196th Infantry Brigade (United States)

The 196th Infantry Brigade ("Chargers"[1]), also known as the Charger Brigade was first formed on 24 June 1921 as part of the United States Army Reserve's 98th Division with the responsibility of training soldiers.

196th Infantry Brigade
Shoulder sleeve insignia
CountryUnited States
BranchU.S. Army
RoleTraining Support Brigade
Garrison/HQFort Shafter
Nickname(s)Chargers (special designation)[1]
Burning artillery slow-match
EngagementsWorld War II {defended Hawaii}
Vietnam War
Colonel Bryan M. Martin
Joseph C. McDonough
Distinctive unit insignia196 Inf Bde DUI.png

World War IIEdit

During World War II, the 98th initially defended Kauai, Hawaii and Maui, Hawaii, and finally responsible for defending Oahu, Hawaii later in the war. The Division began intensive training in May 1945 to prepare for the invasion of Japan, but the war ended before they could depart Hawaii. However, the unit arrived in Japan for occupation duty as the 3rd Platoon, 98th Reconnaissance Troop Mechanized, of the 98th Infantry Division, where it eventually was inactivated on 16 February 1946, in Charlotte, NC.

Service in the Vietnam WarEdit

The brigade was reactivated in September 1965 at Fort Devens Massachusetts, where it was originally scheduled to be sent to the Dominican Republic. Instead, the Army rushed it to Vietnam, the Brigade departing on 15 July 1966 via transport ships and arriving on 14 August 1966 at Tây Ninh Combat Base. It began operations almost immediately in the western area of III Corps Tactical Zone. The brigade conducted Operation Cedar Falls, Gadsden, Lancaster, Junction City, Benton, and Attleboro (in War Zone C of Tay Ninh Province). Attleboro turned into a major action after a large enemy base camp was found on 19 October 1966.

In April 1967, Gen. William Westmoreland ordered the formation of a division sized Army task force to reinforce American forces in I Corps Tactical Zone. The 196th was selected to form a part of the task force. Task Force Oregon became operational on 20 April 1967, when troops from the 196th landed at Chu Lai Base Area in I Corps. Over the next month, it was joined by the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division and the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (later redesignated the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division). In September 1967 Task Force Oregon was redesignated the 23rd Infantry Division (Americal) and an official change of colors ceremony was held on 26 October 1967.[2] Later, the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne and the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division were replaced by the 198th and 11th Light Infantry Brigades.

As part of the 23rd, the 196th participated in Operations Wheeler/Wallowa, Golden Fleece, Fayette Canyon, Frederick Hill, Lamar Plain, Elk Canyon I and Elk Canyon II. In early May 1968, the Brigade's 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiments was flown in to assist other US forces at the Battle of Kham Duc. On 29 November 1971, the 196th became a separate temporary entity to safeguard this same area of operations. An entire company of the 196th was also involved in opposing the war by famously sitting down on the battlefield.[3]

In April 1972, the 196th moved to Da Nang to assist in port security duties. Units of the brigade were rotated through Phu Bai Combat Base to provide base security.[4] The brigade finally left Vietnam on 29 June 1972 as the last combat brigade to leave Vietnam. The 196th served in Vietnam from 15 July 1966 through 29 June 1972. The brigade suffered 1,188 killed-in-action, and 5,591 wounded-in-action during its service in Vietnam.

Operations as a separate Brigade (15 July 1966 – 25 September 1967)

Operations as a part of the Americal Division (25 September 1967 – June 1972)

Headquarters locations during the Vietnam War

  • Tay Ninh, August 1966 to May 1967
  • Chu Lai, June 1967 to October 1967
  • Tam Kỳ, November 1967 to March 1968
  • Phong Dien, April 1968 to June 1968
  • Hoi An, June 1968 to March 1971
  • Da Nang, April 1971 to June 1972


Brigade Infantry & Brigade Artillery

Brigade Reconnaissance

  • Troop F, 8th Cavalry (Air)
  • Troop F, 17th Cavalry (Armored)
  • 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry (Armored)
  • 64th Infantry Platoon (Combat Tracker)
  • 48th Infantry Platoon (Scout Dog)
  • LRRP, 196th Infantry Brigade (later reflagged as Co E, 51st Infantry)

Brigade Support

  • 8th Support Battalion
  • 175th Engineer Company
  • 23rd Military Police Company
  • 408th Radio Research Detachment (ASA)
  • 635th Military Intelligence Detachment, Team 2
  • 544th Military Police Platoon
  • 687th Signal Company
  • 196th Signal Company (Prov)
  • 27th Chemical Detachment
  • 10th Public Information Detachment
  • HHD & Band, 196th Support Battalion (Prov)
  • 569th Military Intelligence Detachment
  • Company C, 37th Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade (62nd. Co.)

Post VietnamEdit

On 26 May 1998, the 196th Infantry Brigade was reactivated during a ceremony at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. The newly reflagged brigade, previously designated as the Training Support Brigade Pacific, is organized as a Training Support Brigade, and is assigned to United States Army Pacific (USARPAC). The 196th Infantry Brigade provides National Defense Authorization Act Title XI pre-mobilization, post-mobilization and demobilization support to Army reserve component units in Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, the Commonwealth of Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, the Hawaiian Islands, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The 196th Infantry Brigade executes its mobilization operations at Mobilization Force Generation Installation (MFGI) Hawaii at Schofield Barracks and at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), and at three Mobilization Sites, located in Guam, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The Brigade is also designated by USARPAC as the Validation Authority for reserve component forces mobilized onto Title 10 United States Code, Active Duty. Since 2001, the 196th Infantry Brigade has trained more than 10,000 Soldiers that deployed to support combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Horn of Africa, and the Southern Philippines. The 196th Infantry Brigade also supports annual USARPAC and United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) Theater Security Cooperation Program (TSCP) exercises such as Balikatan, Cobra Gold, Yama Sakura, Talisman Saber, Hamel, and Terminal Fury. The brigade also serves as the USARPAC executive agent for training and readiness oversight (TRO) over the Alaska, Guam and Hawaii National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Civil Support Teams (CST), and the Hawaiian Army National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Force Package (CERFP).

In 2007, the 196th Infantry Brigade was awarded the Army Superior Unit Award for its support to the War on Terror in preparing reserve component units and Soldiers for combat duty.

In 2013, USARPAC assigned the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability (JPMRC) to the 196th Infantry Brigade, which serves as the core of an Operations Group (OPSGROUP) for the capability. JPMRC provide enhanced live, virtual, constructive collective training opportunities to USARPAC Battalion Task Forces and Brigade Combat Teams at their home station and at sites throughout the Indo-Pacific.

As of 2019, the 196th Infantry Brigade consists of:

  • HQ & HHC, 196th Infantry Brigade, Fort Shafter, Oahu, Hawaii
  • 1st Battalion, 196th Infantry Brigade, "Mavericks" located at Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii
  • 2nd Battalion, 196th Infantry Brigade, "Arctic Chargers" located at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK
  • 3rd Battalion, 196th Infantry Brigade, "Spartans" located at Barrigada, Guam
  • Support Battalion, 196th Infantry Brigade, "Cobras" located at Fort Shafter Flats, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability, located at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii

Medal of HonorEdit

On 31 July 2017 President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to Specialist 5 James McCloughan[5] McCloughan received his medal 48 years after his actions while servings as combat medic with C Company, 3rd Battalion 21st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade.

Other recipients of the Medal of Honor include:

In popular cultureEdit

The dramatic TV series Tour of Duty, which ran on CBS from 1987 to 1990, depicted a platoon of infantrymen serving in Vietnam from the 196th during the show's first season.

In Season 2, episode 4 of the TV series Prison Break, Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell pretends to be a soldier from the 196th Brigade to a police officer.

Notable membersEdit


  1. ^ a b "Special Unit Designations". United States Army Center of Military History. 21 April 2010. Archived from the original on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  2. ^ "Buffgrunt - History > Task Force Oregon". Archived from the original on 9 August 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  3. ^ "GI resistance in the Vietnam war". libcom.org. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  4. ^ "50 G.I.'s in Vietnam refuse patrol duty, then agree to go". The New York Times. 13 April 1972. p. 1.
  5. ^ "Specialist Five James C. McCloughan Medal of Honor Vietnam War". U.S. Army. Retrieved 1 August 2017.

External linksEdit