The 3rd Infantry Division welcomed the 103rd Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Battalion with a standup ceremony at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Sept. 16, 2022.
The 103rd Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Battalion will provide multi-domain intelligence collection efforts to 3rd ID and enhance the division’s intelligence-related capabilities.
Originally known as the 103rd Military Intelligence Battalion, the unit was first organized on September 16, 1981, and resulted from the direct merger of the 851st Army Security Agency Company and the 3rd Military Intelligence Company.
In 1996, the 103rd Military Intelligence Battalion, along with the 3rd Infantry Division, relocated to Fort Stewart, Georgia, until its inactivation in 2004 due to modular force structure changes in the U.S. Army. Soldiers of the 103rd participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF-1), the seizure of Saddam International Airport, and the Battle of Fallujah.
The battalion’s reactivation is part of ongoing force modernization efforts aimed at ensuring 3rd ID is ready to face near-peer threats on a modern battlefield.
“It's an absolute game changer,” said Col. David E. Violand, commander of 525th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade. “We bring capacity that does not exist inside of the division. So it gives the division commander a new set of collection capacity and analytic capacity to better understand what the enemy looks like and how he can apply his resources to get after defeating that enemy.”
Violand added that this battalion is part of a larger Army transformation that recognizes changing global threats, the need to re-focus on large-scale combat operations, and the necessity of keeping pace with adversaries.
The command team for the 103rd IEW now consists of Lt. Col. Marcus O'Neal, commander of the 103rd IEW, and Command Sgt. Maj. Nam Nguyen, senior enlisted advisor for the 103rd IEW battalion.
“They are very excited,” O’Neal said. They understand the history of the 103rd, and what the 103rd means to the 3rd Infantry Division. So they are excited.”
O’Neal also said his Soldiers understand the importance they will play for the 3rd ID and are ready for the challenges to come.
“You’ll see a lot of Soldiers with their chest out and their head up,” O’Neal said. “They understand what the Army needs them to do and they are ready to take on that mission. We look forward to providing 3rd Infantry Division modernized and lethal intelligence that will ensure success on the battlefield.”