Portland Battalion History
The present U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) was formed Oct. 1, 1964 at Fort Monroe, Va., as a subordinate element of the Continental Army Command (CONARC). The headquarters of the command was authorized 23 officers, one warrant officer, 18 enlisted personnel and 50 civilian employees.
The new command was organized into six Recruiting Districts, which mirrored the six Continental Armies’ structure. The Recruiting Districts were organized into Recruiting Main Stations (RMS) and were responsible for the Armed Forces Examining and Entrance Stations (AFEES), Armed Forces Induction Stations and the Army- Air Force Joint Processing Units within their boundaries.
The Recruiting Command was reorganized July 1, 1965. The First and Second Recruiting Districts combined as the First Recruiting District and the AFEES were removed from the RMSs and placed under the control of the Recruiting Districts. At this time the command was composed of five Recruiting Districts, 38 RMSs (to include one in Portland), 70 AFEESs and 1,024 recruiting stations.
The Portland RMS’s area of operation included most of Oregon and southwest Washington. The subordinate structure included three Area Commands (companies) in Eugene, Beaverton and Portland and 22 recruiting stations.
On July 1, 1973 USAREC began recruiting for the All-Volunteer Army. To gain more space for this expanded mission the command moved from Hampton, Va., to Fort Sheridan, Ill., and the number of RMSs was increased to 64. At this time the Portland RMS moved from 4th and Madison in downtown Portland to 8005 NE 82nd Ave. near the Portland airport. Lt. Col. John Catlin was the commander.
In 1974, the five numbered Recruiting Districts were redesignated as Regional Recruiting Commands and the RMSs were redesignated as District Recruiting Commands (DRC). In October 1983 USAREC’s subordinate unit’s designations were changed one last time. The Regional Recruiting Commands became numbered Recruiting Brigades and the DRCs were redesignated as Recruiting Battalions.
In 1977, the battalion headquarters moved from the 82nd Ave. location to 4110 NE 122nd Ave. It moved again in October 1996 to 6130 NE 78th Court. In June 2014 the headquarters was relocated to the Edith Green Wendell Wyatt Federal Building at 1220 SW 3rd Ave.
The battalion’s area expanded significantly in 1992 with the addition of Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia, Korea and Japan. There were now four companies and 33 recruiting stations. In 1995, the battalion expanded into northern California adding a new company and six recruiting stations. By 2007, the battalion was comprised of five companies, one detachment and 42 recruiting stations.
In 2007, the Redding Company was transferred to the Sacramento Recruiting Battalion. Currently the battalion is comprised of the Eugene Company, Vancouver Company, Wilsonville Company, Honolulu Company and Guam Detachment. There are 32 recruiting stations.
The battalion has a long and proud history and has received numerous awards and accolades. In FY85, the battalion scored a USAREC first by leading the command in both Active Army and Army Reserve production. For these efforts the battalion was awarded the Army Superior Unit Award. The battalion was named USAREC’s Top Battalion in FY03. The battalion received its second Army Superior Unit Award for meritorious performance of a difficult and challenging mission during FY06.
Lt. Col. Ernie Freund is the battalion's 31st commander since the beginning of the All-Volunteer era and Command Sgt. Maj. Randall Armstrong is the 25th Sergeant Major.