The 85th Support Command’s nine Brigade Support Elements and 46 Army Reserve Battalions—dispersed across the continental United States and Puerto Rico—are operationally controlled by First Army. In their support role, the 85th Support Command maintains readiness for these Soldiers in support of Pre-Deployment, Post-Deployment and Rotational Distributed Forces.
The unit history traces back to the 85th Infantry Division, also known as “Custer Division,” which was named after the cavalry commander George Armstrong Custer.
The division first activated on August 25, 1917, at Camp Custer, Michigan, and after a year of training left the U.S. for England. Rerouted from England, part of the 85th ID sailed to Archangel, Russia, to fight beside the White Army in the Russian Civil War against Bolshevik forces as part of the Polar Bear Expedition.
On May 15, 1942, the 85th ID was reactivated at Camp Shelby,Mississippi, for service in World War II.The 85th ID left the United States and arrived in Casablanca,French Morocco, 2 January 1944.
The Division was committed to action as a unit, 10 April 1944, in Italy north of the Garigliano River, facing the Gustav Line, and held defensive positions for a month.Driving on Rome, the 85th pushed through Monte Compatri and Frascati.
It entered Rome and advanced to Viterbo before being relieved, 10 June. Throughout the campaign, the division suffered some 7,268 casualties with 1,717 killed in action. Four Soldiers from the division earned the Medal of Honor during WWII.
In late 2001, members of the now 85th Training Support Division were used as Observer Controller/Trainers (OC/T) to facilitate mobilization training for 780 National Guard Soldiers.The culminating event, a week of intense mission-focused training, was used validate the infantry units to perform Homeland Security missions in support of Operation Noble Eagle.
The 4th Cavalry Brigade (USAR) accomplished the validation mission by developing and executing lanes for Homeland Security individual readiness training and stability and support operations.The 85th Training Support Division reorganized into the 85thArmy Reserve Support Command is headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.