Weapons and War

History of the US Army in Japan

Source: US Army
U.S. Army Japan


1941 - Army Forces Far East formed in Philippines; commanded by General Douglas MacArthur

The United States Army Japan (USARJ) can be traced back to the U.S. Armed Forces Far East, formed in July, 1941 in Manila and commanded by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur's headquarters in Australia. After the war, the headquarters moved to Tokyo and, in 1957, it moved again to Yokohama. In October 1953, the headquarters was relocated to Camp Zama, its present location.

U.S. Army Japan emerged July 1, 1957 from a U.S. Forces reorganization in the Pacific. USARJ was designated as a major subordinate command of U.S. Army Pacific in Hawaii.

U.S. Army Japan was again reorganized on September 1, 1968 and began operating under a new structure designed to increase efficiency of operations without eliminating existing missions or functions.

The reversion of Okinawa to Japanese control on May 15, 1972 resulted in realignment of three Pacific Army commands with Headquarters, USARJ at Camp Zama acquiring control of missions and functions previously assigned to U.S. Army Ryukyu. The United States Army Ryukyu Headquarters and the Army's Second Logistical Command were merged to become the United States Army Base Command, Okinawa, a subordinate command of USARJ.

USARJ was again reorganized on July 1, 1974 with the six subordinate commands reduced to three: U.S. Army Garrison, Honshu; U.S. Army Garrison, Okinawa; and the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity, Japan.

With the discontinuance of U.S. Army Pacific on December 31, 1974, U.S. Army Japan was designated a Major Army Command on January 1, 1975 reporting directly to Headquarters, Department of the Army. On February 28, 1971, the U.S. Army Hospital, Camp Kuwae, Okinawa was transferred to the Navy and concurrently U.S. Army Medical Department Activity, Japan, was disestablished, leaving USARJ with two subordinate commands, U.S. Army Garrison, Okinawa and U.S. Army Garrison, Honshu.

U.S. Army Garrison, Honshu, was redesignated the 9th Area Support Group (PROV) on January 16, 1986. The 9th Area Support Group terminated its provisional status on October 15, 1987, and was activated as the 17th Area Support Group. In line with the DA directed Transformation of Installation Management (TIM) initiative, U.S. Army Garrison, Japan was organized effective 16 Oct 2002 with the inactivation of the 17th Area Support Group and the merger of the installation management functions throughout Japan. USARJ's implementation of TIM also entailed the organization of the U.S. Army Host Nation Support Activity, Japan effective 1 October 2002 for consolidation of the Government of Japan funded Master Labor Contract (MLC) employees utilized by USARJ assigned units into a single mission career account.

On February 18, 1986, U.S. Army Garrison, Okinawa was provisionally reorganized as the 10th Area Support Group (PROV). The unit dropped its provisional status and was officially activated as the 10th Area Support Group on October 16, 1987.

USARJ, currently headquartered at Camp Zama, with bases in Japan, to include Okinawa, commands and supports U.S. Army assigned units, attached units and augmentation forces. It employs these forces in support of Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Forces Japan, and other component commands. The command maintains and strengthens the credibility of deterrent power in the region through maintenance of defense facilities, war reserves and operational project stocks. USARJ is strongly committed to the support of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan and is actively promoting coordinated operations between the Japan Ground Self Defense Force and the U.S. Army through bilateral planning and training.

The Distinctive Unit Insignia (often referred to as a "unit crest") for USARJ is a gold color metal and enamel device, 1-1/4 inches in height overall, consisting of a stylized representation of Mount Fuji in light blue, with a white peak silhouetted against a red demi-sun on a blue background. All is enclosed by a circular gold scroll of five segments, bearing in the upper three segments the words "Omnia Fieri Potest" (literally: "It is possible to do all things" and can be translated as "All things are possible.") in blue enamel.

The location of USARJ in Japan is symbolized by the representation of Mount Fuji, a world famous symbol of Japan. The octagon denotes the eight directions of the compass and is symbolic of peace and security.

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