The 187th Infantry Brigade with the 373rd and 374th Regiments established the U.S. Army Reserve in Puerto Rico in 1922. Now 5,000 strong, they are the largest U.S. Army command in the Caribbean.
Rep.Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-PR), the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, introduced a House Resolution to observe the 100th anniversary of the command. “As we approach the 100th anniversary of its organization,” she said, “it is befitting to pause to commemorate and recognize the contributions of its veterans and continuing contributions of its soldiers to vital national security interests and homeland defense.”
The history of the Reserve in Puerto Rico
- In 1922, 187th Infantry Brigade, a World War I unit, was organized as Army Reserve in San Juan.
- From July 14, 1939 to July 7, 1945, 119 enlisted and 513 officers from the Organized Reserve in Puerto Rico served in World War II.
- On July 9, 1952, the Organized Reserve was renamed the Army Reserve, in Puerto Rico as well as across the nation.
- In September 1990 through October 1991, more than 1,000 soldiers were activated in support of the Gulf War.
- After the events of September 11,2001, they deployed more than 5,000 soldiers for operations Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom, and others.
- On October 19, 2007, the unit was given its current name: 1st Mission Support Command.
- As the U.S. Army Reserve Caribbean Geographical Command, they responded to Hurricane Maria in communities across the territory.
The unit has been in active service many times, reverting to Reserve status as needed. Their bilingual skills are a special capability, along with engineering, logistics services, and military police capacity.
“As the 1st Mission Support Command in Puerto Rico stands in the threshold of a new century, we are confident that the strong roots developed during the last 100 years have prepared the men and woman of this command to respond to the challenges that war or nature could bring in the future,” said Gonzalez-Colon. “It is in this context that I request that this body joins with me to recognize and commend the 1st Mission Command for the selfless and dedicated service of its past and present citizen-soldiers whose personal courage, contributions, and sacrifices have helped preserve the freedom and advance the national security and homeland defense of the United States of America.”