283rd Engineer Detachment (Terrain Analysis)

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283d Engineer Detachment
20 ENG BDE SSI.svg
20th Engineer Brigade shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 16 August 1950 – 12 December 1958
1 May 1967 – 20 September 1971
21 June 1974 – 1989
Country United States
Branch United States Army
Type Combat engineer
Role Terrain Analysis
Size 10-12
Part of XVIII Airborne Corps
Garrison/HQ Fort Bragg (North Carolina, USA)
Mascot(s) Wasp
Engagements Vietnam War
Invasion of Grenada
Major Thoms G. VanSlyke

The 283d Engineer Detachment (Terrain Analysis) was a combat engineer detachment assigned to the 20th Engineer Brigade of the United States Army stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.[1] Although the members of the unit wore blue airborne tabs as part of the brigade's shoulder patch jump status was optional.

The detachment, commanded by a field grade officer, consisted of approximately 10–12 personnel, half of which were company grade officers. The executive officer was a captain. Military occupational specialties (MOS) of the enlisted personnel included soils analysts, cartographic drafters, terrain analysts and clerk typists. At a minimum unit members held secret security clearance with officers and some non-commissioned officers holding Top Secret clearances. The detachment had a former Army Security Agency cartographic specialist with Top Secret security credentials in crypt o-analysis, special intelligence and NATO access assigned at one time.[citation needed]

The primary mission of the 283d was to provide land analysis for worldwide missions of the XVIII Airborne Corps. It was primarily sequestered away from the brigade area and its members were required not to discuss its work outside of its secure location.[citation needed]

The detachment was so small that it was part of a provisional battalion of the 20th Engineer Brigade and relied on its sister unit, the 63d Engineer Company, for its logistical support. 283d members were exempt from inspections, formal physical training routines, morning formations and the common extra duties required of other brigade members. Because of the nature of its work and close personal contact among its members the distinctions between officers and enlisted members were more relaxed than typical units but still maintained high 'esprit de corps' and discipline.[citation needed] By 1977 the brigade newspaper, 'The Level Line', noted that the 283d had no record of AWOL members. 'The Level Line' name was one of numerous suggestions submitted by 283rd personnel, 2LT Szigeti and SP5 Leviner et al., and was adopted for the newspaper by brigade. The unit adopted the mascot of the wasp by mid-1978. Additionally, from 1978 - 1981, the unit recorded 100% accuracy on SIDPERS transactions, achieved by SSG W.E. Truxon, to date, never achieved.


  1. ^ Engineer Units, Army Engineer Association 

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