OAK CREEK, Wis. — The 257th Brigade Support Battalion will inactivate and case its colors this August as part of an Army-wide force structure change to the composition of maneuver enhancement brigades.
The 257th Brigade Support Battalion supported units in the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, but it is slated to inactivate during an Aug. 10 ceremony at its headquarters in Oak Creek. While headquartered in Milwaukee, the 157th includes units ranging from Superior to Kenosha in both engineer and field artillery battalions as well as a military police company and a signal company. The Army is in the midst of inactivating brigade support battalions in maneuver enhancement brigades across the force.
The 257th currently consists of its headquarters in Oak Creek, Company A – a distribution company in Whitewater, and Company B – a support maintenance company in Kenosha. The unit also provided administrative oversight to the 32nd Military Police Company in Milwaukee as well as the 357th Signal Company in Two Rivers, but neither of those units will be affected.
All Soldiers in the affected units will have opportunities to transfer to different units within the organization or have the opportunity to re-classify into a different military occupational specialty, and no Soldiers will lose their standing in the organization as a result of the change. Ultimately, the 257th’s inactivation affects nearly 230 Soldiers. The Army is authorizing a number of positions similar to those currently in the 257th at the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade headquarters as part of the shift.
Meanwhile, the 257th’s inactivation will result in several units shifting to new locations, including the headquarters for the 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery moving its headquarters from Milwaukee’s Richards Street Armory to Oak Creek. The 32nd Military Police Company, also currently headquartered at Richards Street Armory in Milwaukee, will move to Kenosha, while the 457th Chemical Company will consolidate its current headquarters in Hartford with its detachment in Burlington, and move to Whitewater.
The battalion’s inactivation will not affect the Wisconsin National Guard’s readiness to fulfill either its federal mission as the Army’s primary combat reserve, or its state mission as Wisconsin’s first military responder during times of emergency.
"It has been a pleasure serving in the 257th Brigade Support Battalion in Oak Creek, Whitewater, and Kenosha communities,” said Maj. Sarah Bammel, the commander of the 257th Brigade Support Battalion. “I am confident that the new units will continue to provide the military presence and support to those communities as we inactivate the 257th BSB and consign the unit into history."
The 257th carries a long and storied lineage dating back to 1880, when it constituted in the Wisconsin National Guard as the Light Horse Squadron, and eventually as troops within the 1st Cavalry. Its designations changed over the years to include cavalry units, field artillery, anti-aircraft artillery during the Cold War, including Wisconsin’s Nike missile base defenses, back to field artillery and ultimately redesignating as the 257th Brigade Support Battalion in 2008. The battalion’s campaign streamers include streamers from World War I, the Pacific Theater in World War II, and the War on Terrorism in Iraq. The 257th’s impressive lineage will be preserved under that of the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s 1st Squadron, 105th Cavalry, whose current namesake stems from the original 105th Cavalry, which existed from 1921 to 1937 and eventually became the 257th.