196th Infantry Brigade (United States)

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196th Infantry Brigade
196InfBdeSSI.svg
Shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1921–1946
1966–1972
1998–present
Country United States
Branch U.S. Army
Role Training support
Garrison/HQ Fort Shafter
Nickname Chargers (Special Designation)[1]
Burning artillery slow-match
Engagements World War II {defended Hawaii}
Vietnam War
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel Jack K. Pritchard
Insignia
Distinctive unit insignia 196 Inf Bde DUI.png

The 196th Infantry Brigade ("Chargers"[1]), also known as the Charger Brigade was first formed on 24 June 1921 as part of the United States Army Reserve's 98th Division with the responsibility of training soldiers.

World War II[edit]

During World War II, the 98th initially defended Kauai, Hawaii and Maui, Hawaii, and finally responsible for defending Oahu, Hawaii later in the war. The Division began intensive training in May 1945 to prepare for the invasion of Japan, but the war ended before they could depart Hawaii. However, the unit arrived in Japan for occupation duty as the 3rd Platoon, 98th Reconnaissance Troop Mechanized, of the 98th Infantry Division, where it eventually was inactivated on 16 February 1946, in Charlotte, NC.

Vietnam[edit]

The 196th served in Vietnam from 15 July 1966 through 29 June 1972. The 196th LIB was reactivated again in September 1965 at Fort Devens, where it was originally scheduled to be sent to the Dominican Republic, but was rushed to Vietnam on 15 July 1966 via transport ships. It was the first U.S. Army infantry unit arriving on 14 August 1966 at Tây Ninh Combat Base, where it began combat operations in the western area of the III Corps Tactical Zone. The 196th conducted Operation Cedar Falls, Gadsden, Lancaster, Operation Junction City, Benton, and Operation Attleboro (War Zone C of Tay Ninh Province), where it turned into a major action after a large enemy base camp was found on 19 October 1966. In April 1967, the 196th was selected, along with the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division and the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, to form a temporary division unit called Task Force Oregon, where it was moved to the I Corps Tactical Zone. The brigade became part of the 23rd Infantry Division (the Americal Division) on 25 September 1967, and participated in Operation Wheeler/Wallowa, Golden Fleece, Fayette Canyon, Frederick Hill, Lamar Plain, Elk Canyon I and Elk Canyon II. In early May 1968, the 2/1 of the 196th was flown in to assist at the Battle of Kham Duc. On 29 November 1971, the 196th became a separate temporary entity to safeguard this same area of operations. In April 1971, the 196th moved to Da Nang to assist in port security duties, and finally left Vietnam on 29 June 1972 as the last combat brigade to leave in Vietnam. The brigade suffered 1,188 KIA, and 5,591 WIA in Vietnam.

Operations as a separate Brigade (15 July 1966 – 25 September 1967)

Operations as a part of the Americal Division (25 September 1967 – June 1972)

  • Wheeler/Wallowa
  • Golden Fleece
  • Fayette Canyon
  • Frederick Hill
  • Lamar Plain
  • Elk Canyon I
  • Elk Canyon II

Headquarters locations during the Vietnam War

  • Tay Ninh, August 1966 to May 1967
  • Chu Lai, June 1967 to October 1967
  • Tam Ky, November 1967 to March 1968
  • Phong Dien, April 1968 to June 1968
  • Hoi An, June 1968 to March 1971
  • Da Nang, April 1971 to June 1972

ORDER OF BATTLE

Brigade Infantry & Brigade Artillery

Brigade Reconnaissance

  • Troop F, 8th Cavalry (Air)
  • Troop F, 17th Cavalry (Armored)
  • 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry (Armored)
  • 64th Infantry Platoon (Combat Tracker)
  • 48th Infantry Platoon (Scout Dog)
  • LRRP, 196th Infantry Brigade (later reflagged as Co E, 51st Infantry)

Brigade Support

  • 8th Support Battalion
  • 175th Engineer Company
  • 23rd Military Police Company
  • 408th Radio Research Detachment (ASA)
  • 635th Military Intelligence Detachment, Team 2
  • 544th Military Police Platoon
  • 687th Signal Company
  • 196th Signal Company (Prov)
  • 27th Chemical Detachment
  • 10th Public Information Detachment
  • HHD & Band, 196th Support Battalion (Prov)
  • 569th Military Intelligence Detachment
  • Company C, 37th Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade (62nd. Co.)

Post Vietnam[edit]

On 26 May 1998, the 196th was reactivated during a ceremony at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. The new brigade assists reserve units in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, American Samoa, Arizona, and Saipan, as a Training Support Brigade, providing support to Reserve Component Forces throughout the Pacific area. Since 2001, the 196th Infantry Brigade has trained nearly 10,000 Soldiers that deployed to support combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Horn of Africa, and the Southern Philippines. The 196th Infantry Brigade also supports annual USARPAC and JCS Theater Security Cooperation Program (TSCP) exercises such as Balikatan, Cobra Gold, Yama Sakura, Talisman Saber, Garuda Shield, and Terminal Fury. The brigade also exercises training and readiness oversight (TRO) for the Hawaii, Guam, and Alaska Civil Support Teams. Annually the 196th Infantry Brigade conducts "Kaimalu O Hawaii" and "Konfitma" All Hazard CST Field Training Exercises in Hawaii and Saipan respectively.

In 2007, the 196th Infantry Brigade was awarded the Army Superior Unit Award for its support to the War on Terror in preparing RC units and Soldiers for combat duty.

As of 2012, the 196th Infantry Brigade consisted of:

  • HHC, 196th Infantry Brigade, Fort Shafter, Oahu, Hawaii
  • 1st Battalion, 196th Infantry Brigade, "Mavericks" located at Kalaeloa, Oahu, Hawaii
  • 2nd Battalion, 196th Infantry Brigade, "Arctic Chargers" located at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK
  • 3rd Battalion, 196th Infantry Brigade, "Spartans" located at Barrigada, Guam
  • Support Battalion, 196th Infantry Brigade, "Cobras" located at Fort Shafter Flats, Oahu, Hawaii

In Popular Culture[edit]

The dramatic TV series Tour of Duty, which ran on CBS from 1987-90, depicted a platoon of infantrymen from the 196th in Vietnam.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Special Unit Designations". United States Army Center of Military History. 21 April 2010. Archived from the original on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 

External references[edit]