3rd Brigade Combat Team
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conducts Unified Land Operations focused training at Fort Carson in order to achieve and maintain company level live-fire proficiency in offensive and defensive operations. The “Iron” Brigade will continue its training progression to enable collective training and maintain balanced readiness. Upon the return of select 3BCT senior leadership and Soldiers from a Security Force Assistance mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan to mentor and assist the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), the brigade will begin the training progression through company collective training to be prepared to deploy for future operations.
The 3rd Brigade was constituted 19 November 1917 in the Regular Army as Headquarters, 8th Infantry Brigade, as an element of the 4th Infantry Division. It was organized in December 1917 at Camp Greene, N.C. The Brigade has been reorganized and redesignated several times over the years. Finally, on 15 December 1970, it was activated at Fort Carson, Colo., as 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.
When the Division Headquarters moved to Fort Hood, Texas in 1995, the brigade remained at Fort Carson and was redesignated as the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (3rd BCT). In May 2006 the brigade completed its transformation to the Army's modular design.
The brigade has received numerous campaign participation credits, including Aisne-Marne and Meuse-Argonne During World War I; Counteroffensive, Phases II-VI, and Tet Counteroffensive in Vietnam; and Operation Iraqi Freedom I of the War on Terrorism to name a few. A few of its more prestigious decorations include the Presidential Unit Citation, the Valorous Unit Award, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class.
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team is comprised of nearly 3,800 Soldiers including: 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment; the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment; the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment; the 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment; the 3rd Special Troops Battalion; and 64th Brigade Support Battalion.
The 3rd BCT has deployed four times in a span of seven years in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; from 2003-2004, 2005-2006, 2007-2008 and later, Operation New Dawn from 2010-2011. In Iraq, the brigade's mission included several key areas: neutralizing the anti-Iraqi forces, building a capable Iraqi Security Force, legitimizing a responsive government, and putting Iraqis in the lead. During the latter half of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the beginning of Operation New Dawn, from March 2010-2011, the 3rd BCT had the mission to serve as an advise and assist brigade responsible for advising, training, and assisting Iraqi Security Forces. During that deployment, they provided training and assistance to Iraqi security forces, while simultaneously assisting the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) in helping the Iraqi government rebuild its civil capacity and infrastructure. While there, the brigade fell under the command of the 1st Infantry Division and the 36th Infantry Division in the southern four provinces of Iraq.
Along with its organic elements, the brigade partnered with two Iraqi Army Divisions, 10th IA Division and 14th IA Division; 4th Region DBE with the 9th, 10th, and 14th Brigades; three ports of entry one each at Safwan, Al Sheeb, and Shalamcheh; one Federal Police Brigade; the Iraqi Highway Police in Dhi Qar Province; and Iraqi police with four separate provincial directors of police. The brigade also partnered with four PRT, responsible for securing movement, assessing projects and managing commanders' emergency response funds.
The brigade's units worked with their partners diligently; training, mentoring and providing enablers when needed to assist the Iraqis to develop an effective and lethal security force capable of defeating the anti-Iraqi forces and supporting the elected government. The 3rd BCT returned to Fort Carson in March 2011.
The 3rd BCT sent more than 300 of its officers and senior noncommissioned officers in April and May of 2012, on a nine-month deployment to the southern provinces of Afghanistan to help mentor and train current Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). While supporting their deployed leadership, the remaining “Iron Brigade” Soldiers, NCO's and officers continue to train and prepare to maintain combat readiness to fulfill any future mission requirements.