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5th Army

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5th Army / Fifth Army / Fifth United States Army







World War II




North Apennines

Po Valley


Middle East

Desert Storm

Desert Shield


Relief Missions




Jan 5, 1943

June 1946



Oct 1945



"The pre-World War II 5th Army patch was forwarded to the AG office for approval in September 8, 1926. The 5 stars and the pentagon shape both suggest the number of the unit. This patch was not used in World War II, but versions of the patch were made. The reason for their production was due to the mere existence of the 5th Army. Up until the selection of the official patch with middle eastern motif, the pre-World War II version was the only approved patch in existence. The 5th Army's leader, Lt. General Mark Clark requested the new design to represent the area of the world that it served in. His design was sent for approval in February 1943."


(This information presented by collector and long-time insignia historian and researcher, Craig Pickrall)




Overview of the Fifth Army History


Command authority for the Army National Guard in peacetime belongs to the governor of each state and is exercised through the state Adjutant General to subordinate commanders.


The Fifth Army oversees the training and monitors the mobilization readiness of Army National Guard units within its area of responsibility. Since the activation of the Army Reserve Command in October 1992, Fifth Army no longer commands the Army Reserve units in its area of responsibility; however, it retains the mission of providing training assistance and training support for Reserve Component units in preparation for war and other missions. Fifth Army has the additional missions of preparing to mobilize and deploy Reserve Component units, planning for the security and key assets protection of the central, western, and southwestern United States, and, on order, providing assistance to civilian authorities during peacetime crises.


Fifth Army was activated at Oujda, French Morocco on 05 January 1943, under the command of Lt. Gen. Mark Clark. Composed of the Active Army, the National Guard and the Army Reserve troops, Fifth Army became the first American army to initiate combat on the European mainland in World War II at Salerno, Italy on 09 September 1943.


On June 30, 1971, Fifth Army and Fourth Army merged at Fort Sam Houston and Fourth Army was inactivated on the next day. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991, some 27,000 citizen-soldiers from more than 200 Army Reserve and Army National Guard units in the Fifth Army were mobilized. Fifth Army area Reserve Component units took part in Operation Provide Comfort relief efforts in northern Iraq. Fifth Army soldiers also served in Somalia, participating in Operation Restore Hope.


In 1995 all but two of the Continental United States Armies (CONUSA) were inactivated. Fifth Army absorbed the Sixth Army states, increasing its area of responsibility to include all states west of the Mississippi River except Minnesota. Fifth Army headquarters consists of about 250 assigned military personnel and civilian employees, although some 1,500 soldiers wear the Fifth Army patch. To facilitate administrative control, a forward-deployed element -- commanded by an Active Component Major General -- was established at Fort Lewis, Wash.


Fifth Army provides training support to designated units in its 21-state area of responsibility west of the Mississippi River. Six Training Support Brigades (TSBs) and two Simulation Brigades (SIM) are located at Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Travis Air Force Base, California; Fort Lewis, Washington; Houston, Texas; and Camp Parks, California. Three Field Training Groups (FTGs), located at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Austin, Texas; and Los Alamitos, California, support the training of National Guard Divisions. The TSBs provide training support and, on order, deploy mobilized units through mobilization assistance teams. During disaster relief, the TSB Commander assumes the role of the Defense Coordinating Officer (DCO) for Military Support to Civil Authorities (MSCA) operations.


The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Training (ODCST) synchronizes and schedules training assets belonging to Fifth Army -- the Training Support Divisions (TSDs), Training Support Brigades (TSBs), and Field Training Groups (FTGs)--for training support. Additionally, TSDs are under the operational control of Fifth Army for training support. The DCST coordinates time and space requirements at various military facilities within Fifth Army's AOR that support the scheduled training. The ODCST schedules and monitors annual assessments of RC readiness through the Training Assessment Model (TAM) for each unit. These evaluations are used to monitor readiness and to assist the units in preparation of their annual training plans. The ODCST performs the primary role of assisting, evaluating, and synchronizing training support for units with assets that are available either within the CONUSA or from the U.S. Army.


The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations (ODCSOPS) has primary responsibility for mobilization. All of the hard work and effort expended attaining training and readiness standards would be of limited value if units were not able to mobilize and deploy. Fifth Army, through the DCSOPS, directs mobilization and demobilization operations and approves mobilization plans for all State Area Commands (STARCs), Army Reserve Commands, Power Projection Platforms (PPPs), and Power Support Platforms (PSPs). Additionally, Fifth Army assumes operational control of the PPPs, PSPs, and exercises command and control of mobilized units from mobilization at their home station to closure at the PPP/PSP.


Power Projection Platforms are used to deploy major combat units and their associated support elements. Here, the installation commander oversees the unit's pre-deployment preparation and insures that the units meet their mission requirements before validating them for deployment. Power Support Platforms deploy mobilized units as well as performing TRADOC's training base expansion mission. In addition, they mobilize individuals and assist the Power Projection Platforms as needed during major mobilizations.


From the Salerno beachhead to the sands of Kuwait, from Rome to Mogadishu, from San Antonio to Los Angeles to Seattle to Des Moines and New Orleans, the soldiers of Fifth U.S. Army have served and are serving their country. Now headquartered at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Fifth Army's origin can be traced to its birth on foreign soil in World War II. That origin is seen on the shoulder patch worn by Fifth Army soldiers. The blue mosque on the patch is a reminder of the Fifth Army's activation at Oujda, French Morocco, on January 5, 1943.



World War II


Fifth Army has a proud record of combat and eventual victory. Initially commanded by Lieutenant General Mark Clark, the new field army immediately began planning its first mission: to carry out an amphibious assault on a hostile and well-defended shore. At dawn on September 9, 1943, Fifth Army executed that mission. In the face of fierce enemy resistance, the soldiers of Fifth Army were from the Active Army, the National Guard and the Army Reserve. Together they battled ashore at Salerno, Italy. Despite a brutal struggle and heavy casualties, America's new field army was victorious.


Fifth Army not only became the first American army to initiate combat on the European mainland in World War II but also the first to win a battle on the continent and the first to liberate a European capitol. September 9th continues to be recognized as the Fifth Army's "Unit" or organization date.


The long, hard Italian campaign was only beginning at Salerno. Bitter fighting followed at the Rapido River, at Monte Cassino and at Anzio. On June 4, 1944,units of the Fifth Army entered Rome, making the Fifth the first American Army to liberate a European capital. The Italian campaign continued as Fifth Army battled up the Italian boot, eventually linking up with troops from the Seventh Army on the Austrian-Italian border on May 4, 1945. Fifth Army troops fought continuously for 602 days, a record for sustained combat by any contemporary American field Army. Those 602 days of combat had cost 109,642 American casualties. Of that number, 19,475 had been killed in action.


The place names in that victorious struggle are written bold on the pages of American military history: Anzio, Monte Cassino, the Rapido and Garigliano rivers, the Gustav Line and the Winter Line, as well as towns like San Pietro and Altaville. The story is one of a thousand bitter engagements on hundreds of mountains and valleys. For its service in World War II, the Fifth Army flag carries battle streamers representing the Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, North Apennines, and Po Valley campaigns.



Post-World War II through 1980s


Fifth Army was inactivated in October 1945, then reactivated in June 1946, with headquarters in Chicago, and later at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.


On June 30, 1971, Fifth Army and Fourth Army merged at Fort Sam Houston and Fourth Army was inactivated on the next day. The historic Quadrangle became home for Headquarters, Fifth Army, which then had a 14-state area of responsibility (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin). In 1983, as a result of reorganization, Fifth Army's area was reduced to eight states.



Desert Storm and Desert Shield


During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990/1991, some 27,000 citizen-soldiers from more than 200 Army National Guard and Army Reserve units in the Fifth Army area were mobilized, many of these deployed to the Persian Gulf. Upon their return, they were given a justly deserved hero's welcome from neighbors who learned, once again, that Reserve Component units are an integral part of America's Army. Other Fifth Army area Reserve Component units remained overseas after the Gulf Conflict, taking part in Operation Provide Comfort relief efforts in northern Iraq.



Post-Desert Storm/Shield to Present


Fifth Army soldiers also served in Somalia, participating in Operation Restore Hope. The Deputy Commanding General of Fifth Army was named the Deputy Commanding General of the Operation Restore Hope joint task force, which initially went to Somalia in December 1992.


Still other Fifth Army soldiers deployed to Mogadishu in the aftermath of the October 3, 1993, battle between U.S. Army forces and Somali militia and served there for several months. In 1995, the Deputy Commanding General of Fifth Army was named Commander of United Nations Forces in Haiti.


In 1995 the Continental U.S. Armies (CONUSAs) were realigned. Since then there are two CONUSAs (First and Fifth U.S. Armies). Fifth Army's area of responsibility (AOR) increased from 8 to 21 states - all states west of the Mississippi River, except Minnesota. This AOR encompasses more than two million square miles and a population of approximately 100 million.


In 1997, Fifth Army assumed the mission of response to Weapons of Mass Destruction incidents for its area of responsibility. When directed, Fifth Army deploys Response Task Force-West to support the Lead Federal Agency during a Weapons of Mass Destruction incident in United States Atlantic Command's area of responsibility; assumes Operational Control of committed DOD elements, less Joint Special Operations Task Force, and re-deploys upon meeting DOD support termination criteria.


In October 1999, under the Army's new integrated force concept, two Training Support Divisions were under the operational control of Fifth Army. These integrated divisions have administrative control over all training support brigades and battalions in their areas of responsibility.



Divisional history from:





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U.S. 5th Army, White Back(U.S. Machine Embroidered)



Kind Regards,



"The Galloping Ghost of the North African Coast"

TC1c James F. Dunigan, III
Gunnery Division 4, U.S.S. Savannah, CL-42

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Example of the Old 5th Army SSI on Wool





WANTED: Philippine Department & Division patch variations, uniforms, & other items.
~In honor of Private Placido Conejos, 14th Engineer Regt. (Philippine Scouts). KIA on Bataan, 02/13/1942

My links: Lolo's (Grandfather's) WWII Service | My Mini-Museum of Sea Lions and Carabaos ASMIC Newsletter Editor (4653) | PSHS Nat. Secretary & Webmaster








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Here's my lot ;)



In my patch collection I mainly focus on World War Two to early post-WW2 Divisional Shoulder Sleeve Insignia | Always buying 94th Infantry Division WW2 items, books, photos, patches and post-WW2 veteran's reunion items. | Selling and/or trading my german militaria collection | All pictures are taken by me and objects shown are part of my collection, unless stated otherwise | It's okay to use the pictures for non-commercial purposes (eg. study, reference, etc.) | 94th Infantry Division Historical Society Lifetime Member | 29th Infantry Division Historical Society Member | ASMIC Member | Join ASMIC today via: https://www.asmic.org/join.aspx Make sure to like 94th Infantry Division Books on Facebook


All the best!


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