27th Armored Division (United States)

27th Armored Division
Active 1955–68
Country United States
Branch United States Army
Type Armored
Nickname(s) "Empire"
Major General Ronald C. Brock
(first commander)
U.S. Armored Divisions
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The 27th Armored Division was a United States Army formation. It was part of the New York Army National Guard in the 1950s and 1960s.


In February, 1955 a reorganization of the Army National Guard included reorganizing the 27th Infantry Division as the 27th Armored Division.[1] This included exchanging the black and red "NYD" (New York Division) shoulder patch for the triangle-shaped patch of the Army's armor divisions. The 27th Armored Division was called the "Empire Division," after New York's nickname, the Empire State.[2]

The division headquarters was originally in Buffalo, and was later moved to Syracuse.[3][4]

Composition, 1955

In 1955, the composition of the 27th Armored Division was:




Separate Units:


Composition, 1960

Infantry: armored rifle battalions

Armor: medium tank battalions


Howitzer battalions:

Separate units:


Composition, 1966


Ronald C. Brock, first commander of the 27th Armored Division.

Three individuals served as commander of the 27th Armored Division:


The 27th Armored Division was inactivated in February, 1968 during another reorganization of the Army National Guard.[14] During its existence the 27th Armored Division was not activated for federal service and saw no combat.[15] It was activated for state service, including the response to the 1964 Rochester riot.[16]

Subsequent history

27th Infantry Division SSI.

The division was reorganized in 1968 as the 27th Armored Brigade, a unit of the 50th Armored Division.[17]

The 27th Armored Brigade was reorganized as an Infantry brigade in 1975 and aligned with the 42nd Infantry Division.[18]

In 1985 the 27th Infantry Brigade was activated as part of the New York Army National Guard, and assigned as the "roundout" brigade of the Army's 10th Mountain Division.[19]

The 27th Brigade was later reorganized as the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and reestablished use of the 27th Infantry Division's NYD shoulder sleeve insignia.[20] The 27th Infantry Brigade carries on the lineage and history of the 27th Infantry Division.


  1. J.B. Lyon Company, New York State Legislative Documents, Volume 6, 1955, page 13
  2. jack Raymond, New York Times, Most Reservists Could Join Guard: McNamara Plan Envisions Initial Overstrengths, 20 December 1964
  3. Peter B. Taub, Gannett News Service, Newburgh Evening News, Upstate Shift Due National Guard, 28 February 1963
  4. John B. Wilson, Center of Military History, Armies, Corps, Divisions, and Separate Brigades, 1988, page 361
  5. New York National Guard, History of the 27th Infantry Division, 27th Armored Division composition 1955, 1960, 1966, accessed 26 July 2013
  6. Toledo Blade, Ike Pledges Guard to be Maintained, 4 February 1957
  7. Schenectady Gazette, Kearney Resigns Post in NY Guard, 5 June 1948
  8. New York Secretary of State, State Legislative manual, 1958, page 446
  9. Williams Press, New York Red Book, 1959, page 367
  10. Associated Press, Newburgh Evening News, Coyne 'New Look' County Executive, 5 November 1975
  11. U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Hearing Record, Military Cold War Education and Speech Review Policies, Biographical sketch, Collin P. Williams, 1962, page 2662
  12. Army and Navy Journal Incorporated, Army, Navy, Air Force Journal, Volume 94, Issues 27-52, 1957, page 955
  13. Ruth Collin Stong, John Collin, Stem and Branches, 1980, page 209
  14. New York Times, State Guard to Disband Division That Once Chased Pancho Villa, 19 January 1968
  15. National Guard Educational Foundation, 27th Armored Division, 2011
  16. United Press International, Lexington Dispatch, National Guard Troops on Duty in Rochester, 27 July 1964
  17. Associated Press, Newburgh Evening News, Guard Streamlined: 27th Division Ends, 18 January 1968
  18. John J. McGrath, The Brigade: A History, Its Organization and Employment in the US Army, 2009, page 232
  19. Michael Dale Doubler, John W. Listman, Jr., The National Guard: An Illustrated History of America's Citizen-Soldiers, 2007, page 120
  20. Uniformed Services Almanacs, 2008 National Guard Almanac, 2008, page 143
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