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THE COMBAT ARMS
The combat arms (sometimes spoken of simply as “arms”) are those branches of the Army whose primary task in war is to defeat the enemy, seize and hold ground. Today they are infantry, artillery, and armor. Army aviation, while not a separate arm in the strict sense, has become an indispensable adjunct to the Army.
There have been other combat arms in the past, adapted to the weapons, tactics, and techniques then in vogue. For example, cavalry was until recently a major arm; It has ceased to exist in the sense of horse cavalry, although its name
and traditions still survive. Again, coast artillery and field artillery were at one time separate arms. Many other examples could be cited. Some of the traditional names which survive in foreign armies, like the British "grenadiers," once corresponded to combat arms or the equivalent with their special weapons and tactics.
The term "combat unit” is also applied to large organizations, such as divisions and higher, which as a whole are designed for combat but contain contingents of service units.
INFANTRY The infantry, assisted by other arms was fixed at seven by act of 2 March and services, insures final victory in war 1821, at which time they were all reby completing the destruction of the numbered. The Eighth Regiment was enemy, seizing and holding land, and added by act of 5 July 1838. Nine controlling the people thereon. Because temporary regiments were authorized of its mission-to close with and kill or for the Mexican War and were later capture the enemy-and its versatility, disbanded. The Ninth and Tenth Regiit is the fighting nucleus and ultimate ments were authorized by the act of 3 arm of decision of the Army. It can March 1855. The Eleventh to Nineteenth, move by land, sea, or air, arriving at its inclusive, were confirmed by the act of destination ready to fight; land by para- 29 July 1861. Twenty-five regiments, the chute; operate effectively in light or 20th to 45th, inclusive, were authorized darkness under almost all climatic and by the act of 28 July 1866, four of them atmospheric conditions; and overcome to be colored, and four others to be comnatural and manmade obstacles that stop posed of those wounded in the line of other forces. Its ability to apply meas- duty and to constitute a Veteran Reured force, and its mobility and adapt- serve Corps. These new regiments were ability, insure the continued need for formed by the expansion of battalions strong infantry in any conflict, whether of the old regiments. atomic, nonatomic, local, or general. Over the next fifty years there were
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. The other reorganizations and changes in the First Regiment of Infantry was number of regiments. In 1866 the numthorized by act of 3 March 1791; the ber of companies in a regiment was set Second, by act of 12 April 1808; the at 10. In 1898 this was changed to give Third, our oldest regiment, by act of 3 the regiment 2 battalions of 3 comJune 1784. The number of regiments panies each, plus 2 skeleton or un
manned companies. In 1917 the number of battalions was increased to 3 per regiment, of 4 companies each; 2 regiments constituted an infantry brigade, and 2 brigades, together with other troops, a division. Shortly before World War II the brigade was eliminated and the division reorganized on the "triangular" basis-3 battalions to a regiment and 3 regiments to a division. During and after World War II there were several changes in the authorized strength of the infantry division. In 1954 it stood at 17,452.
Infantry divisional units were reorganized by directive of the Chief of Staff of the Army, dated 22 October 1956, under the pentagonal concept. This “reorganization of current infantry divisions" (ROCID) provided for replacement of the infantry regiment with the battle group, a combat unit smaller than the regiment but larger than the battalion, and consisting of 4 rifle companies and 1 mortar battery. There are 5 battle groups per infantry division. The division aggregate strength was reduced to 13,748; however, the "foxhole” strength of combat soldiers was materially increased.
CAPABILITIES AND TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT. Infantry tactical doctrine emphasizes dispersion, combined with passive and active security measures, to minimize the effects of enemy use of atomic and other weapons. In the attack, speed, deception, rapid exploitation of atomic strikes, and sudden closing with the enemy are desired. The infantry, mechanized when feasible, strikes hard and fast toward deep objectives. Concentration is limited to the minimum necessary and is followed by rapid dispersion. In defense, dispersed units organize a very deep area, which consists of security echelons, forward positions, and blocking positions in depth. The enemy is stopped forward of the battle area, is successively weakened and caused to concentrate so that counterattacking forces, supported by atomic and other fires, can complete his destruction. Modern infantry tactics demand great firepower and mobility (air and ground), dependable communications, and battlefield surveillance devices. Tactical capabilities for prolonged dismounted operations and nonatomic
conflict necessarily are retained.
AIRBORNE INFANTRY. The mission of the airborne infantry is to destroy enemy forces by offensive action involving airborne assault, fire, maneuver, and close combat. It can execute vertical envelopment operations by parachute drop or air landing, and can conduct all types of ground operations when augmented by additional combat and administrative units.
During World War I, Winston Churchill and the late Brigadier General William (Billy) Mitchell tried unsuccessfully to promote the use of parachute troops. However, by 1927 many armies of the world had experimented in dropping equipment by parachute and in moving troops by aircraft. Some experiments in moving combat troops by glider had also been made before World War II. That war was the proving ground for the airborne theories of the warring nations. The Russians had dropped small units by parachute during their war with Finland, but the first major airborne assaults were made by the Germans in Crete and Holland.
Our own airborne training started at Fort Benning (Ga.) with the formation of a test platoon on 5 July 1940. The experiment proved that troops could be delivered by parachute. On 2 October the 501st Parachute Battalion was activated. By mid-1941, plans had been made for the orderly but rapid expansion of our airborne forces. By October of that year three more parachute battalions had been activated and a provisional group headquarters established. The first air landing (glider as distinguished from parachute) units also were organized during the summer and fall of 1941; the 550th Airborne Battalion in the Panama Canal Zone and the 88th at Fort Benning.
In February of 1942 four parachute regiments were activated, each to have as its nucleus one of the existing battalions. Air-landed (glider) units were to be expanded later. At this time the airborne division was viewed as a task force to be formed for a particular mission. Air transportation was to be assigned to elements of a normal infantry division, which would be reinforced by parachute or glider units. However, with parachute regiments and glider
units constituted and parachute artillery batteries contemplated, the way open for the activiation of larger units. In August 1942 the 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions were created, each consisting of 2 parachute regiments and 1 glider regiment. The regiments were augmented by necessary combat and administrative-type units, all of which could be delivered by parachute or glider. By the end of the war a total of 5 airborne divisions and 1 airborne corps had been activated, as well as a number of separate parachute regimental combat teams.
Training of paratroopers was started at Fort Benning in the spring of 1941, and the Parachute School was established there in May of 1942. At its peak, in 1944, it was qualifying 1,250 students per week. Today it is a department of the U. S. Army Infantry School. As of 1 July 1957, had qualified almost 200,000 paratroopers and had conducted well over a million jumps.
The successes of airborne troops in World War II and later in Korea, and the additional emphasis on air mobility (which is an inherent requirement of atomic warfare) has resulted in the retention of the XVIII Airborne Corps and the 11th, 82d, and 101st Airborne Divisions in our peacetime Army. However, to meet the demands of the atomic battlefield and better prepare airborne units for sustained combat, new organizational concepts have been instituted. The new “ROTAD” (Reorganization of the Airborne Division) airborne division has an aggregate strength of 11,486 officers and men.
TRADITION AND ESPRIT DE CORPS. The colors and insignia of infantry units employ the principles and symbolism of heraldry that
can be traced to the knights of the Middle Ages. Regimental colors bearing a coat of arms and crest today symbolize the location of the commander or headquarters of the unit. The shield and motto form the distinctive insignia of the soldiers of the unit.
The basic organization of the infantry has always been the regiment, the principal repository of U.S. Army history and traditions. Continuation of the regiment as the "home outfit” of our line soldiers, even in the era of pentag
onal organizational concepts, was assured when the Secretary of the Army, on 24 January 1957, approved the Combat Arms Regimental System. This action designated 55 infantry regiments as parent regiments of Active Army combat units; 9 of them are airborne and 10 are armored. These parent regimental headquarters, assigned to permanent Continental United States (CONUS) locations, will maintain the regimental history and tradition; maintain records of members; perform personnel services for members; conduct regimental recruiting; supervise reserve personnel and units; and operate regimental training units adequate to provide personnel for all battle groups belonging to the regiment. Thus, the infantry soldier may always feel that he belongs to a regiment-one whose history and accomplishments will give him reason to feel proud. For further details see chapter 5.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR ASSIGNMENT. The successful infantryman must be a well trained and highly versatile individual, physically able to stand up to the rigors of combat. Initial determination of his qualification is based on his physique; his aptitude for certain activities, as evidenced by tests; his previous military experience if any; his civilian skills, especially those which show that he has leadership; his teachability; and his own wishes. The infantry soldier must know
Infantry tactics (fundamentals).
of individual weapons; use of direct fire sights. Employment of crew-served light infan.
try weapons (fundamentals). Placing, plotting, and demolition of
mines; breaching of minefields. How to protect himself and his equip
ment from chemical and other con
tamination, Visual signals used by the infantry. How to read maps and air photographs
(fundamentals). How to use a compass, and to make
rough maps, sketches, and overlays. Field sanitation; first aid. How to recognize enemy personnel and
equipment. These and others are skills that he needs to do his job. But first and last, he must be dedicated to his mission of closing with, and destroying, the enemy.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR COMMISSION. An individual desiring to be commissioned as an officer in the infantry may, upon application, be considered provided her
a. Has attained 21 years of age at time of application but has not reached his 28th birthday.
b. Has credit for 120 hours at a nationally or regionally accredited college, or is a high school graduate and attains satisfactory scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test or its equivalent.
c. Has a fluent command of the English language.
d. Is of high moral character and personal qualifications.
e. Is qualified for potential leadership, and possessses the ability to deal with people.
f. Attains favorable comment as the result of National Agency Check for security clearance.
g. Meets the minimum established physical requirements; and is a citizen of the United States, its territories or possessions, or has declared his intention of becoming a citizen, except that a non-citizen who is serving in the active military service of the Army is eligible for appointment if he(1) Is residing or serving within the
continental United States. (2) Has lawfully entered the United
States for residence, or was ordered to duty within the United
States. (3) Is not barred from citizenship for
having been relieved discharged from any military service under conditions other than honorable.
CHIEFS OF INFANTRY. The following served in that capacity between 1 July 1920 and 9 March 1942, on which latter date the office was discontinued by Executive Order1 Jul 1920—27 Mar 1925
.Maj. Gen. Charles 8. Farnsworth 28 Mar 1925-27 Mar 1929
.Maj. Gen. Robert H. Allen 28 Mar 1929—5 May 1933
.Maj. Gen. Stephen o. Fuqua 6 May 1933—30 Apr 1937
.Maj. Gen. Edward Croft 24 May 1937–30 Apr 1941
.Maj. Gen. George A. Lynch 31 May 1941–9 Mar 1942
..Maj. Gen. Courtney H. Hodges
ARTILLERY Artillery in our Army was a single however, the Army's artillery strength combat arm until early in the twentieth was reduced to one battery, stationed century; field guns, siege cannon, mor- at West Point. From this unit came all tars, and fixed coastal defenses were of our subsequent artillery. classified under the same term. It was
By 1786 the artillery had been enthen separated into two arms, Field
larged to a battalion of four companies. Artillery and Coast Artillery, and later
In 1792 the Army was reorganized as recombined. Its history spans the gap the Legion of the United States, which between the muzzle-loading field piece consisted of 5,000 men formed into four firing round shot and the guided mis- sublegions, each a complete Army in sile with atomic warhead.
miniature, having 2 battalions of inHISTORICAL BACKGROUND. fantry, 1 battalion of rifles, 1 troop of American artillery in the Revolution- dragoons, and 1 company of artillery. ary War was closely patterned after the Although the Legion existed until 1796, British organization, and contained Congress in 1794 established a Corps of much British equipment. In 1775, after Artillerists and Engineers organized we had taken Fort Ticonderoga, Colonel into 4 battalions of 4 companies each. Henry Knox ordered 55 captured guns The four companies of artillery with hauled overland from the fort to Boston. the Legion were transferred into the This feat had a decisive effect on opera- new corps. One mission of the corps tions around Boston, and perhaps on was the development of an orderly the outcome of the war. By 1777 the scheme of seacoast fortifications. ProColonies had 4 artillery regiments in vision was made for appointment of service, of from 8 to 12 companies each. cadets in the corps for instruction as At first the regiments were designated officers—the forerunner of the United by the names of their colonels, but in States Military Academy. The Artillery August of 1779 they were given num- and Engineers became separate corps in bers, 1st through 4th. By June of 1784, 1802.
On 16 March 1802 an Army reduction allowed but one regiment of artillery. The Act of 12 April 1808 authorized a regiment of light artillery (every cannoneer on horseback). Only one company was horsed, and then for less than a year. The regiment continued to function, but on foot.
The artillery strength of the Army was increased to four regiments by the Act of 11 January 1812. The light artillery was mounted on barges in late 1813 for an expedition down the St. Lawrence River. These field pieces played a naval role by exchanging fire with a British shore battery.
Following the War of 1812 other reorganizations occurred. In 1821 the artillery was consolidated into 4 regiments of 9 companies each, one company in each regiment being designated and equipped as light artillery. The light artillery regiment was eliminated. The Ordnance Department was merged with the artillery, to be separated from it again in 1832. The first departure from the use of round shot occurred in 1818, with the purchase of 2,000 unfilled elongated shells. In 1847 the regiments were enlarged to 12 companies each. During the War with Mexico, several artillery companies were formed into an artillery battalion which served as infantry. Only 10 of the 48 companies functioned as artillery during the war. However, the light artillery gained valuable experience in field tactics against horse and foot troops.
In the Civil War another regular artillery regiment, the 5th, was added. In accordance with the general practice, however, the Regular artillery units were not broken up and used as cadres for new units; instead, they were kept intact, and the immense expansion of the artillery arm was accomplished by volunteer units. The standard field pieces for the Union armies were the 12-pounder Napoleon smooth-bore cannon, the Ordnance 3-inch rifle, and 10and 12-pounder Parrotts. Most batteries contained 6 pieces. A total of 7,892 field pieces were issued to the Army during the war, and Union artillery fired around 5,000,000 rounds?. Union volun
teer artillery units at the end of the war totaled 57 regiments, 17 battalions, and 380 companies/batteries.
In the matter of nomenclature, the term "company" was originally used; and, up to 1816, companies were known by the names of their commanding officers. In 1816 a system of designation by letters was instituted. In 1861 the term "battery” was prescribed for the units of the newly-created 5th Artillery Regiment. However, “company" and “battery" were to some extent interchangeable terms at this period. In 1871 The Adjutant General prescribed the designation "battery" for companies of artillery not mounted, and "light battery” for those mounted.
In 1881 the Army adopted a breechloaded piece. The .45 caliber Gatling gun was adopted in the 1870's, and was utilized as an artillery weapon. It was not until 1901 that branches other than artillery were authorized machineguns.
The Act of 8 March 1898 provided for two additional artillery regiments, the 6th and 7th. In the Spanish American War, batteries had six pieces each. In Cuba, artillery-served Gatling guns provided the decisive firepower at the battle of San Juan Hill.
In 1901, in a Congressional reorganization of the Army, a new Corps of Artillery was created in which coast artillery and field artillery were partially separated. There were 30 batteries of field artillery and 120 companies of coast artillery, identified by numbers. The regimental system was abolished. A Chief of Artillery was created. In 1907 there was a complete separation of coast and field artillery into separate branches; the regimental organization was again authorized for the latter, the existing numbered batteries being given lettered designations and distributed among 6 new regiments; and the Chief of Artillery became Chief of Coast Artillery, exercising supervision only over that branch. However, it was not until 1918 that a Chief of Field Artillery was authorized
Beginning with the early 1900's, the Army's artillery can be most conveniently considered under three heads:
1 At Gettysburg. Meade's artillery Ared 32,781 rounds.