COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT
Upon the activation of the 25th Infantry Division in 1941, its combat service support units consisted of a quartermaster battalion and a medical battalion. In 1942 prior to leaving Hawaii for Guadalcanal, the quartermaster battalion was replaced by a quartermaster truck company and an ordnance maintenance company. In 1944 while the division was in New Zealand a division band was activated along with Headquarters, Special Troops which provided administrative support to the separate companies of the division. It was in this configuration that the combat service support units of the 25th Division fought in WW II.
For the Korean War, the combat service support configuration remained essentially unchanged from WW II except for the reorganization and redesignation of Headquarters, Special Troops into a replacement company during the occupation of Japan in 1946 and then late in the war, the expansion of the ordnance company to a battalion in 1953.
The 25th Division was reorganized for atomic warfare in 1957. A division trains headquarters detachment was activated to command the division’s combat service support units with the division band being assigned to the headquarters detachment. Additionally a transportation battalion was added to the division consisting of a truck company and an armored personnel carrier company. The mission of the quartermaster company was changed from a truck company to a supply company. The replacement company was reorganized and redesignated as an administration company.
In the 1963 reorganization of the 25th Division the division trains headquarters detachment was redesignated as the division support command and band. The transportation battalion was inactivated. The quartermaster company and the truck company of the transportation battalion were merged into a supply and transportation battalion. Also the ordnance battalion was redesignated as a maintenance battalion. During the four years the 25th Division fought in Vietnam from 1966-70 the division support command consisted of a headquarters detachment and band (which became a headquarters company and band in 1967), a medical battalion, a supply and transportation battalion, a maintenance battalion and an administration company.
In 1969 the 4th Brigade, 25th Division was activated at Schofield Barracks. Organized to operate as a separate brigade it was assigned a separate brigade support battalion consisting of a headquarters detachment, an administration company, a supply and maintenance company, and a medical company. In December 1970 the 25th Division returned to Schofield Barracks except for the 2nd Brigade which remained in Vietnam until April 1971. In order to furnish combat service support to the 2nd Brigade, a separate brigade support battalion was activated and assigned to the brigade.
Upon the return of the 25th Division to Schofield Barracks from Vietnam, the 4th Brigade was inactivated. However its support battalion remained assigned to the division and on active duty until 1972.
In 1972 the 3rd Brigade was inactivated resulting in a corresponding reduction in the combat service support slice dedicated to the 3rd Brigade. The administration company was redesignated as an adjutant general company and the division band was reassigned from the division support command’s headquarters company to the adjutant general company. The finance responsibilities of the former administration company were consolidated into a finance company.
In 1982 the 25th Division’s medical, supply and transportation and maintenance battalions were provisionally reorganized into two forward support battalions and a main support battalion to determine if multi-branch combat service support could effectively function in composite battalions at the division level as had been proven at the separate brigade level. In 1985 these provisional units were returned to their pre-1982 organizations and designations.
In 1985 a Transportation Corps aircraft maintenance company was assigned to the division support command. In 1988 the aircraft maintenance company was reallocated to the Aviation branch remaining assigned to the 25th Division. In 1986 a chemical decontamination/smoke generator company was assigned to the support command.
In 1986 the adjutant general company was inactivated and replaced by a personnel services company. With the inactivation of the adjutant general company the division band became a separate unit of the division. Also in 1986 the finance company was reorganized as a corps-level finance battalion, released from assignment to the 25th Division and assigned to the 45th Corps Support Group where it continued to provide the division with finance support.
The provisional testing of division-level multi-branch support battalions led the Army in 1992 to direct the reorganization and redesignation of the 25th Division’s medical, supply and transportation and maintenance battalions into four composite support battalions. Three of the support battalions were to serve as forward support battalions for each of the three maneuver brigades. The forward support battalions were organized with each consisting of a headquarters and supply company, a medical company and a maintenance company. The fourth support battalion was organized as a main support battalion consisting of a headquarters and supply company, a motor transport company, a maintenance company and a medical company. The battalions were assigned to the division support command.
In 1995 the personnel services company was reorganized as a corps-level personnel support battalion and attached to the division. In 1999 the US Army Pacific formally assigned it to the 25th Infantry Division.
When in 1995 the 1st Brigade was reassigned to Fort Lewis Washington, a forward support battalion was also reassigned from the Division Support Command to Fort Lewis to support the brigade. In 2002 the 1st Brigade was directed to reorganize from light infantry to a wheeled light armored configuration known as a Stryker Brigade. As part of the reconfiguration to a Stryker Brigade the forward support battalion was reorganized as a separate brigade support battalion consisting of a headquarters company, a supply and transport company, a maintenance company and a medical company.
In 2004-2005 all units of the 25th Infantry Division served in both the War On Terrorism’s Afghanistan and Iraq expeditionary campaigns. In those campaigns the support battalions were attached to brigade combat teams to serve as brigade logistics task forces in support of the combat battalions. In the Afghanistan campaign the division support command served as the joint logistical command for all Coalition forces in Afghanistan.
In 2004 the Army began a modular reorganization of the ten Active Component Divisions. The objective of the reorganization was increase the number of cohesive deployable units by moving from a division-centric force to a brigade-centric force. Transforming to a modular designed force, the Army standardized its combat, combat support and combat service support unit designs.
Beginning in the summer of 2005 the Army transformed the 25th Infantry Division into a modular force organization. In the reorganization the division support command was inactivated and the personnel services battalion relieved from assignment to the division.
The 25th Infantry Division was reorganized with two Stryker brigade combat teams, an infantry brigade combat team, an airborne brigade combat team, a combat aviation brigade and a division headquarters. Each of the four maneuver brigades was assigned a brigade support battalion. (See Division Reorganization)
In each Stryker brigade combat team the brigade support battalion consists of a headquarters and headquarters company, a distribution company, a maintenance company and a medical company.
In the infantry and airborne brigade combat teams the brigade support battalions consist of a headquarters and headquarters company, a distribution company, a maintenance company, a medical company and four forward support companies dedicated to furnishing direct combat service support to the two infantry battalions, the cavalry squadron and the field artillery battalion.
A support battalion is assigned to the combat aviation brigade. The support battalion consists of a headquarters and headquarters company, a distribution company, an aviation maintenance company and a signal company. Each of the four aviation battalions of the brigade has an organic aviation support company and an organic forward support company.
Under the modular force concept the 25th Infantry Division will be supported by a separate sustainment brigade. At present the sustainment brigade will consist of a mix of what was previously known as corps-level combat service support elements composed of both logistical and personnel services units.