72nd Field Artillery Brigade (United States)

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72nd Field Artillery Brigade
72nd fa bde a.jpg
72nd FA Brigade shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1917–19, 1936–46, 1947–84, 1993–2006, 2006–present
Country United States
Branch U.S. Army
Type Artillery
Size Brigade
Garrison/HQ Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
Battle honours World War 1: Meuse-Argonnne
St. Mihiel
World War 2: Rhineland
Central Europe
COL Michael Shrout
Subdued shoulder sleeve insignia 72nd FA BDE.jpg
Distinctive unit insignia 72 FA Bde DUI.jpg

The 72nd Field Artillery Brigade is an AC/RC unit based at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The unit is responsible for training selected United States Army Reserve and National Guard units along the East coast. The unit was formerly designated as 5th Brigade, 78th Division. The brigade is a subordinate unit of First Army Division East, First United States Army.


The 5th Brigade, 78th Division was constituted 5 August 1917, in the National Army as the 303rd Supply Train and assigned to the 78th Division. The Division organized December 1917 – May 1918 at Camp Dix, New Jersey. It consisted of three regiments – the 309th, 311th, and 312th.

In France, during the summer and fall of 1918, the 78th Division was the "point of the wedge" for the final offensive, which knocked out Germany. The 5th Brigade was in three major campaigns during World War I – Meuse-Argonne, Saint-Mihiel and Lorraine. The unit was demobilized 5 June 1919, at Camp Dix, New Jersey. The brigade was reconstituted 3 July 1936, in the Organized Reserves; concurrently consolidated with the 78th Division Quartermaster Train.

The brigade was reorganized and redesignated on 1 July 1936 as the 403rd Quartermaster Regiment, an element of the 78th Division (later redesignated as the 78th Infantry Division). On 20 February 1942, the unit was redesignated as the 403rd Quartermaster Battalion.

In World War II, the 5th Brigade, was ordered into active military service 15 August 1942, and reorganized at Camp Butner, North Carolina. After two years as part of the 78th Training Division, the 5th Brigade embarked for the European theatre. The brigade participated in three campaigns – Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe. Again, the Brigade was inactivated on 22 May 1946, in Germany. On 21 February 1947, the brigade activated at Newark, New Jersey. (Organized Reserves redesignated 25 March 1948, as the Organized Reserve Corps; redesignated 9 July 1952, as the Army Reserve). The brigade reorganized and redesignated 16 October 1978, as Headquarters, 78th Training Command, an element of the 78th Division (Training). On 17 October 1984, the brigade was inactivated at Edison, New Jersey. The brigade was redesignated 1 October 1993, as Headquarters, 5th Brigade, 78th Division (Exercise), and activated at Baltimore, Maryland.

In 2006, as part of the Army's Transformation Plan, the 5/78th was redesignated as the 72nd Field Artillery Brigade. The 72nd FA Brigade was for much of the Cold War period part of U.S. Army Europe, and for much of that time part of VII Corps Artillery, but had been disbanded earlier.

The unit has participated in training exercises with the 174th Infantry Brigade at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey since 2007.


The unit is composed of:

Fort A.P. Hill

For further information see The Brigade, A History by John J. McGrath from the Combat Studies Institute Press, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

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