174th Infantry Brigade History
The 174th Infantry Brigade was first constituted on August 5, 1917 in the National Army. It was organized on August 25, 1917 at Camp Dix, New Jersey, and assigned to the 87th Division. It never saw combat in World War I, like the other units of the 87th Division, the brigade was used for labor duties and a pool of reinforcements. It received a campaign streamer for World War I without an inscription. After the war, it was demobilized on May 23, 1919 at Camp Dix, New Jersey.
Reorganized in December 1921 at Shreveport, Louisiana, the brigade was redesignated on March 23, 1925 as the 174th Brigade. It was again redesignated on August 24, 1936 as the 174th Infantry Brigade. On February 13, 1942, the unit was converted and redesignated as 3rd platoon, 87th Reconnaissance Troop, still assigned to the 87th Division. This consolidation also occurred to the 173rd Infantry Brigade. That December, the unit was ordered into active military service and reorganized along with the rest of the division at Camp McCain, Mississippi, which became an Infantry division. It was then mechanized the next year.
The 87th Infantry Division arrived in Scotland on October 22, 1944, and trained in England until the end of November. It landed in France in early December, and moved to Metz, where, on the 8th, it went into action against and took Fort Driant. The troop followed its division as it shifted to the vicinity of Gross Rederching near the Saar-German border on December 10, and capturing Rimling, Obergailbach, and Guiderkirch.
The 87th Division was moving into Germany when Von Rundstedt launched his offensive in the Ardennes. The Division was placed in reserve from December 24 until December 28, before engaging in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium on December 29. In a fluctuating battle, it captured Moircy on December 30 and Remagne on December 31. On January 2, 1945, it took Germont, on January 10 Tillet, and reached the Ourthe by January 13. On January 15, 1945, the Division moved to Luxembourg to relieve the 4th Infantry Division along the Sauer and seized Wasserbillig on January 23. The 87th moved to the vicinity of St. Vith on January 28, then attacked and captured Schlierbach, Selz, and Hogden by the end of the month. After the fall of Neuendorf on February 9, the Division went on the defensive until the February 26, when Ormont and Hallschlag were taken in night attacks. The 87th crossed the Kyll River on March 6, took Dollendorf on March 8, and after a brief rest, returned to combat on March 13, 1945, crossing the Moselle on the March 16 and clearing Koblenz, on March 18-19. The Division crossed the Rhine on March 25-26 and despite strong opposition, consolidated its bridgehead, and secured Grossenlinden and Langgöns. On April 7, it jumped off in an attack which carried it through Thuringia into Saxony. Plauen fell on April 17, and the Division took up defensive positions on April 20, about 4 miles from the Czech border. On May 6, 1945, it took Falkenstein and maintained its positions until VE-day.
The 87th Division returned to the United States in July 1945 expecting to be called upon to play a role in the defeat of the Japanese, but the sudden termination of the war in the Pacific while the division was reassembling at Fort Benning changed the future of the 87th. The Division was inactivated on September 21, 1945. The 87th Reconnaissance Troop was deactivated on the same day.
The 87th Reconnaissance Troop was reorganized and redesignated in April 1947 as the 87th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop in the reserves. It was then activated the next month at Birmingham, Alabama. At the same time, the Organized Reserves were undergoing a transformation into the Army Reserve. The unit was again reorganized and redesignated in 1949 as the 87th Reconnaissance Company, before being deactivated in December 1951 in Birmingham.
The unit was once again designated as the 174th Infantry Brigade following a conversion and redesignation in March 1963. For the next 30 years, the brigade would continue to be a standing reserve unit, but would never be called on to participate in any conflicts. In 1997, the brigade was withdrawn from the reserve and activated in the Active Duty force at Fort Drum, New York. It would be inactivated two years later.
The brigade headquarters were again reactivated on December 1, 2006 at Fort Drum, by reflagging 2nd Brigade, 78th Division (Training Support). It was one of 16 reserve brigades to be activated for the purpose of training. The brigade, which is headquartered at Fort Drum and is subordinate to the First Army Division East, is responsible for early stages of training for other reserve soldiers who have been alerted for deployment. The brigade offers the opportunity for veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom to use their skills to train new soldiers who will be entering the field of operations in Iraq or Afghanistan. This training includes convoy live-fire training exercises, and techniques in dealing with improvised explosive devices, which are the primary cause of casualties in the operations.
During the summer of 2007, the brigade was mobilized to Fort Dix for training along with the 72nd Field Artillery Brigade from April until September. Soldiers of the 174th Infantry Brigade trained other units in land navigation, area security, urban operations, marksmanship, and live fire exercises. Most of the soldiers being trained were members of the Army National Guard. In August 2007, the Brigade Headquarters took the lead on Operation Eager Light in Jordan, training Jordanian officers on the Military Decision Making Process. The brigade received distinctive unit insignia and shoulder sleeve insignia in September 2007. The patch contains allusions to the Brigade's honors during World War I and II, and its history with the 78th Infantry Division. As it is subordinate to the First Army, however, Soldiers of the brigade wear that patch on their shoulders instead. Later that month, the brigade was again mobilized to Fort Bragg, North Carolina as the lead trainers for the 27th Brigade Combat Team, preparing the BCT for a deployment to Afghanistan. From May to July 2008, the brigade was back at Fort Drum preparing for the next mission, which was from August to September 2008, when the brigade deployed to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, to run a HI-CON in conjunction with the 75th Division. The brigade's next mission was to serve as the lead trainers for the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, a formation of 5,000 Soldiers, at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. The brigade administered all of the 30th HBCT's post-mobilization training. The 174th Brigade went on to Fort Irwin, California, with the HBCT for a rotation at the National Training Center. The brigade then took the 30th HBCT to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to load all the equipment and personnel for the 30th HBCT deployment to Iraq. In April 2010, the brigade moved to Joint Base McGuire- Dix- Lakehurst, New Jersey, to become the training support brigade for Mobilization Training Center, at JBMDL. Today, the brigade is posted at JBMDL, where it trains mobilized Reserve, National Guard and Joint Service Warriors for overseas contingency operations in support of our Nation's defense.