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Texas Military Department News
"Texans Serving Texas"
FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLIC RELEASE:
The 36th Infantry Division Celebrates 100 Year Anniversary Fact Sheet
As of July 18, 2017, the 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard, has enjoyed a century of commitment to service to the citizens of Texas and the United States. Although so much has changed over those 100 years, from uniforms and haircuts, vehicles and weapons, to even the make-up of the force itself, the dedication of its soldiers has not wavered during that time.
- War Department in Washington D.C. published General Order Number 95 on July 18, 1917 creating the 36th Division from Soldiers of the Texas and Oklahoma National Guard.
- Troops started to muster just eight days later and by October 1917, the troops from both states came together at Camp Bowie outside Fort Worth, Texas.
World War I:
- After rigorous training, the division was on its way to Europe to fight the Central Powers in World War I.
- The division endured 24 days of combat as a part of the French 4th Army while operating on the left flank of the U.S. 1st Army during the Meuse-Argonne offensive, the largest American campaign of the war.
- On November 11, 1918, the Great War came to an end with the signing of the armistice.
- On the same day, the War Department approved the shoulder insignia for the division – a green capital “T” superimposed on a blue arrowhead. The “T” stood for Texas and the arrowhead harkens to the Native American heritage of Oklahoma.
- The 36th Division suffered more than 2,500 casualties, including 466 killed in action.
- Two members were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
World War II:
- In November 1940, the division was mobilized to the new Camp Bowie near Brownwood, Texas and began training in preparation for war.
- Participated in the Louisiana and Carolina Maneuvers, trained at Camp Blanding, Fla. and Camp Edwards, Mass.
- 2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery Regiment detached from 36th Infantry Division and was sent to the Pacific Campaign on special mission; 2-131 FAR was the first American unit to fight on foreign soil in World War II before becoming prisoners of war by the Japanese.
- On September 9, 1943, the 36th Division became the first U.S. division to land on the European Continent when it made an amphibious assault landing at Salerno, Italy; nine months before the D-Day Normandy, France landings.
- The 36th encountered heavy German opposition as they pushed north through Altavilla, Naples, San Pietro and Cassino, taking heavy losses trying to breach the Rapido River, the last major German defensive barrier before Rome.
- May 1944, reinforced allied troops on the Anzio beachhead which lead to the liberation of Rome two days before D-Day.
- The division conducted a second amphibious assault landing in Southern France; driving up the Rhone River valley, fought a week-long battle at Montelimar, and then chased the German 19th Army to the foothills of the Vosges Mountains.
- The division turned back a German offensive attack in January 1945, participated in eliminating the Axis-held Colmar pocket.
- Breached the Siegfried Line in March 1945 and entered Germany; liberated the Landsburg Concentration Camp.
- Captured several high ranking Nazis including the Commander of the German Army on the Western Front.
- The unit endured more than 400 days of combat; suffered nearly 19,500 casualties with 3,131 Soldiers killed in action.
- Fourteen Soldiers awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Post World War II Transformation:
- The Texas National Guard underwent changes that added the 49th Armored Division in 1947.
- The 36th Infantry Division was deactivated in 1968, but many of the Arrowhead soldiers were still serving with the 49th Armored “Lone Star” Division.
- Called upon in the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to assist with recovery.
- Deployed overseas to the Balkans in 2000 and 2003.
- 49th was reorganized as an infantry unit and reflagged under the 36th Infantry Division in 2004.
September 11, 2001:
- September 11, 2001 changed the world and the mission for the U.S. military.
- Provided additional security at airports, military facilities and key infrastructure locations throughout the state.
- The division has deployed large, small and everything in between in support of the Global War of Terror in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
- The 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team to Iraq in 2005, the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade to Iraq in 2006, the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team to Iraq in 2009.
- The 36th Division Headquarters deployed to Iraq in 2010-2011 to provide command and control of operations during the drawdown of U.S. Forces becoming the first National Guard division to take over a command for Operation New Dawn.
- Several battalion, company and Task Force deployments in support of GWOT to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Egypt, Kosovo, Bosnia, the Horn of Africa, Central America, the Persian Gulf and other countries around the world.
- The 36th Division Headquarters has deployed successive Train, Advise and Assist Command teams to Afghanistan becoming the first National Guard division to take over a regional command in Afghanistan; the second rotation, commanded by Brig. Gen. Chuck Aris, remains in Afghanistan.
On The Homefront:
- The division continues to take the lead during major conflicts, but remains committed to providing support and care to the citizens of Texas
- Conducts Defense Support to Civil Authorities missions to include hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, flood relief and rescues and wildfire suppression across the state and providing security operations along the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent drug and human trafficking from entering Texas.
Into The Future:
- The division will remain an adaptable force within the Army’s Total Force Policy.
- Three units within the Associated Unit Pilot program partnering active and reserve component units to train together as they prepare to fight together.
The mission of the Texas Military Department (TMD) is to provide the Governor and the President with ready and trained forces in support of the citizens of Texas and State and Federal civil/military authorities at home and abroad.
The Texas Military Department is commanded by the Adjutant General of Texas, the state's senior military official appointed by the governor, and is comprised of the Texas Military Department (formerly the Adjutant General's Department), the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG), the Texas Air National Guard (TXANG), the Texas State Guard (TXSG) and the Domestic Operations Command (DOMOPS).
For more information about the Texas Military Department visit our Website at https://tmd.texas.gov.
Texas Military Department Public Affairs
P.O. Box 5218, Building 10
Camp Mabry (Austin), Texas 78703