Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New SSC draws from lineage of 79th Infantry Division, touting combat in world wars I and II

By John D. Wagner
79th SSC PAO

There is a new command in town. And its lineage flaunts campaign streamers and unit citations from the trenches of World War I and the Normandy invasion of World War II.

The 79th Sustainment Support Command, planned to support a vast area in the United States, is named after the famed 79th Infantry Division.

The division’s distinguished record beyond other such units made it a unanimous choice, said Milt Houghton, former command force programs manager. He was involved in the research along with Col. Susan Lee, SSC chief of staff; and Sgt. Maj. Dawn Kuykendall, force programs sergeant major.

The team coordinated with the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C. to obtain data and research the lineages of six commands.

“We wanted the SSC to have its own identity,” Houghton said. “Army Reserve divisions are (in name) number 60 or greater. The 79th surfaced as we went through the list of available divisions.”

The 79th (division) has more campaign streamers and banners than any of the other divisions (considered),” he said. The division earned eight meritorious unit citations and four streamers, from combat long ago.

The division later became the 79th Army Reserve Command in 1967, which later merged with two other units to become the 99th Regional Readiness Command in 1996.

The 79th SSC was activated in December and is step by step being set up with the ultimate goal of supporting four expeditionary sustainment commands: the 311th in West Los Angeles, the 364th in Seattle, the 451st in Wichita, Kan., and the 4th in San Antonio.

The units under each sustainment command would span a colossal 26 states. The 79th would thus have a huge area to support. And having a distinctive name was important.

The 79th fought in the Meuse-Argonne campaigns in France during World War I. During that conflict, it was known as the “Liberty Division,” based on its mission of liberating the Lorraine area of France from enemy control.

The 79th also took part as well in the second wave invasion of Normandy Beach in 1944 to overthrow Nazi Germany.

“I am honored and proud to present another unit (following the 63rd RRC), with a long tradition of our country in war and as a Reserve command in peacetime,” said Lee. “I believe the 79th Soldiers of the future will wear the patch proudly and remember those who came before them to secure their freedom.”

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