American Army, structure question.

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#1
OK, so joking and banter aside I received an email from a civi mucker a while back who asked "if the US has deployed the 101st airborne to XYZ, does this mean there are another 100 units elsewhere and if so, how come I've only ever heard of the 101st and 82nd?).

Which I was able to answer, e.g., they've two, one airmobile and one with parachutes but of course the main thrust of the question, was there ever 100 other units, or did they start counting at 101 as part of opsec? or whats the story?

Is 10th Mountain division the remains of 1st, 2nd, 3rd mountain etc...

Where do they get their numbering from? And why?

Actually, I'm bored so banter is welcome..
 
#4
Heh... good luck trying to unravel the parentage of current formations... to give you an idea how convoluted it is, here's a slice of recent history... 3rd ID was deactivated in Germany circa 1992, 24th ID was merged with the 197th Inf brigade and reflagged as 3rd ID around 1994 or so. 2nd ACR was deactivated in Germany and what had been the 3rd brigade of the recently deactivated 9th ID at Fort Lewis was moved to Fort Polk and redesignated 2nd ACR. 7th ID out of Fort Ord was deactivated but one of their brigades moved up to Fort Lewis and redesiganted the 9th regimental combat team, then reflagged again as part of 25th ID with Strykers. 7th ID was then reactivated as a National Gaurd unit with active duty command staff... Ugh... you get the picture... the US Army shuffles everything around every few years for unfathomable purposes. Suffice to say that at some point in my Army's history there were divisions carrying all the assorted numeral designations (101st actually started life as the 89th during the Civil War for example...) but they all didn't exist at the same time.
 
#5
Plagiarising from an intelligent lad on TankNet.

NTM
_______________
The Divisional numbers were allocated as follows:

1-25: Regular Army
26-75: National Guard (enough for each state to have a division)
76+: National Army/Army of the United States

The 82nd and 101st were old national army units converted to Airborne in WW2 and they retained their numbers (despite pressure to reflag in the 1-25 sequence?)

Similarly, regimental numbers were allocated based on division numbers, 1-4 Inf were supposed to be 1 ID, 5-8 2 ID etc. The numbers 1-100 are reserved for regulars, 101-300 for ARNG, 301-500 for National Army (501-600 ended up as newly raised PIR and ISTR 600+ is reserved for SF, raiders etc.)
 
#6
Plagiarising from an intelligent lad on TankNet.

NTM
_______________
The Divisional numbers were allocated as follows:

1-25: Regular Army
26-75: National Guard (enough for each state to have a division)
76+: National Army/Army of the United States

The 82nd and 101st were old national army units converted to Airborne in WW2 and they retained their numbers (despite pressure to reflag in the 1-25 sequence?)

Similarly, regimental numbers were allocated based on division numbers, 1-4 Inf were supposed to be 1 ID, 5-8 2 ID etc. The numbers 1-100 are reserved for regulars, 101-300 for ARNG, 301-500 for National Army (501-600 ended up as newly raised PIR and ISTR 600+ is reserved for SF, raiders etc.)
 
#7
Plagiarising from an intelligent lad on TankNet.

NTM
_______________
The Divisional numbers were allocated as follows:

1-25: Regular Army
26-75: National Guard (enough for each state to have a division)
76+: National Army/Army of the United States

The 82nd and 101st were old national army units converted to Airborne in WW2 and they retained their numbers (despite pressure to reflag in the 1-25 sequence?)

Similarly, regimental numbers were allocated based on division numbers, 1-4 Inf were supposed to be 1 ID, 5-8 2 ID etc. The numbers 1-100 are reserved for regulars, 101-300 for ARNG, 301-500 for National Army (501-600 ended up as newly raised PIR and ISTR 600+ is reserved for SF, raiders etc.)
 
#8
Plagiarising from an intelligent lad on TankNet.

NTM
_______________
The Divisional numbers were allocated as follows:

1-25: Regular Army
26-75: National Guard (enough for each state to have a division)
76+: National Army/Army of the United States

The 82nd and 101st were old national army units converted to Airborne in WW2 and they retained their numbers (despite pressure to reflag in the 1-25 sequence?)

Similarly, regimental numbers were allocated based on division numbers, 1-4 Inf were supposed to be 1 ID, 5-8 2 ID etc. The numbers 1-100 are reserved for regulars, 101-300 for ARNG, 301-500 for National Army (501-600 ended up as newly raised PIR and ISTR 600+ is reserved for SF, raiders etc.)
 
#10
Mr Happy said:
OK, so joking and banter aside I received an email from a civi mucker a while back who asked "if the US has deployed the 101st airborne to XYZ, does this mean there are another 100 units elsewhere and if so, how come I've only ever heard of the 101st and 82nd?).

Which I was able to answer, e.g., they've two, one airmobile and one with parachutes but of course the main thrust of the question, was there ever 100 other units, or did they start counting at 101 as part of opsec? or whats the story
In short, there is no logic behind the numbering system. If one looks at the ORBAT through history, one can see that it was numbered by capability. Hence they currently have (from memory) the 1st Cav, 1st Inf and 1st Armo(u)red.

I look forward to the inevitable crap from better informed google warriors - bring it on. I will raise your posts at the next Joint Warrior symposium.
 
#11
Well said PassingBells. :D

Though the info from CT has helped clarify a thing or two...or three. :p

Peter
 
#12
Bloody hell, that's a hell of a stutter I picked up. Can't seem to delete the excess.

NTM
 
#13
In short, there is no logic behind the numbering system. If one looks at the ORBAT through history, one can see that it was numbered by capability. Hence they currently have (from memory) the 1st Cav, 1st Inf and 1st Armo(u)red.
They are numbered in the order they were created. The first armoured division to be created was called... "First Armored Division". The third infantry division to be created was called "Third Infantry Division"

Capability has nothing to do with it. 1st ID is arguably less capable than 4th ID, given their respective equipment.

Plagiarising a different intelligent lad on TankNet, this is the method used to sequence the divisions in the US Army. When trying to figure out which one to disband if there are several of one type, the one lower down the list goes. About the only exception I can catch off the top of my head is 25th ID. Not having the Tropic Lightning in Hawaii would be just.. odd.
____________________
As of OCT 2004.

The Order of Merit List is AC/AR divisions only. ARNG divisions are primarily retained on reasons of geography, rather than merit, so they are not included. AC and AR division identities can be transferred between the components, as they are both Federal. ARNG divisions cannot do that.

The Army currently uses the following factors to determine the historical priority of divisions and brigades and the point value assigned to each:
a. Age--one point for each year since initial organization. (No points are subtracted for periods of inactive status.)
b. Campaign participation credit--two points for each campaign.
c. US unit decorations--two points for each award.

Rank Division Type Points
1 1st Inf. Div. Infantry 152
2 1st Cav. Div. Cavalry 142
3 3d Inf. Div. Infantry 140
4 2d Inf. Div. Infantry 132
5 4th Inf. Div. Infantry 130
6 101st Abn. Div. Airborne 129
7 82nd Abn. Div. Airborne 120
8 7th Inf. Div. Infantry 119
8 9th Inf. Div. Infantry 119
10 24th Inf. Div. Infantry 118
10 25th Inf. Div. Infantry 118
12 5th Inf. Div. Infantry 106
13 90th Inf. Div. Infantry 104
14 77th Inf. Div. Infantry 102
14 79th Inf. Div. Infantry 102
16 83rd Inf. Div Infantry 100
17 89th Inf. Div. Infantry 98
18 8th Inf. Div. Infantry 97
20 6th Inf. Div. Infantry 96
20 76th Inf. Div. Infantry 96
20 81st Inf. Div. Infantry 96
20 84th Inf. Div. Infantry 96
20 88th Inf. Div. Infantry 96
20 92nd Inf. Div. Infantry 96
27 1st Armd. Div. Armored 95
27 23rd Inf. Div. Infantry 95
29 96th Inf. Div. Infantry 93
29 99th Inf Div. Infantry 93
31 86th Inf. Div. Infantry 92
31 94th Inf. Div. Infantry 92
33 103rd Inf. Div. Infantry 90
34 97th Inf. Div. Infantry 89
35 102nd Inf. Div. Infantry 88
36 3d Armd. Div. Armored 84
37 2d Armd. Div. Armored 79
38 4th Armd. Div. Armored 76
39 5th Armd. Div. Armored 74
40 6th Armd. Div. Armored 73
41 7th Armd. Div. Armored 71
42 11th Abn. Div. Infantry 70
43 8th Armd. Div. Armored 69
43 9th Armd. Div. Armored 69
43 10th Armd. Div. Armored 69
43 11th Armd. Div. Armored 69
43 12th Armd. Div. Armored 69
43 14th Armd. Div. Armored 69
49 10th Mtn. Div. Infantry 68
49 17th Abn. Div. Airborne 68
49 70th Inf. Div. Infantry 68
49 106th Inf. Div. Infantry 68
53 13th Armd. Div. Armored 67
53 93rd Inf. Div. Infantry 67
55 2nd Cav. Div. Cavalry 66
55 63rd Inf. Div. Infantry 66
55 69th Inf. Div Infantry 66
55 71st Inf. Div. Infantry 66
59 13th Abn. Div. Airborne 64
59 66th Inf Div. Infantry 64

Rank Brigade Type Points
1 173rd Abn. Bde. Airborne 128
2 196th Inf. Bde. Infantry 116
2 199th Inf. Bde. Infantry 116
4 198th Inf. Bde Infantry 114
5 157th Inf. Bde. Infantry 102
6 177th Arm. Bde. Airborne 94
6 197th Inf. Bde. Infantry 94
8 171st Inf. Bde. Infantry 92
8 172nd Inf. Bde. Infantry 92
8 187th Inf. Bde Infantry 92
11 205th Inf. Bde. Infantry 90
12 191st Inf. Bde. Infantry 88
13 193rd Inf. Bde. Infantry 87
14 194th Armd. Bde. Infantry 85
 
#14
Mr Happy said:
OK, so joking and banter aside I received an email from a civi mucker a while back who asked "if the US has deployed the 101st airborne to XYZ, does this mean there are another 100 units elsewhere and if so, how come I've only ever heard of the 101st and 82nd?).

Which I was able to answer, e.g., they've two, one airmobile and one with parachutes but of course the main thrust of the question, was there ever 100 other units, or did they start counting at 101 as part of opsec? or whats the story?

Is 10th Mountain division the remains of 1st, 2nd, 3rd mountain etc...

Where do they get their numbering from? And why?

Actually, I'm bored so banter is welcome..
Don't listen to the others, they will lead you astray. There are 100 other airborne divisions in the US Army.
 
#15
California_Tanker said:
Plagiarising from an intelligent lad on TankNet.

1-25: Regular Army
26-75: National Guard (enough for each state to have a division)
76+: National Army/Army of the United States
What is the 'National Army'? Is that the units of the 'U.S. Volunteers' (non-Regular Army) of the Civil War era?

EDIT: Got the wikipedia lowdown LINK
 
#17
CT's breakdown of Divsion numbers was only for Infantry. Cavalry and 'Armor' got their own series of numbers, although since WW2 the some National Guard divisions converted to Armor and kept their old numbers.

The Airborne divisions and single Mountain division were all converted from Infantry divisions. Or at least inherited their numbers when formed in WW2.

I think those blocks were allocated in WW1, and don't know how many were actually formed then.

This link has a good breakdown of the WW2 divisions, it is an advert for a wall chart, but has the best orbat info I've seen. http://www.historyshots.com/usarmy/index.cfm
 

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