalion of the th Infantry Regiment. “I reported to Camp Mabry that first week of June and we were issued our protective gear before heading down to Camp Swift for our civil disturbance training.”
All Texas Guardsmen activated for the civil disturbance mission spent 3 to 4 days training in crowd response tactics and non-lethal methods.
“Our civil disturbance training was focused on things like non-lethal training: how to protect yourself and others; how to react or not react to certain threats or taunts; and practice in maintaining our professional manner and bearing when faced with civilians in groups that are in riots or potential riots,” Chacon explained.
The Texas Army National Guard sent Soldiers to more than a dozen areas around the state to support local law enforcement where large protests were happening or where rioting was an ongoing threat. Chacon’s group was sent to guard the State Capitol building grounds in downtown Austin.
“What is really interesting about the Guard to me, is that even though we are military, we are still civilians - we wear both hats,” said Chacon, a native of El Paso. “I feel that with our roots as Texan civilians and our ability to go out in a uniform as a trained force is important because we are a neutral force,” said Chacon. “We aren’t there to choose a side. We are there to protect everyone in general, regardless of which side or which group.”
Chacon, like many 36th Inf. Div. Headquarters Soldiers, spent the spring and summer away from their families supporting the COVID and civil disturbance missions before rolling straight into their mandatory deployment training.
“There was so much to do and so much training we needed to go through to be prepared to deploy [overseas],” he said. “Since activating for the civil disturbance response mission, I have gone straight to my medic refresher course; then into deployment training where we run through our Soldier skills such as weapons qualifications, communications, squad tactics and military vehicle training; and immediately into a support role to assist with preparing and helping my unit pack up for the deployment.”
Even with so much going on at home in their state, Bonilla and Chacon reflect the focus that the 36th Inf. Div. Headquarters maintains as their deployment date fast approaches.
“I’m looking forward to networking with new people during this deployment,” said Chacon. The sense of service and care I have gained through the Guard really helps me connect and communicate with people better. I want to be able to take that forward with us as we deploy, and improve it for when we return home and continue to care for and serve our fellow Texans.
|Location:||AUSTIN, TX, US|
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Texan soldiers bid farewell to families, again
“No hardships,” she said Sunday morning, “just I’m going to miss my husband quite a bit.”
Taylor and Spc. Alyssa LaFosse, 28, of San Antonio were among more than Texas guard soldiers who had one last chance to see family and friends at a Round Rock school district football stadium. They’re heading for a nine-month rotation to the Middle East and, like soldiers over the years and decades, putting the best face on a time of personal sacrifice.
“I am looking forward to furthering my career and actually doing my job and learning new job skills along the way,” said LaFosse, a combat medic who lives near SeaWorld San Antonio. “Personally, I love my job, I love what I do — I do a medical position on the civilian side as well — so for me being able to reach other people in other countries is pretty great.”
Standing beside Army Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, adjutant general of the Texas National Guard, Maj. Gen. Patrick Hamilton watched as the 36th Infantry Division put away its colors in what is called a “casing” ceremony. He’ll lead the division’s headquarters, which will oversee active-duty Army and National Guard units, along with members of the Army Reserve.
Soldiers with the headquarters will be scattered around the region, serving in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and two other counties he wouldn’t name. They also may support missions in Iraq.
The headquarters will provide training for partner nations based on a Central Command theater security plan. The Texans will serve as experts to forces interested in improving their skills in such areas as artillery, maneuver, and command and control.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about us not having to be there and them having the capacity to do the things that they need to do to protect and defend their countries on their own,” Hamilton said.
Wearing their utility uniforms, the Texans were treated to a flyover of helicopters from Camp Mabry and music from the 36th Infantry Division band. A Medal of Honor recipient from the Second Battle of Fallujah, David Bellavia, gave a rousing pep talk, telling the soldiers they were “ready to fulfill the destiny of this country and uphold the finest traditions of an incredible division that has been there and done that.”
The division’s rich history starts with the Meuse-Argonne Offensive under Gen. John J. Pershing during World War I and fighting in North Africa, Italy, France, Germany and Austria in World War II. It’s sent troops to Kosovo, Bosnia, Kuwait, the Sinai Peninsula, the Horn of Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now back in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, the soldiers will miss Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and Memorial Day. And they’ll live with the anxiety of the coronavirus possibly striking a family member while they’re far from home.
“I cannot overstate how proud I am of these fine soldiers. The 36th Infantry Division consistently demonstrates their professionalism and skill, making them the choice to lead so many operations overseas,” Norris said.
“It’s that 1 percent,” said Hamilton, the son of a three-tour Vietnam War helicopter pilot who grew up in West University Place, near Houston. “When they raise their hand and swear that oath to support and defend the Constitution, they don’t stipulate when and where they’re going to do it, they just say, ‘We’re going to do it …’ Words can’t describe how incredible that is.”
Hamilton, who now lives in Round Rock, commands the latest headquarters assignment since a Bosnia peacekeeping mission. The soldiers in Task Force Spartan Shield, like those then, come from across the Lone Star State, with many living in San Antonio, Houston, Austin and Dallas.
The troops appeared to mirror those cited in a Rand Corp. study that found million American troops had served on million deployments from More than 8 in every 10 of those GIs were enlisted, with 10 percent of them female. The troops on average were under 30 years old.
They’re part of an organization that’s had a high operations tempo all year.
The Texas guard, the nation’s largest, with 21, soldiers and airmen, has spent helping mitigate the pandemic, giving more than , COVID tests across the state. It also has supported federal and state border security missions even as the 36th Infantry Division prepared for its nine-month deployment to the Middle East. And only a few weeks ago, the guard was on duty in Beaumont to support civilians in the wake of Hurricane Laura.
On ExpressNews.com:Guard waits for orders as East Texas dodges ‘a big bullet’
So far, the 36th has coped well with COVID, reporting two positive cases last week and five in the past two months. All have recovered, but there was concerning news even before Sunday’s ceremony began on a cloudy, humid morning at the Kelly Reeves Stadium in Austin.
Hamilton said his wife, Beverly Hamilton, was diagnosed Friday with COVID They said their farewells at home, from a socially safe distance. At Sunday’s ceremony, he wore an N95 mask.
The 36th Infantry Division is just one Texas guard unit going overseas. Others will follow, including an AHD Apache helicopter unit from Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston and C Hercules cargo planes and their crews out of Fort Worth.
The Texas guard came into its own even before 9/ It’s supported Pentagon overseas operations since the 49th Armored Division led the Bosnian peacekeeping force. That was a breakthrough mission, marking the first time the National Guard led multinational troops, and launched an era in which guard troops stood as equals with their active-duty counterparts.
The pace picked up quickly after 9/ As active-duty troops were spread thin in Iraq and Afghanistan, the guard became a major player. As one example, the Grand Prairie-based General Support Aviation Battalion’s Alamo Dustoff medevac crews from San Antonio replaced a unit attached to the st Airborne Division in Balad from That year, roughly half the utility helicopters in Iraq belonged to guard units.
The result: Tens of thousands of Texans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since , and they’ve had losses — 12 in all. Earlier this month, the guard marked the crash of Red River 44, a CHD Chinook that went down in Iraq on Sept. 17, , claiming the lives of seven Texas and Oklahoma National Guard soldiers.
On ExpressNews.com:Human error likely culprit in '08 Chinook crash
Hamilton was with the first headquarters rotation to Bosnia, and he noted every division in the National Guard has done that mission once or twice. Texans ran the headquarters in Kosovo in and in Iraq four years later, with major generals in charge in each case. But the Texas guard also led “division-minus” headquarters that were run by one-star generals on two other occasions, one of them a few years ago in Afghanistan.
“I look at my staff and the team that we’ve got going downrange, and I think all of my senior staff has been there once or twice before, and they know how to do this,” he said.
Many of the soldiers on this deployment got orders to serve in what Hamilton called an “involuntary mobilization.” A few put in hardship requests, and some were granted. He said that while some troops will do better financially in deploying, perhaps because they were out of work as a result of COVID, others will feel real economic pain.
“But I would tell you those are the ones, they haven’t actually put in any hardship request,” Hamilton said. “They know what it is, they signed up for this and they’re proud to serve, and so they’re ready to take their livelihood, put it aside for nine months and then come back and get back after it when they come home. That’s the nature of the National Guard, isn’t it?”
Sig Christenson covers the military and its impact in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. To read more from Sig, become a subscriber. [email protected] | Twitter: @saddamscribe
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36th Infantry Division (United States)
For the Confederate States Army division during the American Civil War, see Walker's Greyhounds.
The 36th Infantry Division ("Arrowhead"), also known as the "Panther Division", "Lone Star Division", "The Texas Army", or the "T-patchers", is an infantrydivision of the United States Army and part of the Texas Army National Guard. It was organized during World War I from units of the Texas and Oklahoma National Guard. As an all-Texas unit, it was called for service for World War II 25 November , was sent to the European Theater of Operations in April , and returned to the Texas Army National Guard in December
A unit of the 36th Infantry, the 2nd Battalion, st Field Artillery, was detached and sent to the Pacific just before the outbreak of war in late Captured by the Japanese and forced into slave labor, its fate was unknown for most of the rest of World War II, resulting in the name of The Lost Battalion.
The 36th Infantry Division was reconstituted in a May reorganization of the 49th Armored Division.
The division has been active in search and rescue efforts following natural disasters, as well as supporting the rebuilding of affected areas.
World War I
The 36th Infantry Division was activated as the 15th Division, an Army National Guard Division from Texas and Oklahoma. The new unit also received a new commander, Major General Edwin St. John Greble. The designation was changed to the 36th Division in July
The final composition of the 36th Division consisted of the 71st and 72nd Infantry Brigades, the st and nd Infantry Regiments belonging to the 71st. The rd and th Infantry Regiments were attached to the 72nd Brigade. Also belonging to the 71st was the nd Machine Gun Battalion. Similarly, the 72nd received the rd Machine Gun Battalion. The 61st Field Artillery Brigade, st, nd, and rd Field Artillery Regiments, th Regiment Engineers, th Signal Battalion and the th Supply Train comprised the rest of the 36th Division. The unit trained at Camp Bowie, Texas, then in Fort Worth.
Order of battle
- Headquarters, 36th Division
- 71st Infantry Brigade
- 72nd Infantry Brigade
- 61st Field Artillery Brigade
- st Field Artillery Regiment (75mm)
- nd Field Artillery Regiment (75mm)
- rd Field Artillery Regiment (mm)
- th Trench Mortar Battery
- st Machine Gun Battalion
- th Engineer Regiment
- th Field Signal Battalion
- Headquarters Troop, 36th Division
- th Train Headquarters and Military Police
- th Ammunition Train
- th Supply Train
- th Engineer Train
- th Sanitary Train
- st, nd, rd, and th Ambulance Companies and Field Hospitals
The unit was sent to Europe in July and conducted major operations in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. On 9–10 October, the unit participated in heavy combat near the village of St. Etienne. Following this victory, which included the capture of several hundred men and officers of the German Army, as well as artillery, the unit launched an assault near an area known as "Forest Farm." The eventual victory brought World War I to an end, yet during World War I, the division suffered 2, casualties, killed in action and 2, wounded in action. The unit was inactivated in June
World War II
The 36th Division was called up again for active federal service on 25 November , during World War II (although the United States was neutral at this stage), at San Antonio, Texas, departing for its mobilization station at Camp Bowie, Texas, on 14 December The division commanded by Major GeneralClaude V. Birkhead, moved to Brownwood, Texas, on 1 June , where it participated in the VIII CorpsBrownwood Maneuvers until 13 June The division then returned to Camp Bowie.
The division then moved to Mansfield, Louisiana, and took part in both the August and September Louisiana Maneuvers. The division, now commanded by Brigadier GeneralFred L. Walker, a Regular Army officer from Ohio, then returned to Camp Bowie on 2 October , where it was reorganized from a square division into a triangular division on 1 February and redesignated the 36th Infantry Division, just weeks after the United States entered World War II, as a result of the Japaneseattack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December As a result of this reorganization, the th Infantry, plus numerous supporting units, were transferred out of the division.
The division then moved to Camp Blanding, Florida, on 19 February , and participated in the Carolina Maneuvers between 9 July , and 15 August The division then was staged at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts, on 17 August , for its port call to the European Theater Of Operations (ETO). During its time at Camp Edwards, the division conducted mock assaults of Martha's Vineyard Island in preparation for future amphibiousoperations.
The division departed the New York Port of Embarkation (NYPOE) on 2 April , for service in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO).
Pre-2 February square organization
- Headquarters, 36th Division
- Headquarters, Special Troops, 36th Division
- Headquarters Company, 36th Division
- 36th Military Police Company
- 36th Signal Company
- th Ordnance Company (Medium)
- 71st Infantry Brigade
- 72nd Infantry Brigade
- 61st Field Artillery Brigade
- st Field Artillery Regiment (75mm)
- nd Field Artillery Regiment (75mm)
- rd Field Artillery Regiment (mm)
- th Engineer Regiment
- th Medical Regiment
- th Quartermaster Regiment
Post-2 February triangular reorganization
- Headquarters, 36th Infantry Division
- st Infantry Regiment
- nd Infantry Regiment
- rd Infantry Regiment
- Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 36th Infantry Division Artillery
- st Field Artillery Battalion (mm)
- nd Field Artillery Battalion (mm)
- rd Field Artillery Battalion (mm)
- th Field Artillery Battalion (mm)
- th Engineer Combat Battalion
- th Medical Battalion
- 36th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized)
- Headquarters, Special Troops, 36th Infantry Division
- Headquarters Company, 36th Infantry Division
- th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company
- 36th Quartermaster Company
- 36th Signal Company
- Military Police Platoon
- 36th Counterintelligence Corps Detachment
- st Tank Battalion (26 August – 31 August )
- rd Tank Battalion (15 August – 26 December ); (4 March – 29 March ); (29 April – 13 June )
- th Tank Destroyer Battalion (15 August – 29 March ; 29 April – 13 June )
- nd Tank Destroyer Battalion (29 April – 1 May )
- rd Anti Aircraft Artillery Battalion (AW)(7 December – 13 January )
- nd Regimental Combat Team (11 September – 13 October )
The 36th Division landed in French North Africa on 13 April , and trained at Arzew and Rabat. However, the training was hampered by the need to supply guards for some 25, Axisprisoners of war (POWs) who had surrendered at the conclusion of the Tunisian Campaign in May. It was assigned to Major General Ernest J. Dawley's VI Corps, part of the Fifth Army, but attached to the Services of Supply, North African Theater of Operations, United States Army (NATOUSA), for supply. The 36th Division was originally intended to take part in the Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, but Lieutenant GeneralGeorge S. Patton the Seventh Army commander, preferred to use experienced troops instead and the 36th Division remained in North Africa. The Fifth Army was commanded by Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, who knew the 36th Division well from his time as chief of staff to Lieutenant General Lesley J. McNair, commander of Army Ground Forces, and specifically chose the 36th Division, rather than the more experienced 34th Infantry Division, together with the British 46th and 56th Infantry Divisions, to spearhead the Allied assault landings at Salerno, Italy, which was given the codename of Operation Avalanche.
The division first saw action, in the Italian campaign, on 9 September It was the first U.S. combat unit to fight on the European continent when it landed by sea at Paestum and fought in the Battle of Salerno against intense German opposition. The Germans launched numerous fierce counterattacks on 12–14 September, but the 36th, which at one stage during the battle was holding a mile sector of the front (six times more than a full-strength infantry division was able to hold), repulsed them with the aid of air support and naval gunfire, and, with the help of paratroopers of the th Parachute Infantry Regiment, advanced slowly, securing the area from Agropoli to Altavilla. After sustaining over 4, casualties in its first major action, the division spent the next few weeks behind the lines, where it remained in the Fifth Army reserve, absorbing replacements and training for future combat operations. Despite the heavy losses, the 36th Division was considered to have fought well, and four men were awarded the Medal of Honor.
The 36th Division returned to combat in mid-November, after six weeks of rest, now under Major General Geoffrey Keyes' II Corps command. It captured Mount Maggiore, Mount Lungo, and the village of San Pietro despite strong enemy positions and severe winter weather. This grueling campaign against the Bernhardt Line was marked by futile attempts to establish a secure bridgehead across the Gari River, erroneously identified as the Rapido on 1 January , to 8 February. The division attacked across the Gari River on 20 January but was harshly repulsed by the 15th Panzergrenadier Division. The st and rd Infantry Regiments were virtually destroyed, and the attack was stopped on 22 January. In 48 hours, the 36th Division had sustained 1, casualties, of them killed, wounded, and missing, out of almost 6, men who took part. Many of the casualties consisted of newly-arrived replacements who were poorly integrated into their units. German losses were minimal, with only 64 killed and a further wounded. A company commander in the rd Infantry said, "I had men. Forty-eight hours later, I had If that's not mass murder, I don't know what is." 36th Division losses until the end of January was of 2, battle casualties and 2, non-battle, with the combat effectiveness of the st and rd Infantry Regiment lost.
Strong controversy flared among the officers of the division. Lieutenant General Clark, the Fifth Army commander, was severely criticized for having ordered a difficult frontal attack, and was accused of having caused the disaster. After the war Congress, urged by veterans of the division, conducted an investigation into the causes and responsibility for the defeat on the Gari River. Clark was absolved of blame and he personally believed the attack to be necessary, in order to attract German reserves from Northern Italy to prevent their use at Anzio, where an amphibious assault, codenamed Operation Shingle, was being launched by Anglo-American forces in an attempt to outflank the Winter Line, capture the Italian capital of Rome and potentially force a German withdrawal away from their formidable Winter Line defenses. However, the German reserves identified in Northern Italy had already been drawn forward onto the front of the British X Corps during the First Battle of Monte Cassino a few days before, thus making the 36th Division's assault unnecessary, although this was unknown to Clark at the time.
After assisting the 34th Infantry Division in the attack on Cassino and fighting defensively along the Gari River, the severely depleted 36th withdrew from the line on 12 March, for rest and recreation. The division arrived by sea at the Anzio beachhead on 22 May, under the command of Major General Lucian Truscott's VI Corps, to take part in Operation Diadem, with the breakout from the beachhead commencing the following day. It drove north to capture Velletri on 1 June, and entered Rome on 5 June , the day before the Normandy landings. Pushing up from Rome, the 36th encountered sharp resistance at Magliano, but reached Piombino on 26 June, before moving back to Paestum for rest and recreation. In July Major General Walker, who had commanded the 36th Division since September , was replaced by Major General John E. Dahlquist.
On 15 August , as part of the U.S. 6th Army Group, the division made another amphibious assault landing, against light opposition in the Saint-Raphaël-Fréjus area of southern France as part of Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of Southern France. A rapid advance opened the Rhone River Valley. Montelimar fell, 28 August, and large German units were trapped. On 15 September, the division was attached to the French First Army. The 36th advanced to the Moselle River at Remiremont and the foothills of the Vosges. On 30 September, the nd Regimental Combat Team (nd RCT, a Japanese-American unit) was assigned to the 36th to help shore up the division. The nd was subsequently used to spearhead the capture towns of Bruyères and Biffontaine where they faced stiff opposition. On 24 October the rd Infantry relieved the th and 3rd Battalion who were sent to Belmont, another small town to the north, for some short-lived rest. On 23 October the 1st Battalion, st Infantry were cut off just beyond the town or Biffontaine. On 27 October the nd RCT was called back in to save this Lost Battalion.
The th fielded 1, men shortly before, but was now down to infantrymen and 21 officers. The 2nd Battalion was down to riflemen and 17 officers, while not a single company in the 3rd Battalion had over riflemen; the entire th/nd Regimental Combat Team was down to less than soldiers. On 13 October , when attached to the 36th Infantry Division, the unit was at 2, rifleman and officers, but in only three weeks were killed and 1, were wounded, while 43 were missing. For this action, the nd RCT would earn 3 of its 7 Presidential Unit Citations.
In a grinding offensive, the division crossed the Meurthe River, breached the Ste. Marie Pass and burst into the Alsatian Plains. The enemy counterattacked, 13 December , but the 36th held the perimeter of the Colmar Pocket. Two days later, the division was released from attachment to the French First Army, and returned to the control of VI Corps, now under Major General Edward H. Brooks, under the Seventh Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Alexander Patch. The German counterattacks out of the Colmar Pocket were so fierce, that at times, the field artillery was forced to fire over open sights at point blank range to stop them. On 20 December , the division resumed the attack, advancing northward along the Rhine River to Mannheim meeting heavy resistance at Haguenau, Oberhöfen, and Wissembourg. In this action Company "G" of the rd Infantry received a Presidential Unit Citation. On 27 December , the division was reassigned to Major General Frank W. Milburn's XXI Corps of the Seventh Army, and was pinched out and returned to Seventh Army reserve on 30 December On the afternoon of 30 October 3rd Battalion broke through and reached 1st Battalion, st, rescuing T-Patchers at the cost of men in five days. However, the fighting continued for the nd as they moved past the st Infantry. The drive continued until they reached Saint-Die on 17 November when they were finally pulled back.
The division was taken out of the line for the first time since it had landed in the south of France. On 3 January , the division was reassigned to Major General Wade H. Haislip's XV Corps. In January , the division was reassigned to VI Corps. It returned to the line early March. The 36th was reassigned to the Seventh Army on 29 March , and moved to the Danube River on 22 April The 36th Division has been recognized as a liberating unit for its work securing the subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp system.
The 36th Division was reassigned to the XXI Corps on 27 April , and attacked the Künzelsau area on the 30th. Members of the 36th Division's nd Infantry arriving as reinforcements on 5 May tipped the Battle for Castle Itter in favor of a combined U.S. Army/Wehrmacht defense against a Waffen SS attack, the only time German and American forces fought side by side in World War II.
By 8 May , otherwise known as Victory in Europe Day (VE-Day), the 36th Division was based in Kitzbühel, Austria where it captured Generalfeldmarschall- Gerd von Rundstedt, the commander of all German Armed Forces on the Western Front, and its final station was at Kufstein, Austria on 14 August
After days of combat, the 36th Infantry Division returned to the United States in December It was returned to the Texas Army National Guard on 15 December
The Lost Battalions
Main article: Lost Battalion (Europe, World War II)
Main article: Lost Battalion (Pacific, World War II)
The 36th ID suffered significant losses during World War II, twice earning the distinction of having "lost" a battalion during the war.
The European"Lost Battalion" refers to the 1st Battalion, st Infantry, which was surrounded by German forces in the Vosges Mountains on 24 October 
They would be rescued by the nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated unit composed of second-generation Japanese Americans. In five days of battle, over men of the nd gave their lives in order to break through German defenses and rescue survivors of the st.
Texas Governor John Connally would make the members of the nd honorary Texans in appreciation of their rescue of the st Infantry in 
Earmarked as part of the reinforcements to U.S. Army troops in the Philippines, the 2nd Battalion, st Field Artillery, was detached from the 36th Infantry and deployed on 21 November to join in the Pacific War. The st took part in the Battle of Java and fought fiercely at Porong with several other Allied units until the battalion was captured by the Japanese in March Information on the unit's fate was unknown and considered "lost" as details following the Dutch surrender in Java failed to reach the U.S. government.
As prisoners, the men were forced to work in Burma and Thailand on the Burma Railway of The Bridge on the River Kwai fame, as well as coal mines, docks and shipyards in Japan and other southeast Asian countries. Conditions were poor, treatment harsh, and mortality exceptionally high. It was only through debriefing of survivors from Japanese POW convoys who had been sunk and rescued by U.S. submarines in September that the U.S. government would learn of the unit's fate.
Repatriated after the end of the war in August , the surviving POWs of the lost battalion were scattered throughout Southeast Asia in Java, Singapore, Burma, Thailand, French Indo China, Japan, China and Manchuria.
Global War on Terror
On 1 May , the 49th Armored Division of the Texas Army National Guard was officially deactivated and the 49th Armored Division was redesignated the 36th Infantry Division. After half a century, the "Fighting 36th" was reactivated and carried on the legacy of the 36th Division.
In January , 74 soldiers from Alpha Battery (TAB), 2nd Battalion, st Field Artillery were activated for federal service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Alpha Battery commanded by CPT Alvaro Gomez entered federal service in Fort Sill, OK. Under the supervision of 1SG Alfredo Barrera, the soldiers trained and deployed to Iraq. While readying their equipment in Kuwait, Alpha Battery was given her mission and the five radar sections were split up. One AN-TPQ37 radar section (SSG Gonzales) was attached to the 1st Marine Division in Al Taqadum another (CW4 Earnest Metcalf) was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division at LSA Anaconda and the three AN-TPQ36 radar sections (CW2 Davidson, CW2 Bien, and SSG Johnson) were assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division in Mosul. The headquarters and support platoon (1LT Christopher Galvan) operated out of Forward Operating Base Freedom in northern Mosul. In addition to the target acquisition mission, the support platoon supplemented patrols conducted by the 25th Infantry Division Fires Brigade FIST Team and provided security for the FOB's perimeter by manning the entrance gates and watch towers. At the conclusion of the battery's deployment, its members were awarded 3 Bronze Star Medals, 1 Purple Heart Medal, 47 Army Commendation Medals, 74 Combat Action Badges, several memorandums of appreciation from command staff, and authorized to wear the unit shoulder sleeve insignia for wartime service from the 2nd Infantry Division, the 25th Infantry Division, the 36th Infantry Division, or the 1st Infantry Division.
In approximately soldiers of the 36th Infantry Division deployed to Bosnia for Enduring Mission 3 which was a continuation from previous IFOR and SFOR missions. When Task Force Strike left Eagle Base in Tuzla late , it marked the end of an American military maneuver presence in Bosnia which had existed for almost a decade after the Dayton Accords.
In , over three thousand troops from the 56th BCT, 36th ID deployed to Iraq. The 3rd Battalion, rd Field Artillery Regiment and 2nd Battalion, nd Infantry Regiment were both awarded Meritorious Unit Citations for their service in Iraq.
In –06, soldiers of 3d Battalion, st Infantry Regiment, 72d Brigade, 36th Infantry Division deployed to Afghanistan. The battalion was attached to the th Infantry Regiment of the 82d Airborne Division and earned a Joint Meritorious Unit Citation.
In , the 1st Squadron, th Cavalry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division became the first cavalry unit to serve as peacekeepers in the Sinai Desert for the Multinational Force and Observers. The force was made up of soldiers from several units of the 36th Infantry Division including 1–th AR, 2–th AR, 3–th AR, 3rd Mech, and C Btry FA (MLRS).
In late , Company B of the 3d Battalion, th Infantry Regiment deployed to Iraq after pre-deployment training at Ft. Dix, NJ and were actively engaged in combat operations. They returned in late 5 Army Commendation Medals with Valor Devices were awarded to soldiers of 1st Platoon, Second Squad in recognition of the defeat of an ambush on a State Department convoy in central Baghdad.
In late to late , the 36th Infantry Division was the major leading force for KFOR7, the peacekeeping mission on Kosovo.
The Combat Aviation Brigade, 36th Infantry Division shipped to Iraq in September for a planned one-year deployment.
On 7 May 3d Battalion, th Infantry Regiment mobilized as "Task Force Panther" in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. "Task Force Panther" trained at Camp Shelby, MS, and, after validation, deployed to Kuwait, and then into Iraq.
On 28 August , more than soldiers of the 56th IBCT again deployed to Iraq. On 15 August , the soldiers of the 56th IBCT returned to Texas after 10 months in Iraq. Two soldiers from Bravo Troop Cav, and one from C Btry were wounded during the tour.
On 10 April , th Military Police Battalion deployed more than soldiers to Afghanistan to command and run the Bagram Theatre Internment Facility. Task Force Lonestar transferred the detainees from the BTIF to the new detention facility in Parwan. th Military Police Battalion returned in May
On 1 October , the 72nd IBCT mobilized for deployment to Iraq. Upon arrival in theater, the brigade headquarters assumed authority as the Joint Area Support Group-Conditional for the International Zone, with the brigade's subordinate elements distributed throughout the country conducting detainee operations. The brigade returned from Iraq in July and August , with A Battery, FA being the last element to return home.
In November and December , the 36th Infantry Division Headquarters deployed to Basrah, Iraq, replacing the US 1st Infantry Division, where they provided command and control of US active Army, Reserve, and National Guard units. The 36th ID command covered 15, deployed military and contractor forces at 17 bases in the 9 provinces in southern Iraq. As part of the drawdown of US forces in Iraq, the division headquarters redeployed to the US starting in late August , the main body following in September to Fort Hood, TX. No 36th ID soldiers were lost to combat operations during the deployment.
On 26 November , the newly formed 1st Battalion (Airborne), rd Infantry Regiment mobilized as Task Force Walker for deployment to Afghanistan. The battalion, comprising companies from Texas, Rhode Island, and Alaska, was deployed across the country in support of provincial reconstruction teams. The headquarters element was located in Kabul serving under the th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (Task Force Hydra) in the Kabul base cluster.
In the summer of , both the th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) and Task Force Arrowhead mobilized for service in Afghanistan. The th MEB took control of several bases in the Kabul area, while TF Arrowhead, composed of 31 security force assistance teams (SFATs), performed advisory duties with various Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) elements in Regional Command-South.
Also in the summer of the 3rd Battalion, C & D Company th Infantry regiment from the 56th BCT deployed to Afghanistan (RC West) as Task Force Bowie. TF Bowie provided Battalion Command Base Security, including but not limited to presences/combat patrols, assessment missions, checkpoint control and flight line security for Shindand Airbase and surrounding areas. Shindand Air Base is located in the western part of Afghanistan in the Herat province, 7 miles northeast of the city of Sabzwar. Other areas of operations included Herat city, as well as RC North. In the fall of a small detachment was sent to RC North to assist in base security operations in coordination with small regiment from the 3rd ID.
In the spring of B co th IN deployed in support of TF 3–10 to Afghanistan and served in Konduz, Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif Camp Bashton, and BAF
In Afghanistan, 36th has deployed agricultural development teams helping build farming infrastructure, as well as security forces advising teams training Afghan national security forces to promote long-term success of the Afghan government.
The 36th Infantry Division is the first National Guard Division to command an active duty brigade as part of the Army's total force policy. This allows the active and reserve units to train together as they are preparing to fight together.
Currently, the 36th is in charge of an Afghanistan theatre; They will be in charge for 18 months (Two 9-month rotations). This is the first time a National Guard division has been in charge of an Afghanistan theatre this long.
During the Global War on Terror, the 36th ID has been involved in numerous military operations including Operation New Dawn, Enduring Freedom, Freedom's Sentinel, and Jump Start.
In February , Army Times reported the 36th was deployed to Iraq to assist Iraqi forces against Islamic State.
The 36th Infantry Division assisted alongside other Texas National Guard units were activated to assist with the COVID Pandemic. The 36th Infantry Division assisted with delivering over 7, pallets of protective equipment to testing facilities, decontaminating nursing homes, and distributing over 5,, COVID tests.
George Floyd Protests
More Servicemembers within the 36th Infantry Division assisted in preparation for civil disturbances triggered by the George Floyd protests. The Servicemembers were trained in crowd control tactics, including non-lethal responses and assisting civilian law enforcement agencies.
Unit Deployment on Behalf of Operation Spartan Shield
Throughout the other events of , over servicemembers of the 36th Infantry Division were Federally Activated and deployed to the United States Central Command for Task Force Spartan, Operation Spartan Shield in September  Activated Soldiers serve in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. The deployment coincided with Kuwait's 30th Liberation Day, tasking the 36th Infantry Division with maintaining and continuing the United States' partnership and allied strength with Kuwait, culminating in a self-described complex live-fire exercise.
Insignia & Song
An insignia consisting of an olive drab "T" on a light blue flint arrowhead was adopted by the 36th Division in Light blue is the infantry branch color. The flint arrowhead represents the State of Oklahoma (once the Indian Territory) and the "T", Texas and commonly called the "T-Patch."
The song of the 36th Infantry Division is "The Eyes of World are on you 36th." Partial lyrics are as follow:
Here's to the troops of the 36th
Theirs is the spirit that's never licked
Victory for they who fight the fight for right
They're the troops of the 36th Division
The eyes of the world are on you 36th
The 36th, the 36th Division
When the road is rough and when the fight is tough
There'll always be the 36th Division
Our hopes and our prayers go with you
Freedom depends upon you
So fight right on until the dawn and keep your weapons fixed
The eyes of the world are on you 36th
36th Infantry Division exercises training and readiness oversight of a division headquarters and headquarters battalion, and eight brigade-size formations from the states of Texas, New Mexico and Tennessee.
- Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion
- 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) (TX ARNG)
- 72nd IBCT (TX ARNG)
- th Armored Cavalry Regiment (TN ARNG) (realigned with 36th ID 10/26/)
- Headquarters and Headquarters Troop
- 1st Squadron
- 2d Squadron
- 3d Squadron (TX NG)
- 4th Squadron, RSTA
- Field Artillery Squadron
- Engineer Squadron
- Support Squadron
- Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB), 36th Infantry Division (TX NG)
- 36th Sustainment Brigade
- th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade
This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (November )
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- ^36th Infantry Division History, history.army.mil, last updated 20 May , last accessed 23 January
- ^Wagner, Robert L. (1 August ). The Texas Army: A History of the 36th Division in the Italian Campaign (Reprinted.). State House Press. ISBN.
- ^"36th Infantry Division Association History". Texas Military Forces Museum.
- ^ ab"Souvenir Program of the Military Review, 36th Division (Panther Division)". Fort Worth Library Digital Archives. Retrieved 30 December
- ^Whiting, Charles (). America's Forgotten Army: The True Story of the U.S. Seventh Army in WWII. New York City: MacMillan. p.
- ^Wainstein, Leonard (1 April ). THE RELATIONSHIP OF BATTLE DAMAGE AND UNIT COMBAT PERFORMANCE(PDF). Institute for Defense Analyses, elaborated for US DOD.
- ^The Tuscaloosa News, 20 January , "Texas Troops Ask Inquiry"
- ^Remembrances: th Infantry Battalion 50th Anniversary Celebration th Infantry Battalion Publication Committee.
- ^Sterner, C. Douglas (). Go for Broke: The Nisei Warriors of World War II who Conquered Germany, Japan, and American Bigotry. American Legacy Media. ISBN
- ^"The 36th Infantry Division during World War II". encyclopedia.ushmm.org.
- ^Harding, Stephen (). The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe. Da Capo Press. pp.– ISBN.
- ^Video: Armistice Day In France Etc. (). Universal Newsreel. Retrieved 21 February
- ^Grubb, Abbie Salyers. "Rescue of the Lost Battalion". Densho Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21 November
- ^Strong, W.F. (29 May ). "How The Japanese Americans Who Saved 'The Lost Battalion' of World War II Became Honorary Texans". Texas Standard.
- ^ ab"WWII Summary History: 36th Infantry Division". www.texasmilitaryforcesmuseum.org. Retrieved 17 March
- ^ abcdeArmy Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths (Statistical and Accounting Branch, Office of the Adjutant General, 1 June )
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- ^"US forces on guard in Iraq, even as troop levels are expected to decline". Army Times. 7 February
- ^ ab"From serving Texas to serving overseas, Arrowhead Guardsmen shoulder chaos to deploy forward". DVIDS. Retrieved 17 March
- ^ abChristenson, Sig (28 September ). "Texan soldiers bid farewell to families, again". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 17 March
- ^"Photos: Texas National Guard soldiers deploy for Middle East operation". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 17 March
- ^"Kuwait Celebrates 60th National Day, 30th Liberation Day". Asharq AL-awsat. Retrieved 17 March
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- DVIDS - News Division-Division Cuts Ribbon on New Intelligence Facility
Texas National Guard soldiers deploy for Middle East operation
Shortly after 11 a.m., as members of the 36th Infantry Division band played the national anthem, four helicopters hovered over Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in North Austin, the rumble of their rotors temporarily drowning out the patriotic brass as every eye in the crowd was drawn upward.
The air was thick with a mixture of pride, excitement and sadness Sunday as more than Texas National Guard soldiers set to deploy to the Middle East stood in formation on the football field with families scattered through the stadium looking on.
The soldiers will travel to Fort Hood for a month of training, followed by a nine-month overseas tour of duty. The division will support Operation Spartan Shield, an ongoing Department of Defense operation headquartered in Kuwait. It’s the largest deployment for the Texas Military Department this year.
Sgt. Eric Chacon, a medic who will be deploying for the second time overseas, said the most challenging part is “getting used to a routine” of active-duty service after life at home. As he prepared to leave, he said his emotions are all over the place. His daughter recently turned 1 year old, and this will be his first time away from her.
“It definitely gives me a lot of emotions as far as that goes: happy, at the same time sad,” he said.
Spc. Alyssa LaFosse, also a medic, said she was “very excited” about her first overseas tour.
“My family is a military family, so this isn’t anything new,” she said.
“Coming from a medical standpoint, I like that I’m not only able to help my people, but also potentially help the people in the countries that we’re going to see,” LaFosse said.
During the deployment ceremony, Maj. Gen. Patrick Hamilton, the commander of the 36th Infantry Division, said his troops have been preparing for this deployment with training exercises for two years. In recent months, he said his division has done an “outstanding job in spite of overwhelming odds with COVID and limitations of travel and the things we would normally do as a division.”
“I am confident that this fantastic group of soldiers on this field is ready to go and assume mission command in the Middle East,” he said.
He thanked the families who gathered to see their loved ones off for their support and “selfless service.”
Before he released the soldiers to eat a final lunch with their families, Hamilton spoke of how honored he was “to serve as part of this 1% of America who raises their right hand and swears an oath.”
“It’s not an oath to a flag or to a president; it’s an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” he said. “The Constitution is that single document that allows us to be here today, to worship as we want to worship, to celebrate what we want to celebrate, to know that we will be judged by our depth of character and that we will succeed or fail, rise or fall based on our individual level of effort and our confidence. There’s nothing more that we can ask than to defend those rights.”
View CommentsSours: https://www.statesman.com/story/news/military//09/27/texas-national-guard-soldiers-deploy-for-middle-east-operation//
Division 2020 infantry 36th deployment
So I remained sitting on the edge. Standing "Halloween", probably a little tired of standing and looked at the vacated penultimate place on the bench. And as soon as he decided to go there, he took a bag from under the bench and put it next to him.
There is no room. Why did he do it.36th Infantry Division NGAT Conference Message 2021
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