News: Task Force Wolf howls during Cadet Summer Training
Story by Staff Sgt. Shejal Pulivarti
FORT KNOX, Ky. – The 104th Training Division has a rich history. Task Force Wolf, which is primarily composed of 104th Soldiers and augmented with other specialty Reserve units, intends to stay true to its heritage throughout this summer at Fort Knox, Ky. Outside its headquarters building, the Task Force proudly posts a newly-made guidon. Although new, the guidon reflects the unit's roots. Its dark green background still represents where the division's home base is located-the northwest, and the alert and vocal timberwolf making its presence known.
“The Soldiers of Task Force Wolf come from all over the country and from various subordinate units, but we are all part of the pack and charged with a very important mission— to train and mentor the future officers of the Army. The Timberwolf Division is known for its effectiveness and success in all its missions whether at war or in times of peace. The division has a long history of being professional trainers for the U.S. Army and we will continue that tradition of mission success this summer at Fort Knox,” said U.S. Army Reserve Maj. Aaron Combs, executive officer, Task Force Wolf. “I am a firm believer that it is vital we embrace our history, which is why I thought it was necessary for us to have our guidon posted. It gives the Soldiers a symbol to draw pride from and it showcases where we come from.”
The 104th Training Division was activated June 24, 1921 in Salt Lake City, Utah, as an infantry unit in the U.S. Army specifically trained to conduct nighttime combat operations during World War II.
Drawing its Soldiers from Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, the unit was known as the Frontier Division. The Soldiers bore a patch with a grey wolf’s head on a green background to denote this.
The howling timberwolf represents the heartiness and vigor of life in the western states, tenacity in pursuit of mission accomplishment and unity of purpose associated with familial behavior. A silver grenade and silver stylized bayonet represent their preparedness and capabilities, and the dark green scroll inscribed with NIGHTFIGHTERS symbolizes their specific mission training—support nighttime combat operations. The Timberwolves developed a night infiltration strategy of using only hand grenades and bayonets in their attacks. This way they knew any small arms fire was the enemy and they could then engage with grenades or in close combat with bayonets.
During WWII, the unit was involved and pivotal in many offensive and defensive missions across Europe. After victory in Europe, the division was demobilized in 1945.
The division was reactivated the following year in Portland, Ore., as part of the U.S. Army Reserve. Upon reactivation, the
division took responsibility of training programs for new Soldiers.
In 1959, the division was reorganized specifically as a training division proving its capability. The unit moved and set up its current and permanent headquarters in Washington in 1961. The most current change was in renaming the unit in October 2007 to 104th Training Division (Leader Training). This reflects the division’s mission in specifically training officer and noncommissioned officer candidates in their assigned fields. Today, the Division supports Cadet Summer Training, which educates and trains college students to be potential officers and leaders in the U.S. Army. The Task Force provides U.S. Army Reserve drill sergeants and trainers to facilitate the different training events. Almost a century after the division’s initial activation, the 104th is still howling.