U.S. Army 5th Recruiting Brigade is the center of Army recruiting activities for an area stretching across the great plains to the California border and covers more than 968,446 square miles. The brigade is tasked with the recruiting mission in all or part of 13 states, including Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.
The brigade has seven recruiting battalions divided into 48 companies and 333 stations. Recruiting battalion headquarters are located in Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Mo., Oklahoma City, Phoenix and San Antonio.
During the past 50 plus years, 5th Brigade has undergone a number of changes, and is continuing to change. Following World War II, the headquarters for the U.S. Army and Air Force Recruiting Service in this area was known as the San Antonio District and was located at Fort Sam Houston. In 1949, the command moved to Dallas and its name was changed first to the Texas Recruiting District and later to the U.S. Army and Air Force Southwestern Recruiting District.
The headquarters returned to Fort Sam Houston in 1953 and settled into its present location, Building 2006 -- “the old hospital area.” Some might even remember the three-story brick structure of the main headquarters building as their place of birth, since it was once the obstetric ward of the station hospital.
The Army and Air Force recruiting services went their separate ways in 1954. The command became known as Fourth U.S. Army Recruiting District in 1964, with jurisdiction over a five- state area. With a major reorganization in 1965, the Armed Forces Examining and Entrance Stations (AFEES) became a separate organization.
Of the many changes that have taken place, the most dramatic has been the recruiting concept itself--the evolution of the Volunteer Army. In 1970, Gen. William C. Westmoreland announced the Army’s commitment to end the draft. In 1972, the last draftee was inducted, and in 1973 the Induction Authority expired. For more than 35 years the Army’s strength has been maintained entirely from volunteers.
Other changes have included the transfer of operation of all AFEES to the jurisdiction of the Military Enlistment Processing Command in 1976. Effective October 1995, the responsibility for recruiting health care providers was transferred from the U.S. Army Health Professional Support Agency to the U.S. Army Recruiting Command. From 1995 until September 2007 recruiting medical professionals in this region was part of the responsibility of the 5th Recruiting Brigade.
In October 2007 all medical recruiting shifted to the newly established Medical Recruiting Brigade co-located with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command Headquarters at Fort Knox, Ky.
Throughout the many changes in the command, its mission has remained the same; to recruit highly motivated, high-quality men and women to serve in an Army and Army Reserve that stands ready to preserve peace.