1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

 

1st Battle Group 22d Infantry

Fort Lewis, Washington

 

4th Infantry Division - Fort Lewis - 1960

 

 

On April 1, 1957, the 22d Infantry Regiment became the 1st Battle Group (1st BG), 22d Infantry
of the 4th Infantry Division.

 

The following history of the 22nd Infantry is taken from the Ft Lewis directory circa 1960:

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The Pentomic Plan

 

Developments in nuclear weapons after World War 2 changed Army planning to fight on the battlefield.

The nuclear battlefield was viewed as being much larger than battlefields of the past.
The Army believed that heavy divisions would be too slow-moving to deal with this new situation.
Added to this were the massive cuts in the Army budget which came from the "massive retaliation" policy
of the Department of Defense.

As a result, the Army reorganized its divisions under the Pentomic Plan of 1957-1959.
Under this plan a division would have five Battle Groups of 1400 men each,
making each Group larger than a Battalion, but smaller than a Regiment.

The 1st Battle Group 22nd Infantry had five companies of infantry,
a headquarters company and a combat support company.

It was felt that these small, self-contained Battle Groups could move faster and deeper across the larger operational area,
giving the speed necessary to deal with the nuclear or post-nuclear battlefield.

 

1st Battle Group 22nd Infantry during amphibious training

 

 

The following article is from the Ellensburg Daily Record, May 16, 1962

 


 







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STRAC

 

The Strategic Army Corps (STRAC) was formed in June of 1958.

STRAC was highly mobile, armed with the latest weapons,
and was maintained at instant combat readiness.
In the event of total war, it would have been the reserve force
sent to reinforce the Army's Divisions overseas.
In the event of a limited war situation, it could be moved quickly by land, sea or air
to a trouble spot anywhere in the world.

It was grouped along Divisional lines into three combat forces:
STRAC 1 ---- 101st AB Division, FT Campbell, KY
STRAC 2 ---- 4th Infantry Division, FT Lewis WA
STRAC 3 ---- 82nd AB Division, FT Bragg NC

Should it have been alerted, the 4th Division was expected to be under way
by rail or sea within 96 hours. By air it would have been sooner than that.

The slogan of STRAC was:
Skilled, Tough, Ready Around the Clock.

Since STRAC was expected to be able to fight in all kinds of climate and terrain,
the Battle Groups of its 3 Divisions worked hard, in constant training,
in field exercises and maneuvers in Alaska, the Mojave Desert,
Puerto Rico, Yakima Firing Center and North Carolina.

In February of 1961 the 1st Battle Group 22nd Infantry was airlifted to the Philippine Islands
for participation in Exercise LONG PASS.

In January and February of 1962, 1st Battle Group 22nd Infantry took part in an exercise
which moved Battle Groups from the continental United States to Europe. Designed to test the Army's capability
to reinforce NATO should war break out in Europe, the trooplift involved over 100 aircraft, including ten
of the new jets just entering the Air Force's fleet of transports.

 

The following article is from the Victoria Advocate, January 3, 1962:




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The concept of the Pentomic Division was not well received by Army staff organizations,
from the Company level to the highest levels of Command.
The Battle Group concept also proved to be inadequate for the Army to use in dealing with non-nuclear battlefields
and "limited war" scenarios, which became the norm,
as the super powers backed away from full nuclear confrontation.

Thus, the Pentomic Plan was relatively short lived, as under the Reorganization Objective Army Divisions (ROAD)
plan of 1962-1964, the Army's divisions were once again reorganized, this time into heavier divisions
utilizing Brigades and Battalions much as before.

In 1962 STRAC also ceased to exist.
Only four years later, the 4th Division entered combat in the jungles of Vietnam,
organized along much the same lines as it had been in World War II.

 

 

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The Main Post Exchange at FT Lewis, 1960

 

FT Lewis Main Post Chapel

 

FT Lewis telephone directory, with 1st Battle Group 22nd Infantry phone number listings

 

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