36th Engineer Brigade (United States)

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36th Engineer Brigade
36 Eng Bde SSI.jpg
36th Engineer Brigade shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1993–present
Allegiance United States Army
Branch Active duty
Role Combat engineering
Size Brigade
Part of III Corps
Garrison/HQ Fort Hood, Texas
Motto Stay Rugged
Engagements World War II
Korean War
Gulf War
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
Decorations Meritorious Unit Commendation, Five Awards; Korea 1953, Korea 1954, Southwest Asia 1990–1991
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation (Korea 1950–1952), Iraq 2005–2006, Afghanistan 2007–2008
Insignia
Distinctive Unit Insignia 36 Eng Bde DUI.jpg
Combat Service Identification Badge 36EngBdeCSIB.jpg

The 36th Engineer Brigade is a combat engineer brigade of the United States Army based at Fort Hood, Texas. The brigade is a subordinate unit of III Corps.

The unit is responsible for providing command and control to subordinate Engineer units. The unit was formerly designated as the 36th Engineer Group, and before that as the 36th Engineer Regiment. The 36th is the only unit that has been organized in all three command structures that are commanded by a Colonel in the U.S. Army; regiment, group, and brigade.

With a lineage that dates back to 1933, the 36th Engineer Brigade saw action in the North African Campaign and the Italian Campaign, and it eventually participated it the invasion of mainland Europe. Trained in amphibious assault, the brigade saw its role change several times, from combat engineers to front line infantry. It would later serve in the Korean War, earning several unit decorations. Recently, it has seen tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Organization[edit]

Brigade organization

The 36th Engineer Brigade is part of III Corps, and consists of a Headquarters and Headquarters Company, which is located at Fort Hood, Texas and five engineering battalions:[1] 2nd Engineer Battalion, 8th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Battalion, 62nd Engineer Battalion, 326th Engineer Battalion. Additionally, the 507th Firefighting Detachment and the 557th Firefighting Detachment are also assigned to the brigade.

The brigade was the first of the US Army's Engineer Brigades to be converted to a modular design.[2] This means that the Brigade can be deployed and sustain itself independently, without a division or corps level command supporting it. Additionally, the brigade's design allows it to take command of additional units within a theatre of operations, allowing for greater versatility on the battlefield.[3]

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

The 36th Engineer Brigade was originally constituted on 1 October 1933[4] as the 36th Engineer Regiment and activated on 1 June 1941 at Plattsburgh Barracks, New York.[2] During World War II the 36th Engineer Regiment consisted of nine combat engineer companies trained for amphibious assault and support operations. Because of this training, the unit’s distinctive insignia was designed with a seahorse on a red and white shield.[2]

The brigade was deployed to the North African Campaign in 1942, participating in Operation Torch, where it conducted its first amphibious assault, and earning the brigade its first campaign streamer for the battle around Algeria and French Morocco.[2] It would continue supporting Allied units as they pushed Axis forces out of North Africa during the Tunisia Campaign.[4]

The brigade would then participate in the Battle of Sicily, conducting its second amphibious landing along with the 7th Army. It would push on with the rest of the force, eventually forcing German and Italian forces off of the island. The Brigade followed in the quick invasion of mainland Italy soon after, with an amphibious assault in the Naples-Foggia area, followed closely by another landing in support of Operation Shingle, near Anzio. For fifty days, during Operation Shingle, soldiers of the brigade held 7 miles (11 km) of the front line and earned the distinction by the German army as “The Little Seahorse Division”.[2]

The unit subsequently participated in the invasion of southern France in 1944, code named Operation Dragoon, conducting its fifth and final amphibious assault of the war.[2][5] It would support Allied units through three additional campaigns up until the end of the war; the Rhineland Campaign, the Ardennes-Alsace Campaign, and the Central Europe Campaign.[4]

Korean War[edit]

On 15 February 1945, the unit was redesignated as the 36th Engineer Combat Group,[4] and following World War II it reorganized at Fort Lewis, Washington. The unit was broken up, its three battalions redesignated as the 2826th Combat Engineer Battalion, the 2827th Combat Engineer Battalion, and the 2828th Combat Engineer Battalion, respectively. They then assumed separate lineage, and the Regiment itself was inactivated on 30 November 1946 in Austria.[4]

Reactivated on 5 May 1947 at Fort Lewis, Washington,[4] the unit officially became the 36th Engineer Group on 10 April 1953.[4] During the Korean War, the 36th Engineer Combat Group consisted of four engineer battalions and four additional engineer companies, earning two Meritorious Unit Citations and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.[2][5] It served in the Korean theater from 1950 until 1954, earning nine campaign streamers while supporting other army units in numerous engineering and construction projects.[4] During its assignment, the group was assigned to IX Corps of the Eighth United States Army.[6] Projects that the group and its subordinate battalions completed included POW facilities, allied bases, and minefield clearing.[6] Along with the rest of IX Corps, the group was forced back behind the Pusan Perimeter and remained stranded there until the Incheon Landings were conducted by X Corps. The group would follow IX Corps for the remainder of the Korean war.[7]

After its withdrawal from Korea, the unit did not participate in any notable campaigns until its inactivation on 30 May 1972 at Fort Lewis.[4] It was reactivated shortly after on 1 July 1973 as the 36th Engineer Group (Construction) at Fort Benning, Georgia.[4] It would see no conflicts until the start of the Gulf War. In 1989, it participated in "Exercise Camino De La Paz," an unscheduled exercise conducted in the first half of 1989 on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.[8]

Present day[edit]

Soldiers from the 36th Engineer Brigade work on a construction project in Iraq.

During the 1991 Gulf War, the 36th Engineer Group (Construction) fought in support of the 24th Infantry Division’s rapid attack to the Euphrates. The unit also deployed in support of peace enforcement missions during Operation Continue Hope in Somalia and Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti. Most recently, the 36th Engineer Group (Construction) has twice deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, executing a wide variety of construction missions in support of combat operations, including the construction of enemy prisoner of war camps, theater convoy support centers, and soldier life support areas.[2] Some of the soldiers from the unit were still in Iraq as late as October 2007.[9]

On 16 June 2006, the unit was reorganized and redesignated the 36th Engineer Brigade.[4][5] and reassigned to Fort Hood, Texas as the United States Army’s first modular engineer brigade headquarters.[2] The brigade deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2007, holding a ceremony at III Corps Headquarters, casing its unit colors in preparation for its deployment on 28 February 2007.[10][11] The brigade supports operations conducted by the 82nd Airborne Division. It is part of Task Force Rugged, and among its duties are training Afghan citizens in skilled labor and other nationbuilding operations.[12] Most of the brigade served in Afghanistan since February 2007, while other elements of the unit served in Iraq.[13] While in Afghanistan, the brigade headquarters were stationed at Forward Operating Base Sharana. It also began to undertake missions against Improvised Explosive Devices, a problem which had originated in Iraq but since became more of a threat in Afghanistan.[14]

Honors[edit]

Unit decorations[edit]

Ribbon Award Year Notes
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) 1953 for service in Korea
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) 1954 for service in Korea
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) 1990–1991 for service in Southwest Asia
Korean Presidential Unit Citation.png Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation 1950–1952 for service in Korea
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) 2005–2006 for service in Iraq
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) 2007–2008 for service in Afghanistan


Campaign streamers[edit]

Conflict Streamer Year(s)
World War II Algeria-French Morocco (with Arrowhead) 1942
World War II Tunisia 1942–1943
World War II Sicily (with Arrowhead) 1943
World War II Naples-Foggia (with Arrowhead) 1943
World War II Anzio (wirth Arrowhead) 1943
World War II Rome-Arno 1944
World War II Southern France (with Arrowhead) 1944
World War II Rhineland 1944–1945
World War II Ardennes-Alsace 1944–1945
World War II Central Europe 1945
Korean War UN Offensive 1950
Korean War CCF Intervention 1950
Korean War First UN Counteroffensive 1950
Korean War CCF Spring Offensive 1951
Korean War UN Summer-Fall Offensive 1951
Korean War Second Korean Winter 1951–1952
Korean War Korea, Summer-Fall 1952 1952
Korean War Third Korean Winter 1952–1953
Korean War Korea, Summer 1953 1953
Gulf War Defense of Saudi Arabia 1991
Gulf War Liberation and Defense of Kuwait 1991
Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan (CSES) 2002–2003
Operation Iraqi Freedom Iraq 2006–2007
Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan 2007–2008


References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i 36th Engineer Brigade Homepage: History, 36th Engineer Brigade Staff. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  3. ^ Lead The Way, CSM Clinton J. Pearson, United States Army Engineer School. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Lineage and Honors: 36th Engineer Brigade, United States Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 10 April 2008
  5. ^ a b c The Institute of Heraldry: 36th Engineer Brigade, The Institute of Heraldry. Retrieved 12 May 2008.
  6. ^ a b Korea: ROA remembers the forgotten war.(Reserve Officers Association of the United States), The Officer magazine. Retrieved 26 August 2008.
  7. ^ GlobalSecurity.org: IX Corps, GlobalSecurity. Retrieved 26 August 2008.
  8. ^ Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1989, United States Army. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  9. ^ More than 150 Fort Hood soldiers return from Iraq, Amanda Kim Stairrett, Killeen Daily Herald. Retrieved 10 April 2008
  10. ^ 36th Eng. Bde. deploys to Afghanistan, Heather Graham, Fort Hood Sentinel. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  11. ^ February 2007&date=28 February 2007 US Army Community Relations Calendar, United States Army. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  12. ^ Workshop Trains Afghans on Construction Skills, Capt. Ashley Dellavalle, Defenselink.mil news service. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  13. ^ DoD News Briefing with Col. Stevens from Afghanistan, Col. Gary Kneck, Department of Defense Press Office. Retrieved 10 April 2008
  14. ^ CTF Rugged Times: VOlume 1 Issue 4, 1 April 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.

External links[edit]