Wednesday, October 25, 2006

it’s the army. it doesn’t have to make sense.

Our 2LT’s unit's full name: 2nd Infantry Division (2ID), 2nd Brigade Combat Team (2BCT), 61st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Squadron, Alpha (A) Troop.

So he is in the 3-61st of the 2-2. I think it is just called the 3-61st CAV

In the cavalry, soldiers are called troopers. Also, they use the term squadron rather than battalion, and troop rather than company.

This can be confusing even for someone familiar with army terms. What I found confusing for a long time was that I looked for a logic when there is no logic to the regiment or battalion/squadron numbers. Did you know that there are no 1st, 2nd, or 4th squadrons in the 61st Cav? Only the 3rd. (Is this in case they are captured, maybe the enemy will think there are at least two more squadrons around?)

The 61st is a new regiment formed just last December but they took the number from a deactivated WWII regiment. Even more bizarre, the WWII regiment was called the 601st but for some reason they took out the zero last year when reactivated. Stranger still, the 601st were called "Tank Destroyers." The new 61st is a scout regiment and has nothing more powerful than a 50-caliber machine gun mounted on a humvee. If they see a bad-guy tank, they have to nicely ask someone else to destroy it. If the bad-guy tank sees them then they are, to use a military term, screwed. But then if they are recon scouts who have done their jobs right, then the bad guys are not supposed to see them. This does provide a real incentive to do one’s job well.

As near as I can figure out, all the 601st and 61st have in common is that the officers and troopers are in armor branch of the army and not the infantry branch.

For the past fifty-plus years the 2ID has been headquartered in Korea. It still is. However, now only the 1st Brigade (1BCT) is there. For years, the 3rd Brigade (3BCT) and the 4th Brigade (4BCT) have been posted at Ft. Lewis, Washington when not deployed. Although, our 2LT did not join the 2nd Brigade (2BCT) until January of this year, the 2BCT left Korea two years ago to be deployed to Iraq, then was posted at Ft. Carson, Colorado last year, but they are now on their way to Iraq this year.

Confused?

As our 2LT has told me many, many times, "It's the army. It doesn't have to make sense."

Our 2LT is a platoon leader. Cav platoons, particularly scout platoons, are smaller than other platoons in the army. There are just 20 in his platoon and they patrol in four humvees, each mounted with a 50-caliber machine gun.

Well, at least he is in A-Troop and not F-Troop.

To see a page of coats of arms, crests, and links for the 3-61st CAV and the 2-2, please go to my 3-61st page.

Be blessed!
RB

P.S. If you look closely at the coat of arms for the 61st CAV, you'll see a panther with the remains of a crushed tank in its mouth. This is to recognize the unit's historical roots as tank destroyers in WWII.


2 comments:

Darlene Sinclair said...

Very interesting. Thanks for the info and the links! I find it pretty fascinating. No, I didn't understand, but still was fascinated...

Anonymous said...

Johnny__M says:

My understanding is that it adds a layer of obfuscation.

In other words, it makes it harder for the enemy to know how many of us there are.