10th Mountain Division Special Troops Battalion is
a special troops battalion
of the United States Army
headquartered at Fort Drum, New York.
It is the organization for the command
elements of the 10th Mountain
. The battalion contains the division's senior command
structure, including its Headquarters and
, as well as communication and support
elements, which provide services to any units assigned to the
headquarters at a time.
to oversee division elements prior to World
War II, the battalion fought in Italy for a
After the war it served as the command element for the
10th when it was a training unit. Due to reorganizations in the
Army, the Special Troops Battalion was not reactivated with the
10th Mountain Division in 1985, and instead remained inactive while
the division served in numerous contingencies throughout the 1990s.
Reactivated during another reorganization in
2004, the Special Troops Battalion supported the 10th Mountain
Division command elements when they deployed to both Operation Enduring Freedom in
Afghanistan and Operation
Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.
During this service, it has received several commendations for its
multiple deployments. In October of 2009, the Special Troops
Battalion was redesignated to Headquarters and Headquarters
Battalion, 10th Mountail Division (LI).
The 10th Mountain Division Special Troops Battalion (STB) is
subordinate to the 10th Mountain Division, and is a permanent
formation of the division, as the 10th Mountain Division's command
elements are all contained within the STB. It is organized under
the same uniform structure that all Special Troops Battalions in
the United States Army conform to.
The battalion consists of four companies; the division's Headquarters and
, as well as A Company, a Combat Engineer
company, B Company, a
C Company, a Signal
company, and a
generic Military Police
These companies provide services for the other elements under the
10th Mountain Division's command. As such, all of the formations
are mountain warfare qualified.
The Special Troops Battalion was activated on November 6, 1944, as
an organizational structure for the command elements of the 10th
Mountain Division. It was activated at Camp Swift,
Texas, while the division was staging in preparation for
deployment to Europe during World War II.
World War II
Light Division (Alpine) was constituted on July 10, 1943, and
activated two days later at Camp Hale,
division was centered around regimental commands; the 85th Infantry
, 86th Infantry
, and 87th Infantry
. Also assigned to the division were the 604th, 605th,
and 616th Field Artillery battalions, the 110th Signal Company, the
710th Ordanance Companay, the 10th Quartermaster Company, the 10th
Reconnaissance Troop, the 126th Engineer Battalion, the 10th
Medical Battalion, and the 10th Counter-Intelligence Detachment.
The 10th Light Division was unique in that it was the only division
in the Army with three field artillery battalions instead of
The division trained for one year at the 9,200-foot-high Camp Hale.
Soldiers trained to fight and survive under the most brutal
mountain conditions, traveling on skis
, and sleeping in the snow
without tents. On June 22, 1944, the division was shipped to
Camp Swift, Texas to prepare for maneuvers in Louisiana, which were later canceled.
A period of
acclimation to a low altitude and hot climate was necessary to
prepare for this training. On November 6, 1944, the 10th Division
was redesignated the 10th Mountain Division. It was at this point
that the Special Troops Battalion was activated. That same month
the blue and white "Mountain" tab was authorized for the division's
new shoulder sleeve
battalion and its division sailed for Italy in late
1944, arriving in Italy on January 6, 1945.
The division advancing in Italy, April
It was the last
US Army Division to enter combat in World War II.
battalion provided command for the division as it immediately
entered combat near Cutigliano and Orsigna.
Preliminary defensive actions were followed on February 19, 1945 by
Battle of Monte Castello
conjunction with troops of a Brazilian Expeditionary
The unit made concerted attacks on the Monte Della Torraccia-Mount
Belvedere sector, and the peaks were cleared after several days of
heavy fighting. In early March the division fought its way
north of Canolle and moved to within of Bologna.
Maintaining defensive positions for the next
three weeks, the division jumped off again in April, captured
Mongiorgio on April 20, and entered the Po Valley, seizing the strategic points Pradalbino and
Bomporto. The 10th crossed the Po River on April 23, reaching Verona on April 25,
and ran into heavy opposition at Torbole and Nago. After an amphibious crossing of Lake Garda, it secured Gargnano and Porto di Tremosine on April 30, as German resistance in Italy
ended. After the German surrender in Italy on May
2, 1945, the division went on security duty, receiving the
surrender of various German units and screening the areas of
occupation near Trieste, Kobarid, Bovec and Log pod
Mangartom, Slovenia until V-E Day, the end of
the war in Europe.
Originally, the battalion and division were
to be sent to the Pacific theater to
take part in Operation Downfall,
the invasion of mainland Japan.
However, Japan surrendered
in August 1945
following the atomic bombings of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
. The division returned to the US two
days after the surrender. All of its combat elements, as well as
the Special Troops Battalion, were demobilized and deactivated on
November 30, 1945, at Camp Carson,
1948, the division was rebuilt and activated at Fort Riley, Kansas to serve as
a training division.
Without its "Mountain" tab, the
division served at the 10th Infantry Division for the next ten
years. The battalion was also rebuilt and delegated to commanding
the training units. The division was charged with processing and
training replacements in large numbers. This mission was expanded
with the outbreak of the Korean War
1950. By 1953, the division had trained 123,000 new Army recruits
at Fort Riley.
In 1954, the division was converted to a combat division once
again, though it did not regain its "Mountain" status. Using equipment from
the deactivating 37th Infantry
Division, the 10th Infantry Division was deployed to Germany,
replacing the 1st
Infantry Division at Wurzburg, serving as part of the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization defensive force.
The division served in
Germany for four years, until it was rotated out and replaced by
the 3rd Infantry
. On July 1, 1957, the battalion was redesignated as
the 10th Administration Company. However, the company moved with the
division to Fort
Benning, Georgia, and was deactivated on June 14, 1958.
In 1985, when the 10th Mountain Division was reactivated again, the
Special Troops Battalion was not made a part of the organizational
structure, in accordance with the new format of US Army Divisions
per the 1963 Reorganization Objective
return of the division headquarters and 1st Brigade from Afghanistan after supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, the
10th Mountain Division began the process of transformation into
a modular division.
On September 16, 2004, the division
headquarters finished its transformation, which returned the
Special Troops Battalion to active service. The 1st Brigade became
Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division
, while the 3rd
Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division
was activated for
the first time. In January 2005, the 4th
Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division was activated at
Polk, Louisiana. 2nd
Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division would not be
transformed until September 2005, pending a deployment to Iraq.
Around that time, the Special Troops Battalion received its
heraldry, including a coat of arms
a distinctive unit
The division headquarters and 3rd Brigade Combat Team redeployed to
Afghanistan in 2006, staying in the country until 2007.
division and brigade served in the eastern region of the country,
along the border with Pakistan, fulfilling a similar role as it did during its
During this time, the deployment of the
brigade was extended along with that of the 4th Brigade
Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division
, however, it was eventually
replaced by the 173rd
Airborne Brigade Combat Team
which was rerouted from
After a one-year rest, the headquarters of the 10th Mountain
Division was deployed to Iraq for the first time in April 2008,
along with the 4th Brigade Combat Team. The division headquarters
served as the command element for southern Baghdad, while the 4th
BCT operated in North Baghdad. The 10th Mountain participated in
larger scale operations such as Operation Phantom Phoenix
The 10th Mountain Division Special Troops Battalion was awarded two
campaign streamers in World War II and four campaign streamers in
the War on Terrorism
for a total of
six campaign streamers and two unit decorations in its operational
history. Some of the division's brigades received more or fewer
decorations depending on their individual deployments.
- Field Manual (FM) 3-0, "Operations." Headquarters, Department
of the Army, February 2008.
- Almanac, p. 592.
- Almanac, p. 590.
- Alamanc, p. 591.