3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division
|3rd “Patriot” Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry)|
|Active||February 2015 – present|
|Country||United States of America|
|Branch||United States Army|
|Part of||10th Mountain Division|
|Garrison/HQ||Fort Polk, Louisiana|
|Nickname||"Patriot Brigade" (Special Designation)|
|Motto||“Forged for War”|
|Engagements||Operation Enduring Freedom (2001–present), Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2010)
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division ("Patriot Brigade") is an infantry brigade combat team of the United States Army based at Fort Polk, Louisiana. It is a subordinate formation of the 10th Mountain Division. Formerly the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, it was retitled 3rd Brigade Combat Team in February 2015, following the inactivation of the previous 3rd Brigade "Spartans."
The brigade consists of six subordinate battalions; its combat element consists of two infantry battalions, the 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment. The 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment provides reconnaissance services to the Brigade Combat Team, while the 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment provides field artillery support. Headquarters and command services are provided by the brigade Special Troops Battalion. All supporting services for the brigade are provided by the 710th Brigade Support Battalion. All of these battalions are located at Fort Polk. The 317th Brigade Engineer Battalion provide the brigade's engineer support. The 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment will join the Brigade.
On February 24, 2015, the 4th Brigade Combat Team “Patriots” deactivated and reactivated as 3rd “Patriot” Brigade Combat Team at Fort Polk, La. Represented by the three stars in the upper quadrant, 3rd “Patriot” BCT remains faithful to its motto “Forged for War!” This motto perpetuates the legacy of the former Spartans and current Patriots.
4th BCT “Patriots”, 10th MTN DIV (LI)
The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) officially activated at Fort Polk, Louisiana, January 19, 2005. At its inception, the brigade included just a few hundred Soldiers. However, the Brigade’s leadership immediately set to work to rapidly build combat power and capabilities in anticipation of deploying to support the Global War on Terror. In the midst of preparing for deployment, elements across the brigade provided disaster response and relief within Louisiana to help mitigate the devastating effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita during the fall of 2005. The brigade deployed more than 300 Soldiers to New Orleans after Katrina and supported local relief-and-recovery efforts to Fort Polk communities following Rita. Since January 2006, the brigade has deployed more than six thousand Soldiers. Throughout 2006 and 2007, several formations within the brigade deployed and operated in Afghanistan. The brigade command and headquarters established the first U.S. National Command Element in Kandahar to facilitate the transfer of authority of combat operations to NATO-led coalition allies. In May 2007, the BCT received orders to prepare for a deployment to Iraq and deployed in November 2007 on a 14-month deployment. The Brigade operated from two forward operating bases and twenty-two joint security stations and combat outposts. Task Force Patriot assumed responsibility for eastern Baghdad – a heavily urbanized area encompassing 80 square miles and more than 2 million citizens. The 4th Brigade Combat Team deployed to eastern Afghanistan’s Logar and Wardak in October 2010. Their mission was to conduct population-centric, combined-action counterinsurgency operations, building Afghan National Security Force capability and enhancing the effectiveness of provincial governments to create a more stable environment for transition and to defeat insurgency. Task Force Patriot deployed once again to Afghanistan in July 2013 when it assumed responsibility for the Train, Advise and Assist mission for the seven provinces of Regional Command – East, North of Kabul from the 1st BCT, 101st ABN DIV and the 4th BCT, 1st CAV DIV. Task Force Patriot saw the ANSF defeat the enemies of Afghanistan during the first fighting season where they were entirely in the lead to secure the people of Afghanistan. After the fighting season, Task Force Patriot focused on building sustainable systems in the ANSF that would allow them to be a professional force that is capable of supplying, training, and maintaining itself with Afghan processes and solutions.
3rd BCT “Spartans”, 10th MTN DIV (LI)
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) was established in September 2004. The six subordinate battalions were first brought together in September 2004 with a specific mission, making them unique among other Army entities: to support Operation Enduring Freedom, which they would go on to do with four deployments to Afghanistan.
The 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment; 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment; 4th Battalion, 25th Artillery Regiment; 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment; 710th Brigade Support Battalion; and 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion were brought together to form the Spartans of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI),. They served in both the Regional Command East and the Regional Command South areas of responsibility, a vast area of Afghanistan encompassing approximately 124,000 square miles of rugged and frequently hostile land.
They first deployed to Afghanistan in the winter of 2006, in support of OEF VII and VIII, where they fought the Taliban in the mountainous terrain of the Afghan-Pakistani border. Through It was during this deployment that Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti, of 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, earned the Medal of Honor while protecting his Soldiers from an overwhelming Taliban attack on his unit’s position. When the Spartan Brigade redeployed to Fort Drum after 16 months, the Afghan peoplenicknamed them “the Tribe of the Crossed Swords.”
In January 2009, the Spartan Brigade deployed again to Afghanistan, returning to RC-East, where they were tasked with providing security for the Logar and Wardak provinces as well as the southern entrance to the country’s capital. This deployment also resulted in another Spartan Brigade Soldier, Capt. William D. Swenson, being awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during an intense, six-hour-long battle with insurgents, effectively disrupting their assault.
Not long after, the Spartan Brigade found itself once again being called upon to deploy to Afghanistan. Departing in March 2011, 3rd BCT Soldiers were sent to Kandahar Province. Located in the RC-East area of responsibility, Kandahar is also the birthplace of the Taliban. The Spartan Soldiers set about conducting both lethal and nonlethal missions to break the insurgent's grip on the province. The missions were conducted under three main operations – “To the River,” “To the Core” and “To the Summit,” which maintained continuous pressure on the enemy, eventually driving them out of their place of inception. In doing so, the Spartan Brigade advanced farther south than any of the previous coalition forces before their arrival. The brigade was also responsible for opening 22 schools and three medical clinics, as well as securing and refurbishing more than 50 kilometers of Highway 1, the national highway for southern Afghanistan.
Through it all, the 3rd BCT built upon and reinforced their “shohna ba shohna” partnership with the Afghan security forces and government leaders. Shonha ba shonha means “shoulder to shoulder” in the Pashto language. The strengthened ties between the Spartan Brigade and their Afghan partners resulted in a marked increase in the security and governance of an area that had been at war for 30 years.
The Spartan Brigade embarked on its final deployment to Afghanistan in October 2013, not long after the announcement of their inactivation. The 3rd BCT deployed once again to RC-East, but this time, as a newly configured security force advise and assist brigade. An SFAAB differs from a standard brigade combat team in many ways. However, the most notable differences are a considerably smaller number of personnel and the almost total emphasis placed on the utilization of several, highly specialized security force advise and assist teams, or SFAATs. Although they deployed as a smaller contingent, they assumed responsibility for most of the provinces in the region – among them Wardak, Logar, Ghazni, Khost, Paktia and Paktika – thus relieving a division-size element.
The Spartans partnered with the Afghan National Army’s 203rd Corps, sharing their expertise, helping them to grow their capabilities as they continued to assume responsibility for the security of their nation and its people. The Afghans were able to successfully hold a grand council of leaders, also known as a Loya Jirga in Pashto, as well as the Ghazni Islamic festival, which was successfully attended by dignitaries and followers from around the world. The Spartan Brigade also guided the Afghan security forces as they conducted their national presidential election, along with the ensuing run-off election. The attempts made by what remained of the Taliban and the Haqqani Network terrorists to disrupt the elections were unsuccessful.
- "Special Unit Designations". United States Army Center of Military History. 21 April 2010. Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
- "10th Mountain Division Organization". Fort Drum Public Affairs Office. Archived from the original on 5 August 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
- "Lineage and Honors Information: 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division". United States Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 9 July 2009.