Berlin Brigade

US Berlin Brigade


The Berlin Brigade of the United States Army unit was an independent brigade based in Berlin; its shoulder sleeve insignia was the U.S. Army Europe patch with Berlin tab.

During the Berlin Wall Crisis of 1961, the army reorganized the command structure of the forces in Berlin and created the U.S. Army Berlin and created the Berlin Brigade from the units already in the city. At this time, the infantry units of the brigade were organized according to the "pentomic" structure: One "battle group" consisted of five line (rifle) companies, a combat support company, and a headquarters & headquarters company. Berlin Brigade had the 2nd & 3rd battle groups of the 6th US Infantry Regiment assigned to it from 1960 through 1964, when structure reverted to battalions.Contrasting roles of the Berlin troops—1970 soldier's jammed locker includes uniforms for variety of duties along with big-city dress clothes.The brigade consisted of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 6th Infantry and 4th Battalion of the 18th Infantry. The 4th Battalion 18th Infantry was later changed to the 4th Battalion 6th Infantry. (reflagged to 4th, 5th and 6th Battalions of the 502d Infantry Regiment), Battery C 94th Field Artillery (replaced by Echo Battery 320th Field Artillery), Company F of the 40th Armor, 42nd Engineer Company, 42nd Military Police Company (Customs), 287th Military Police Company (Separate), 43rd and 76th Chemical Detachments, 279th Station Hospital (became US Army Hospital Berlin in 1976), 168th Medical Detachment (Veterinary Service), 6941st Guard Battalion, and 298th Army Band. The 168th and 298th share the distinction of being the longest-serving units in Berlin. They both arrived to the city in a 37-vehicle convoy on 3 July 1945. The commanders of both units were old high school classmates.

Until the end of the Cold War members of the brigade were eligible for the Army of Occupation Medal with Germany clasp. Because of the legal status of West Berlin, it was technically "occupied" territory left over from World War II.

During the early 1980s, the U.S. Army Regimental System initiative renamed a large percentage of infantry, armor and artillery battalions to align overseas commands with units assigned to stateside brigades, reinforcing the Army's regimental designations and unit morale. The original intent was to initiate personnel replacement and rotations within regiments, a "next step" that did not provide sufficient flexibility to Army personnel managers. The impact on Berlin-based infantry battalions was to re-designate 2nd, 3rd and 4th Battalions, 6th Infantry Regiment to 4th, 5th and 6th Battalions, 502nd Infantry Regiment, respectively, during the summer of 1984, assigning Berlin infantry units a shared identify with infantry battalions of 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.

Under the treaties which enabled the reunification of Germany, all non-German military forces were required to leave Berlin. The Berlin Brigade was officially deactivated by President Bill Clinton on 6 July 1994.

Individual members of the brigade deployed to Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990–1991. But the first Berlin Brigade units to take part in an out-of-theater operation were the command-and-staff element of Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) as well as B Company of the 6th Battalion, 502nd Infantry, and the 42nd Engineer Co. These units served in Operation Provide Comfort, a relief and protection mission for Iraqi Kurds. They served with a multinational "Allied Ground Combat Force" that also included British, French, Italian, Dutch, and Turkish infantry companies. Based in Silopi, Turkey, near the Iraqi border, from July to October 1991, these ground forces were soon withdrawn to avoid entanglement in the local Turkish-PKK conflict and because it was decided that the US Air Force presence at Incirlik constituted an adequate deterrent to Iraqi attempts at encroaching on the Kurdish autonomous zone. *Soldiers of this task force were authorized to wear the Berlin Brigade shoulder sleeve insignia as a combat patch on the right shoulder of their uniform, the first and only time elements of the Berlin Brigade were authorized to.

Elements of the Berlin Brigade were the first combat units selected to deploy as a member of the United Nations Protectionary Forces (UNPROFOR) to Macedonia in July 1993; later to be renamed Task Force Able Sentry. Members of the Berlin Brigade also deployed in July 1994, to Entebbe, Uganda as part of Joint Task Force Support Hope, to help prevent a humanitarian crisis resulting from large-scale refugee movements caused by the civil war in Rwanda.


BBde Deactivation