The 7th Infantry Division headquarters, which was reactivated in 2012 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, will reorganize into a deployable unit, the Army announced Tuesday.
The move, directed by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, is the result of new demands placed on the Army and the "sudden instability" in places such as Iraq and Africa that has led to an increased demand for deployable command and control headquarters, according to the Army announcement.
"The complexity of these environments requires readily available, high-level leadership cadres drawn from divisional headquarters, to provide oversight over deployed units and interact with local and international partners," the Army said in its announcement.
Most of the Army's 10 active-duty division headquarters are committed around the world. This includes the 1st Infantry Division headquarters, which is serving in Iraq, and the 101st Airborne Division, which is in West Africa.
Serving in Afghanistan are the 3rd Infantry Division headquarters and an element from the 1st Cavalry Division headquarters.
The 1st Armored Division has an element in Jordan, the 2nd and 25th Infantry Divisions are committed in the Pacific, the 4th Infantry Division is aligned with Europe, and the 82nd Airborne Division is the global response force, while the 10th Mountain Division just returned from a tour in Afghanistan.
Officials have not announced a deployment for the 7th Infantry Division, which will maintain its training and oversight responsibilities for forces at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The division, which is currently led by Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, was reactivated in October 2012 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to provide training and readiness support to designated units on the installation.
At the time, the headquarters was meant to provide command and control of five brigades on post, including the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division; 3rd SBCT, 2nd Infantry Division; and the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade.
The 7th Infantry Division was originally activated as the 7th Division in December 1917 in World War I; it was subsequently inactivated and reactivated four additional times until its most recent inactivation in August 2006, according to the Army. The division is best known for its participation in the Pacific theater of World War II, where it took heavy casualties engaging the Imperial Japanese Army in the Aleutian Islands, Leyte and Okinawa.
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.