38th Sustainment Brigade

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38th Sustainment Brigade
Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
Active 2007 - Present
Country United States
Branch United States Army National Guard
Type Sustainment Brigade
Size Brigade
Garrison/HQ Kokomo, Indiana
Motto(s) Never Quit
Engagements Operation Iraqi Freedom
Current Commander COL Kimberly Martindale
Current Command Sergeant Major CSM Brenda Simmons
Current Deputy Commander LTC TBP
Distinctive Unit Insignia 38SustainBdeDUI.jpg

The 38th Sustainment Brigade is a sustainment brigade of the United States Army National Guard in Indiana.

The former 38th Division Support Command (DISCOM), along with several other support units, transformed into the 38th Sustainment Brigade in 2007. When this transformation began, the unit's headquarters shifted from Indianapolis, Indiana, to Kokomo, Indiana.

The 38th Infantry Division distinctive unit insignia was used by members of this unit until the current design was approved in May 2009.

Service history[edit]

The 38th Sustainment Brigade’s origins go back to the Mexican Border Crisis, as a combat arms company. The Indiana National Guard unit was organized and federally recognized on 3 June 1916 as Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Infantry in Indianapolis. From 28 June through 9 July 1916, the unit was mustered into federal service in support of Mexican Border service. After nearly eight months, they were mustered out of federal service on 21–26 February 1917.

Only several weeks later, they were again called upon and entered federal service on 25 March 1917, for World War I. Upon arrival at Camp Shelby, Miss., they were redesignated as Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 152nd Infantry, a company of the 38th Division. The 38th Infantry Division arrived in Europe in October 1918 and was dispersed (or "skeletonized") into units already fighting on the front line. After the Armistice was signed, they were demobilized 8 March 1919, at Camp Taylor, Kentucky After World War I, Hqtrs. Co., 3rd Battalion, 152nd Infantry were reorganized and federally recognized 22 September 1921, at Indianapolis.

Subsequently, they went through two changes prior to World War II, including • Redesignated 1 January 1922 as Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry • Reorganized and redesignated 20 March 1934 as Headquarters Company, 151st Infantry Regiment.

They were inducted into federal service on 17 January 1941, at Indianapolis, for World War II. The 38th Division was also redesignated 10 February 1942, as 38th Infantry Division. The 38th Division conducted three years of training at Camp Shelby, Miss., as their mission had changed from the European Theatre to the Pacific Theatre, subsequent to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The 38th departed for Hawaii, in January 1944, for additional training, and security operations. The next stop was Oro Bay, New Guinea, for more jungle training and a few encounters with the Japanese, in which the unit quickly dispatched the enemy. From there the Division headed to Leyte, where they engaged in a fierce battle with the Japanese in December 1944. The next landing, Luzon, was to be their assault landing, however ground troops in the area had already made the area safe, and they were met by Filipinos with baskets of food. The rest of the tour was more like Leyte.

The 38th Infantry Division was assigned the M-7 Operation, which was supposed to complete the eradication of the Japanese in the Philippine Peninsula and Islands in Manila Bay. This was to be conducted in five phases, which included clearing Highway 1 in the north, the Fort Stotsenburg area in the very south (initiated by the landing at Mariveles), the Zambales Mountains between, and the Islands of Caraballo, Carabao, and El Fraille (Fort Drum).

Headquarters Company, 151st Infantry Regiment, was responsible for overseeing the missions of the 151st Infantry Regiment, which consisted of three battalions. The 151st, along with the 152nd and 149th Infantry Regiments, was involved in the clearing of Highway 1. The battle, now called "The Battle of Zig Zag Pass," was a bloody standstill between the Japanese and the 38th Division’s Infantry Regiments. The 38th Infantry Division prevailed. The 151st was also involved in the clearing of the Zambales Mountains, as well as the Island Operations. In February 1945, the Philippine Peninsula was declared clear of the Japanese. Legend has it on this day General Douglas C. MacArthur declared the 38th Infantry Division, "The Avengers of Bataan". The nickname stuck for five decades, and in 2011, the Center of Military History granted the "nickname" as the 38th Infantry Divisions "Distinctive Designation". Once Big Boy and Fat Man rained their devastation on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Empire of Japan unconditionally surrendered. The Japanese on the Philippine Peninsula surrendered to the 38th Infantry Division. By June 1945, the 38th Infantry Division had completed operations. By November 1945, they had returned to the US through Camp Anza, Cal., and then went home to Indiana.

After World War II, National Guard units across the nation had to undergo federal recognition inspections. For Headquarters Company 151st Infantry Regiment, this occurred 29 July 1947, at Indianapolis. On 1 February 1959, Headquarters Company 151st Infantry Regiment was reorganized into a Combat Support element as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 38th Infantry Division Trains. The unit would undergo two more major reorganizations to become the sustainment element it is today. The first one occurred 1 March 1963, which reorganized and redesignated Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 38th Infantry Division Trains as Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 38th Infantry Division Support Command (DISCOM). The maintenance aspect of sustainment was added when HHC 38th Infantry Division Support Command was consolidated with 38th Infantry Division Material Management Center on 1 September 1993.

In May 2006, HHC Division Support Command was ordered into active federal service in support of the Global War on Terrorism, Operation Iraqi Freedom. This was the first time in Indiana National Guard history that a brigade-echelon unit was deployed with a female commander, Col. Marjorie Courtney. Under the name "Task Force Indy" – HHC DiSCOM served as the Garrison Command for Victory Base Complex in Baghdad. DiSCOM was released from active federal service in November 2007 and reverted to state control.

On 1 September 2008, HHC DiSCOM went from a "Support" element to a "Sustainment" element when it was expanded, reorganized, and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 38th Sustainment Brigade. This reorganization would also make the 38th Sustainment Brigade a "separate" brigade (not doctrinally aligned to a specific division). This status authorized the Brigade a new Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (SSI), Distinctive Unit Insignia (DUI) and Motto. Drawing from their 38th Infantry Division roots, the brigade included elements of the 38th ID in both the DUI, and SSI, including the red and blue background on both the SSI and DUI, the cloverleaf on the DUI, and the three stripes on the SSI, which signify the three wars that the unit participated in as a part of the 38th ID (World War I, World War II, and GWOT). The brigade also adopted the nickname, "Avengers," which alludes back to the 38th ID’s distinctive designation, "Avengers of Bataan."

The Avengers were activated again for federal service in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on 26 August 2012. Their mission was to perform sustainment operations throughout the Kuwait theatre and facilitate the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan. It would also be the first time in Indiana National Guard history that the commander and the command sergeant major were both female, Col. Deedra Thombleson and Cmd Sgt Maj Karolyn Peeler.

In June 2013 the brigade was relieved from its deployment to Kuwait, and demobilized through North Fort Hood, Texas. They will be relieved by the 371st Sustainment Brigade (United States), Ohio Army National Guard.

Campaign Streamers[edit]

World War I

  • Streamer without inscription

World War II

  • New Guinea
  • Leyte
  • Luzon (with arrowhead)

Global War on Terrorism

  • TBD

Unit Decorations[edit]

Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered 17 OCTOBER 1944 TO 4 JULY 1945

Meritorious Unit Commendation, Streamer embroidered PHILIPPINE ISLANDS 1945