36th Infantry Division (United States)

36th Infantry Division (United States)

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=36th Infantry Division

caption=36th Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
dates= July 1917–June 1919
November 25, 1940December 15, 1945
May 1, 2004–present
country= United States
allegiance= Texas Army National Guard
branch= Army National Guard
type= Infantry
size= Division
"Fighting 36th"
battles=World War I
World War II
*Italian Campaign
*Operation Dragoon
*Central Europe
Global War on Terror
*Afghanistan Campaign
*Iraq Campaign
commander1=Jose S. Mayorga
commander1_label=Commanding General
commander2=Joyce L. Stevens
commander2_label=Assistant Division Commander—Support
commander3=Eddie M. Spurgin
commander3_label=Assistant Division Commander—Maneuver
notable_commanders=Fred Walker
US Infantry
previous=35th Infantry Division
next=37th Infantry Division

The 36th Infantry Division—also known as the Fighting 36th, the Panther Division, or the Texas Division—is a modular division of the United States Army National Guard. It was activated for service in World War II on November 25, 1940, and was sent overseas in April 1943.

It was reactivated in 2004 from the previous 49th Armored Division.


The 36th Infantry Division was originally activated as the 15th Division, a National Guard Division from Texas and Oklahoma. The designation was changed to the 36th Division in 1917, possibly in July. The unit was sent to Europe in July 1918 and conducted major operations in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. During World War I, the division suffered 2,584 casualties consisting of 466 killed in action, and 2,118 wounded in action. The unit was inactivated in June 1919.

World War II

The 36th was again activated prior to World War II on 25 November 1940. It deployed overseas on 2 April 1943, commanded by Major General Fred Walker.

The 36th Infantry Division landed in North Africa, 13 April 1943, and trained at Arzew and Rabat. It first saw action, 9 September 1943, when it landed by sea at Paestum on the Gulf of Salerno against intense German opposition. The Germans launched counterattacks on September 12-14, but the 36th repulsed them with the aid of air support and naval gunfire, and advanced slowly, securing the area from Agropoli to Altavilla.

After a brief rest the 36th returned to combat, 15 November. It captured Mount Maggiore, Mount Lungo, and the village of San Pietro despite strong enemy positions and severe winter weather. This grueling campaign was marked by futile attempts to establish a secure bridgehead across the Rapido River, 1 January to 8 February 1944. After assisting the 34th Division in the attack on Cassino and fighting defensively along the Rapido River, the severely depleted 36th withdrew, 12 March 1944, for rest and rehabilitation. On 25 May, the Division landed at Anzio, drove north to capture Velletri, 1 June, and entered Rome on the 5th. Pushing up from Rome, the 36th encountered sharp resistance at Magliano, but reached Piombino, 26 June, before moving back to Paestum for rest and rehabilitation.

On 15 August, as part of the American 6th Army Group, the Division made another amphibious assault landing, against light opposition in the Saint-Raphaël-Fréjus area of Southern France as part of Operation Dragoon. A rapid advance opened the Rhone River Valley. Montelimar fell, 28 August, and large German units were trapped. The 36th advanced to the Moselle River at Remiremont and the foothills of the Vosges. In a grinding offensive, the Division crossed the Meurthe River, breached the Ste. Marie Pass and burst into the Alsatian Plains. The enemy counterattacked, 13 December, but the 36th held the perimeter of the Colmar Pocket. The German Army counterattacks out of the "Colmar Pocket" were so fierce, that at times, the field artillery was forced to fire over open sights, at point blank range to stop them. On the 20th the Division resumed the attack, advancing northward along the Rhine River to Mannheim meeting heavy resistance at Haguenau, Oberhofen, and Wissembourg. In this action Company "G" 143rd Infantry Regiment gained a Presidential Unit Citation (US).

The Division was taken out of the line for the first time since it had landed in the south of France. It returned to the line early March 1945. The 36th moved to the Danube, 22 April 1945, and attacked the "National Redoubt" at Künzelsau on the 30th in its final action.

After 400 days of combat, the 36th Infantry Division returned to the United States in December 1945. It was deactivated on 15 December 1945.

Global War on Terror

On 1 May 2004, the 49th Armored Division of the Texas Army National Guard was officially deactivated and the 49th Armored Division was redesignated the 36th Infantry Division. After half a century, the "Fighting 36th" was reactivated to help transform Texas' military forces into a more mobile and lethal fighting force, committed to helping fight the global war on terrorism and carrying on the proud legacy established by its predecessors.

In 2005 approximately 100 soldiers of the 36th Infantry Division deployed to Bosnia for Enduring Mission 3 which was a continuation from previous IFOR and SFOR missions. When Task Force Strike left Eagle Base in Tuzla late 2006, it marked the end of an American military maneuver presence in Bosnia which had existed for almost a decade after the Dayton Accords.

In 2005, over three thousand troops from the 56th BCT, 36th ID deployed to Iraq as part of the largest deployment of Texas troops since World War II.

In 2005-2006, 800 Soldiers of 3d Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, 72d Brigade, 36th Infantry Division deployed to Afghanistan for combat operations. The Battalion was attached to the 504th Infantry Regiment of the 82d Airborne Division and earned a Joint Meritorious Unit Citation.

In 2006, the 1st Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division served as the first cavalry unit as peacekeepers in the Sinai Desert for the Multinational Force and Observers. The force was made up of soldiers from several units of the 36th Infantry Division including 1-112th AR, 2-112th AR, 3-112th AR, and 3rd Mech.

In late 2006, a Company of Soldiers from the 3d Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment deployed to Iraq to participate in combat operations. They returned in late 2007.

In late 2005 to late 2006, the 36th Infantry Division was the major leading force for KFOR7, the peacekeeping mission on Kosovo.

The Combat Aviation Brigade, 36th Infantry Division shipped to Iraq in September 2006 for a planned one-year deployment.

On May 7, 2007 3d Battalion 144th Infantry Regiment mobilized as "Task Force Panther" in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. "Task Force Panther" trained at Camp Shelby, MS, and, after validation, forward deployed to Kuwait, where they processed into theater and transferred into Iraq.

The organization of the 36th Infantry Division is still unclear, as the Army is undergoing a transformation to brigade units of action and the 36th is not expected to complete its reorganization until 2012.


The 36th Division insignia consisting of an olive drab "T" on a blue flint arrowhead was adopted in 1918. The flint arrowhead represents the State of Oklahoma (once the Indian Territory), and the "T" is for Texas.

Current Structure

36th Infantry Division consists of the following elements:
* Division Special Troops Battalion
* 39th (Infantry) Brigade Combat Team (AK NG)
** 39th Brigade Special Troops Battalion
** 1st Squadron, 151st Cavalry Regiment (RSTA)
** 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment
** 2nd Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment
** 1st Battalion, 206th Field Artillery Regiment
** 39th Brigade Support Battalion
* 56th (Infantry) Brigade Combat Team (TX NG)
** 56th Brigade Special Troops Battalion
** 1st Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment (RSTA)
** 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment
** 3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment
** 3rd Battalion, 133rd Field Artillery Regiment
** 949th Brigade Support Battalion
* 72nd (Infantry) Brigade Combat Team (TX NG)
** 72nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion
** 3rd Squadron, 112th Cavalry Regiment (RSTA)
** 2nd Battalion, 142nd Infantry Regiment
** 3rd Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment
** 1st Battalion, 133rd Field Artillery Regiment
** Brigade Support Battalion
* 155th (Heavy) Brigade Combat Team (MS NG)
** 155th Brigade Special Troops Battalion
** 1st Squadron, 98th Cavalry Regiment (RSTA)
** 1st Battalion, 198th Armor Regiment
** 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry Regiment
** 2nd Battalion, 114th Field Artillery Regiment
** 106th Brigade Support Battalion
* 256th (Infantry) Brigade Combat Team (LA NG)
** 256th Brigade Special Troops Battalion
** 2nd Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment (RSTA)
** 2nd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment
** 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment
** 1st Battalion, 141st Field Artillery Regiment
** 199th Brigade Support Battalion
* Combat Aviation Brigade, 36th Infantry Division (TX NG)
** Headquarters and Headquarters Company (TX NG)
** 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (GSAB) (CO NG)
** 1st Battalion, 149th Aviation Regiment (Attack/Recon) (TX NG)
** 3st Battalion, 131st Aviation Regiment (Assault) (AL NG)
** 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment (S&S) (KS NG)
** 449th Aviation Support Battalion (TX NG)

Attached Units

* 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade
* 36th Sustainment Brigade
* 71st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade

Former Divisional Commanders

36th Infantry Division

Division demobilized

*5/2/1923 9/9/1935 MG John A. Hulen
*9/10/1935 10/12/1936 MG George R. Rains
*10/13/1936 9/12/1941 MG Claude V. Birkhead
*9/13/1941 7/7/1944 MG Fred L. Walker
*7/8/1944 12/15/1945 MG John E. Dahlquist

Division demobilized

*4/29/1946 7/7/1948 MG Preston A. Weatherred
*7/8/1948 3/1/1953 MG H. Miller Ainsworth
*3/2/1953 9/21/1961 MG Carl L. Phinney
*9/22/1961 1/15/1968 MG Everett S. Simpson

Division reactivated

*5/1/2004 4/1/2006 MG Michael Taylor
*4/1/2006 10/1/2007 MG John T. Furlow
*10/1/2007 present MG Jose S. Mayorga

Former Divisional Command Sergeants Major

* CSM Richard Vasquez
* CSM Roger Brownlee
* CSM Bruce Hendry
* CSM Jim L. Broyles

Unit timeline

* December 1943 -- combat against the Bernhardt Line
* January 20-22, 1944 -- attempted crossing of the Rapido against the 15th Panzer Grenadier Division

ee also

*Battle of San Pietro
*Battle of Monte Cassino
*Operation Shingle

External links

* [http://www.texasmilitaryforcesmuseum.org/gallery/36div.htm 36th Infantry Division Association]
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/36id.htm GlobalSecurity.org: 36th Infantry Division]
* [http://www.lonesentry.com/gi_stories_booklets/36thinfantry/index.html The Story of the 36th Infantry Division]

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