Eli5. Why do military groups (101st airborne for example) seem to be numbered in random order

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Eli5. Why do military groups (101st airborne for example) seem to be numbered in random order

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Anonymous 0 Comments

It can seem random now, but at times of war new military units are created and numbered in sequence. After the war the military downsizes so it “demobilize” certain units and distributes their troops into other more established units. If a unit distinguishes itself through some kind of specialization or combat achievements then the leadership keeps it around as the skill and legacy can both be powerful tools. So the 101st got kept because it was a proven combat unit with airborne training. While other less experienced or less trained units were demobilized after the war and their troops distributed to other units.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There is nothing random about it. If you look at the US Army Infantry Divisions that either currently exist, or ever existed, they are (mostly) sequentially numbered from the 1st Division up to about the 120th Division. Most of them are inactive and have been inactive since WW2, because you don’t need that many divisions when you are not actively at war.

Some of the Airborne Divisions started out as Infantry Divisions, and kept their numbers. The 101st Airborne started out as the 101st Infantry Division, and they kept their number when they became an Airborne Division.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It can seem random now, but at times of war new military units are created and numbered in sequence. After the war the military downsizes so it “demobilize” certain units and distributes their troops into other more established units. If a unit distinguishes itself through some kind of specialization or combat achievements then the leadership keeps it around as the skill and legacy can both be powerful tools. So the 101st got kept because it was a proven combat unit with airborne training. While other less experienced or less trained units were demobilized after the war and their troops distributed to other units.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There is nothing random about it. If you look at the US Army Infantry Divisions that either currently exist, or ever existed, they are (mostly) sequentially numbered from the 1st Division up to about the 120th Division. Most of them are inactive and have been inactive since WW2, because you don’t need that many divisions when you are not actively at war.

Some of the Airborne Divisions started out as Infantry Divisions, and kept their numbers. The 101st Airborne started out as the 101st Infantry Division, and they kept their number when they became an Airborne Division.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s a legacy from the rapid expansion of the armed forces in WWI and again in WWII. Originally, units were numbered sequentially as they were created with numbers reserved in anticipation of a certain number of units. If you look at the divisions that were active in WWII, they are all pretty much in sequential order.

After WWII, many of the units were no longer necessary, so they were stood down but not in sequential order. Some units were kept because they had specialized roles that needed to be filled, and others were kept because they had attained a legendary elite status during the war.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The numbers of squadrons and military units seem random now because various units have been deactivated over the past century.

During times of war regiments and squadrons were spun up as needed, but when the war (World War 2 for example) was over those units were no longer required and were demobilized.

Often units with special qualifications or notoriety were kept active while less well known units were spun down. Resulting in seemingly random numbering in divisions and squadrons today.

However if war were to break out again, those historical units can be re-activated.

Picking a random example 428 squadron in Canada was an active bomber squadron in World War 2 and was deactivated in 1945. But was then re-activated in the 60s and then deactivated again.

When a squadron is re-activated it’s common for its members to look up the history of the unit and re-use it’s nicknames, motto, and logos.

In the case of 428 “The Ghosts”

In Canada a lot of existing squadrons flew Fighters or Bombers during WW2 which is why they have names and logos that don’t seem appropriate for their duties today. 402 squadron for example ‘The Bears’ used to fly Hurricanes and Spitfires but today flies the Dash-8 passenger transport and does training.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It can seem random now, but at times of war new military units are created and numbered in sequence. After the war the military downsizes so it “demobilize” certain units and distributes their troops into other more established units. If a unit distinguishes itself through some kind of specialization or combat achievements then the leadership keeps it around as the skill and legacy can both be powerful tools. So the 101st got kept because it was a proven combat unit with airborne training. While other less experienced or less trained units were demobilized after the war and their troops distributed to other units.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s a legacy from the rapid expansion of the armed forces in WWI and again in WWII. Originally, units were numbered sequentially as they were created with numbers reserved in anticipation of a certain number of units. If you look at the divisions that were active in WWII, they are all pretty much in sequential order.

After WWII, many of the units were no longer necessary, so they were stood down but not in sequential order. Some units were kept because they had specialized roles that needed to be filled, and others were kept because they had attained a legendary elite status during the war.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s a legacy from the rapid expansion of the armed forces in WWI and again in WWII. Originally, units were numbered sequentially as they were created with numbers reserved in anticipation of a certain number of units. If you look at the divisions that were active in WWII, they are all pretty much in sequential order.

After WWII, many of the units were no longer necessary, so they were stood down but not in sequential order. Some units were kept because they had specialized roles that needed to be filled, and others were kept because they had attained a legendary elite status during the war.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They did make sense at one point in time as the units are numbered in sequence. In this case the 101st airborne division of the US Army is the 101st infantry division in the US Army. In WWI the US Army consisted of 98 divisions, numbered 1 through 98. And when WWII started up they reactivated all the old divisions as well as formed new ones which is how the 101st got their number. The term “airborne” is added to distinguish them from regular infantry divisions or armored infantry divisions. Divisions can change terms over time, for example the famous 82nd infantry division of WWI became the 82nd airborne of WWII of equal fame.

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