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256th Signal Company
3256th Signal Company
17FABdeSSI.jpg
Shoulder sleeve insignia of the 17th Field Artillery Brigade
Active 1944–1946, 1953–1955
1960–1967, 1974–1975
1969–1994, 2008–present
Country  United States
Branch

 United States Army

Type Military communications unit
Size Company
Part of XX Corps (World War II)
17th Field Artillery Brigade
Garrison/HQ Fort Lewis, Washington
Motto(s) "Mercury!"
"Find a Way or Make One"
Engagements

The 256th Signal Company is a military communications unit of the United States Army, belonging to the Signal Corps. The company was first activated in 1944 and later disbanded and reformed several times until finally forming once again 2008. The company now serves the 17th Field Artillery Brigade, providing brigade level communications in the brigade's role as the HIMARS brigade for I Corps.

History

The 256th Signal Company can trace its history back to the 3256th Signal Company constituted on 12th April 1944 in the Army of the United States. On 24th April 1944, the company was activated in the United Kingdom and subsequently assigned to XX Corps. As part of XX Corps, the company provided service communications and alongside 69th Signal Battalion provided communications for XX Corps under XX Corps Special Troops.[1] The company served under XX Corps during the campaigns in mainland Europe, including the Northern France campaign, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and later Central European campaigns. Following the end of the Second World War, XX Corps was disbanded and the company returned to the Continental United States, settling at Camp Kilmer in New Jersey. On 28th January 1946, the company was inactivated.[2]

On 25th March 1953, the company was renamed as 256th Signal Company, allotted to the Regular Army and activated at Camp Gordon in Georgia. Just two years later however, on 1st November 1955 the company was inactivated.[2]

On 1st May 1960 the company was reactivated in France, but inactivated on 1st July 1967 in West Germany. On 1st June 1974, the company was again reactivated but inactivated a year later on 1st July 1975 in West Germany. On 1st October 1979, the company was activated for the last time at Fort Rucker in Alabama, however following the end of the Cold War, the company was finally inactivated on 15th September 1994. During the company's time in West Germany, the unit formed part of the 1st Signal Group.[2][3]

As part of the reorganisation of the United States Army in the early 2000s, the 17th Field Artillery Brigade moved from Fort Sill in Oklahoma to Fort Lewis in Washington and renamed the 17th Fires Brigade. On 16th May 2008, the 256th Signal Company was reactivated as assigned as the brigade communications unit for the 17th Fires Brigade. Shortly after, the company join the 308th Brigade Support Battalion. The brigade deployed to Basra Province in Iraq in the summer of 2009, and the company granted campaign credit for the War on Terrorism. Following their return in 2010, the company was granted the Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) with a streamer embroidered 'IRAQ 2009–2010'.[2][4][5][6]

On 19th February 2014, the 17th Fires Brigade was renamed as the 17th Field Artillery Brigade once more and joined I Corps as the corps-level MLRS artillery formation. Following this change, the company left the control of the 308th Brigade Support Battalion, and was moved under direct control of the brigade. Today the company continues to provide brigade-level communications for the 17th Field Artillery Brigade.[2][7][8]

Lineage & Honors

Lineage[2]

  • Constituted 12 April 1944 in the Army of the United States as the 3256th Signal Company
    • Activated 25 April 1944 in England
    • Inactivated 28 January 1946 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey
  • Redesignated 25 March 1953 as the 256th Signal Company, allotted to the Regular Army, and activated at Camp Gordon, Georgia
    • Inactivated 1 November 1955 at Camp Gordon, Georgia
  • Activated 1 May 1960 in France
    • Inactivated 1 July 1967 in Germany
  • Activated 1 June 1974 in Germany
    • Inactivated 1 July 1975 in Germany
  • Activated 1 October 1979 at Fort Rucker, Alabama
    • Inactivated 15 September 1994 at Fort Rucker, Alabama
  • Activated 16 May 2008 at Fort Lewis, Washington

Campaign Participation Credit[2]

  • World War II
    • Northern France
    • Rhineland
    • Ardennes-Alsace
    • Central Europe
  • War on Terrorism
    • Campaigns to be determined

Decorations[2]

Footnotes

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