Home : About Us : Our History
100 Years of History
Looking for high-res versions of these photos? Visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/7armyjmtc/albums/72157635200176642.
The History of 7th Army

2016 Name Change2016

In 2016, the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command was returned to its original designation as the 7th Army Training Command.

2008

7ATC's Joint Multinational Simulation Center opens a 50,000-square-foot facility for digital models, simulations and virtual training.

2005 ACU Patch2005

The Seventh Army Training Command changes its name to the Joint Multinational Training Command and is the command element for Grafenwoehr Training Area, Combat Maneuver Training Center in Hohenfels, the Combined Arms Training Center in Vilseck, and the Training Support Activity, Europe. The JMTC assisted the militaries of the former Warsaw Pact countries and Russia in transforming their forces and our NATO allies in preparation for current conflicts.

At the same time, CMTC transformed into the Joint Multinational Readiness Center.

1975 Grafenwoehr becomes headquarters of the Seventh Army Training Center1975

Grafenwoehr becomes the headquarters for the Seventh U.S. Army Training Center, which becomes the Seventh Army Training Command the following year.

1972

The Seventh Army Training Center is responsible for all U.S. Army training activities in Europe.

1969

About 12,000 Soldiers come from the U.S. to join the 220,000-man, U.S. Seventh Army in West Germany.

1967

U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army Headquarters merge at Heidelberg.

1959 Grafenwoehr becomes headquarters of the Seventh Army Training Center1959

Grafenwoehr becomes headquarters of the Seventh Army Training Center, incorporating the Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas to become the largest training complex in Germany.

Rose Barracks becomes the home of the Seventh Army Combined Arms School.

1953

Between 1950 and 1953, the camp was renovated to the form and structure seen today. The construction projects completed in this time frame included, among others, the field camps Tunesia, Cheb, Kasserine, Aachen, Algiers and Normandy. These facilities could house 42,000 troops.

1950 Ceremony1950

The U.S. Seventh Army is reactivated and the headquarters is created from the Constabulary headquarters at Stuttgart. A year later, V and VII Corps arrive in Europe and are assigned to Seventh Army.

1948

The U.S. Army officially re-opens Grafenwoehr Training Area was as a designated tank training center.

1947

The U.S. Seventh Army is deactivated.

1945 Tanks in Snow1945

During the Battle of the Bulge, the Seventh Army extended its flanks to take over much of the Third Army area which allowed the Third to relieve surrounded U.S. forces at Bastogne. Along with the French First Army, the Seventh went on the offensive in February of 1945 and eliminated the enemy pocket in the Colmar area. The Seventh then went into the Saar, crossed the Rhine, captured Nürnberg and Munich, crossed the Brenner Pass, and made contact with the Fifth Army – once again on Italian soil. In less than nine months of continuous fighting, the Seventh had advanced over 1,000 miles and for varying times had commanded 24 American and Allied Divisions.

In May 1945, after the surrender of Germany, the U.S. Army occupied the Grafenwoehr Training Area.

1944 Photo of Newspaper1944

In March, Lieutenant General Alexander Patch was assigned to command the Seventh Army which moved to Naples, Italy. In August, Seventh Army units assaulted the beaches of southern France in the St. Tropez and St. Raphael area. Within one month, the Army employing three American Divisions, five French Divisions, and the first Airborne Task Force had advanced 400 miles and had joined with the Normandy forces. In the process, the Seventh Army had liberated Marseilles, Lyon, Toulon, and all of Southern France. The Army them assaulted the German forces in the Vosges Mountains, broke into the Alsatian Plain, and reached the Rhine River after capturing the city of Strasbourg.

7ATC Shoulder Patch1943

The Seventh Army was the first U.S. Field Army to see combat in WWII and was activated at sea when the I Armored Corps under the command of Lieutenant General George Patton was re-designated July 10, 1943. The Seventh Army landed on several beaches in southern Sicily and captured the city of Palermo July 22 and along with the British Eighth Army captured Messina Aug. 16. During the fighting, elements of the Seventh Army killed or captured more than 113,000 enemy soldiers.

The shoulder patch for the Seventh Army was approved June 23. The letter “A” for “Army” is formed by seven steps indicating the numerical designation of the unit. The colors suggest the three basic combat branches which make up a field army – blue for Infantry, red for Artillery, and yellow for Armor (Cavalry). Veterans of the Seventh Army wore a tab reading “Seven Steps to Hell” under the patch, but this tab was never officially authorized.  

CATC History
CATC LogoThe 7th Army Training Command's Combined Arms Training Center (CATC) was originally established at Vilseck, Germany, in 1948 as the U.S. Constabulary Tank Training Center. In 1949, it came under the command of Seventh Army. In 1958, the Tank Training Center was re-designated as the Seventh Army Training Center.

In 1959, the organization was re-designated as the Seventh Army Combined Arms School and training was expanded to include personnel from the infantry, armor and field artillery.

In 1970, sustainment courses were added and as a result, the organization was re-designated on July 1, 1971, as the U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) Combined Arms Training Center. Over the coming years, USAREUR moved the combat support courses formerly held at the Combat Support Training Center at Oberammergau to CATC at Vilseck. Later, CATC assumed responsibility for courses of instruction for Military Intelligence, Military Police, NBC Defense, logistics, Systems Design, command, management and others.

In January 1974, it was re-designated as the Seventh Army Combined Arms Training Center and since then, has operated under that name.

ISTC History

ISTC LogoThe ISTC, formerly known as International Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol School, dates back to 1974 when, at a EURO-NATO Army Sub-Group Conference, it was suggested to centralize the training of LRRP units and Special Forces in a joint training facility. In 1980, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom signed the first MOU, Greece joined the MOU in 1981, USA in 1986, Norway in 1989, Italy in 1991, Netherlands in 1992, Denmark in 1994, Turkey in 1999, and Romania in 2017.

In 2000, the US took over as Lead Nation. In 2001, ILRRPS became ISTC.

GTA History

GTA Logo2010

Grafenwoehr celebrates its centennial birthday, 100 years, a century of training.

2007

GTA is approved for a series of Department of the Army range projects.

1997

Planning begins for the construction of a Multi-Purpose Range Complex at the Grafenwoehr Training Area.

1985

Major upgrades are completed at Grafenwoehr facilities, and the ranges are renumbered.

1981

From 1981 to 1993, the U.S. Army extends and enlarges Rose Barracks, the southern tip of the Grafenwoehr Training Area.

1965

GTA offers jungle and counter guerilla training for personnel deploying to Vietnam.

1958

Pvt. Elvis Presley visits Grafenwoehr for six weeks of winter training with his unit. He returns in 1960 to train and participate in the NATO exercise “Winter Shield.”

1956

The U.S. establishes a co-use agreement for Camps Algier and Normandy for joint training and maneuvers.

The first German Bundeswehr soldiers arrive and are billeted at Camp Normandy at GTA. By 1957, Bundeswehr tanks and soldiers take to the Grafenwoehr Ranges.

1950

From 1950 to 1953 large construction projects change the face of the Training Area. The Barracks “Tunisia,” “Cheb,” "Kasserine,” and Camps Aachen, Algiers and Normandy are added. These facilities combined are capable of housing more than 42,000 troops.

1947

The U.S. Constabulary establishes a training area for the newly activated 370th and 371st Infantry Battalions. The area between Grafenwoehr and Vilseck will be used.

1946

Americans start training at Grafenwoehr. Tankers attend courses at the 7th Army Tank Training Center near Vilseck, Germany, while artillery and infantry units train at both the GTA and at Wildflecken training areas.

A Prisoner of War collection point is established.

1945

April - Two allied bombing raids take place on the town and post. U.S. 3rd Army Soldiers fighting their way through Bavaria arrive to accept the surrender of the GTA 10 days later.

1944

Mussolini visits the GTA to inspect and observe Italy’s San Marco Division training.

1938

Hitler visits Grafenwoehr and observes an obstacle breaching exercise. GTA has rifle and machine-gun ranges, combat infantry and armor ranges, and possesses an authentic bunker/pillbox system for training overcoming defensive obstacles.

1936

The second great expansion of Grafenwoehr takes place by order of the War Ministry in Berlin. The GTA doubles by 35,000 acres to the west of the existing camp to accommodate the stupendous growth of the resurgent Wehrmacht, more than 3,500 civilians are relocated outside the training area.

1926

The Artillery Observation tower at Schwartzenberg Hill, known today as the Bleidorn Tower is complete.

1924

Germany explores the use of tanks in an offensive role at the Grafenwoehr Training Area.

1918

After November 11, the Grafenwoehr Training Area is converted into a demobilization point.

April - The POW camp at the training area is closed.

1914

Grafenwoehr becomes a major Prisoner of War (POW) camp. By the end of 1915, The POW population at Grafenwoehr is more than 15,000 men. 

1913

By 1913, the Grafenwoehr airfield, named 'Airfield Hammergmuend' is a fully operational facility for the new science of military aeronautics.

1911

By January 1911, more than 10,000 Bavarian soldiers are training at the GTA.

1910

Grafenwoehr’s first Commander, General Oskar Menzel, arrives at the new training area. The iconic Grafenwoehr water tower is completed. On June 30th Soldiers from the 2nd Royal Bavarian Foot Artillery Regiment fired the first round on the Grafenwoehr Training Area, a 150 mm Field Howitzer. It fell 800 meters short of its target.

JMRC History

JMRC LogoThe Hohenfels Training Area is located in the Free State of Bavaria in the Oberfalz (Upper Palatinate) and is named after the market town of Hohenfels.

Throughout Bavaria's history, there were many armies that roamed this region. The city of Regensburg was founded by the Romans in 179 A.D. and maintained an outpost here at this location. In 788 A.D., Charlemagne pulled Bavaria into his empire. In the 1600s, the Swedes occupied Regensburg and Napolean was based in Regensburg in 1809 during his battle with the Austrians.

The Hohenfels Training Area was originally founded by the German Army for military training April 1, 1938. From late 1939 to early spring 1940, more than 3,000 Polish non-commissioned officers and soldiers were interned at Unteroedenhart. This was one of the Wehrmacht's prime training areas where they rehearsed breaching the Maginot Line and invading France.

During the fall of 1942, approximately 7,000 prisoners of war from the British Empire and the U.S. were permanently billeted in Camp Unteroedenhart. On April 22, 1945, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment of Patton'sThird Army entered the training area with only nine tanks and limited resistance from German and Hungarian troops, liberating the POWs. The training area was opened for the resettlement of refugees and expelles from Soviet-occupied German territories in 1948. These settlers were integrated into the community of "Hohenfels-Nainhof," which became one of the largest rural communities in Bavaria.

However, three years later, U.S. forces claimed the area for military training purposes and requested its expansion to the west. In a meeting hosted August 17, 1951 in Petersberg -- among the German government, the State Government of Bavaria, the Land Commissioner of Bavaria, and U.S. Army representatives -- an agreement was reached to extend the training area to its current size of about 40,017 acres.

By 1984, the training area had 52 ranges within its firing and maneuver area and a MILES warehouse that held enough equipment for 15 companies. REFORGER exercises and HAWK missile sites became primary missions to the HTA.

Due to increasing training requirements, U.S. Army Europe in 1987 formed the Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) at Hohenfels Training Area, creating the Army's third combat training center. In 1990, an Opposing Force (OPFOR) was added, the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment (1-4 IN). With the opening of the CMTC, Hohenfels Training Area became the primary maneuver training area for USAREUR Soldiers.

In 2005, the CMTC transformed and became the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, or JMRC.

JMSC History

JMSC LogoIn 2008, the Joint Multinational Simulation Center opens a state-of-the-art 50,000-square-foot facility for digital models, simulations and virtual training.

JMTG-U History

JMTGU LogoTennessee National Guards 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment is scheduled to deploy to support JMTG-U for nine months starting in the summer of 2018.

In 2017, Oklahoma National Guard's 27th Infantry Brigade Combat team deployed for nine months to man the day-to-day JMTG-U mission, followed by New York National Guard's 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team who are supporting the mission until summer 2018.

In 2016, California Army National Guard took over the on-ground mission as a longtime partner with Ukraine in the National Guard's State Partnership Program. The oversight of the now Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine mission shifted to 7ATC.

In 2015, U.S. Army Europe began supporting Ukrainian security forces and deployed 173rd Airborne Brigade to support the Fearless Guardian mission at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center.

NCOA History

NCOA LogoThe Seventh Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy was originally established as the United States Constabulary Noncommissioned Officer Academy and is the oldest NCO Academy in the Army. Due to the shortage of NCOs in the Constabulary, Major General I. D. White, Commanding General of the U.S. Constabulary, directed then Brigadier General Bruce C. Clarke, Commanding General of the 2d Constabulary Brigade, to open a school for the purpose of training NCOs. The first class was enrolled on 17 October 1949, with BG Bruce C. Clarke as the Commandant. The Academy was designated the Seventh Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy on 1 November 1951, when the Seventh United States Army absorbed the functions and facilities of the Constabulary.

At its inception, the Academy occupied two adjoining Kasernes: Stetten Kaserne and Jensen barracks, located in Munich, Germany. On 31 October 1958, after nine years in the Bavarian capital, the Academy moved to its second location at Flint Kaserne, Bad Toelz, Germany. In January of 1972, the office of the Commandant, which up until that time was held by a general grade or field grade officer, was officially designated as a Command Sergeant Major position. The first enlisted Commandant was CSM Lawrence T. Hickey.

In July of 1983, a significant change took place in the program of instruction. The curriculum changed from the Primary Leadership Course (PLC) to the Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC). Effective 4 September 1990, the Seventh Army NCO Academy relocated to and became a tenant unit of the Grafenwoehr Training Area (GTA). In January of 1999, the Academy added a third PLDC training company, which made it the largest PLDC in the United States Army. In October of 2005, the Academy transformed the Program of Instruction from PLDC to the Warrior Leader Course and in October of 2015 it changed to the Basic Leader Course; utilizing Grafenwoehr training sites to train an adaptive and creative NCO. 

In 2003, the NCO Academy started receiving International Military Students (IMS) and has since trained over 1,000 of our European and African allies.

The 7th Army NCO Academy earned the recognition as an “Institute of Excellence” during three consecutive Accreditations from the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy and TRADOC with the most recent being in September of 2015.