The Great Lakes Army Recruiting Battalion, headquartered in Lansing, Mich., traces its history back to the Detroit Recruiting Battalion, established in October of 1964. With the inception of the “All-Volunteer” Army in 1973, the Lansing District Recruiting Command (DRC) was created with 63 counties, and the Detroit DRC was realigned to encompass the eight southeastern metropolitan counties of Michigan. The “Outstate” and “Metropolitan” commands approximately split the state’s 9 million person population. DRC’s became “Battalions” in 1983.
During the early 1990s, a new Military Entrance and Processing Station (MEPS) was established in Lansing and the Detroit MEPS was moved to Troy. In June 30, 1992, the Detroit Battalion was phased out and its mission assumed by Lansing. Soon after, to recognize the new “mega” battalion’s increased responsibilities and span of operation, it was renamed the Great Lakes Recruiting Battalion. Currently the battalion consists of a headquarters in Lansing: seven companies; 46 recruiting stations; and units at the two MEPS. It is responsible for Army recruiting throughout the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.
The geography of the battalion includes lush farmland in the south, wilderness areas in the north, and an industrial complex famous worldwide. Among Michigan’s ten major universities are two world-class learning centers, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Recreation areas attract millions of tourists each year. Second only to Alaska in length of coastline, Michigan is a major yachting state. The 300 miles of sand dune-lined (some hundreds of feet high) beaches along Lake Michigan rank among the best in the world.
The battalion touches four of the five Great Lakes—Michigan, Huron, Superior, And Erie—as well as Lake St. Clair, which is sometimes referred to as the “sixth Great Lake." It is this geography which gave rise to the title “Great Lakes Recruiting Battalion.”
The Great Lakes Bn is a part of the 3d Recruiting Brigade - the center of Army recruiting activities for an area stretching across the north central United States and tasked with the recruiting mission in all or part of eleven states, covering over 614,390 miles. U.S. Army 3d Recruiting Brigade consists of Chicago Battalion, Cleveland Battalion, Columbus Battalion, Indianapolis Battalion, Great Lakes Battalion, Milwaukee Battalion, Minneapolis Battalion and Nashville Battalion.