JRTC History/Facts

Joint Readiness Training Center began in 1987 at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas with training exercises conducted at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.

    Training Imperatives:
  • Force on force, free play and professional scenarios.
  • Unfamiliar, restrictive terrain.
  • Highly capable opposing forces.
  • Joint operations.
  • Integration of joint special operations forces.
  • Focus from the bottom up (squad/platoon through brigade)
  • Stress of continuous operation (focus on night operations)
  • Integration of reserve component units.
  • Objective evaluation to a uniform standard.

Fort Johnson became headquarters of the Joint Readiness Training Center March 12, 1993.

  • Assumed responsibility from the 2nd Armored Division (Rear).
  • Installation name changed from Fort Johnson home of 2nd Armored Division to the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Johnson.

Official grand opening of the Joint Readiness Training Center August 20, 1993.

  • Ceremony hosted by GEN Gordon R. Sullivan, U. S. Army Chief of Staff at Honor Field, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Johnson.

First training rotation involving the 82nd Airborne Division in September 1993.

Jetertown officially named on February 15, 1994.

  • Jetertown is located on the Jeter family home site prior to the establishment of Camp Polk.

Military Operations Urban Terrain site is a 4-square mile training area

  • Self Army Airfield
    • Airfield seizure
    • C-17 capable
  • Word Military Compound
    • Military battle positions
  • Shughart-Gordon urban complex
    • Room furnishings
    • Capability of Air Assault on roofs

Military Operations Urban Terrain Site 29-building developing country cities.

Premiere one-of-a-kind urban training facility.

Realistic training under changing scenarios – most of them set in developing hot-spot countries.

  • The MOUT’s Shughart-Gordon city is named in honor of two sergeants who died in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993 during Operation Restore Hope.
  • The two Army Rangers were SFC Randal Shughart and MSG Gary Gordon.
  • Both were killed during a firefight October 3, 1993, while trying to rescue other Army Rangers who had been cut off from their unit and were under enemy fire.

The JRTC Operations Group was understood to be made up of "the top 10 percent of the top 10 percent of the Army."

The first command team of the Operations Group at Fort Johnson was COL Samuel S. Thompson and CSM Jack Hardwick.

In the summer of 1993, the light forces training center moved to a permanent home at US Forces Command’s (FORSCOM) Fort Johnson, La. With the move, the JRTC's organization mirrored that of the National Training Center (NTC) as a Joint US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and FORSCOM endeavor.

Training for military operations on urban terrain (MOUT) assumed greater importance as operations in urban areas increased. Such training featured the construction of mock villages and other features which would affect combat in cities. The concepts and development plans for the JRTC called for the establishment of MOUT facilities.

The new MOUT facility would be used in both live-fire and force- on-force missions. The first rotation to include use of the new facility would be that of the 10th Mountain Division in August 1996.

Training at JRTC employs a scenario with role-players as journalists, local citizens, elected officials and religious leaders.

JRTC conducted a validation rotation for the United Nations mission in Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and most all missions that the U. S. Army participated in for the last 30 years.

JRTC Operations Group has conducted in excess of 360 force-on-force and mission rehearsal rotations since beginning operations.


Oscar is the Headquarters, Joint Readiness Training Center Operations Group. It provides highly realistic, stressful, Joint and combined arms training across the full spectrum of current and future conflict. Along with doctrinally based feedback and observations to rotational units, the Army and the Joint community in order to develop competent, adaptive leaders and improve unit readiness.

Zulu is the Plans, Exercise, Maneuver and Control task force. It plans the training for each individual unit that come to the Joint Readiness Training Center. As well as determining the internal support structure--to include facilities, civilian manning, role-play personnel and civilians on the battlefield (COBs) support, and operating budget

Bravo is a Brigade Command and Control task force, it trains how the commander exercises authority and direction using mission orders to enable disciplined initiative within the commander's intent to empower agile and adaptive leaders in the conduct of unified land operations.

Charlie, Yankee and Kilo are all Infantry Maneuver Battalion task forces. They train the infantry battalions how to close with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver.

Romeo is a Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron task force. It trains how to observe the enemy disposition and report to higher headquarters. This assists the planning for the maneuver battalions to carry out their mission better informed.

Sierra is a Special Operations task force. It trains how to achieve a political or military objective where a conventional force requirement does not exist or might adversely affect the overall strategic outcome.

Papa is a Live Fire Operations task force. It trains on movement to contact and clearing operations using live ammunitions.

Lima is a Logistical Support Battalion task force. It trains on brigade supply and medical support as well as how to observe and control all sustainment units' plans and operations during rotations.

Alpha is an Aviation rotary wing task force. They train units on attack, airlift and medical evacuation skills.

Fox is Fire Support task force, it trains units on large military weapons built to fire munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry's small arms.

Geronimo is the 1st of the 509 Parachute Infantry Battalion, "Airborne." The unit began airborne operations during World War Two and are known to have famously shouted “Geronimo!” as they exited their aircraft. Now they are the premiere opposing force for training US and partner nation Soldiers.

India is an Intelligence task force, a military discipline which uses information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions.

Whiskey is a Signal Operations task force, to include, radios, computers and satellite systems. Manages communications and information systems support for the command and control of combined arms forces.

COGs and CSMs

COL Samual Thompson
COL Bruce Barlow
COL Jack Donavon
COL Joseph Prasek
COL James Terry
COL Michael Bednerak
COL Michael Rounds
COL Kevin Owens
COL John S. Lehr
COL Mark R. Stammer
COL Willard M. Burleson III
COL Timothy McAteer
COL Christopher LaNeve
COL Sean C Bernabe
COL David S. Doyle
COL David Gardner
COL Jason Curl
COL Andrew Saslav
CSM Jack Hardwick
CSM Gerald Klein
CSM Daryl Moore
CSM Timothy Green
CSM Thomas Woodhams
CSM Arthur Coleman
CSM Angel Febles
CSM Robert Galleghar
CSM Joseph Montour
CSM Steven Womack
CSM Paul Bayless
CSM David Bass
CSM Arthur Burgoyne
CSM Jason Wilson
CSM Gavin Holmes
CSM Hissong

Unit Insignia

Distinctive Unit Insignia

A gold color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86 cm) in height overall, consisting of a gold torch enflamed blue, gold and red, enclosed at base and sides by a black scroll doubled and inscribed "FORGING THE WARRIOR SPIRIT" in gold, overall a diagonally crossed black and gold bayonet and white lightning bolt.

Red, yellow/gold and blue refer to the combat arms and combat readiness. Gold signifies excellence and black alludes to determination and dependability. The torch symbolizes the training mission of JRTC. The flash is for speed and accuracy and the bayonet signifies combat capabilities and commitment; black and white allude to day and night preparedness and operations.

The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved on 2 August 1989 for the Joint Readiness Training Center. It was redesignated for the Joint Readiness Training Center Operations Group on 30 June 1993. The insignia was redesignated for Headquarters Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Johnson and Joint Readiness Training Center Operations Group on 3 March 2004. It was amended to correct the unit designation on 11 March 2004

Shoulder Insignia

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

On a rectangle, semicircular at top, divided vertically yellow and scarlet with a 1/8 inch white border, 3 inches (7.62cm) in height and 2 inches (5.08cm) in width overall a blue triangle throughout point to base, fimbriated white bearing a white winged yellow bayonet at top.

The unit's mission of training non-mechanized rapid deployment forces is symbolized by the bayonet and wings. The bayonet symbolizes military preparedness and the strike capability of rapid deployment forces which train at the Center. The wings are emblematic of speed, mobility and joint training with the United States Air Force. The colors, blue, yellow, and red are traditionally associated with Infantry, Armor and Artillery and reflect the combined arms character of Joint Readiness Center Operations Group training. The overall shape is reminiscent of an arch or portal and portrays the knowledge and education and training provided by the Center as the "doorway" to enhanced unit proficiency and skill.

The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved on 25 January 1988 for the Joint Readiness Training Center. It was redesignated for the Joint Readiness Training Center Operations Group on 30 June 1993, with description and symbolism revised. The insignia was redesignated for Headquarters Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Johnson and Joint Readiness Training Center Operations Group and amended to add an airborne tab on 3 March 2004. It was amended to correct the unit designation on 11 March 2004. (TIOH Drawing Number A-1-743)

Closing Tab