U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz
U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz activated with its headquarters in Kaiserslautern, Germany, on Oct. 1, 2013. The garrison is made up of 29 sites and installations that encompass a geographic footprint to include Kaiserslautern, Baumholder, Landstuhl, Sembach, Mannheim, Miesau, Gruenstadt and Germersheim.
The garrison logo represents the unit's establishment as a brigade-level garrison with a large geographic area. Each element of the crest was carefully selected to illustrate this new beginning and the partnership between the American and German communities in the state of Rheinland-Pfalz. The Army star is centered at the top of the crest. The German and American flags are situated on one level representing two nations standing side by side in mutual support. The state crest of Rheinland-Pfalz is at the bottom representing the garrison's geographic area of responsibility and surround by a laurel wreath symbolizing peace and unity. At the center of the crest is the Installation Management Command patch, bringing everyone together and anchoring our community into one unified whole.
(Former) U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern
USAG Kaiserslautern was established in the regular Army as the 415th Base Support Battalion on March 16, 1992, and was assigned to the 29th Area Support Group, 21st Theater Army Area Command, Kaiserslautern, Germany, with a total strength of one.
By December 7, 1992, the battalion had grown to a strength of seven personnel. Less than a year later, in October 1993, the USAG Kaiserslautern was reassigned to the 26th Area Support Group, which was later redesignated as the USAG Heidelberg.
On October 13, 2005, the Army's Installation Management Activity officially marked the end of the 415th BSB, and the organization was redesignated as USAG Kaiserslautern.
(Former) U.S. Army Garrison Baden-Württemberg
USAG Baden-Württemberg was constituted in May 1936 as the 26th Quartermaster Regiment and activated in 1941. It was subsequently redesignated as the 26th Quartermaster Truck Regiment until its deactivation in September 1945.
In April 1966, the regiment was redesignated as the 26th General Support Group, and activated in May 1966 at Fort Lewis, Washington. The group subsequently served 13 campaigns in Vietnam and was authorized a distinctive unit insignia and selected the motto "THE NORTHERNMOST."
In October 1978, the group was reactivated in Heidelberg and later redesignated as the 26th Area Support Group. The 26th ASG became USAG Heidelberg in October 2005. It was redesignated in September 2007 as USAG Baden-Württemberg with indirect garrisons in Heidelberg, Mannheim, Kaiserslautern and Darmstadt. In August 2008, the Indirect Garrison Darmstadt was deactivated, followed by USAG Heidelberg in June 2010 and USAG Mannheim in May 2011.
(Former) U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder
Baumholder has been associated with modern military activities since 1937, when the German government needed a large area for military training. Due to its varied terrain, sparse population and area of approximately 25,000 acres to the north and northeast of the city, Baumholder was selected to become one of the largest military training areas in Germany. By 1938, the first permanent barracks were ready for occupancy. Various German and Austrian units were stationed at Baumholder and prepared for one front or another.
At the end of 1951 the Americans took over the Baumholder training area from the French and in 1953 an extensive construction program was begun to build facilities to house the families of military personnel as the Americans began to expand the post.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s, at its height, the Baumholder Military Community, its two sub communities Neubrücke and Strassburg and eight remote sites in the Eifel region, provided a home and place to work for more than 21,000 Soldiers, civilians and family members. Under U.S. Army in Europe transformation, USAG Baumholder officially deactivated May 22, 2014, and USAG Rheinland-Pfalz took command of the Baumholder Military Community.
Local Post Name History
KLEBER KASERNE (23er Kaserne during WWII)
On July 13, 1945, the French Occupation Forces took command in Kaiserslautern and renamed the 23rd Kaserne after General Jean Baptiste Kléber (March 9, 1753 – June 14, 1800), a historical figure from the 18th century. Kléber was born in 1753 in Strasbourg. Following the French Revolution he was drafted into the National Guard and (in four years) rose to Brigadier General by 1793. Kléber commanded all of Napoleon’s troops in Egypt when Napoleon returned to France. It was also during Napoleon's reign that Kléber defeated the Turks in Heliopolis in 1800. During stability operations there, he was assassinated by a knife-wielding fanatic.
DAENNER KASERNE (DÄNNER KASERNE during WWII)
Likely named after Bayerischer Generalleutnant (Lt. Gen.) Rudolf Dänner (Oct. 13, 1862 – Aug. 21, 1936). In 1913, Dänner was commander of the German 23rd Infantry Regiment. He led this unit during the First World War on the Western Front and was severely wounded in the fighting on Aug. 31, 1914. After a hospital stay and his recovery, he was head of the field recruits depot of the 3rd Division and later commanded the 1st Division. Dänner was awarded the Order Pour le Mérite on October 26, 1918.
WILSON BARRACKS (AKA: LANDSTUHL or LRMC)
Named after Cpl. Alfred L. Wilson (Sept. 18, 1919 – Nov. 8, 1944). Wilson was a U.S. Army soldier who received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during World War II. On Nov. 8, 1944, he was serving as a technician fifth grade with the Medical Detachment of the 328th Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry Division. During a firefight that day, near Bezange la Petite, France, Wilson was severely wounded but refused evacuation and continued to treat other injured soldiers until he fell unconscious. He died of his wounds and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor seven months later, on June 18, 1945.
Pulaski Barracks was named after a Polish Military Officer in honor of Polish people who worked for the U.S. Army in Civilian Service Groups after WWII. During the American Revolution, Casimir Pulaski (March 6, 1745 – Oct. 11, 1779) served as a general in the Continental Army. Together with his counterpart Michael Kovats de Fabriczy, he is often called "the father of the American cavalry."
Born in Warsaw, Pulaski was one of the leading Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth military commanders and fought against Russian domination of the Commonwealth. When this uprising failed, he was driven into exile. Following a recommendation by Benjamin Franklin, Pulaski traveled to North America to help in the cause of the American Revolutionary War. He distinguished himself throughout the revolution, most notably when he saved the life of George Washington. Pulaski became a general in the Continental Army, created the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and reformed the American cavalry as a whole. At the Battle of Savannah, while leading a daring charge against British forces, he was gravely wounded, and died shortly thereafter.
Pulaski is remembered as a hero who fought for independence and freedom in both Poland and the United States. Numerous places and events are named in his honor, and he is one of only eight people to be awarded honorary United States citizenship.
H.D. SMITH BARRACKS (initially CAMP BAUMHOLDER)
After World War II, in 1945, the military installation was occupied by the French Army, and in 1951, the post was turned over to the Americans. In March 1960, the Baumholder maneuver training area was transferred from French to German control. The German garrison moved to Camp Aulenbach replacing the French while the U.S. units remained at Baumholder proper.
The main post in the Baumholder Military Community is named after Capt. Harold D. Smith (May 14, 1916 – Sept. 13, 1944). Smith landed in North Africa on Nov. 8, 1942, as part of Operation Torch and served under Gen. Patton in North Africa and Sicily. During this time, he was assigned to the 1st Armored Division. Smith arrived at Tidworth Barracks in England as a member of the 2nd Armored Division in December 1943. Smith took part in the Normandy landing and the breakthrough at St. Lo on July 27, 1944. He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action while he served in France, and was awarded three medals by the French Government, including the Croix de Guerre. In action near St. Sever Calvados in August 1944, Smith was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism in action. On Sept. 13, 1944, while on the Albert Canal and the Maas (Meuse) River in Hasselt, Belgium, Smith, as company commander, led a reconnaissance patrol toward the bank of the Albert Canal, where he observed an artillery mission on enemy across the canal. He was hit by a sniper round near his heart and died almost instantly.
Named after Walter C. Wetzel (1919 – April 3, 1945). Wetzel joined the Army from Roseville, Michigan, in July 1941, and by April 3, 1945, was serving as a private first class in the 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division. On that day, in Birken, Germany, Wetzel smothered the blasts of German-thrown grenades with his body, sacrificing himself to protect those around him. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor ten months later, on Feb. 26, 1946, by President Harry S. Truman.
KAPAUN AIR STATION
This site adjacent to Pulaski Barracks is named after Emil Joseph Kapaun (April 20, 1916 – May 23, 1951), a Roman Catholic priest and U.S. Army captain who served as an Army chaplain during World War II and the Korean War. During the Battle of Unsan (Nov. 1, 1950) Kapaun moved repeatedly under direct enemy fire to rescue wounded from a no-man's land outside the battalion's perimeter. He also negotiated with the enemy for the safety of wounded Americans, physically intervened to stop an execution, and rejected multiple opportunities for escape and instead volunteered to stay and care for wounded.
Kapaun spent the next seven months in prison camps. With disregard for his own safety and comfort, Kapaun tended to the sick and wounded, scoured for food, built fires against guards' commands, and fashioned iron sheet vessels to launder the clothing of the wounded and purify drinking water. He also led prayers and spiritual services for the POWs, at the risk of punishment. For his outspoken resistance, Kapaun was feared by the guards and revered by fellow POWs. Upon return, prison survivors told stories of Kapaun's courage, compassion and spirit. They credited him with saving their lives, and hundreds more, before eventually succumbing to his own wounds and prison maltreatment. Kapaun died in prison May 23, 1951. In 1993, Pope John Paul II declared him a Servant of God, the first stage on the path to canonization. In 2013, Kapaun posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Korea. He is the ninth American military chaplain Medal of Honor recipient.