United States Army Central
United States Army Central is an Army Service Component Command (ASCC) of the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 and is also dual-hatted as the "United States Third Army". It is the Army Component of U.S. Central Command (ARCENT) and the Coalition Forces Land Component Command
Coalition Forces Land Component Command
Coalition Forces Land Component Command, or CFLCC, is a generic U.S. and allied military term. In U.S. military terminology, Unified Combatant Commands or Joint Task Forces can have components from all services and components – Army ~ Land, Air, Naval, Marine, and Special Operations...

 (CFLCC) for the Central Command
United States Central Command
The United States Central Command is a theater-level Unified Combatant Command unit of the U.S. armed forces, established in 1983 under the operational control of the U.S. Secretary of Defense...

 Area of Responsibility (AOR), operating primarily in Northern Africa and Central and Southwest Asia, and is the primary logistics element for all land forces in the CENTCOM AOR.

Activation and World War I

The Third United States Army was first activated as a formation during the First World War on 7 November 1918, at Chaumont, France
Chaumont, Haute-Marne
Chaumont is a commune of France, and the capital of the Haute-Marne department. , it has a of 24,039.The city stands on the Marne River and is situated on the railway linking Paris and Basel, which runs over a 52 m tall and 600 m long viaduct built in 1856.- History :Historically the...

, when the General Headquarters of the American Expeditionary Force
American Expeditionary Force
The American Expeditionary Forces or AEF were the United States Armed Forces sent to Europe in World War I. During the United States campaigns in World War I the AEF fought in France alongside British and French allied forces in the last year of the war, against Imperial German forces...

s issued General Order 198 organizing the Third Army and announcing its headquarters staff. On the 15th, Major General Joseph T. Dickman
Joseph T. Dickman
Joseph Theodore Dickman was born in Dayton, Ohio. He attended the University of Dayton and graduated in the class of 1871. In 1881 he graduated from the U.S...

 assumed command and issued Third Army General Order No. 1. The third Army consisted of three corps (III, Maj. Gen. John L. Hines
John L. Hines
John Leonard Hines was an American soldier who served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from 1924 to 1926.-Biography:...

; IV, Maj. Gen. Charles Muir; and VII, Maj. Gen. William G. Hahn) and seven divisions.

First mission

On 15 November 1918, Major General Dickman was given the mission to move quickly and by any means into Central Germany on occupation duties. He was to disarm and disband German forces as ordered by General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces.

The march into Germany for occupation duty was begun on 17 November 1918. By 15 December the Third Army Headquarters at Mayen
Mayen is a town in the Mayen-Koblenz District of the Rhineland-Palatinate Federal State of Germany, in the eastern part of the Volcanic Eifel Region. As well as the main town, there are five further settlements which are part of Mayen, they are: Alzheim, Kürrenberg, Hausen-Betzing, Hausen and Nitztal...

 opened at Coblenz. Two days later, on 17 December 1918, the Coblenz bridgehead, consisting of a pontoon bridge and three railroad bridges across the Rhine, had been established.

Third Army troops had encountered no hostile act of any sort. In the occupied area, both food and coal supplies were sufficient. The crossing of the Rhine by the front line divisions was effected in good time and without confusion. Troops, upon crossing the Rhine and reaching their assigned areas, were billeted preparatory to occupying selected positions for defense. The strength of the Third Army as of 19 December, the date the bridgehead occupation was completed, was 9,638 officers and 221,070 enlisted men.

Third Army advance

On 12 December, Field Order No. 11 issued, directed the Third Army to occupy the northern sector of the Coblenz bridgehead, with the advance elements to cross the Rhine river at seven o'clock, 13 December. The northern (left) boundary remained unchanged. The southern (right) boundary was as has been previously mentioned.

Before the advance the 1st Division passed to the command of the III Corps. With three divisions, the 1st, 2d, and 32d, the III Corps occupied the American sector of the Coblenz bridgehead, the movement of the troops into position beginning at the scheduled hour, 13 December. The four bridges available for crossing the river within the Coblenz bridgehead were the pontoon bridge and railroad bridge at Coblenz, the railroad bridges at Engers
Engers is an district of Neuwied on the right banks of the river Rhine in Germany located next to Koblenz in Rhineland-Palatinate.Engers has 5,367 inhabitants. It is highwater-endangered by its direct contact with the river Rhine.- City history :...

 and Remagen
Remagen is a town in Germany in Rhineland-Palatinate, in the district of Ahrweiler. It is about a one hour drive from Cologne , just south of Bonn, the former West German capital. It is situated on the River Rhine. There is a ferry across the Rhine from Remagen every 10–15 minutes in the summer...

. On 13 December the advance began with the American khaki crossing the Rhine into advanced positions. On the same day the 42d Division passes to the command of the IV Corps
IV Corps (United States)
The IV Corps replaced the VI Corps in the Fifth United States Army's order of battle in Italy after Allied forces liberated Rome in the summer of 1944 when VI Corps was withdrawn to take part in Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of southern France. Initially the Corps had two divisions, U.S...

, which, in support of the III Corps, continued its march to occupy the Kreise of Mayen
Mayen is a town in the Mayen-Koblenz District of the Rhineland-Palatinate Federal State of Germany, in the eastern part of the Volcanic Eifel Region. As well as the main town, there are five further settlements which are part of Mayen, they are: Alzheim, Kürrenberg, Hausen-Betzing, Hausen and Nitztal...

, Ahrweiler
Ahrweiler is a district in the north of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is bounded by the districts Euskirchen, Rhein-Sieg and the city Bonn in the state North Rhine-Westphalia, and the districts of Neuwied, Mayen-Koblenz and Vulkaneifel.- History :The region was conquered by the Romans under...

, Adenau
Adenau is a town in the High Eifel in Germany. It is known as the Johanniterstadt because the Order of Saint John was based there in the Middle Ages. The town's coat of arms combines the black cross of the Electorate of Cologne with the lion of the lords of Nürburg...

, and Cochem
Cochem is the seat of and the biggest place in the Cochem-Zell district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. With just under 5,000 inhabitants, Cochem falls just behind Kusel, in the like-named district, as Germany's second smallest district seat...


The VII Corps occupied under the same order that portion of the Regierungsbezirk
In Germany, a Government District, in German: Regierungsbezirk – is a subdivision of certain federal states .They are above the Kreise, Landkreise, and kreisfreie Städte...

 of Trier
Trier, historically called in English Treves is a city in Germany on the banks of the Moselle. It is the oldest city in Germany, founded in or before 16 BC....

 within army limits.

On 15 December Third Army Headquarters at Mayen
Mayen is a town in the Mayen-Koblenz District of the Rhineland-Palatinate Federal State of Germany, in the eastern part of the Volcanic Eifel Region. As well as the main town, there are five further settlements which are part of Mayen, they are: Alzheim, Kürrenberg, Hausen-Betzing, Hausen and Nitztal...

 opened at Coblenz: III Corps Headquarters at Polch opened at Neuwied and IV Corps Headquarters remained at Cochem, with the VII Corps at Grevenmacher
Grevenmacher is a commune with city status in eastern Luxembourg, near the border with Germany. It is the capital of the canton and the district of Grevenmacher...

. In crossing the Rhine on the shortened front—from Rolandseck
Rolandseck is a borough of Remagen in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.The place consists almost entirely of villas and is a favorite summer resort. Crowning the vine-clad hills behind it lie the ruins of the castle, a picturesque ivy-covered arch, whence a fine view is obtained of the Siebengebirge...

 to Rhens
Rhens is a municipality in the district Mayen-Koblenz, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is situated on the left bank of the Rhine, approx. 10 km south of Koblenz.Rhens is the seat of the Verbandsgemeinde Rhens....

 on the west bank—the Third Army encountered no hostile act of any sort. In the occupied area both food and coal supplies were sufficient.

By the night of 14 December, Third Army troops had occupied their positions on the perimeter of the Coblenz bridgehead.
  • [Source: "Crossing the Rhine," History of the American Third Army, 14 November 1918 to 2 July 1919, Third Army, A.E.F., 2 July 1919.]

Army of Occupation

During January 1919, the Third Army was engaged in training and preparing the troops under its command for any contingency. A letter of instruction was circulated to lower commanders prescribing a plan of action in case hostilities were resumed. Installations were set up throughout the Army area to facilitate command.

In February, military schools were opened through the Third Army area; a quartermaster depot was organized; 2,000 officers and enlisted men left to take courses in British and French universities; better leave facilities were created; and plans for sending American divisions to the United States were made. On 4 February, the military control of the Stadtkreis of Trier was transferred from GHQ to the Third Army.

In March, routine duties of occupation and training were carried on; an Army horse show was held; Army, corps, and divisional educational centers were established in the Third Army Zone; the Coblenz port commander took over the duties of the Coblenz regulating officer; the 42d Division was released from IV Corps and was placed in Army Reserve.

In April, the exodus of American divisions from Third Army to the United States began. During the month, motor transport parks were established; an Army motor show was held; the Army area was reorganized; and the centralization of military property was initiated in anticipation of returning it to the United States. On 20 April 1919, Third Army command changed from Maj. Gen. Dickman to Lt. Gen. Hunter Liggett
Hunter Liggett
Hunter Liggett was a lieutenant general of the United States Army. His forty-two years of service spanned the period from the Indian campaigns to trench warfare.-Biography:...


Prepare to advance

On 14 May, Marshal Ferdinand Foch, General-in-Chief of the Allied Armies, submitted plans of operations to the Third Army commander to be used in the event that Germany should refuse to sign the peace treaty. On 20 May, Marshal Foch directed allied commanders to dispatch troops toward Weimar and Berlin in the event the peace treaty was not signed. On 22 May, the Third Army issued its plan of advance, effective 30 May, in view of the impending emergency. On 27 May, Marshal Foch informed General John J. Pershing, Commander-in-Chief, AEF, that the Supreme War Council desired allied armies be made ready immediately to resume active operations against the Germans.

On 1 June, the advance GHQ, AEF, at Trier was discontinued. On 16 June, Marshal Foch notified General Pershing that allied armies must be ready after 20 June to resume offensive operations and that preliminary movements were to begin 17 June. On 19 June, General Pershing notified Marshal Foch that beginning 23 June the Third Army would occupy the towns of Limburg, Westerburg, Hachenburg, and Altenkirchen and that III Corps would seize the railroad connecting these towns. On 23 June, the Germans signified their intention to sign the peace treaty and contemplated operations were suspended. On 30 June, Foch and Pershing conferred in regard to American troops to be left on the Rhine.

A separate peace

On 1 July, General Pershing notified the War Department that upon Germany's compliance with military conditions imposed upon her (probably within three months after German ratification of the treaty), the American forces in Europe would be reduced to a single regiment of infantry supplemented by necessary auxiliaries. Accordingly the Third Army was disbanded on 2 July 1919. Its headquarters and all personnel (numbering about 6,800 men) and units under it were thereafter designated American Forces in Germany. This force would subsequently remain in Germany for over three years. This was due, at least part, to the fact that United States, having rejected the Treaty of Versailles, was therefore still "de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

" at war with Germany. This situation remained unresolved until the summer of 1921 when a separate peace treaty was signed.

Reactivation and the inter-War period

Third Army did not see the light of day again until 1932. On 9 August of that year, in a reorganisation of field forces in the United States, four field armies, Third Army amongst them, were activated, to control the formations of the U.S. Army stationed on home soil. Until the buildup of American forces prior to its entry into World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Third Army remained largely a paper formation. It held training exercises periodically, but these were almost never adequate.

World War II

Mobilization saw Third Army take on the role of training some of the huge numbers of recruits that the draft was bringing into the Armed Forces. Lieutenant General Walter Krueger
Walter Krueger
Walter Krueger was an American soldier of German descent and General in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his command of the Sixth United States Army in the South West Pacific Area during World War II...

, later to gain fame for his command of Sixth Army during operations in the Pacific commanded Third Army from May 1941 until February 1943. Under his leadership, the basis of the Army's later success as a combat formation was laid. Krueger was succeeded by Lieutenant General Courtney Hodges
Courtney Hodges
General Courtney Hicks Hodges was an American military officer, most prominent for his role in World War II, in which he commanded the First United States Army in Northwest Europe.-Early life and military career:...

 who led the Army for the rest of 1943. The news that many had expected came in December 1943. Third Army was shipped from the U.S. to the United Kingdom.

Third Army did not take part in the initial stages of Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...

. However, when it did take the field, its field of combat suited the style of its commander far more. Lieutenant General George Patton was one of the U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

's greatest exponents of armored warfare. When Third Army was moved to France, it was just after Bradley's formations had achieved the breakout from Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

. Third Army followed up on that success and began a great dash across France. It was only the inevitability of logistics problems that halted Patton's force near the borders of Germany.

After a period of consolidation, Third Army was ready to go on the offensive again. However, the Germans then launched their last great offensive of the war – the Battle of the Bulge
Battle of the Bulge
The Battle of the Bulge was a major German offensive , launched toward the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium, hence its French name , and France and...

. This battle was an attempt to repeat the decisive breakthrough of 1940
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

. However, in 1944, the Germans were doomed to failure. Their own logistical problems surfaced, and they ground to a halt. Nevertheless, they had broken the U.S. front, and it took a great effort to reduce the resulting salient
Salients, re-entrants and pockets
A salient is a battlefield feature that projects into enemy territory. The salient is surrounded by the enemy on three sides, making the troops occupying the salient vulnerable. The enemy's line facing a salient is referred to as a re-entrant...

. In one of the great moves of the war, Patton turned Third Army's axis of advance through ninety degrees and set it upon the south of the German forces. The German salient was reduced by the end of January 1945, and the remainder of the process of closing up to the Rhine could be completed. Some vicious fighting took place, but by April there was but one great natural barrier between Third Army and the heart of Germany. Unlike in 1918, the crossing of the Rhine was opposed. However, the bridgehead was won, and Third Army embarked on another great eastward dash. It reached Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 and in May liberated the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp
Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp
Mauthausen Concentration Camp grew to become a large group of Nazi concentration camps that was built around the villages of Mauthausen and Gusen in Upper Austria, roughly east of the city of Linz.Initially a single camp at Mauthausen, it expanded over time and by the summer of 1940, the...

s complex. Its forces ended up in Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, the furthest east of any American units.

German occupation

Occupation beckoned again, and Third Army took up the challenge of starting to rebuild postwar Germany. Third Army remained in Germany until recalled to the United States again in 1947. When back in the United States, its duties were much the same as those of the 1930s, acting as a command and training force for units in the United States. The Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 saw a repeat of the earlier World War II training duties. The Third Army remained responsible for this aspect of U.S. Armed Forces operations until 1974, when a new major headquarters, that of Forces Command, or FORSCOM
United States Army Forces Command
United States Army Forces Command is the largest Army Command and the preeminent provider of expeditionary, campaign-capable land forces to Combatant Commanders. Headquartered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, FORSCOM consists of more than 750,000 Active Army, U.S. Army Reserve, and Army National...

 was activated to replace Third Army. Third Army was thus deactivated, and it remained so for the best part of a decade.


On 3 December 1982, a special ceremony was held at Fort McPherson to mark the return to Active Army status of Headquarters, Third U.S. Army under the command of Lt. Gen. M. Collier Ross. Distinguished guests at the event included former Third Army Commanders, Gen. (Ret.) Herbert B. Powell and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Louis W. Truman. In 2011 after BRAC realignments, 3rd Army relocated it's headquarters to Shaw AFB, Sumter SC.

The new headquarters was established at Fort McPherson
Fort McPherson
Fort McPherson was a U.S. Army military base located in East Point, Georgia, on the southwest edge of the City of Atlanta, Ga. It was the headquarters for the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, Southeast Region; the U.S. Army Forces Command; the U.S. Army Reserve Command; the U.S...

, and its new mission was to serve as the Army component in a unified command, the United States Central Command, which has responsibility over a vast overseas area covering parts of Africa, Asia, and the Persian Gulf.

For its part, Third Army could draw upon a reservoir of Army units, and became responsible for planning, exercising, and rapidly deploying these units in crisis situations.

Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm

It was not until 1990 that Third Army returned to combat. Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 invaded Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 in August 1990, and American forces were immediately dispatched to Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 to protect that kingdom. Since Saudi Arabia came within the CENTCOM area, Third Army was sent to command the Army units in theatre. At first, XVIII Corps made up the forces assigned to Third Army; only enough men to ensure that the Iraqis could not invade Saudi Arabia. However, in November 1990, massive reinforcements were announced in the form of VII Corps from Germany. This deployment marked the largest use of armoured formations by the U.S. since World War II, and thus it was fitting that Patton's old command, Third Army, should have control of the battle. By the opening of hostilities, XVIII Corps had three American and one French division and VII Corps four American and one British divisions under command, thus giving Third Army a total of nine divisions under its command, plus the armored cavalry regiments attached to both corps.

Third Army was the main striking force in Operation Desert Storm. Its units were on the left flank of the attacking force and swept into southern Iraq. They then turned east and engaged the Iraqi Republican Guard
Iraqi Republican Guard
The Iraqi Republican Guard was a branch of the Iraqi military during the presidency of Saddam Hussein. It later became the Republican Guard Corps, and then the Republican Guard Forces Command with its expansion into two corps....

 in fierce combat. Much of that force was destroyed. In terms of its immediate aims, the Persian Gulf War was a stunning success. The Iraqis were ejected from Kuwait and their forces were thoroughly mauled.

During the crisis, the 22nd Support Command served as the primary Logistics
Logistics is the management of the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of destination in order to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. Logistics involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling, and packaging, and...

 and Combat Service Support
Combat service support
Combat service support is a subset of military logistics. Combat service support is more limited in depth than logistics, as it primarily addresses those factors directly influencing combat operations.-United States Army:...

 organization for ARCENT during the Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Farewell
Operation Desert Farewell
In the first Gulf War, Operation Desert Farewell was the name given to the return of American units and equipment to the United States in 1991 after the liberation of Kuwait. Some U.S. Marine Corps units were diverted en route to conduct humanitarian assistance in flooded Bangladesh . Also called...

 portions of the operation. The Command was activated as the ARCENT SUPCOM (Provisional) on 19 August 1990, but had been in operation since 10 August 1990. All sources canvassed by author Thomas D. Dinackus indicate the command was redesignated the 22nd Support Command on 16 December 1990. During the conflict, the commander was Major General, and then Lieutenant General William Gus Pagonis
William Pagonis
Lieutenant General William Gus Pagonis was the director of Logistics during the Gulf War of 1991 and is widely recognized for his logistical achievements particularly during Desert Storm...

, who preferred that in casual conversation, he be called "Gus" rather than "William" or "Bill". When the Command was shut down, its command function was succeeded by the 1st Area Support Group.

Checking aggression

Third Army/ARCENT remained engaged in Southwest Asia after the end of the Persian Gulf War with various operations to enforce the cease fire.


In October 1994, ARCENT was again called upon to command, control, and deploy Army forces to Kuwait in support of freedom during Operation VIGILANT WARRIOR.

Operation VIGILANT WARRIOR was initiated in response to Saddam Hussein’s saber-rattling and posturing of Iraqi military forces along the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border. This act of aggression threatened to upset the delicate balance of peace in the region.

ARCENT's rapid generation and deployment of a formidable Army force clearly demonstrated U.S. resolve and commitment to its friends and allies in the region.


Less than one year later, Saddam Hussein would again deploy Iraqi forces close to its border with Kuwait. In August, Third Army/ARCENT provided command and control for a rapid deployment of a heavy brigade task force. Once more, Iraqi threats were decisively met while ARCENT simultaneously conducted a major training exercise in Egypt, "BRIGHT STAR 95," involving military forces from 6 other nations. This contingency operation validated critical procedures for deployment, particularly the off loading of equipment from floating prepositioning ships and its distribution to arriving soldiers. The deployment of a "Fly-Away Package" of key contingency staff also validated procedures for a rapidly deployed command and control group able to conduct combat operations immediately upon arrival. VIGILANT SENTINEL's immediate, measured, and effective response to Iraqi aggression quickly convinced Hussein to withdraw his forces from the Kuwaiti border.


In September 1996, Iraq violated United Nations sanctions by deploying forces north of the 36th Parallel
36th parallel north
The 36th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 36 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and attacking ethnic Kurds in Northern Iraq. In response to Hussein's refusal to cease these attacks on the Kurdish people, the U.S. launched cruise missile strikes against selected military targets inside Iraq. As tensions remained high in the region, a heavy brigade task force was deployed to Kuwait under the command of Third Army/ARCENT to deter potential retaliatory attacks on Kuwait. Hussein soon capitulated, withdrawing his military forces south of the 36th Parallel.


When Saddam Hussein blocked United Nations weapons inspections, tested the resolve of coalition commitment by violating the no-fly zone, and publicly threatened to shoot down U2 reconnaissance over-flights in the Fall of 1997, CENTCOM responded with a land, sea, and air strike force of more than 35,000 U.S. and coalition forces. In support of this powerful multi-service, multinational ground force, General Anthony C. Zinni, Commander-in-Chief, CENTCOM, established a permanent Coalition/ Joint Task Force (C/JTF), headquartered at Camp Doha, Kuwait, and commanded by Lieutenant General Tommy R. Franks, Commanding General, Third Army/ARCENT.

In addition to the U.S. and coalition forces already in Kuwait, a brigade task force from 3d Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga., rapidly deployed to Kuwait. Departing from Hunter Army Airfield, the brigade task force deployed 4,000 personnel and 2,900 short tons of equipment on 120 aircraft. Within 15 hours of landing at Kuwait City International Airport, the unit had drawn prepositioned equipment and was in battle positions in the desert. On 28 Feb., Coalition/Joint Task Force-Kuwait was prepared to defend Kuwait with a ground force strength of more than 9,000 personnel.

Argentina, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Hungary, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, United Kingdom, and Kuwait rounded out the C/JTF by providing liaison teams, aircraft support, special operations elements, Chemical/Biological, Base Defense Units, MASH units, and medical personnel.

Added to forces on the ground was equipment for two more brigades (one Army and one Marine) afloat in the Persian Gulf with the Maritime Preposition Force. These ships were poised to link up with soldiers and Marines who would draw their equipment and head to the front if required. Attack air provided by Navy, Air Force, and Coalition assets rounded out this formidable force.

This was the largest multinational force assembled in Southwest Asia since the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War.

The demonstrated capability to quickly deploy combat forces from around the world successfully deterred Iraqi aggression and helped reinstate compliance with the UN Weapons Inspection Program. In November 1998, when the work of the UN inspectors was again interrupted, Third Army quickly returned to the Persian Gulf to convince Saddam that the United States stood ready to enforce the terms of the cease-fire.


As Saddam Hussein violated United Nations sanctions and threatened regional stability, the United States began deploying to Kuwait and preparing for combat operations. Coalition/Joint Task Force-Kuwait, in place since DESERT THUNDER I, played a key role in the rapid deployment, reception, staging, onward movement, and integration of forces.

Units deploying to Kuwait included advance parties from the 3d Infantry Division and the 32d Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC), personnel from the Theater Support Command (TSC), Air Support Operations Center
Air Support Operations Center
Air Support Operations Command is a NATO term for a subsection of a tactical air control system located near a corps headquarters or some other land force headquarters, which directs and oversees close air support and similar sorts of tactical air support.Controls Tactical Air Control - Party and...

 (ASOC), and Marine Forces. In addition, the redeployment of the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in the Persian Gulf was placed on hold and a second Marine Expeditionary Unit was ordered to the Persian Gulf as reinforcement.

While forces were deploying to the Persian Gulf region, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan flew to Baghdad to meet with Saddam Hussein.

Following negotiations, Saddam Hussein agreed to allow uninterrupted resumption of United Nations weapons inspections. In mid-Nov, as the crisis defused, there were 2,300 personnel deployed to Kuwait in support of C/JTF-Kuwait.

Operation DESERT FOX

When Iraqi aircraft began challenging the established no-fly zones, and Iraqi Air Defense systems fired on allied aircraft in Dec. 1998, U.S. and U.K. forces responded with a massive display of firepower.

Allied air force and navy aircraft, and Cruise Missiles engaged command and control, communications, and selected Republican Guards targets on the morning of 16 Dec.. These concentrated attacks against Iraqi targets continued until the early morning of 19 Dec.

During the campaign, Third Army again deployed forces to defend Kuwait, and to reassure allies in the Persian Gulf region.

By late Dec, C/JTF-Kuwait consisted of approximately 6,000 personnel, including the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

After several months of diplomatic maneuver, Third Army was deployed in early 2003. The forces it had under its command for Operation Iraqi Freedom
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 were much smaller in numbers than those it had commanded twelve years before. It had V Corps as its main striking force, with only two complete divisions and an airborne brigade under that command. There was also I MEF, controlling a further two divisions and a brigade. However, numbers were made up for by the advances in technology which rendered this force one of incredible power. It took six weeks to complete the conquest of Iraq, with 3rd Infantry Division, the heavy armour component of V Corps moving faster than even Patton had managed during his great dash across France.

The aftermath of the campaign saw Third Army headquartered in Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, directing its third occupation within one hundred years.

Current role

As of July 2005 , Third U.S. Army is headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base
Shaw Air Force Base
Shaw Air Force Base is a United States Military facility located approximately west-northwest of Sumter, South Carolina. It is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force Air Combat Command...

 South Carolina with a forward element at Camp Arifjan
Camp Arifjan
Camp Arifjan is an Army installation located in the State of Kuwait which accommodates elements of the US Air Force, US Navy, US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard. The camp was funded and built by the government of Kuwait. Military personnel from the United Kingdom, Australia, Romania and Poland are...

, Kuwait. Administratively called ARCENT again, it continues to serve as the Army Component Command for CENTCOM, and the forward element is serving as the Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC). It provides support and services to theater ARFOR commands, as well as directed Army support to other services.

Previously, in Saudi Arabia, its bases include
King Abdul Aziz Air Base, Dhahran
Dhahran is a city located in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, and is a major administrative center for the Saudi oil industry. Large oil reserves were first identified in the Dhahran area in 1931, and in 1935 Standard Oil of California drilled the first commercially viable oil well...

, King Fahd Air Base, Taif, King Khalid Air Base, Khamis Mushayt, Eskan Village Air Base, and Riyadh Air Base
Riyadh Air Base
Riyadh Air Base is an airport near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Two runways 01-19 and 12-30. Recently they have made a new runway 15-33....

. The Army moved all its bases and equipment to Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

 in 2003.

Focusing primarily on the Middle East, Central Command and Third Army's area of responsibility (AOR) is a large and complex region. It stretches from the Central Asian States to the Horn of Africa. The AOR encompasses an area of approximately 6500000 square miles (16,834,922.7 km²) consisting of 27 countries populated by over 650 million people speaking 12 major languages and representing seven major religions. Within this strategically important region lay the historical crossroads of three continents, the majority of the world's oil and natural gas reserves, and the primary maritime link between Europe and Asia. Resources, differing geography, religious influences, and historical conflict have shaped this region for centuries and continue to do so today.

In keeping with US National Security Strategy, Third Army supports U.S. Central Command through a Theater Security Cooperation strategy that encompasses the four fundamentals of the National Military Strategy. Third Army maintains a continued forward presence, conducts joint and coalition exercises throughout the region, provides humanitarian assistance when needed, develops close partnerships with responsible nations, assists in demining efforts, and provides support to other military service components. Third Army is prepared to rapidly respond by developing and executing war plans and contingency missions as required. This strategy provides the President with a wide range of options to deter aggression and coercion from a forward presence posture, and to decisively defeat any adversary if deterrence fails across the full spectrum of conflict.

The Third Army will be moving to Shaw Air Force Base
Shaw Air Force Base
Shaw Air Force Base is a United States Military facility located approximately west-northwest of Sumter, South Carolina. It is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force Air Combat Command...

 in Sumter, South Carolina per BRAC recommendations.

Commanding generals

  • LTG Vincent K. Brooks CG (May 2011–present)
  • LTG William G. Webster CG (May 2009–May 2011)
  • LTG James J. Lovelace
    James J. Lovelace
    James J. Lovelace is a retired Lieutenant General and a native of Richmond, Virginia. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in Field Artillery upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1970.-Education:...

     CG (December 2007–May 2009)
  • LTG R. Steven Whitcomb
    R. Steven Whitcomb
    R. Steven Whitcomb is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant upon graduation from the University of Virginia in 1970...

     CG (October 2004–December 2007)
  • LTG David D. McKiernan
    David D. McKiernan
    David D. McKiernan is a retired United States Army four-star general who served in Afghanistan as Commander, International Security Assistance Force from June 3, 2008 to June 15, 2009. He served concurrently as Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan from October 6, 2008 to June 15, 2009.Prior to...

     CG (2002 to October 2004)
  • LTG Paul T. Mikolashek CG (2000–2002)
  • LTG Tommy Franks
    Tommy Franks
    Tommy Ray Franks is a retired general in the United States Army. His last Army post was as the Commander of the United States Central Command, overseeing United States Armed Forces operations in a 25-country region, including the Middle East...

     CG (1997–2000)
  • MG Robert Ivany
    Robert Ivany
    Dr. Robert Rudolph Ivany is the eighth president of the University of St. Thomas in Houston.-Military service:Ivany attended college at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In addition to earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S...

     CG (1997)
  • LTG Steven L. Arnold CG (1994–1997)
  • LTG James R. Ellis CG (1992–1994)
  • LTG John J. Yeosock
    John J. Yeosock
    Lieutenant General John J. Yeosock is a United States Army general who commanded the 3rd U.S. Army during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm....

     CG (1989–1992)
  • LTG Andrew Chambers CG (1987–1989)
  • LTG T.G. Jenes, Jr. CG (1984–1987)
  • LTG William J. Livsey
    William J. Livsey
    William James Livsey is a retired United States Army four star general who served as Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, United States Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth United States Army , 1984-1987.Livsey is a native of...

     CG (1983–1984)
  • LTG M. Collier Ross CG (1982–1983)

Unit Deactivated (1973–1982)

  • MG Warren Bennett CG (1973)
  • LTG Melvin Zais
    Melvin Zais
    General Melvin Zais was a United States Army general.General Zais attended the University of New Hampshire and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science. In 1937 he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. He attended the U.S...

     CG (20 June 1972 to 14 June 1973)
  • LTG Albert O. Connor CG (1969–1972)
  • LTG John L. Throckmorton
    John L. Throckmorton
    General John Lathrop Throckmorton was born in Kansas City, Missouri on February 28, 1913. After graduating from Culver Military Academy in 1931 he attended and graduated from the United States Military Academy on June 12, 1935, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry.In World...

     CG (1967–1969)
  • LTG Louis W. Truman
    Louis W. Truman
    Lieutenant General Louis W. Truman was the former Commanding General of Third U.S. Army. General Truman was cousin to 33rd President, Harry S. Truman, and served as his Aide-de-Camp during President Truman’s inauguration in 1948.-Military service:In 1926, General Truman enlisted in Company E,...

     CG (1965–1967)
  • LTG William C. Bullock Acting CG (1965)
  • LTG Charles W.G. Rich CG (1964–1965)
  • LTG John W. Bowen
    John W. Bowen
    John W. Bowen is a Republican politician who formerly served in the Ohio Senate. A veteran of World War II and an attorney, Bowen initially ran for the Ohio Senate in 1966, following the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Opposed by Jerry O'Shaughnessy, Bowen ultimately won the race by only 240 votes...

     Acting CG (1964)
  • LTG Albert Watson II CG (1963–1964)
  • LTG Hamilton H. Howze
    Hamilton H. Howze
    Hamilton Hawkins Howze was born in West Point, New York, while his father, Major General Robert Lee Howze, an 1888 West Point graduate, was serving as Commandant of the West Point.-Early career:...

     Acting CG (1962–1963)
  • LTG Thomas J. H. Trapnell
    Thomas J. H. Trapnell
    Thomas John Hall "Trap" Trapnell was a United States Armygeneral. Trapnell survived the Bataan Death March and the sinking of two transportation ships during...

     CG (1961–1962)
  • LTG Paul D. Adams
    Paul D. Adams
    General Paul DeWitt Adams was a General in the United States Army.Adams was born in Heflin, Alabama. After graduating from Marion Military Institute in 1924, he entered the United States Military Academy and graduated in 1928, receiving his commission in the Infantry.He served with as executive...

     CG (1960–1961)
  • LTG Thomas J. H. Trapnell
    Thomas J. H. Trapnell
    Thomas John Hall "Trap" Trapnell was a United States Armygeneral. Trapnell survived the Bataan Death March and the sinking of two transportation ships during...

     CG (1960)
  • LTG Herbert B. Powell
    Herbert B. Powell
    Herbert Butler Powell was a U.S. Army General, and Commanding General of the U.S. Continental Army Command, and U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand.-Early live & career:...

     CG (1960)
  • LTG Robert F. Sink Acting CG (1960)
  • LTG Clark L. Ruffner
    Clark L. Ruffner
    General Clark Louis Ruffner was born January 12, 1903, in Buffalo, New York, and graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1924. Most of his early career was spent in various cavalry units until his appointment as Assistant Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Norwich University in...

     CG (1958–1960)
  • LTG Thomas F. Hickey
    Thomas Francis Hickey (general)
    Thomas Francis Hickey was a United States Army Lieutenant General.-Early Life and start of military career:Hickey was born in South Boston, Massachusetts on April 1, 1898. In 1916 he enlisted as a Private and served until 1917...

     CG (1955–1958)
  • LTG Alexander Bolling CG (1952–1955)
  • MG William A. Beiderlinden CG (1952)
  • GEN John R. Hodge
    John R. Hodge
    General John Reed Hodge was a general in the United States Army.-Early life and Career:Being born in Golconda, Illinois, Hodge attended Southern Illinois Teachers College and the University of Illinois. After completing U.S. Army Officer Candidate School at Fort Sheridan, he entered military...

     CG (1950–1952)
  • LTG Alvan C. Gillem, Jr. CG (1947–1950)
  • LTG Edward H. Brooks
    Edward H. Brooks
    Edward Hale Brooks was a decorated officer in the United States Army and a veteran of World War I, World War II and the Korean War...

     Acting CG (1947)
  • LTG Oscar Griswold
    Oscar Griswold
    Oscar Wollverton Griswold was an American soldier and General in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his command of the XIV Corps in the South Pacific Area and South West Pacific Area during World War II.-Early life:Oscar Woolverton Griswold was born on 22 October 1886 in Ruby...

     CG (1947)
  • MG Ernest N. Harmon
    Ernest N. Harmon
    Ernest Nason Harmon was a United States Army general. He is best known for his actions in reorganizing U.S. II Corps after the debacle at the Battle of the Kasserine Pass in North Africa during World War II....

     CG (1947)
  • LTG Geoffrey Keyes
    Geoffrey Keyes
    -External links:...

     CG (1946–1947)
  • GEN Lucian K. Truscott, Jr.
    Lucian Truscott
    Lucian King Truscott, Jr. was a U.S. Army General, who successively commanded the 3rd Infantry Division, VI Corps, U.S. Fifteenth Army and U.S. Fifth Army during World War II.-Early life:...

     CG (7 October 1945 to April 1946)
  • GEN George S. Patton, Jr. CG (1 August 1944 to November 1945)
  • GEN Courtney Hodges
    Courtney Hodges
    General Courtney Hicks Hodges was an American military officer, most prominent for his role in World War II, in which he commanded the First United States Army in Northwest Europe.-Early life and military career:...

     CG (1943–1944)
  • GEN Walter Krueger
    Walter Krueger
    Walter Krueger was an American soldier of German descent and General in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his command of the Sixth United States Army in the South West Pacific Area during World War II...

     CG (1941–1943)
  • LTG Herbert J. Brees
    Herbert J. Brees
    Herbert Jay Brees was a lieutenant general in the United States Army.-Early military career:Brees was born in Laramie, Wyoming on June 12, 1877. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a BS in 1897 and earned his L.L.D in 1939....

     CG (1940–1941)
  • LTG Stanley D. Embick CG (1938–1940)
  • MG George V.H. Moseley CG (1936–1938)
  • MG Frank Parker CG (1936)
  • MG Johnson Hagood CG (1933–1936)
  • MG Edwin B. Winans
    Edwin B. Winans (U.S. Army general)
    Edwin Baruch Winans was an American general- Early life :Winans was born in Hamburg, Michigan as the son of the Hon. Edwin B. Winans, Governor of Michigan...

     CG (1932–1933)

Unit Deactivated (1919–1932)

  • LTG Hunter Liggett
    Hunter Liggett
    Hunter Liggett was a lieutenant general of the United States Army. His forty-two years of service spanned the period from the Indian campaigns to trench warfare.-Biography:...

     CG (20 April 1919 to 2 July 1919)
  • MG Joseph T. Dickman
    Joseph T. Dickman
    Joseph Theodore Dickman was born in Dayton, Ohio. He attended the University of Dayton and graduated in the class of 1871. In 1881 he graduated from the U.S...

     CG (7 November 1918 to 20 April 1919)

Deputy Commanding General

  1. MG Gary Cheek DCG (2011-present
  2. MG Peter Vangjel DCG (2009 – 2011)
  3. MG Charles A. Anderson (2008–2009)
  4. MG Dennis E. Hardy DCG (2006–2008)
  5. MG James A. Kelley DCG (2005–2006)
  6. MG Gary D. Speer DCG (2004–2005)
  7. MG Stephen M. Speakes DCG
  8. MG Antonio M. Taguba DCG
  9. MG Henry Stratman DCG
  10. MG William G. Webster DCG (2002–2003)
  11. MG Warren C. Edwards DCG (1999–2002)
  12. MG Charles C. Campbell DCG (1998–1999)

Command Sergeant Major

  1. CSM John D. Fourhman CSM (2008 – present)
  2. CSM Franklin G. Ashe CSM (2005–2008)
  3. CSM Julian A. Kellman CSM (2004–2005)
  4. CSM John D. Sparks CSM (2002–2004)
  5. CSM Vincent M. Myers CSM (2000–2002)
  6. CSM Dwight J. Brown CSM (2000)
  7. CSM Robert T. Hall CSM (1996–2000)

Chief of Staff

  1. COL Kevin M. Batule CofS (2008 – present)
  2. COL William Norman
    William Norman
    William Norman VC was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Details:...

     CofS (2006–2008)
  3. COL Richard P. McEvoy CofS (2004–2006)
  4. COL John L. Della Jacono CofS (2003–2004)
  5. MG Robert Blackman
    Robert Blackman
    Robert John Blackman , better known as Bob Blackman, is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom who has been the Member of Parliament for Harrow East since 2010...

     CofS (2002–2003)
  6. COL John L. Della Jacono CofS (2002)
  7. COL Mark S. Wentlent CofS (2000–2002)
  8. COL Peter J. Deperro CofS (1997–2000)

Units of the Third Army

  • 1st Sustainment Command (Theater): 26 APR 2006 – present
  • V Corps: 1945–??, 1990–91, 2003–??
  • VII Corps: 1990–91
  • XII Corps
    XII Corps (United States)
    The XII Corps fought from northern France to Austria in World War II. Constituted in the Organized Reserves in 1933, it was activated on 29 August 1942 at Columbia, South Carolina. XII Corps became operational in France as part of Lieutenant General George S. Patton's U.S. Third Army on 1 August...

    : 1944–??
  • XVIII Airborne Corps: 1990–??
  • 87th Infantry Division Nov. 1944
  • 4th Armored Division July 1944

External links

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