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Army Guard Collage
 
28th Infantry Division (Mechanized)
28th Division Shoulder Patch
"The Army's Oldest Division"
 
Brigadier General Jerry G. Beck, Jr. 
Division Commander
Command Sergeant Major Robert E. Curran,
Division Sergeant Major
 
14th & Calder Streets
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania  17103-1297
 
 

The Pennsylvania Army National Guard is composed of the Army elements of the Joint Staff of the Pennsylvania National Guard, and the 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized).  We have a long and proud history going back to colonial times, and we have fought in all of our nation's major conflicts. Our tradition continues as we stand ready to serve the State and the Nation.

 
To find any unit in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and to be connected to its web page open the link in the navigation bar to the left of this page entitled "Units of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard" and scroll down the list in the page that opens. To search for units by any criteria, open the "Search" link at the top and bottom of this page. 
 
Flag at half mastFallen Heroes of the 28th Infantry Division                                                         
 

 
 

The 28th Infantry Division is a highly-responsive National Guard Division, trained to conduct a  variety of missions provided by the federal government as well as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

During peacetime, Division soldiers can be called by the Governor for emergency situations. Offering disaster relief and assisting civil law enforcement authorities are only a few of the situations for which the 28th "Keystone" Division must be prepared.

Today's battlefield requires the Division to constantly train for its federal missions as well. The Division must maintain a high state of readiness to survive the pace and lethality that characterize medium-and large-scale conflicts today.

 

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History

 
 
The 28th Infantry Division is the oldest division in the armed forces of the United States. The Office of the Chief of Military History certified that General Order No. 1, dated March 12, 1879, officially established the Division.
 
Revolutionary War Days
Elements of the Division can trace their histories back to 1747, when Benjamin Franklin organized hisbattalion of "Associators" in Philadelphia. Other Pennsylvania units of the 28th Infantry Division had their beginnings in the Revolutionary War. Troop A, 1st Squadron, 104th Cavalry, was organized on Nov. 17 ,1774. The 109th Artillery Regiment was formed Oct. 17, 1775 as the 24th Connecticut Militia. Both units served with distinction in General George Washington's Continental Army during the war.
 
The 19th Century
During the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Civil War, units fought victoriously at Vera Cruz and Cerro Cordo. Units of the Pennsylvania Militia won 29 battle streamers during these wars. In 1878, Governor John F . Hartranft conceived the idea of forming a single National Guard of Pennsylvania . Hartranft became the 28th Division 's first commander. The Division mustered into federal service in 1898 for theSpanish-American War. Elements saw action in Puerto Rico and the Philippines. On Oct. 27, 1918, the Red Keystone was designated the shoulder sleeve insignia of the Division. The distinctive Keystone was the second shoulder sleeve patch to receive official Army approval.
 
World War I
Units of the 28th Infantry Division, known at the time as the 7th Division, were called to active duty for the Mexican Border incidents in 1916. Pennsylvania's 7th Division was ordered to active duty at Camp Hancock, Georgia, on July 15, 1917. On October 11, 1917, the Division was reorganized as the 28th Division while it was still training in Georgia. The 28th Division arrived in France on May 18, 1918. It was committed to battle on July 14. Soldiers of the Division participated in six major campaigns - Champagne, Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Oise-Marne, Lorraine, and Meuse-Argonne. During those campaigns, over 14,000 battle casualties were suffered by the division. Its fierce combat abilities earned it the title "Iron Division" from General of the Armies John J. Pershing.
 
World War II
On Feb. 17, 1941 , the 28th Division was ordered into federal service for one year of active duty. TheJapanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 led soldiers of the 28th to remain on active for the duration of the war. Having conducted specialized combat training ineverything from offensive maneuvers in mountainous terrain to amphibious warfare, the Division's intensive training agenda culminated in its deployment to England on Oct. 8,1943.
 
After another 10 months of training in England and Wales, the first elements of the Division entered combat on July 22, 1944, landing on the beaches of Normandy. From Normandy, the 28th advanced across western France, finding itself in the thick of hedgerow fighting through towns such as Percy, Montbray, Montguoray, Gathemo and St. Sever de Calvados by the end of July 1944. The fury of assaults launched by the 28th Infantry Division led the German Army to bestow the Keystone soldiers with the title "Bloody Bucket" Division.
 
In a movement north toward the Seine in late August, the Division succeeded in trapping the remnant of the German 7th Army through Vorneuil, Breteuil, Damville, Conches, Le Neubourg and Elbeuf before entering Paris to join in its liberation. The famous photograph of American troops before the Arc de Triomphe, marching in battle parade down the Champs Elysees, shows the men of 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. With no time to rest, the Division moved on to fight some of the most bloody battles of the War the day following the parade.
 
The advance continued through the Forest of Compeigne, La Fere, St. Quentin, Laon, Rethel, Sedan, Mezieres, Bouillon and eventually across the Meuse River into Belgium. The Keystone soldiers averaged 17 miles a day against the resistance of German "battle groups." The city of Arlon, Belgium, fell to a task force as the Division fanned out into Luxembourg in early September.On September 11, 1944, the 28th claimed the distinction of being the first American unit to enter Germany.
 
After hammering away in assaults which destroyed or captured 153 pillboxes and bunkers, the Division moved north toward the Siegfried Line, clearing the Monschau Forest of German forces.
 
After a brief respite, the Keystone soldiers made another move northward to the Huertgen Forest in late September. Attacks in the forest began November 2, 1944. The 28th Infantry Division stormed into Vossenack, Kommerscheidt and Schmidt amid savage fighting and heavy losses.
 
By November 10, the 28th began to move south, where it held a 25-mile sector of the front line along the Our River. It was against this thinly fortified division line that the Germans unleashed the full force of their winter Ardennes "blitzkreig" offensive. Five Axis divisions stormed across the Our River the first day, followed by four more in the next few day.
 
Overwhelmed by the weight of enemy armor and personnel, the Division maintained its defense of this sector long enough to throw Von Runstedt's assault off schedule. With allied forces able to a move in to counterattack, the "Battle of the Bulge" ensued, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy forces.
 
Having sustained a devastating 15,000 casualties, the 28th withdrew to refortify. But within three weeks, the Division was back in action. By January 1945, Division soldiers had moved south where they served with the French First Army in the reduction of the "Colmar Pocket." The 109th Infantry Regiment was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for its action which helped lead to the liberation of Colmar, the last major French city in German hands. By February 23, 1945, the Division returned north to the American First Army. The 28th was in position along the Olef River when an attack was launched on March 6, 1945, carrying the Division to the Ahr River. Schleiden, Germund, Kall, Sotenich, Sistig and Blankenheim all fell in a raid advance. By early April, the Division moved west of the Rhine and took up occupation duties in the area north of Aachen along the Holland-German border. Permanent occupation came two weeks later at the Saurland and Rhonish areas. In early July 1945, the 28th began its redeployment to the U.S.
 
The Division was deactivated on December 13, 1945. Five campaign streamers - Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, and Central Europe - were earned during World War II, in addition to the Croix de Guerre.
 
Korea to the Mid-'60s
Early in 1946, the 28th Infantry Division was organized as part of thePennsylvania National Guard. In 1950, the Division, once again, was ordered into active service to become part of the United States NATO force in Germany after the North Koreans invaded South Korea. The Division was returned to the control of the Commonwealth on June 15, 1954.
 
The Vietnam Era
In October 1965, the 28th Infantry Division was one of three National Guard Divisions selected as part of the Army Selected Reserve force (SRF). In 1968, as part of the SRF and high on the list for activation, it was again reorganized, this time into a three-state configuration.
 
Desert Storm
Although the 28th was not mobilized in force for Operation Desert Storm, division volunteers were deployed to serve in the Middle East and other locations. The 121st Transportation Company, which is now part of the Division's 103rd Engineer Battalion, served in Saudi Arabia during the war.
 
The Balkans
In early 1996, soon after the Dayton peace accords were signed, forward observers from the 28th Division Artillery were called up for nine months to support NATO peacekeeping forces in Bosnia. The Target Acquisition Battery of the 109th Field Artillery was mobilized for the peacekeeping mission two years later. And in 1999, the Division's Company H, 104th Aviation (Air Traffic Control) was activated, with its tour of duty extending into 2000.
 

TERRORIST ATTACKS

During the "Global War on Terror" following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US the Keystone Division has provided troops for Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle and provided security at Three Mile Island, a nuclear power plant in Middletown, PA and at the Harrisburg International Airport.

BOSNIA

In 2002, the 28th Division took command of the Northern Brigade Task Force (Task Force Eagle), as part of the NATO peacekeeping mission in Bosnia as part of SFOR 12. The division was the third reserve component division headquarters to take on this role in Bosnia (previously the Army National Guard's 49th and 29th Divisions had commanded Task Force Eagle).

KOSOVO

In 2003, the 28th Division again lead the NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo as part of KFOR 5A for a 6 month rotation. The 28th was the first reserve component division headquarters to take on this role in Kosovo. Later in 2005, elements of the 28th Division would again return to Kosovo as part of KFOR 6B, the first year long rotation by U.S. troops to the region.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

In December 2003 The 1/107th FA was activated to Ft. Dix and trained 11 days to be MP's. In January of 2004 the soldiers of the 107th where deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The different batteries where dispersed throughout Iraq serving as MPs. The members of the 107th returned home in Feb. of 2005.

In June 2004, the 1st Battalion, 103rd Armor Regt. was activated at Fort Bliss, Texas and deployed to Iraq in November in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This marked the first deployment of a 28th ID combat battalion to a war zone since World War II. The battalion, now designated as a Task Force (Task Force DRAGOON), was stationed at Forward Operating Base Summerall, near Bayji. Attached initially to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, and then the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, the 800 man TF 1-103rd Armor, commanded by LTC Philip J. Logan engaged in combat operations for 12 months before redeploying to the United States in November, 2005.

In January 2005, approximately 4,000 soldiers from 23 states were mobilized to Camp Shelby, MS for a 6 month train-up in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. These soldiers consist of approximately 10 battalions under the command of Col. John Gronski, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 28th Infantry Division. The soldiers participated in combat-oriented training as well as acquiring much needed equipment for the Operation Iraqi Freedom mission.

In May 2005, 2nd Brigade soldiers trained at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA to prepare for their upcoming mission in Iraq due to start in July 2005.

In late June and early July 2005 2nd Brigade soldiers began deploying to the Al-Anbar Province and are under the command of the 2nd Marine Division. This marks the first time since World War II that the 28th Infantry Division patch will be worn as a right shoulder Combat Unit Patch.

 
 

 
Former Commanders
 
Maj. Gen. John F. Hartranft 1879 - 1889
Maj. Gen. George R. Snowden 1889 - 1900
Maj. Gen. Charles Miller 1906 - 1907
Maj. Gen. J. P. S. Gobin 1907
Maj. Gen. John A. Wiley 1907 - 1909
Maj. Gen. Wendall P. Bowman 1909 - 1910
Maj. Gen. Charles B. Dougherty 1910 - 1915
Maj. Gen. Charles M. Clement 1915 - 1917
Maj. Gen. Charles H. Muir 1917 - 1918
Maj. Gen. William H. Hay 1918 - 1920
Maj. Gen. William G. Price, Jr. 1920 - 1933
Maj. Gen. Edward C. Shannon 1933 - 1939
Maj. Gen. Edward Martin 1939 - 1942
Maj. Gen. J. Gasesch Ord 1942 - 1942
Maj. Gen. Omar N. Bradley 1942 - 1943
Maj. Gen. Lloyd B. Brown 1943 - 1944
Brig Gen. James E. Wharton Aug 13, 1944
Maj. Gen. Norman D. Cota 1944 - 1945
Maj. Gen. Edward J. Stackpole 1946 - 1947
Maj. Gen. Danial B. Strickler 1947 - 1952
Maj. Gen. C. Van R. Schuyler 1952 - 1953
Maj. Gen. Donald Booth 1953 - 1954
Maj. Gen. C. C. Curtis (NGUS) 1952 - 1953
Maj. Gen. Henry K. Fluck 1953 - 1967
Maj. Gen. Nicholas P. Kafkalas 1967 - 1977
Maj. Gen. Fletcher C. Booker, Jr. 1977 - 1980
Maj. Gen. Harold J. Lavell 1980 - 1985
Maj. Gen. Vernon E. James 1985 - 1989
Maj. Gen. Daniel J. O'Neill 1989 -1994
Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Perugino 1994-1996
Maj. Gen. Walter L. Stewart Jr. 1996-1998
Maj. Gen. Walter F. Pudlowski Jr. 1998-2003
Maj. Gen. Wesley E. Craig 2003-2006
Brig. Gen. Jerry G. Beck, Jr. 2006-present



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28th Division Shoulder Patch
 
The following information was edited from an article by Dave Parham from the July-September 1972 Newsletter of the American Society of Military Insignia Collectors.
 
Shoulder sleeve insignia were an invention of World War I, with the 81st Division being first credited with the idea. The 81st Division probably wore their patch as early as the spring of 1918. Patches, however, were not authorized for use otherwise until October 1918, so few were actually worn before the Armistice.
 
The Army did encourage the Divisions to adopt names and emblems as the Divisions were originally activated in 1917. This policy was not made with the thought of such emblems being worn, but rather these devices were for use in printed material and as wall emblems. Initially they answered the need for some simple marking to identify baggage and later vehicles. Most Divisions adopted very basic marks for this purpose, which were painted on the baggage and vehicles. Such emblems as squares, circles, semi-discs, and stars came into use, and in many instances these baggage marks were later used to provide the insignia device to be adopted by that Division, although they were usually modified to some extent.
 
The 28th Division, the National Guard of Pennsylvania, provided an excellent example of how a Division Emblem was born. The Keystone is the symbol peculiar to the State of Pennsylvania, which has held that nickname since the Revolutionary War, when Pennsylvania was referred to as the "Keystone of the Union Arch". Ever since, Pennsylvania has used this emblem, and it appears in printed matter on public buildings, on license tags, and on state vehicles. The military use of the keystone dates back to at least the Civil War era. It was born as a "Corps Badge" by the Pennsylvania National Guard, and was part of the emblem of branch insignia. It was used on the military signs, lamps, and almost anywhere else thought suitable.
 
Authorized to adopt a division emblem, the 28th Division requested permission to use the keystone as their emblem in January 1918. No color was specified. On 17 March 1918, Division Memorandum #1 announced that the designation was to be used as the Division Emblem.
While training at Camp Hancock, Georgia, General Muir, the 28th Division Commander, held a conference with his staff concerning the designing of the keystone. They were instructed to very carefully prepare several keystones for consideration. They re-drew the design in ink in heraldic fashion, with the use of hatching to indicate the color red. From this artwork, printing plates were made for division use. General Muir was in favor of the keystone as authorized at Camp Hancock because of its practical simplicity and historic interest.
 
Prior to departing for France, a series of keystones, made in various colors or color combinations, were prepared for the Division for use as baggage identification marks.
 
With the use of the keystone so well established in the Division, it was only natural that when a call was made for each division to select a shoulder insignia, the keystone was adopted. The 28th Division was the second division to have its shoulder sleeve insignia approved, preceded only by the division who originated the idea, the 81st Division.
 
It is interesting to note that today the 28th Infantry Division patch remains exactly as originally approved, with no change in size, shape, or color. Originally, patches were cut out of red felt, but since about 1940 they have been embroidered. Variations can be found from the World War II era. These are approximately the same size, color and shape and sometimes include a blue "28" within the border of the emblem. Possibly these were made by French seamstresses, or American tailors who may not have known the exact specifications.
 
From the above antecedents comes our current 28th Division shoulder patch, which was known to the Germans in World War II as the "Bloody Bucket",and which is recognizable today to many victims of Hurricane Agnes in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania who received aid from Guardsmen with the "Red Keystone" on their shoulders.
 
 
 

Division Crest

28th Division Crest
 
The golden lion, the crest for the National Guard of Pennsylvania, was designed by Benjamin Franklin, who aroused the people of Philadelphia during the War of Spanish Succession, when the Spaniards threatened that city. The shield on the device is that of William Penn. The colors of the wreath show the English origins of the early settlements.
 
 
 

 
 
 
Position/Section
Name Phone Email
CG BG Jerry G. Beck (717) 787-5113 jerry.beck@pa.ngb.army.mil  
Executive Assistant to CG Mr. Ernest P. Mosemann (717) 787-5113 ernest.mosemann@pa.ngb.army.mil
DCG BG James R. Joseph (717) 787-6705 james.joseph@pa.ngb.army.mil
DCG COL Joseph G. DePaul (717) 787-6705 joseph.depaul@pa.ngb.army.mil
CofS COL Kevin M. Peter (717) 787-6705 kevin.peter@pa.ngb.army.mil
SGS SFC Richard J. Murphy (717) 787-6705 richard.murphy@pa.ngb.army.mil
CSM CSM Robert E. Curran (717) 787-5113 robert.curran@pa.ngb.army.mil
G1 MAJ William Charpentier (717) 787-7272 william.charpentier@pa.ngb.army.mil
G2 1LT Todd M. Skamanich (717) 783-3582 todd.skamanich@pa.ngb.army.mil
G3 LTC James F. Chisholm (717) 783-6351 james.chisholm@pa.ngb.army.mil
G4 LTC Beverly A. Hoffman (717) 783-3581 beverly.hoffman@pa.ngb.army.mil
G6 SFC Robert P. Myers (717) 787-1810 robert.myers@pa.ngb.army.mil
COTA Mr. David L. Gerstenlauer  (717) 705-5502 david.gerstenlauer@pa.ngb.army.mil
 
 

 
 
 

Johnstown, PA
 
Spring City, PA
 
Fort Indiantown Gap
Annville, PA
 
Hollidaysburg, PA
 
Washington, PA
 
Scranton, PA
 
Philadelphia, PA
 
Fort Indiantown Gap
Annville, PA
 
 
 
 

 

keystone with units
 
Combat Brigades of the 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized)
 

The 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized) is a highly-responsive National Guard Division, trained to conduct a variety of missions provided by the federal government as well as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Formed in 1879, the 28th is the oldest Division in the United States Army. Today, the 28th is the most deployed

PA Brigades

National Guard division in the United States. Division soldiers have served and are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, Kosovo and Bosnia. Over 10,000 soldiers of the 28th Division have deployed overseas since September 11, 2001.

The Division maintains armories in scores of communities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The authorized strength of the 28th Infantry Division is about 14,000 soldiers. Division units are well-trained and well-prepared to perform a variety of key missions. Division equipment includes about 200 M1A1 Abrams tanks, 125 Bradley fighting vehicles, nearly 40 Paladin self-propelled artillery pieces, as well as modern Blackhawk and Apache helicopters.

Today, the 28th Infantry Division is in a state of transformation as part of the Army's Modular Force Transition (Modularity). The primary elements of today's 28th "Keystone" Division include three Combat Brigades, (2BDE, 55 BDE and 56 BDE), Division Artillery (DIVARTY), Division Support Command (DISCOM), Combat Aviation Brigade, Combat Engineer Brigade and several separate battalions and company-sized elements. Once transformed, the Division will include its three ground Brigade Combat Teams and the Combat Aviation Brigade. The DIVARTY and DISCOM headquarters will deactivate and their soldiers will help to form an expanded Division Headquarters that will consist of a Main Command Post and two deployable Tactical Command Posts. The Division Headquarters and its subordinate commands will modernize as they transform and will have enhanced capability to conduct full-spectrum combat operations and to respond to domestic emergencies.

 

 2ND BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM (HEAVY)

 Although the 2nd Brigade was formed in April 1963, it was made up of units which trace their lineage back to the "Fighting Tenth" Infantry Regiment of 1873. Some units within the Brigade predate the Civil War.

Essentially, the 2nd Brigade covers areas in the western part of Pennsylvania. Four battalions are based in Pennsylvania with one battalion, and a cavalry squadron based in Ohio. The four Pennsylvania battalions are the 1-103rd Armor, 1-110th Infantry, 1-107th Field Artillery, and the 128th Forward Support Battalion. The Brigade headquarters is located in Washington, Pennsylvania. The Brigade strength is set at about 3,800 soldiers.

Soldiers from the Brigade have often been activated by the Governor for emergency missions. Missions have included aid to civil authorities during the mid-'70s truckers strike, disaster relief from Tropical Storm Heloise in 1975;, the Johnstown flood of 1977, relief efforts during the energy crisis in the early '80s, and response to a major oil spill, to name a few. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, commanded by COL John Gronski, was deployed to Iraq. They operated in Al Anbar Province in the heart of the "Sunni Triangle." They had a U.S. Marine battalion and an Active U.S. Army battalion attached to them as well as an entire brigade of the Iraqi Army. 2nd Brigade returned home June of 2006

55TH BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM (HEAVY)

The 55th Brigade, with a  strength of about 3,600 soldiers, is headquartered in Scranton. The Brigade's units are concentrated in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Brigade is composed of the following battalions: the 1-109th Infantry, 2-103rd Armor, 3-103rd Armor, 1-109th Field Artillery, 103rdEngineer Battalion, and the 228th Forward Support Battalion.

Appropriately, the soldiers of the 109th Infantry Regiment, the element from which the 55th was born, earned the nickname "Men of Iron" for their three-day defense against overwhelming odds during the Champagne-Marne Offensive in World War I. In 2003-04, the 55th Brigade led "Taskforce Keystone," a major deployment of about 2,000 soldiers of the 28th Infantry Division to Europe to provide force protection and enhanced security in the wake of the September 11, 2001terrorist attacks. While Task Force Keystone was on duty, another 1,100 soldiers from the 28th Division served as the core of the American peacekeeping presence in Bosnia.

56TH STRYKER BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM

With its headquarters in Philadelphia, the 56th Brigade boasts being home to some of the oldest units in the Armed Forces. Units of the 111th Infantry trace their lineage back to 1747, when

Benjamin Franklin first established his famed "Associators" in Philadelphia. The battalions, as well as the brigade, carry battle streamers from nearly every conflict throughout American history.

The 56th Brigade is the only Army National Guard unit to have been selected for transformation into a Stryker Brigade Combat Team. SBCT’s are built around the capabilities of rapid deployability and battlefield

movement which focuses on the ability to deploy, almost immediately, a lethal modular force, tailored to operational requirements, anywhere in the world. As a Stryker Brigade, the 56th will be mobile, agile and "light." Units of the 56th Brigade are located across Pennsylvania from Erie to Philadelphia. As part of the transformation, over $150 million will be spent on new construction of readiness centers and maintenance shops. The economic impact of the Stryker Brigade transformation exceeds $1.5 Billion.

The 56th Brigade has a  strength of about 3,800 soldiers. Major subordinate units of the 56th Brigade include the 1-111th Infantry Battalion (M) (Plymouth Meeting), the 1-112th Infantry Battalion (Erie), 2-112th Infantry Battalion (Lewistown), 2-104th Cavalry (RSTA) (Reading), 1-108th Field Artillery (Carlisle), and the328th Forward Support Battalion (Lancaster). In September 2005, the 56th SBCT deployed with just a few days notice to Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The 56th was the only combat brigade in the ARNG to deploy in its entirety for this emergency response mission.

 

SUPPORT FOR STATE EMERGENCIES

The three combat brigades of the 28th Infantry Division have been assigned major responsibilities for command and control of state military forces ordered to state active duty by the Governor to deal with natural disasters and other state emergencies. The Commonwealth is divided into three taskforces under the command and control of the three brigade headquarters. These regional taskforces will coordinate closely with the three regional offices of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

 

CONCLUSION

The three combat brigades of the 28th Infantry Division are the foundation of the troop strength of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. The brigades have proven again and again, at home and abroad, that they are ready, reliable and available to respond to the wide range of military contingencies. As of January 2006, the Pennsylvania Army National Guard has experienced recent recruiting success and remains strong, capable and ready to carry out its essential state and federal missions.

 
 
 

 
 
 
Brigadier General Beck
 
Brigadier General Jerry G. Beck, Jr.
 
 

Brigadier General Jerry G. Beck, Jr. is the Commanding General, 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Pennsylvania Army National Guard, an organization of over 15,000 soldiers headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa.  He was promoted to his current position in October 2006 and his current rank in March 2003.  In this position, he commands a National Guard mechanized infantry division, consisting of five major subordinate commands and 23 battalions, all stationed in 95 communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia. 

Gen. Beck began his military career in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 1977, as a private serving as a personnel management specialist for Headquarters Company, 2nd  Battalion, 111th Infantry in Phoenixville, Pa.  He received his commission as a second lieutenant from the Officer Candidate School of the Pennsylvania National Guard Military Academy in 1979, and served for one year as a tactical officer at the academy.  Following this assignment, Gen. Beck served as a rifle platoon leader in Company B, 1st Battalion, 111th Infantry, Philadelphia.  He also served as a mortar platoon leader in Company B before being assigned as company commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, 111th Infantry, Philadelphia, in 1982.  After his tenure as company commander, Gen. Beck was assigned as the assistant battalion operations officer (S-3) and later the battalion logistics officer (S-4) of the 1st Battalion before transferring to Headquarters, 56th Brigade as the assistant brigade logistics officer (S-4).  While with the 56th Brigade, Gen. Beck also served as the brigade training and operations officer (S-3), brigade intelligence officer (S-2) and brigade personnel officer (S-1).  In 1994, Gen. Beck transferred to Headquarters, 28th Infantry Division where he served as the division’s training and operations officer (G-3).  Gen. Beck assumed command of the 1st Battalion, 111th Infantry (Mechanized) in Norristown, Pa., in 1995.  Upon completing his battalion command, Gen. Beck was assigned as the deputy chief of staff for operations, Pennsylvania Army National Guard at Fort Indiantown Gap.  In 1998, he was assigned as the chief of staff, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, and in 2002, deployed with the Headquarters 28th Infantry Division to Bosnia-Herzegovina where he served as the deputy commander, Multinational Brigade North (MNB-N) SFOR 12.  Upon completion of that tour in 2003, Gen. Beck was selected to perform a follow-on tour as the commanding general of Multinational Brigade (East) in Kosovo.  During that tour of duty he provided command and control to approximately 3,500 multinational soldiers in the U.S. sector of Kosovo, and was responsible for soldiers from the U.S., Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Armenia and Greece.  Gen. Beck’s previous assignment was as the deputy commanding general – maneuver of the division, which he served in from February 2004 to October 2006.  In that position he oversaw the operations, readiness and training of the three combat maneuver brigades and aviation brigade, as well as serving as second-in-command of the entire division.  

Prior to Gen. Beck’s full-time employment with the National Guard, he was a high school Spanish and German teacher from 1980-1984, and retail manager with the J.C. Penny Company from 1977-1980. 

Gen. Beck was born in Canonsburg, Pa.  He graduated from Monongahela High School in 1972, and Millersville State College in 1975, with a Bachelor of Science degree in German.  He attended West Chester State College where he received a teacher’s certification in Spanish.  In 1996, he received a master’s degree in instructional systems design from Pennsylvania State University.  Gen. Beck is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms Staff School, Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.  He was promoted to his current rank March 1, 2003.         

His awards include the Legion of Merit (2nd Award); Meritorious Service Medal (6th Award); Joint Service Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal; Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (7th Award); National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award); Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Kosovo Campaign Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal with bronze hourglass, M device and 2nd Award; Army Service Ribbon; Reserve Component Overseas Service Ribbon; NATO Medal (2nd Award); Pennsylvania Commendation Medal; Pennsylvania Service Ribbon with one silver star; Pennsylvania 20-Year Service Medal; Major General Thomas R. White Medal; and the Major General Thomas J. Stewart Medal. 

Gen. Beck resides in Denver, Pa., and has one son, Sgt. Jerry Beck III, a former U.S. Marine, who is now a soldier in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

 
 


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Keystone News - The Newsletter of the 28th Division
 
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