THE 38TH INFANTRY DIVISION
“Avengers of Bataan”
Prologue The 38th is one of the oldest of the Army’s numbered divisions. It carries
an unbroken trail of lineage, honors, and service in peace and war, internally
within the various states in which it has been located, and to the nation
itself, since the early 20th Century. It started formally in 1917 at a newly
designated military training camp in Mississippi.
Dual State-Federal Volunteer Roles A unique feature of the 38th as an Army National Guard division is the dual
status in which it operates. Formed under what are commonly called the Militia
Clauses of the United States Constitution, the National Guard has a state
mission during peacetime under the command of respective state governors to
provide for the security and well being of their states’ citizens. The Guard
also has a federal mission that allows it to be mobilized for national service
under control of the United States Government when the need arises. Since 1636
the Guard has been an all volunteer force. It units have never been filled by
A New Division Today the division embodies the traditional militia concept initiated in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636 and passed on to today’s United States National Guard. Various state militia units (later redesignated as National
Guard units) were mustered into federal service and fought in the Revolutionary
War, the Mexican War, the War Between the States, and all others up through the 1916-17 Mexican Border service. When called, they retained their traditional
state designations while in federal service (3d Indiana Infantry Regiment,
First Kentucky Brigade, etc). But with the coming of the Great War (later to
be called World War I) against Germany the identification practice would
undergo a drastic change.
38TH INFANTRY DIVISION
Over the years designated regular Army units along side federalized state
National Guard units with different designations and different battle flags
caused confusion and in many cases problems with esprit songs, rowdy athletic
events, and general pride and even jealousy between individual units. However,
with the coming of United States involvement in the Great War on 6 April 1917,
and the call to duty on 5 August of the entire National Guard into federal service,
the War Department implemented a new division numbering system.
Major components of the Army were to be divided into divisions, each
division encompassing some 28,000 men, with another 12,000 needed to support
each division fully operational in the field or in combat. Division
identification numbers 1-25 were to be reserved for regular Army divisions,
26-75 for National Guard divisions, and 76 and above for National Army
(draftee) divisions. The first National Guard division to be numbered was the
26th, the seconded to be numbered was the 27th, and in turn the 13thin sequence
to be numbered was the 38th. Hence, the 38th Division.
Upon mobilization the War Department selected certain state National Guard
units to be concentrated at pre-selected training camps. At specific locations
those concentrated there would be reorganized from their traditional state
designations into cadre for new numbered divisions. In the case of what was to
be the 38th, Guard units from Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia were all
mobilized at a camp in southern Mississippi near the town of Hattiesburg. (Insert map #1 – 1917 – Mobilization at Camp Shelby). The camp was so new it had not yet been named. Kentucky units were the first to arrive, so it was named Camp Shelby in honor of their state’s first governor, Isaac Shelby. At Camp Shelby on Saturday, 25 August 1917 the new 38th Division was formed from around the three states’ National Guard units.
The major combat organizations of the new division were four infantry
regiments of some 3,800 men each. Kentucky units formed the 149th Infantry.
West Virginia units formed the 150th Infantry, and the Indiana units formed the
151st Infantry and the 152d Infantry. Indiana units also formed the 137th and
139th Field Artillery Regiments. and Kentucky units formed the 138th Field Artillery Regiment. Of the three new brigade headquarters’, Kentucky troops
formed the 63d Field Artillery and the 75th Infantry, and Indiana troops formed
the 76th Infantry. All three states contributed to formation of the 113th
Engineers (Regiment) and other division units.
In the Great War (World War I) The United States began deploying divisions to France and entry into the
war from early on after the war was declared in April 1917, and by the end of the
year some 194,000 soldiers were overseas. By the end of June 1918 the number
38TH INFANTRY DIVISION
had increased to 1,000,000, with more to come. In order to sustain the ever
increasing numbers going to Europe, and at the same time bring new stateside
divisions up to full strength, great transfers of troops were sometimes made to
achieve the totals required at the time.
Short of the needed troop strength for a full division, 2,000 troops from
another division was transferred into the 38th in November 1917. But in the
early months of 1918 over 6,200 men were in turn transferred out of the 38th
for immediate deployment to Europe as replacements. New draftees were then
assigned to the division coming into the Army for the most part from the middle
America states. Notwithstanding the personnel turmoil and a great many men not
being fully trained, in September 1918 the 38th Division, short 1,900 men from
wartime strength, sailed for France.
It was at the same time that the great Muese-Argonne offensive was launched
against the German Army that would eventually involve twenty American
divisions. Casualties were extremely heavy. The individual replacement stream
coming from the states could not cope with the losses, and the situation at the
front became critical.
An extremely difficult decision was made at General John J. Pershing’s
American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) headquarters in France to “skeletonize”
entire defense on the Bataan Peninsula, in places from 10-20 miles wide (east
to west) and about 20 miles long (south to north). The force was soon living
on starvation rations of rice. The soldiers had already eaten their horses,
and were soon eating dogs and other small animals. All were weak from lack of
food, many suffered from dysentery and malaria, casualties were mounting, and
those still able to fight were dead tired from constant battle.
A renewed Japanese offensive in April 1942 convinced the force commander
that he could subject his men to no more. Some 10,000 Americans and 60,000
Filipinos were forced to surrender. What followed is an ugly chapter in
American military history, know to posterity as the Bataan Death March.
American and Filipino prisoners were forced to march as much as 75-90 miles
northward on dirt roads and trails for imprisonment, with a short leg in
overcrowded rail cars. It was a 10 to 12-day march in broiling sun with no rest
allowed in the shade. They were denied water. They were beaten and clubbed
along the route. Many died outright. Some were shot or bayoneted to death for
no reason at all. Those that survived the march either died at the Luzon
prison camp or were shipped to Japan as slave labor in mines and factories
where many more would die. Well over half of the 10,000 Americans captured on
Bataan never lived to see the end of the war.
Following the escape of handfuls of survivors, the public learned the
details of the unbelievable cruelty and wanton killing. All America was
shocked. It roused citizens at home and members of the armed forces alike into
a united goal of wanting desperately to avenge that terrible ordeal. The
defense was a courageous attempt to halt a much superior enemy force, and the
three-month stand on Bataan significantly altered the original Japanese
military timetable in the Philippines. Three years later providence would
provide the 38th Infantry Division with the opportunity to avenge the Bataan
operation and death march.
THE 38TH INFANTRY DIVISION
The Avengers of Bataan Just as the Japanese had done three years earlier, in January 1945 two
United States Army corps launched a drive southward from the northwest shore of
Luzon to recapture Manila. (Insert map #4-Initial Operations). A paramount strategic consideration was to simultaneously seal off the Bataan Peninsula to prevent the Japanese from consolidating forces there to make a final stand, just as the Luzon Force has
done in 1942.
The 38th Infantry Division’s primary objectives were to execute a supporting
amphibious attack on the western shore of Luzon, to drive eastward across the
north neck of the Bataan Peninsula, to seal it off from the Japanese coming down
from the north, and to clear the peninsula of all enemy forces and to retake it totally.
The division and companion 34th Regimental Combat Team (RCT) landed on 29
January 1945 just north of Subic Bay. (Insert map #5-XI Corps Landing). Good progress was made driving eastward until the third day. In the midst of twisting jungle trails, well prepared and protected enemy strong points, honey-combed tunnels and trenches linking concealed foxholes, log and dirt pillboxes from which fire covered every avenue of movement, and inability to see but a few feet ahead, the division ran into a strongpoint that would soon be known as Horseshoe Bend. It was the first of a major set of obstacles in what became known as the battle for Zig Zag Pass. (Insert map #6-Ziz Zag Pass Area).
The division was for a time stopped cold. It was a fight to the death for the Japanese
defenders. It took a realignment of division regiments, some hard command decisions,
ferocious close quarter fighting and a renewed concentration of field artillery to get
the division moving again. Finally on 14 February two regiments of the 38th linked up and completed the sealing off of the peninsula. The following day a division amphibious
assault on the southern tip of the peninsula drove north to meet up with other division
elements and clear Bataan pf all Japanese forces within a week. (Insert map #7-Southern Bataan).
The operation was so significant that General Doulgas MacArthur personally dubbed
the soldiers of the 38th as the “Avengers of Bataan.” (Insert photo of sign entering Bataan). They accepted it with pride and proclaimed it with signs, it appeared in news articles, an unofficial tab was made for wear above the CY shoulder sleeve insignia, and it is frequently mentioned in Southwest Pacific was histories. Although the War Department/Department of Defense never acknowledged it as an unofficial nickname, it is still used unofficially in direct association with the 38th.
THE 38TH INFANTRY DIVISION
Following the Bataan operation the 38th Infantry Division participated in the recapture
of Corregidor and three other islands in Manila Bay, to the north of Bataan in the elimination of enemy forces in the mountains there, east of Manila in the Sierra Madre
mountain range, and patrolling and mopping up combat actions in a wide area to the north and east. (Insert map #8-Operations East of Manila).
The division’s last combat action occurred on 2 September, some two weeks after
the surrender of Japan, and on 5 October the 38th was formally relieved of all combat
During the final months of combat, the 38th Infantry Division and the 112th Cavalry
RCT are both credited in the Army’s “Green Book” series of World War II history as
innovative in use of the helicopter that was in its military infancy at the time, used primarily for observation and command and control. Both commands pioneered its use on an extensive, planned scale for medical evacuation from the battle area directly to rear
medical stations. Many injured soldiers’ lives were saved by not having to be carried on
litters through the jungle when time was critical. There are individual instances of its use
for medical evacuation, but nothing like the large scale use by the 38th and the 112th. Their innovation was a forerunner of mass helicopter medical evacuation techniques developed later in the Korean War and in Vietnam.
The surrender of Japan in August precluded the planned role the 38th was scheduled to play in the invasion of the homeland itself. The division returned home in October and early November via several troop ships, all docking on the west coast. On 9 November 1945 at Camp Anza, Los Angles, California, the 38th Infantry Division was deactivated.
An All-Indiana Division Following the war the 38th was again slated as a high priority division to be organized
in the National Guard. But unlike before, this time the entire division would be located within the State of Indiana. Headquarters 38th Infantry Division was organized in
Indianapolis on 5 March 1947.
Unit by unit and town by town, it took until early 1949 to form the full division. In 1948 as the division was forming there were some changes in the division structure based
upon studies of combat actions during the war, such as addition of an organic tank battalion and an antiaircraft artillery battalion, reduction of the infantry squad from 12 to nine men, and replacement of the infantry regimental cannon company with a regimental
tank company. But essentially it was the same basic “triangle” division it had been during the war. One difference in numerical designation was necessary from the start
because the 149th was an original Kentucky infantry regiment and the designation was not
appropriate for use in Indiana, so a battalion of Indiana’s 152d Infantry Regiment was
redesignated as the new Indiana 293d Infantry Regiment.
THE 38TH INFANTRY DIVISION
It was 11 years before the first major reorganization and realignment occurred. Following the lead of active Army divisions, in 1959 the 38th became the first National Guard “pentomic” division. It was the Army’s answer at the time for a major command that could fight and survive on an atomic battlefield, albeit one could only imagine what an atomic battlefield would look like. It was also the Army’s saving grace to counter decreasing funding and reliance on the Army in case of war in favor of the Navy and Air Force as the two major nuclear delivery means. The new division consisted of five major subordinate commands (as in pentagon) to fight on an atomic battlefield. So borrowing from both words, the Army designed a pentomic division.
There were significant changes in unit designations, missions, and equipment requirements throughout the entire division. Perhaps the most significant was the loss of structured infantry regiments. In place of the regiments, commands designated as “battle groups” were organized – each smaller than a former regiment but larger than a battalion. The 38th in Indiana now had five battle groups in lieu of the former three infantry regiments.
Two years later during what was termed the Berlin Crisis the 38th was placed on the short list of National Guard divisions for possible mobilization. It was precipitated in 1961 by disagreement on final World War II treaty questions between the United States and the Soviet Union concerning the divided City of Berlin, Germany. Compromise was reached and in the end war and a large scale mobilization was narrowly avoided, but fallout from it was the East German Government’s erection of the infamous Berlin Wall that physically divided the city for almost 30 years.
The following year a national crisis again put the 38th on tap for mobilization. This time it was so close to happening that the division commander was summoned to Washington on orders, in secret, to be briefed on the situation. It followed the discovery in October 1962 of surface-to-surface nuclear-capable missiles secretly being sent to and set up on the Island of Cuba by the Soviet government. They were aimed at the United States. President Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of the island and warned the Soviets to remove the missiles at once.
Issues of preemptive air strikes and a military invasion of Cuba were on the front burner in Washington. Nuclear weapons were flown around the clock ready for a strike if needed. Never before or since has the world been so close to the brink of nuclear war between the two powers, what might have ensued is literally unthinkable.
Meanwhile, the pentomic division reorganization of the 1950s had run its course. A new national strategy of “flexible response” to nuclear or non-nuclear war alike shifted thinking back toward greater reliance on the Army’s role in national security. A plan know as Reorganization Objectives Army Divisions (ROAD) was undertaken to reorganize active Army and National Guard divisions for a second time within a decade.
THE 38TH INFANTRY DIVISION
Like the new flexible response strategy, the ROAD division incorporated a theme of flexibility that would allow it to be “tailored” to a specific combat mission. In March 1963 the 38th In Indiana reorganized into a division with three brigade headquarters, and eight maneuver battalions (six infantry and two armor). Each brigade was a headquarters only. Any maneuver battalion could be attached, detached, or reattached to any brigade headquarters as the mission dictated. A new cavalry squadron also augmented the maneuver force, aviation assets were expanded, the field artillery was realigned, and a new “support command” for combat service support was created. Minor realignments were made along the way, but the fundamental ROAD concept served active Army and National Guard divisions into the 21st Century.
In November 1965 the last major reorganization of the all-Indiana division ushered in a Department of Defense- directed period known as the Selective Reserve Force (SRF)/Reinforcing Reserve (RR) era. It is commonly referred to simply as “SRF.” It was a confusing and frustrating time in the history of the National Guard. It started out as a loose-knit configuration of selected high priority units designated for early mobilization during the Vietnam War, of low priority units that received no resources, the loss of entire divisions within the Guard, a resulting split of other divisions between states, and a general frustration toward the end with regard to presidential policy for not mobilizing the Guard in greater numbers during the war.
Within the 38th Infantry Division one infantry battalion became an airborne infantry battalion, and another became a mechanized infantry battalion. Otherwise the division structure remained basically the same, albeit greatly unbalanced. Over half of the division units were selected as high priority (SRF) units and given first choice on reassignments to flesh out units to full strength, on new clothing and equipment, and intensified training time and resources. They were to be mobilized at a designated station with other high priority units from other states to form a full high priority division.
The remainder of the 38th was designated as low priority reinforcing reserve (RR) units with minimum strength and hardly enough equipment which to train. It was a true case of haves and have nots.
In the midst of all this was the requirement for the 38th Infantry Division units to be available for state service. During the period 1964-67, for example, the Guard was called upon several times during severe winter conditions to provide assistance and relief for Indiana citizens. In 1965 devastating tornados ripped through central and northern Indiana on Palm Sunday. Division units ordered to duty to provide critical disaster relief were the only state entities capable of mounting such a concentrated effort.
THE 38TH INFANTRY DIVISION
Also during the mid-1960s anti-war protests and race riots were rearing their ugly heads throughout the country. During 1965 through 1967 division units were alerted 10 times on standby for employment within the state in possible civil disturbance situations. Early call and serious planning and intent of Guard units precluded any major outbreaks. Two incidents in northern Indiana, however, could have turned into serious situations.
All of these state requirements, in addition to the new SRF/RR organizational requirements, compelled a major realignment of division units throughout the state. One objective was to have mutually supporting SRF and RR units stationed together for local civil disturbance or disaster preparedness in the event the SRF units were mobilized. The other objective was to facilitate intensified SRF training requirements. It was a time of turmoil for some units, but the internal realignment plan allowed the state and the division to meet both state and federal missions.
As all of this was happening, a major external realignment of the 38th was ordered. After 20 years of an all-Indiana division, the 38th was about to return to the early days of being split between two or more states.
Return to an Inter-State Division It was precipitated by a major Department of Defense realignment of the National Guard in late 1967 that resulted in the loss of the 37th Infantry Division in Ohio, and the 46th Infantry Division in Michigan. As part of the overall realignment, the troop structure of the 38th was reduced in Indiana, and a reinforced brigade level “slice” of troop units from each of the States of Ohio and Michigan was redesignated as 38th Infantry Division units.
In December 1967 Indiana lost the 2d and 3d Brigade troop units to separate non-division commands in Indiana. The division structure in Indiana retained most of the division “base” and the traditional 76th Brigade with three infantry and one mechanized infantry battalions. The 46th Brigade from Michigan (the number recalling their former 46th Infantry Division) with two infantry and one armor battalions, plus detachments of several other units, became part of the 38th Infantry Division. In Ohio the 73d Brigade (the number recalling one of the original 37th Infantry Division brigades) with three infantry battalions, plus detachments from several other units, became part of the 38th Infantry Division. A division field artillery battalion was also located in each of Michigan and Ohio.
THE 38TH INFANTRY DIVISION
With the exception of one aviation company, all units of the division in all three states were now part of the high priority SRF. More than at any other time during the Vietnam War and into the SRF era, early 1968 portended of mobilization for the 38th. Troops were training up to higher levels, personal effects were being put in order, and senior officers and noncommissioned officers had resigned themselves to the mobilization that was certain to come.
But alas, for pure political reasons, President Lyndon B. Johnson, rather than follow a Department of Defense recommendation to call up 262,000 reserve force personnel, instead called a mere 20,000 on 11 April 1968. For a division now at a high state of readiness, it was a significant letdown. On 1 May the 38th was relieved from SRF status. A senior official at the National Guard Bureau lamented later that “…it entailed a long trip with no final destination.”
Through the 1960s race riots and anti-war protests continued to turn ugly in several instances in several states requiring alerts and in some cases actual deployment of division troops to help restore order. In Indiana there were no serious incidents of note.
Michigan was plagued by riots in the Detroit area. In May 1970 a Kent State, Ohio campus riot turned deadly as Guard troops and rioters exchanged weapons fire. The Kent State incident, as bad as it was, did in fact mark a significant turndown on rioting in general as civil disturbance groups became keenly aware that state governors, with the force of their Guard units, were no longer going to sit by and watch their campuses destroyed.
For the next nine years the division remained stable with no major reorganizational or realignment changes. But in the mid-1970s more structural changes in the Guard impacted on the division. In Ohio a new 73d Infantry Brigade (Separate) was organized there that would not be part of the 38th Infantry Division. Accordingly, the division brigade slice of Ohio troops as such was “returned” to Indiana. Effective in March 1977 the 38th now consisted of the 2d Brigade (Indiana), 46th Brigade (Michigan), and 76th Brigade (Indiana) as the major maneuver commands. For the next several years through the 1980s the division underwent some internal reorganizations, to include addition of a new aviation brigade and an air defense artillery battalion.
Into the ‘90s – New Missions and Reorganization Again In 1990-91 the United States engaged in military Operations DESERT SHIELD and
DESERT STORM in the Mid-East to free the nation of Kuwait from a military takeover by Iraq. No 38th Infantry Division units as such were mobilized for service there, but by cross leveling of personnel a substantial number of division soldiers served in those operations with other mobilized units.
THE 38TH INFANTRY DIVISION
*Following Annual Training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi in 1992 and the dedication of the 38th Infantry Division Monument, the Division entered a new ear of slowly increasing operational tempo and effort to increase the readiness and responsiveness of the National Guard. The Division returned to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and the Battle Command Training Center for its third Warfighter exercise in 1993 focusing on the Military Decision Making Process and Battle Staff proficiency at the Brigade and Division level.
A major internal reorganization occurred in September 1993 when the division support command was completely realigned. The traditional supply and transport, medical, and maintenance battalions were reorganized into one main and three forward support battalions. It was an early realignment to support coming changes in the division and in the Guard in general.
In the early 1990s a study was undertaken that would ultimately result in the formation of 17 high priority “enhanced” separate (not part of a division) brigades in the National Guard. Indiana was chosen as one of the states to have an enhanced brigade. Starting in September 1994 a two-year program of phased reorganization and realignment actions began. *The 76th Infantry Brigade had its own shoulder patch, was commanding by a Brigadier General and was resourced with equipment and personnel authorizations comparable to an active brigade.
*The traditional 76th Brigade in Indiana was later reassigned from the 38th Infantry Division and redesignated as the new 76th Infantry Brigade (Separate). Accordingly, some division units were realigned within the state. The 38th Infantry Division was redesignated as the 38th Infantry Division (Mechanized). The division’s cavalry squadron was “relocated” from Indiana to Ohio. And an armor brigade from Ohio was incorporated into the 38th Infantry Division.
By April 1995, major maneuver elements of the division consisted of the 2d Brigade in Indiana with two infantry and one mechanized infantry battalions, the 37th Brigade in Ohio with two armor and one mechanized infantry battalions, and the 46th Brigade in Michigan with one armor and two infantry battalions. Michigan and Ohio also had one field artillery battalion each.
Starting in 1993 and expanding into the 2000s, various states have become part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program. No division units have been mobilized for the program, but key personnel from the division have been involved. It is an ongoing program designed to assist in the transformation of former Soviet and other countries into the modern realities of economic, military, and political stabilization. Certain states are aligned to work with designated countries. For example, Indiana is aligned with the nation of Slovakia, Michigan with Latvia, Kentucky with Ecuador, and Ohio with Hungary.
THE 38TH INFANTRY DIVISION
*In 1996, the Division's main effort was to provide security support to the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. More than 7,000 38th Infantry Division soldiers participated in 15 battalion size task forces plus two aviation task forces.
*In 1998, the 76th Infantry Brigade (Separate) began its road to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC), a training rotation scheduled for the summer of 2000. The Adjutant General of Indiana and the Military Department of Indiana quickly made this a priority even and dedicated all available resources toward the effort. The 38th Infantry Division would have multiple roles in the train-up and execution of the rotation. A Joint State Task Force (JSTF) was organized to provide direct support and administrative and logistical overhead in order to set the Brigade up for success. The year 1999 was a full rehearsal at Camp Atterbury, then in 2000 the 38th Infantry Division Support Command deployed to "the box" at JRTC to provide a Logistics Support Area (LSA) in the field in support of the 76th Infantry Brigade. An additional significant portion of the Division provided personnel and equipment to the JSTF). This effort also included the largest movement of military equipment by river barge since World War II.
*Also in 1998, the 38th Infantry Division deployed Echo Battery (Target Acquisition) of the 139th Field Artillery to Bosnia in support of peacekeeping operations in the ward torn former Yugoslavia.
*The dust has yet to settle after the JRTC rotation when the Division found itself deep into planning and preparations for another Warfighter exercise. The 200l Warfighter was a huge success. The Division earned nationwide notoriety for its outstanding performance. Soon the 38th Infantry Division, the Indiana Army National Guard, and the National Guard as a whole would see tremendous changes.
The New War on Terrorism The first call would come for two battalions out of the 76th Separate Infantry Brigade. Although the Brigade is no longer a part of the 38th Infantry Division, cross-leveling of Division soldiers and equipment would be required of the battalions for proper readiness levels for deployment. Even before Operation Iraqi Freedom began, the 38th Infantry Division was tasked to provide units for the U.S. contingent in Balkans Peacekeeping mission in Bosnia- Herzegovina, and soon there-after, Kosovo, and a missions in the Sinai Peninsula know as Multi-national Force Observers (MFO). The division would take transfer of authority for Task Force Eagle known as Stabilization Force Rotation 15 (SFOR) on 1 April 2004. This would ultimately be the last SFOR ration in Bosnia as the mission was assumed by the European Union (EU).
Also in 2004, the division took transfer of authority for Kosovo Force Rotation 6A (KFOR 6A) and also provided troops as part of the NATO contingent for both missions known as the Composite Support Elements (CSE) in Sarajevo and Pristina respectively.
38th Infantry Division units were mobilized and deployed in 2005 in support of hurricane relief efforts in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita primarily in Mississippi and Louisiana. The division’s units also sourced units such as TAB Battery, 3-139th FA, 2-150 FA, and soldiers to multiple deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The division also contributed greatly with soldiers and equipment cross-leveled to the 76th IN BDE and the 219th ASG for deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The most recent employment of soldiers from the 38th Infantry Division was to round out the 76th Brigade Combat Team to deploy over 3200 soldiers in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The largest deployment of Indiana National Guard soldiers since WWII.
As the division continues to source units and soldiers for the global war on terror, the Army is transforming the way it is organized and employed. Modularity is the term used to describe the concept. “Plug and Play” is an unofficial description. The concept is based around the brigade or Brigade Combat Team (BCT). Division headquarters are just that, headquarters that command and control multiple BCTs. They do not necessarily have to be subordinate units for training and readiness oversight. A division headquarters may be deployed to a theater and task organized with multiple BCTs from any state national guard and/or active component BCTs. This transformation also required major changes in structure and stationing of units. For training and readiness oversight, the division will now be organized with the 76th BCT (IN), the 37th BCT (OH), the 149th BCT (KY), the 38th Sustainment Brigade (IN), and the 38th Combat Aviation BDE (IN) plus it’s Special Troops Battalion (STB) that supports the headquarters.
The National Guard as an Operational Force The events of September 11, 2001 (commonly referred to as just “9/11”) when a terrible act of international terrorism was directed on our own soil when foreign agents bent on homicide and destruction crashed two airplanes into, and as a result brought crashing and burning to the ground, the twin towers of the New York City World Trade Center. It ushered a new era into all aspects of civilian and military organization and preparedness never before experienced by home town America. No longer is the National Guard viewed as a strategic reserve, but now as an operational component of the armed forces.
* * * * * * *
o Historical narrative and sketch maps (pre-GWOT) COL (Ret) Robert T. Fischer
o Historical narrative and sketch maps (post-GWOT) LTC Gary W. Thomas
COL (Ret) Thomas E. Vanderpool
o Composition. COL (Ret) Thomas E. Vanderpool
LTC Gary W. Thomas
LTC (Ret) Edward A. Bensman
MAJ Jens K. Pedersen
CW2 (Ret) Bernard B. Rosen
MSG (Ret) Carl O. Farley
1SG (Ret) John W. Lacher
Latest Revision: 19 Feb 2008
38TH INFANTRY DIVISION INSIGNIA
“CY” Shoulder Sleeve Insignia Approved on 30 October 1918 during World War I while the division was in Europe. Background on the basic design is traced back to the previous 17 August when a storm of great winds and rain ripped through the new 38th Division cantonment area at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, destroying most of the division’s tentage. As a reminder of the storm, and as a prediction of how the division would sweep away its enemies on the battlefields of Europe, the commander and men of the division choose the nickname Cyclone Division for the new 38th. When the division sailed for Europe in September, all personal and organizational equipment was identified with a “CY” paint or chalk mark.
When American divisions were approved for distinctive shoulder sleeve insignia, many of them used the overseas movement paint/chalk markings as the basis for their insignia. Hence, the CY on the 38th insignia. The “patch” was to be in the shape of a shield as a recognized symbol of the military, the CY in the center was to be in white, and the background was to be divided in blue and red. The colors blue, white, and red were chosen because for one thing they represented those of the national color (i.e., national flag), and also because they represented the three colors designated by the Army for the division color (i.e., flag) for all Army divisions. There have been minor manufacturing versions of the insignia, but the basic Cyclone Division patch has never changed.
Distinctive Unit Insignia (DUI) – First Version Following World War I there were proposals to perpetuate regimental pride by some sort of identifying insignia. In September 1921 the War Department approved in principle the concept of small metal insignia for wear on regimental soldiers’ caps, shirts, and jackets – soon to be known as regimental DUI. But a void was left for those elements of a division that were not part of
a regiment (i.e. headquarters units, brigade headquarters’ companies, small separate divisional units, etc). The answer was to authorize what was to be known as a division “non-color bearing unit” insignia – also to be known as the division DUI.
A three leaf clover design was proposed, the idea being to represent the three original states of Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia from which the Division was formed. It was approved by all three states, and authorized 22 July 1931 by the War Department. On each leaf was the state crest representing the regiments of one of the three states. The crests were arranged in the order of precedence in which the states were admitted to the Union – in order, the Kentucky state crest on the top (white) leaf, the Indiana state crest (the Harrison Crest) on the viewer’s left (red) leaf, and the West Virginia state crest on the viewer’s right (blue) leaf.
Page 1 of 3 Pages on Insignia
Distinctive Unit Insignia (DUI) – Second Version It was recognized following World War II when the 38th became an all-Indiana division that the original cloverleaf design encompassing three state crests may not longer be appropriate for the division DUI. It was finally cancelled by the US Army Institute of Heraldry in August 1963, but was allowed to be worn pending a new design. The December 1967 realignment of the division between the States of Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio was the catalyst in taking some concrete action toward a new DUI. There was a move to retain the original because of the heritage and tradition it exemplified, but the request was denied by the Institute.
Major General Kenneth W. Brewer, the Division Commander, took the initiative with some ideas of his own, and working with Lieutenant Colonel William A. Scott, an accomplished artist with an excellent grasp of history, submitted a new design. With but minor modification, the Institute approved the current design on 18 December 1969.
It preserved the basic blue, white, and red colors, and the traditional cloverleaf design similar to the original. The lightning flashes represent the World War II campaigns of New Guinea, Leyte, and Luzon – the arrowhead tip on the center flash representing the assault landing on Luzon. Further, the center stem, the white cloud, and the flashes are reminiscent of a cyclone, a great circular storm from which the division takes its name, and the three colors also represent those of the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation awarded to the division during World War II. The red scroll at the bottom proclaims the division’s official nickname. The current design can be worn by all non-color bearing units of the division, regardless of home station.
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