U.S. Army Central (USARCENT): 17 Cool Facts

It is probably one of the busiest commands in the United States Army at this point in time.

U.S. Army Central (USARCENT) has a huge area of responsibility, but you can be sure they have the right people in charge of handling this huge area.

So in today’s post, we are going to take a look at U.S. Army Central.

I will give you 17 cool facts about USARCENT. Let’s get on with it!

1: 3rd

Have you ever heard of the 3rd Army or the Third United States Army? U.S. Army Central (USARCENT) was formerly known as the 3rd Army.

2: The Beginning

It was in France in November of 1918 when the Third United States Army was activated.

There mission was to occupy Germany which they did quite well.

With over 200,000 enlisted soldiers and over 9,000 officers, the Third United States Army was prepared in case Germany did not sign a peace treaty.

3: Disbanded

The Third United States Army was disbanded in July of 1919.

Some personnel were left in Germany, but were just designated American forces in Germany.

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4: Reactivated

With situations heating up around the world, the Army was reorganizing and decided to reactivate the 3rd Army.

This happened in August of 1932. At that time, 3rd Army was primarily a formation on paper.

But, when the draft was instituted just prior to U.S. entry into World War II, many recruits would be trained by the 3rd Army.

In 1943, the 3rd Army was deployed to the United Kingdom.

The Third United States Army saw a lot of action throughout World War II, after all, their commander was General George Patton.

After the War, the 3rd Army became a command and training force up until…

5: 1974

The Army made some huge changes in 1974. Forces Command (FORSCOM) took over the role that the 3rd Army played.

The Third United States Army was inactivated.

6: Becoming USARCENT

In December of 1982, the Third United States Army was again activated at Fort McPherson, Georgia.

Now the 3rd Army would have new responsibilities.

They would be the Army’s part in a joint unified command.

They would now be known as USARCENT.


USARCENT is the Army component of CENTCOM. CENTCOM is a Department of Defense Command, and stands for United States Central Command.

8: Joint

USARCENT is the Army land component for CENTCOM. These are the others:

  • USNAVCENT is United States Naval Forces Central and is the maritime component.

  • USAFCENT is United States Air Forces Central and is the air component.

  • USMARCENT is United States Marine Forces Central and is the Marine Corps service component.

  • SOCCENT is United States Special Operations Central and is a subordinate unified command of CENTCOM.

U.S. allies are also in the mix.

9: Headquarters

The headquarters for U.S. Army Central are at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina.

10: Forward Element

USARCENT has a forward element located at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

11: Area Of Responsibility

USARCENT has a monstrous area of responsibility which is Southwest Asia, and includes the Persian Gulf and 20 countries in Asia and Africa.

12: 20 Countries

The 20 countries USARCENT has responsibility in are:

  • Afghanistan
  • Yemen
  • Bahrain
  • Uzbekistan
  • Egypt
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Iran
  • Turkmenistan
  • Iraq
  • Tajikistan
  • Jordan
  • Syria
  • Kazakhstan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait
  • Qatar
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Pakistan
  • Lebanon
  • Oman

13: Nickname & Motto

While they are now known as USARCENT, they will always go back to the 3rd Army roots.

Their nickname is Patton’s Own, and their motto is: Tertia Semper Prima, which is Latin for Third Always First.

14: The Many Middle East Operations

USARCENT has been a primary player in a lot of operations all throughout the Middle East. These are some:

  • Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield in Iraq staring in 1990.

  • Operation Vigilant Warrior in Kuwait in 1994.

  • Operation Vigilant Sentinel in Kuwait in 1995.

  • Operation Desert Strike in Iraq in 1996.

  • Operations Desert Thunder I & II in Iraq in 1997.

  • Operation Desert Fox in Iraq in 1998.

  • Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

Plus, they have done work in Afghanistan.

15: United States Troops In The Middle East

With the Middle East being a “hotbed,” we have to keep a certain level of troops in the region just in case. Some approximate figures are:

  • In Kuwait there are approximately 15,000 U.S. troops.

  • In Iraq, the approximate figures show 1,500 U.S. troops.

  • In the United Arab Emirates there are believed to be approximately 5,000 U.S. troops.

  • In Jordan there are approximately 1,500 U.S. troops temporarily based there.

  • In Oman there are around 200 U.S. military personnel.

  • In Qatar, there are many U.S. forces. It is believed there are 6,000+.

  • Bahrain has 7,000+ U.S. troops.

  • In Saudi Arabia, there are U.S. troops, but no accurate count.

All these figures are just known numbers. Top Secret operations are not counted.

16: Commanding Generals

Since the start of the 3rd Army, there have been some tremendous leaders. These are the Commanding Generals through the years:

17: Current Leadership

The current leadership of USARCENT is:

  • Commanding General – Lieutenant General Michael Garrett

  • Deputy Commanding General – Major General William Hickman

  • Deputy Commanding General – Major General Paul Hurley

  • Chief Of Staff – Brigadier General Viet X. Luong

  • Command Sergeant Major – CSM Eric Dostie

Final Thoughts

Well there you have some information on one of the top commands in the U.S. Army.

What are your thoughts?

Leave your questions and comments below. Thank you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)
Publisher, Part-Time-Commander.com
Email: mrchuckholmes@gmail.com

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