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Strategic Army Corps

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Title: Strategic Army Corps  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Thomas J. H. Trapnell, United States Strike Command, Corps of the United States Army, MGM-18 Lacrosse, XVIII Airborne Corps
Collection: Corps of the United States Army, United States Army
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Strategic Army Corps

Strategic Army Corps
Country  United States of America
Branch United States Army
Motto "Skilled, Tough. Ready Around the Clock."
LTG Robert Frederick Sink
LTG Thomas J. H. Trapnell

The Strategic Army Corps (STRAC) was a command of the United States Army, with a mission of high readiness, active in the 1960s. In 1961 it was merged into the United States Strike Command (STRICOM). The word "STRAC" was also used to describe well an organized, well turned-out soldier or unit.


  • Background 1
  • Operations 2
  • Flexible response 3
  • Limitations 4
  • Other definitions 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


STRAC was a designation given to the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 1958. The designation was, in reality, the assignment of an additional mission rather than a true designation. The additional mission was to provide a flexible strike capability that could deploy worldwide on short notice without declaration of an emergency. The 4th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington, Combat Command A of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, were designated as STRAC's first-line divisions, while the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, and the 82d Airborne Division at Fort Bragg were to provide backup in the event of general war. The 5th Logistical Command (later reflaged as 1st Logistical Command), also at Fort Bragg, would provide the corps with logistics support, while Fort Bragg's XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery would control artillery units.[1]

Airlift assets were made available to U.S. forces based on the possible outbreak of a general war in Europe. In his paper, "Not War But Like War: The American Intervention in Lebanon", prepared for the Army Command and General Staff College's Combat Studies Institute, Roger J. Spiller notes:[1]


Training included unidentified semi-annual maneuvers (Desert Strike, Swift Strike) with the 82nd and 101st Airborne held under the auspices of the XVIII and STRAC.[2][3]

The 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment returned to the United States from Germany in February 1958, and was once again stationed at Fort Meade. The Regiment became part of STRAC and, from 1958 to 1961, it was the recipient of four STRAC streamers, awarded for superior readiness and training. In reaction to the Berlin Crisis, the Regiment redeployed to Germany in October 1961. Alerted for movement on 10 October, although scattered at different training sites along the Eastern Seaboard, the Regiment arrived at its new duty stations of Baumholder and Kaiserslautern exactly thirty days later.[4]

STRAC and the XVIII Airborne Corps provided the Army forces to the Navy's CINCLANT as unified commander during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Flexible response

September 1961, Fort Hood again became the home for the III Corps, and in February 1962, III Corps was assigned as part of the STRAC.[5]

In March 1962 the 2nd Infantry Division was designated as a Strategic Army Corps (STRAC) unit. Following this the Division became engaged in intensified combat training, tactical training, and field training exercises, in addition to special training designed to improve operational readiness.


Although the STRAC mission was to provide an easily deployable force for use in a limited war or other emergency, its ability to deploy overseas was limited by airlift constraints. Without the declaration of a national emergency, the required lift assets would not be released to support a STRAC deployment.[1]

The Army faced problems with both the Air Force who would provide the expected transportation and from foreign governments for the expected use of their airspace and airports.[6]

Other definitions

STRAC is Army slang term for "a well organized, well turned-out soldier, (pressed uniform, polished brass and shined boots)"—a proud, competent trooper who can be depended on for good performance in any circumstance. The word was used both as a noun and an adjective[7] for a soldier whose gear was clean and tight; weapon clean and ready; mind clear, organized, and ready for action. S: skilled T: tough R: ready A: around the C: clock—STRAC.[8][9] Another version defined the acronym as "Sharp Trooper, Ready Around the Clock". However, some soldiers joked it stood for "Shit! The Russians Are Coming!"[10]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Mark A. Olinger, "Airlift operations during the Lebanon crisis", Army Logistician, vol. 37, no. 3, May–June 2005.
  2. ^ August 2003 Motopool Messenger
  3. ^ "Hard New Attack Is Made in the Carolina War Games", The New York Times (Associated Press) (8 August 1961): 7.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ p.240 O'Connell, Aaron B. Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps Harvard University Press, 29/10/2012
  7. ^ Powell, Colin & Persico, Joseph E A Soldier's Way: An Autobiography Random House, 31/07/2011
  8. ^ p. 324 Taylor, E. Kelly America's Army and the Language of Grunts: Understanding the Army Lingo Legacy AuthorHouse, 12/11/2009
  9. ^ p.137 McVey, Alton Dancing With the Bear AuthorHouse, 12/09/2009
  10. ^ p. 52 Langford, Martha & Langford, John A Cold War Tourist and His Camera McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 27/01/2011

External links

  • The short film Big Picture: Airborne Soldier is available for free download at the Internet Archive
  • The short film Big Picture: Operation Danville is available for free download at the Internet Archive
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