Divisions of the United States Army

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This list of United States Army divisions is divided into three eras: 1911–1917, 1917–1941, and 1941–present. These eras represent the major evolutions of army division structure (there have been several minor changes during these times). The 1911–1917 era lists divisions raised during the Army's first attempts at modernizing the division, prior to the authorization of permanent divisions, and the 1917–1941 era lists the first permanent divisions, prior to advent of specialized (armored, airborne, etc.) divisions. The 1941–present era lists all of the divisions organized, raised, or authorized since then.

As much as possible, divisions are only listed in the eras in which they were first created. Some divisions, such as the 1st Cavalry Division, are listed in multiple eras, as their organizations were drastically changed from one era to the next. Many divisions overlap the years listed in the era categories, mainly due to the slow pace in which they were deactivated, inactivated, or otherwise disbanded.

It should also be noted that several divisions have existed under multiple designations, such as the 10th Mountain Division (10th Light Division (Alpine), 10th Infantry Division). Additionally, several divisions with the same numerical designations were completely separate and unrelated divisions (there have been two 5th Divisions, for instance).

History[edit]

Divisions in the United States Army have existed since the American Revolution when, on 22 July 1775, George Washington organized three divisions in Boston, Massachusetts. Early American divisions, up until the American Civil War, were primarily temporary organizations, with the basis of the United States Army being brigades and regiments.

During the Civil War, the war in which formed the first large true armies in United States history, divisions were formed primarily to support Army corps, and were usually numbered as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Division of the pertaining corps.

The concept of the permanent United States Army division was formulated and put to the test following the turn of the 20th century. In 1916, the permanent division would finally be authorized by Congress, resulting in a dramatic change in the Army's force structure. For the first time, the division was the base element of the United States Army and remained as such until the Global War on Terrorism, when the Army switched its emphasis to brigade and regimental combat teams.

Since the authorizations of permanent divisions, the United States Army has raised 128 separate divisions with unique lineages.

Designations[edit]

Prior to 1941, only cavalry divisions were specifically designated; infantry divisions were simply designated by "Division". Following the advent of the armored division, infantry divisions became officially designated by "Infantry Division" (with the 25th Infantry Division being the first constituted by the adjutant general as such). All of the 1917–1941 (non-cavalry) divisions, with the exceptions of the 10th through 20th and 101st Divisions, would be redesignated as Infantry Divisions at some point in the 1941–present era.

Other than the aforementioned Armored, Cavalry, and Infantry, the only official Army division designations are Air Assault (one test division), Airborne, Light (three test divisions in World War II), Motorized (briefly authorized from 1942 to 1943), and Mountain. For lineage purposes, the 101st Airborne Division maintains its designation as an airborne division, though it is currently organized as an air assault division.

Divisions listed with an additional identifier in parentheses ("alpine" or "test", for example) existed only with that identifier. Divisions that have held multiple additional identifiers, such as the 1st Cavalry ("airmobile", "heavy") and the 9th Infantry ("light", "motorized"), are left unidentified, regardless of their current additional identifier.

An unspecified division today refers to a United States Army Reserve training division.

  • (*) denotes divisions that reorganized under a different division designation while still active
  • Bold denotes current United States Army divisions

Divisions of the United States Army (1911 to 1917)[edit]

Regular Army 1913-1916
National Guard 1914-1917

National Defense Act of 1916[edit]

The National Defense Act of 1916 provided that the "Army of the United States" would consist of the Regular Army, the Volunteer Army, the Officers' Reserve Corps, the Enlisted Reserve Corps, the National Guard in the service of the United States, and such other land forces as were or might be authorized by Congress. The president was to determine both the number and type of National Guard units that each state would maintain. Both the Regular Army and the National Guard were to be organized, insofar as practicable, into permanent brigades and divisions.

Divisions of the United States Army (1917 to 1941)[edit]

Cavalry divisions[edit]

In 1940, the National Guard voluntarily withdrew their allotment of the 21st through 24th Cavalry Divisions, partially in response to the Army's decision that the National Guard did not need four Cavalry Divisions and the Army's unwillingness to allot the National Guard armored divisions. The 61st through 66th Cavalry Divisions existed primarily as officer billets with enlisted cadre; they were dropped from the activation rolls and disbanded in 1942.

Infantry divisions[edit]

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of World War I Divisions
(the 15th, 16th, 17th, 19th, and 20th Divisions never officially selected insignia)

Various elements of the 4th through 9th Divisions remained on active duty until those divisions' full activation prior to World War II.

The 76th through 91st and 94th through 104th Divisions existed primarily as officer billets with enlisted cadre; they were not completely reactivated until America's entry into World War II.

The infantry brigades, field artillery brigades, and several other of the subordinate units of the Panama Canal, Hawaiian, and Philippine Divisions were numbered accordingly with what should have been the 10th, 11th, and 12th Divisions.

  • 1st Division (later 1st Infantry Division): 1917–present
  • 2nd Division (later 2nd Infantry Division): 1917–present
  • 3rd Division (later 3rd Infantry Division): 1917–present
  • 4th Division: 1917–1921; 1940–1946; 1947–present
  • 5th Division: 1917–1921; 1939–1946; 1947–1992
  • 6th Division: 1917–1921; 1939–1949; 1986–1994
  • 7th Division: 1917–1921; 1940–1971; 1974–1994; 1999–2006
  • 8th Division: 1918–1919; 1940–1945; 1950–1992
  • 9th Division: 1918–1919; 1940–1947; 1947–1962; 1966–1969; 1972–1991
  • 10th Division: 1918–1919 – - Organized in 1918 as a regular army and national army division for World War I, the 10th Division did not go overseas and demobilized in February 1919 at Camp Funston, Kansas.
  • 11th Division: 1918–1919
  • 12th Division: 1918–1919
  • 13th Division: 1918–1919
  • 14th Division: 1918–1919 – Organized in 1918 as a regular army and national army division for World War I, the 14th Division did not go overseas and demobilized in February 1919 at Camp Custer, Michigan.
  • 15th Division: 1918–1919 – Organized in 1918 as a regular army and national army division for World War I, the 15th Division did not go overseas and demobilized in February 1919 at Camp Logan, Texas
  • 16th Division: 1918–1919 – Organized in 1918 as a regular army and national army division for World War I, the 16th Division did not go overseas and demobilized in March 1919 at Camp Kearny, California.
  • 17th Division: 1918–1919 - Organized in 1918 as a regular army and national army division for World War I, the 17th Division did not go overseas.
  • 18th Division: 1918–1919
  • 19th Division: 1918–1919
  • 20th Division: 1918–1919
  • 26th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1941* (26th Infantry Division)
  • 27th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1940* (27th Infantry Division)
  • 28th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1941* (28th Infantry Division)
  • 29th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1941* (29th Infantry Division)
  • 30th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1940* (30th Infantry Division)
  • 31st Division: 1917–1919; 1923–1940* (31st Infantry Division)
  • 32nd Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1940* (32nd Infantry Division)
  • 33rd Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1940* (33rd Infantry Division)
  • 34th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1941* (34th Infantry Division)
  • 35th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1940* (35th Infantry Division)
  • 36th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1940* (36th Infantry Division)
  • 37th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1940* (37th Infantry Division)
  • 38th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1941* (38th Infantry Division)
  • 39th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1923
  • 40th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1941* (40th Infantry Division)
  • 41st Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1940* (41st Infantry Division)
  • 42nd Division: 1917–1919
  • 43rd Division: 1921–1941* (43rd Infantry Division)
  • 44th Division: 1921–1940* (44th Infantry Division)
  • 45th Division: 1921–1940* (45th Infantry Division)
  • 76th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (76th Infantry Division)
  • 77th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (77th Infantry Division)
  • 78th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (78th Infantry Division)
  • 79th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (79th Infantry Division)
  • 80th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (80th Infantry Division)
  • 81st Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (81st Infantry Division)
  • 82nd Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (82nd Infantry Division)
  • 83rd Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (83rd Infantry Division)
  • 84th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (84th Infantry Division)
  • 85th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (85th Infantry Division)
  • 86th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (86th Infantry Division)
  • 87th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (87th Infantry Division)
  • 88th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (88th Infantry Division)
  • 89th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (89th Infantry Division)
  • 90th Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (90th Infantry Division)
  • 91st Division: 1917–1919; 1921–1942* (91st Infantry Division)
  • 92nd Division: 1917–1919
  • 93rd Division: 1917–1918—provisional division
  • 94th Division: 1921–1942* (94th Infantry Division) A 94th Division was intended as a Spanish-speaking division for World War I, but the assignment was withheld due to political wrangling.
  • 95th Division: 1918–1919; 1921–1942* (95th Infantry Division)
  • 96th Division: 1918–1919; 1921–1942* (96th Infantry Division)
  • 97th Division: 1918; 1921–1943* (97th Infantry Division)
  • 98th Division: 1918; 1921–1942* (98th Infantry Division)
  • 99th Division: 1918; 1921–1942* (99th Infantry Division)
  • 100th Division: 1918; 1921–1942* (100th Infantry Division)
  • 101st Division: 1918; 1921–1942* (101st Airborne Division)
  • 102nd Division: 1918; 1921–1942* (102nd Infantry Division)
  • 103rd Division: 1921–1942* (103rd Infantry Division)
  • 104th Division: 1921–1942* (104th Infantry Division)
  • Hawaiian Division: 1921–1941* (24th Infantry Division; see also 25th Infantry Division)
  • Panama Canal Division: 1921–1932
  • Philippine Division: 1921–1942 (see 12th Infantry Division)

Divisions of the United States Army (1941 to present)[edit]

  • Divisions in bold are currently active.

Air assault divisions[edit]

Airborne divisions[edit]

Armored divisions[edit]

Cavalry divisions[edit]

Infantry divisions[edit]

The 105th and 107th Infantry Divisions were intended to be negro divisions of the Army of the United States; however, due to a shortage of available manpower, their activations were canceled in 1942.

Light divisions[edit]

Motorized divisions[edit]

Mountain divisions[edit]

Reserve training divisions[edit]

In an attempt to maintain its divisions, the Army Reserve transformed several of its combat divisions into training divisions; these divisions were still designated as infantry divisions until authorized as "divisions (training)" by the adjutant general in 1959.

Divisions planned but never actually formed during the Second World War[edit]

At the time of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, Wake Island, and the Philippines, the United States Army was composed of 37 divisions, including the Philippine Division. Initially, necessary mobilization was estimated to be as high as 350 divisions, but the Army ultimately settled on a 100-division plan.

This relatively low number (compared to the high estimates) was partially due to the army's policy of assigning many combat units, particularly artillery and tank destroyer units, directly to corps and higher-level commands. These non-divisional units numbered approximately 1.5 million soldiers, enough personnel to man roughly 100 more divisions. The strategic philosophy was that such units could be assigned to divisions on an as-needed basis, and would allow divisions to remain as mobile and flexible as possible. By the end of 1943, U.S. Army strength stood at more than 70 divisions.

Allied gains in 1942 and 1943 resulted in a further contraction of U.S. mobilization, and the last wartime division, the 65th Infantry Division, was activated on 16 August 1943. In all, 91 divisions served in the U.S. Army in World War II. When the decision was made to halt the increase in divisions, 12 more divisions were still on the rolls, but would not be organized, though several of these would be organized following the war. They were the 15th Airborne Division, the 18th, 21st and 22nd Armored Divisions, the 19th Armored Division, which was in fact activated following the war, the 61st, 62nd, 67th, 68th, 72nd, 73rd, and 74th Infantry Divisions, and the 105th and 107th Infantry Divisions, which were intended to be Negro formations.

Unique among the 14 unorganized divisions, the 15th Airborne Division was not only a victim of the decision to set the size of the Army at 89 divisions (the 2nd Cavalry Division had been deactivated during the war and the Philippine Division was destroyed as a result of the Japanese victory in the Philippines), but also because it had become evident that the Army Air Forces lacked enough transport aircraft to support a sixth airborne division. The 13th Airborne Division never saw combat for this very reason.

The 105th and 107th Infantry Divisions were to join the 92nd and 93rd Infantry Divisions as Negro divisions. A shortage of manpower resulted in the activation of the 105th and 107th being cancelled in 1942.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Bellanger, Yves J. (2002). US Army Infantry Divisions, 1943–1945, Volume 1: Organisation, Doctrine and Equipment. Solihull: Helion.
  • Holt, Thaddeus (2004). The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • Muschett, James O. (ed.) (2001). The Army. Westport: Hugh Lauter Levin.
  • Stanton, Shelby L. (2006). World War II Order of Battle: An Encyclopedic Reference to U.S. Army Ground Forces from Battalion through Division, 1939–1946 (Revised Edition). Mechanicsburg: Stackpole.
  • Stewart, Richard W. (ed.) (2005). American Military History, Volume II: The United States Army in a Global Era, 1917–2003. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.
  • Tolson, John J. (1989). Airmobility 1961–1971. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.
  • Wilson, John B. (1987). Armies, Corps, Divisions, and Separate Brigades. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.
  • Wilson, John B. (1998). Maneuver and Firepower: The Evolution of Divisions and Separate Brigades. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, U.S. Army. OCLC 30625000. LCCN 94-21031.

Further reading[edit]

  • Dalessandro, Robert J. & Knapp, Michael G. "Organization and Insignia of the American Expeditionary Force, 1917–1923". Schiffer Publishing, 2008.