CLAY NATIONAL GUARD CENTER, Marietta, Ga. -- The Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team has been selected as the first National Guard unit to participate in an Army pilot program to test the Associated Units concept. The 48th IBCT and 3rd Infantry Division will serve as the first associated units to train together and strengthen readiness.

"Much of America's Army's capacity is resident in the Reserve Components and we must rely more heavily on them to meet the demands of a complex global environment," said Gen. Mark Milley, chief of staff of the U.S. Army. "The Associated Units pilot allows us to leverage the capabilities and capacities of the active component, Army Reserve and the Army National Guard as one army."

Overall, the pilot study will impact 27 Guard, Reserve and active units across the nation.

"This Associated Units pilot is an opportunity to provide our Soldiers better opportunities for personal and professional growth," said Brig. Gen. Joe Jarrard, the adjutant general of Georgia. "The Associated Units concept gives Soldiers the chance to conduct additional training and hone their skills to sustain higher readiness and reduce training requirements when activated."

This summer, Task Force 1-28 Infantry, an active Army infantry battalion stationed on Fort Benning, Georgia, will be associated with the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The 48th IBCT, meanwhile, will be associated with the 3rd ID, stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Both the 48th IBCT and 3rd ID have storied legacies that will benefit from this strengthened relationship.

"The Soldiers of Task Force 1-28 and the Soldiers of the Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Infantry Brigade will wear the patch of the 3rd Infantry Division," said Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Kadavy, director of the Army National Guard. "This brigade will train and, if called to do so, deploy and fight with the 3rd Infantry Division as an associated unit. These units will develop relationships and standards in home station so they may fight together in combat without having to meet on the battlefield and figure these things out."

"Readiness continues to be our priority, because the demand for trained Army formations is not going away," said the 3rd ID commander, Maj. Gen. Jim Rainey. "There is nothing more important. Training with the 48th IBCT benefits both formations, and expands our capacity to fight a hybrid enemy operating in an increasingly complex environment."