63rd Infantry Division – On 15 March, 1945 the 63rd Infantry Division smashed through the Siegfried Line east of Saarbrucken, Germany. Two weeks later they would cross the Rhine. Hard still fighting lay ahead, but the Siegfried Line was Germany’s last attempt to defend its prewar boundaries along the western front. This was a significant moment in the 63rd Infantry’s history — with the Siegfried Line gone, fighting could only move deeper into Germany and closer to an Allied victory.
The 63rd Infantry Division had been activated on June 15, 1943, at Camp Blanding, Florida. Shortly thereafter it moved to Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi, to prepare for deployment to Europe. On three occasions during the next 17 months, the division trained up recruits only to have them cross-leveled to other divisions heading for theater. The first elements of the Division, anxious to get in the fight, finally arrived in Europe in December 1944 and were joined by the rest of the Division in January.
From then until the end of the war, the 63rd Division carved a path of “blood and fire” from Sarreguemines through Worms, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Gunzburg and Landsberg. Its regiments would earn 7 Presidential Unit Citations and capture over 21,000 enemy soldiers. The 254th Infantry Regiment was awarded a French Croix de Guerre with Palm for actions in the Colmar Pocket. Two soldiers, SSG John R. Crews and 1LT James R. Robinson, Jr., were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The 63rd returned home after the war and was deactivated on 27 September, 1945.
The 63rd Infantry Division was reactivated in February of 1952 and assigned to the Army Reserve, with headquarters in Los Angeles, California. The division was again deactivated in December 1965, and the colors were transferred to the 63rd Reinforcement Training Unit.
63rd Army Reserve Command- On January 1, 1968, the division was reactivated and redesignated as the 63rd Army Reserve Command (ARCOM). The command encompassed Army Reserve units in southern California, Arizona, and Nevada. From 1990 to 1991 over 2,500 Army Reserve Soldiers from the 63rd ARCOM served on active duty in support of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Twenty-two of the command’s units were mobilized, with fourteen of them deploying to the Persian Gulf.
63rd Regional Readiness Command – In April 1995, the 63rd was redesignated the 63rd Regional Support Command — later changed to Regional Readiness Command (RRC) — and its geographic boundaries were realigned to coincide with those of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The 63rd maintained command and control of 14,000 Soldiers and 140 units in the states of California, Arizona and Nevada, and assumed additional responsibility to support the major reserve commands within its area. The 63rd RRCsupported both foreign and domestic active Army missions, including participation in NATO operations in Bosnia and Kosovo. Since 2001, thousands of Soldiers from the 63rd RRC have answered the nation’s call to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.
63rd Regional Support Command – In September 2008 the 63rd RRC combined with the 90th RRC and was redesignated the 63d Regional Support Command, with headquarters in Moffett Field, California. As a key component of the ArmyReserve’s transition to an Operational Force, the newly formed 63d RSCwill forgo command and control of units in favor if a greatly expanded area of responsibility.