39th Infantry Division (United States) - Reorganization and Re-designation As The 39th Infantry Brigade

Reorganization and Re-designation As The 39th Infantry Brigade

During the 1960s, the Department of Defense continued to scrutinize the reserve forces. It questioned the number of divisions and brigades, as well as the redundancy of maintaining two reserve components, the National Guard and the Army Reserve. In 1967, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara decided that 15 combat divisions in the Army National Guard were unnecessary. He cut the number to eight divisions (one mechanized infantry, two armored, and five infantry), but increased the number of brigades from seven to 18 (one airborne, one armored, two mechanized infantry, and 14 infantry). The loss of the divisions did not set well with the states. Their objections included the inadequate maneuver element mix for those that remained and the end to the practice of rotating divisional commands among the states that supported them. Under the proposal, the remaining division commanders were to reside in the state of the division base. No reduction, however, in total Army National Guard strength was to take place, which convinced the governors to accept the plan. The states reorganized their forces accordingly between 1 December 1967 and 1 May 1968.

On 1 December 1967, the Arkansas portion of the 39th Division was reorganized and redesignated as the 39th Infantry Brigade. The new 39th Infantry Brigade (Separate) was composed of elements of the following units:

  • 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment
  • 2nd Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment
  • 3rd Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment
  • Troop F, 151st Cavalry Regiment
  • 5th Battalion, 206th Field Artillery Regiment
  • 39th Support Battalion

The division's units from Louisiana were re-assigned to the newly created 256th Infantry Brigade. The 256th Infantry Brigade (Separate) was composed of the following units:

  • 1st Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment
  • 2nd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment
  • 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment
  • Troop A, 108th Cavalry Regiment
  • 1st Battalion, 141st Field Artillery Regiment
  • 256th Support Battalion

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