The United States Army Mission Support Battalion began its proud heritage in 1936 when the Secretary of the Army tasked a small group of Soldiers to develop and man an Army exhibit at the World’s Fair in New York City.
In 1951 the unit was officially formed in Cameron Station, VA and assigned to the Army Chief of Information. The Recruiting Support Center’s mission was to take the Army story to the youth of America and to those who influence them. The Recruiting Support Center continued to provide exhibit support to the Secretary of the Army and other Department of Defense agencies.
In 1985 the Commanding General of the US Army Recruiting Command re-designated the center as the Recruiting Support Command (RSC). That same year, the RSC turned over its design and production activities to a commercial contractor.
In June 1995 the command moved to Fort Knox, Kentucky, as part of a Base Realignment and Closure Commission decision. In August 1995, the command was re-designated as the Recruiting Support Battalion and given the National Conventions Exhibit mission as an additional task. These Fixed Exhibitors represent the Army at national trade shows and professional conventions in order to present a positive image of the Army to the public and key Centers of Influence.
In November 1997 the unit became part of the Area Support Group (ASG). In July 1999 the ASG was re-designated as the Recruiting Support Brigade (RSB), with the Recruiting Support Battalion as a subordinate unit. In October 2001 the Recruiting Support Battalion took the lead in introducing the American public to the Army’s “Army of One” brand, logo and recruiting message, replacing the “Be All You Can Be” theme and images that had been a recruiting mainstay for 20 years.
In October 2002 the Recruiting Support Battalion and Recruiting Support Brigade were re-designated the U.S. Army Mission Support Battalion (MSBn) and U.S. Army Accessions Support Brigade (ASB), respectively. These re-designations occurred in conjunction with the activation of the U.S. Army Accessions Command, headquartered at Fort Monroe, VA. This change also meant an expansion in the mission of the ASB and MSBn to include supporting U.S. Army Cadet Command and the Army Training Center, Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
Effective 18 January 2012, US Army Accessions Command was discontinued and the US Army Accessions Support Brigade was officially realigned under the Army Marketing and Research Group, a field operating agency of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
Today the battalion deploys across the United States to support the Army accessions effort with modern exhibit equipment with highly trained, NCO and civilian exhibitors. The battalion’s assets include a mobile fleet of over 20 exhibit and educational vehicles and multiple fixed exhibit systems in support of strategic level marketing targets. Also, included in the battalion are two National Science Center Semis, which provide hands-on science demonstrations to elementary and middle schools across the country. In addition, the battalion provides the Army accessions force with custom-manufactured graphics, exhibits and other multi-media items produced in the battalion’s government owned contractor-operated 53,000 sq. ft. fabrication and maintenance facility.
The organization that began as a good idea over 75 years ago continues its proud tradition by spearheading the “Army Strong” campaign and continuously developing and fielding exciting new exhibits to ensure the American people remain connected with the Army that serves them.