|75th Infantry Division (WWII)|
After a brief training program in England, the division
shipped out to France on 13 December 1944 to begin their
participation in the Battle of the Bulge. Originally
nicknamed the „Diaper Division" because it was the
youngest unit to enter the fighting, the 75th´s distinguished
combat record in the Battle of the Bulge earned it a
new moniker, the „Bulge Busters". Beginning in December
1944, the division fought in the Ardennees campaign. Their participation helped to stop
the German offensive and push them out of Belgium.
In addition, the 75th Infantry Division saw action in
the Colmar and Alsace-Lorraine regions, as well as the
Rhineland campaign. After Germany´s surrender,
the division assumed security and military government
duties in Westphalia, Germany (and also in Plettenberg,
the hometown of the author).
Although it joined the fight against the Germans
relatively late in the war, the 75th Infantry Division
made up for lost time, spending 94 consecutive days in
contact with the enemy. The division captured 21,000 POWs
in the various campaigns it fought in.
For its combat participation in World War II, members of the 75th
Division received numerous awards, including 4 Distinguished
Service Crosses, 193 Silver Stars, 7 Legion of Merits,
30 Soldier´s Medals, and 1321 Bronze Star Medals.
The division suffered numerous casualties, including
817 soldiers killed in action (KIA), 3314 wounded in
action (WIA), and 111 who died of wounds. In
mid-November 1945, members of the 75th Division
embarked for their return to the United States.
Shortly after their arrival stateside, the Army
deactivated the unit on 26 November.
Post-World War II PeriodThe 75th did not mothball its colors for long, however. On 15 November 1950, DA reactivated the unit as the 75th Infantry Division, assigning it to Fourth Army (4A) as a U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) unit. DA again deactivated the unit in 1955, exept for a HQ and a HHC, which it redesignated as the 75th Infantry Division (Maneuver Area Command - Type A).
On 15 February 1957, DA reconfigured the unit into the
75th Maneuver Area Command (MAC), consisting of a HQ
and an Umpire Group. It also formed a sister unit, the
87th MAC in Birmingham, Alabama. The experiences of
World War II and the Korean War confirmed in the minds
of military planners the need for units to plan and
conduct large-scale maneuvers prior to the deployment
of units. They believed that the stateside maneuvers,
that American forces had undergone in World War II,
had contributed to their succes.
The new MAC concept embodied this training agenda by
creating the needed command-and-control centers. The
75th received training responsibility for all the units
west of the Mississippi River, while the 87th
conducted similar operations in the eastern third of
During the 1960s, the 75th MAC received a new mission
after convincing 4A that it could not only conduct
exercises, but also write the scenarios used. In 1966,
4A gave the 75th MAC the responsibility for
administering Army Training Tests (ATTs) and Command
Post Exercises (CPXs) to USAR units, down to platoon
size. Reflecting these new assignments, the unit
restructured into two major functional areas: the
Command Group, responsible for preparing tactical
exercises for all forces in the maneuver area, and the
Umpire Group, which trained and provided umpires.
In the 1970s, the Army´s move to an all-Volunteer army
represented a particulary challenging period for the
75th MAC. DA developed its „Total Force Concept," which
moved the USAR and the 75th MAC into an era of
increased responsibility in the national defense
strategy. The 75th MAC received respon-sibility in the
national defense strategy.
The 75th received responsibility for the training of the
newly developed Military Training Commands (MTCs)
created to train batallion and lower-level units, in the
Fifth Army (5A) and Sixth Army (6A) areas. The 75th MAC
had played a vital role in formulating the MTC concept,
working with the Office of the Chief, Army Reserve
(OCAR) to complete the pioneering MTC TDA.
In 1975, the unit streamlined its command structure in
order to provide a more responsive and cost-effective
use of its manpower by creating functional combat arms
and combat support/combat service support exercise
groups. In part this structure emphasized the growing
importance of combat support and combat service support
exercises. Each sub-element trained to accomplish broad
missions prior to the receipt of training exercises
from client units. The 75th MAC used this TDA through
the rest of its operational life.
In the late 1970s, the 75th MAC began to move to a
computerized training format. Beginning in 1977, the
75th MAC began conducting Computer-assisted-Map-Maneuver-Systems
(CAMMS) exercises, which offered an innovative and
low-cost approach to battle simulation designed to
exercise comman-ders and staffs at the brigade and
battalion level. CAMMS offered the 75th MAC its first
experience with computer simulation exercises, an
approach that would later gain its Army-wide recognition
with the creation of the Battle Projection Center (BPC).
In the 1980s, the 75th MAC moved fully into the computer
age. In 1981, the unit constructed a simu-lated,
realistic wartime CPX training center at the Reserve
Center. By 1985, plans had been formalized to build the
BPC. Using microcomputers and up-to-date communications
equipment, the BPC allowed the MAC to conduct multi-echelon
exercises for CAPSTONE-aligned USAR, ARNG, and AC
elements in joint operations. This greatly increased
the service to customer units, while offering the 75th
MAC tremendous cost-saving opportunities. In 1989, the
BPC became operational, and two months later it began
The 1980s saw other important developments for the 75th
MAC. In late 1983, the unit held ground-breaking
ceremonies for the new SGM Macario Garcia Reserve Center,
a 130,000 square foot facility. Visiting dignitaries
included United States Senator John G. Tower and then
Vice President George H. Bush. In 1987, 5 A reassigned
the 95th MTC, organized in 1975 as part of the 95th
Division (Training), to the 75th MAC as a major
subordinate command. The 95th MTC held responsibility
for exercising the staffs of USAR and ARNG elements at
battalion-and below-sized units in the 5A area, while
the 75th continued to exercise battle staffs at the
division, brigade, and group level units in 4A, 5A, and
In late 1990 and early 1991, the 75th MAC had a chance
to put into practice its motto, "Make Ready". In
preparation for Desert Shield/Desert Storm, the 75th
MAC conducted training exercises for units slated for
deployment at the National Training Center in Fort
Irwin, California. In addition, several members of
the 75th MAC and 95th MTC served their country by
volunteering for active-duty overseas during the war.
The unit undertook its latest challenge in 1993. A change
in the TDA created the 75th Division (Exercise) from
the 75th MAC. While the division will continue to
conduct computer simulations, it will also add LANES
training to its repertoire of exercise capabilities.
To better serve its client units, the 75th Division
(Exercise) now has a total of five brigades located in
Houston, Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Kansas City,
The lineage of today´s 75th Division (Exercise) is long and
distinguished. In World War II as combat unit, the 75th
Infantry Division proved ist valor on the battlefield.
As the 75th Maneuver Area Command, it trained soldiers
from across the nation to operate on new battlegrounds
under varying conditions. In recognition of ist
training prowess, the 75th MAC received numerous awards
for excellence, including the Superior Unit Award, the
AUSA/ROA Walter T. Kerwin Award, the ROA´s Outstanding
Large Unit Award, and ACOE Awards. Now, as the 75th
Division (Exercise), it continues to strive for the high
level of achievement a proud tradition demands.
Do you want to know more about the actual 75th Division
(Exercise)? Your contact:
In the building in Houston, there is also the new museum of the 75th Division !!!
The 75th Division also has a very active Veterans Association with annual conventions,
please check the page with adresses for contact possibilities.