The 98th Infantry Division ("Iroquois") was a unit of the United States Army in the closing months of World War I and during World War II. The unit is now one of the U.S. Army Reserve's training divisions, officially known as the 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training). The 98th Training Division's current primary mission is to conduct Initial Entry Training (IET) for new soldiers. It is one of three training divisions subordinate to the 108th Training Command (IET).
Following its initial organization in 1918, the 98th Training Division (IET) has experienced multiple cycles of activation, training, deployment and deactivation as well as substantial reorganizations and changes of mission. Since 1959, however, the 98th Training Division (IET) has been a unit of the U.S. Army Reserve with the primary mission of training Soldiers. Formerly headquartered in Rochester, New York with longstanding historical ties to New York and New England, the 98th Training Division (IET) was moved to Fort Benning, Georgia in 2012, and exercises command and control of units located throughout the eastern U.S. as well as Puerto Rico.
The 98th was activiated as one of the Army's infantry divisions on 15 Sep, 1942 at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, filling its ranks primarily with soldiers from the New York and New England regions. A "triangular" division organized around a three-regiment (the 389th, 390th and 391st Infantry Regiments) core, the 98th spent the next eighteen months training at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, Camp Forrest, Tennessee and Camp Rucker, Alabama in anticipation of combat in the Asian theater. Arriving in Oahu, Hawaii on 19 April 1944, the roughly 15,000 Soldiers of the 98th relieved the 33rd Division of responsibility for the defense of the Hawaiian Islands and continued training for deployment to Asia. Slated as a participant in Operation Olympic, scheduled for 1 November 1945 one of two planned invasions of Japan, the war drew to a close before the 98th was deployed to an active combat zone. Instead, the 98th Division arrived in Japan on 27 Sep 1945 and served in Osaka, Japan as part of the occupying force until 16 February 1946 when the unit was inactivated.
Awards earned by 98th Division soldiers during this period include: Legion of Merit-1; Soldier's Medal-8; Bronze Star −146.
Commanding Generals during the World War II era were Major General Paul L. Ransom (September 1942 – November 1943), Major General George W. Griner, Jr. (November 1943-26 June 1944), Major General Ralph C. Smith (15 July 1944 – 30 August 1944) and Major General Arthur McK. Harper (November 1944 - 16 February 1946).
On 18 April 1947, the Iroquois Division was reactivated in Rochester, New York on reserve status and began training for combat in the new Cold War environment. It had been previously planned to be an airborne division. A note on the troop list nevertheless indicated that the unit was to be reorganized and redesignated as an airborne unit upon mobilization and was to train as such.
The reorganization of 1 May 1959, redesignated the 98th Infantry Division as the 98th Division (Training) and set the unit on a course lasting to the present - training Soldiers. The regimental heritage was retained with the 389th, 390th and 391st Infantry Regiments organized as Basic Combat Training (BCT) regiments and the 392nd Infantry Regiment organized as an Advanced Individual Training (AIT) regiment.
Additional changes occurred in 1968 with the movement toward a brigade-based structure: the 389th Infantry Regiment became the 1st Brigade (BCT), the 390th Infantry Regiment became the 2d Brigade (BCT) and the 392nd Infantry Regiment became the 3rd Brigade (AIT-Engineer), the only Engineer Pioneer training unit in the Army Reserve at the time. The 3rd Brigade/392nd Infantry Regiment was based in Hillcrest, New York and performed Engineer AIT training of Soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri during their annual two week training periods throughout the Vietnam War. The changes of 1968 also ushered in the designation and training of Army Reserve Drill Sergeants, a significant and enduring innovation. Additional reorganization in 1994 redesignated the unit as the 98th Division (Institutional Training), a change in which the 98th retained its previous IET mission but also acquired the missions and force structure formerly associated with to the U.S. Army Reserve Forces schools. The 98th would maintain this basic organization and mission for the next 14 years.
On 3 September 2004, the 98th Division received mobilization orders for Operation Iraqi Freedom. This mobilization was to be the first overseas deployment for the unit since World War II. The mission, known as the Foreign Army Training Assistance Command (FA-TRAC), consisted primarily of training the new Iraqi Army and Iraqi security forces. An expeditionary force of more than 700 Iroquois warriors were trained and equipped at four sites: Camp Atterbury, Fort Bliss, Fort Hood and Fort Benning.
The demands of Operation Iraqi Freedom required an accelerated training schedule which crammed as many warfighting skills as possible into a forty-one-day period. This was the 98th's first substantial exposure to the asymmetric battlefield, requiring training in counterinsurgency techniques and preparing to face an opponent who did not fight along traditional fronts. The 98th made full use of the 33,000 acres at Camp Atterbury and marched everywhere. It was at Camp Atterbury that the advisory support teams (later renamed military training teams), the heart of the FA-TRAC mission, transformed to cohesive units in long days.
In fall 2004, the 98th Division arrived in Baghdad and filled the ranks of the Multinational Security Transition Command-Iraq (MNSTC-I), the unit charged with assisting the Iraqi government in developing, training and equipping the new Iraqi security forces. The unit used its pool of drill sergeant and instructor expertise to train Iraqi soldiers and officers to prescribed standards under the constant threat of insurgent attack and under austere conditions.
Instruction and support teams spread out across all points in Iraq from Al Kasik in the north to as far south as Umm Qasr. They established contact with Iraqi security units with the help of interpreters and helped build the six divisions of the new Iraqi Army. They also established officer and noncommissioned officer education schools at the Kirkush Military Training Base. They trained Iraqi police, the Highway Patrol, the special Police Commandos and the Iraqi Border Police.
The division also fielded soldiers to such other locations as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Horn of Africa, Kuwait, Jordan and Afghanistan.
Five 98th Training Division soldiers were killed in action during the division’s deployment to Iraq in 2004-05. Headquarters: Fort Benning, Georgia
First Brigade: Fort Benning, Georgia
Second Brigade: Fort Jackson, South Carolina
Third Brigade: Salem, Virginia
Fourth Brigade: Amherst, New York
Shoulder patch: The 98th Division Patch consists of a shield in the shape of the Great seal of the State of New York, with the head of an Iroquois Indian Chief. The five feathers represent the five original Iroquois nations: the Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga and Mohawk. The blue and orange-gold colors are those of the Dutch House of Nassau, the earliest settlers of New York State. On September 8, 2012, the Armed Forces Reserve Center at Fort Benning, Georgia, where the unit is located, was memorialized in honor of Chaplain Elmer W. Heindl who had served in the 98th.Major General Laddie Stahl (1964–75)
Major General Harry Parmelee (1975–79)
Major General Charles Barrett (1979–82)
Major General Norbert Rappl (1982-1987)
Brigadier General Dean Linscott (1987-87)
Major General Barclay Wellman (1988–92)
Major General Thomas Sabo (1992–96)
Major General Peter Gannon (1996-2000)
General Charles Wilson (2000–02)
Major General Bruce Robinson (2002–07)
Brigadier General Robert Catalanotti (2007–08)
Brigadier General Robert Stall (2008–10)
Brigadier General Dwayne Edwards (2010–12)
Brigadier General Michaelene "Mikey" Kloster (2012–2015)
Brigadier General Tammy Smith (2015-2016)
Brigadier General Miles A. Davis (2016-present)