By MAJ Ed Rouse (Ret) and SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.)

Distinctive Unit Insignia, 7th Psychological Operations Group



A gold color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86cm) in width overall consisting of and radiating from central base a white enameled torch with seven tongues of red enameled flame between a gold quill on the left and a gold Samurai sword, point down, on the right surmounting a black enameled Torii Gate on a green enameled background, all above a gray enameled scroll bearing the inscription "Support By Truth" in gold letters.


The torch, a symbol of enlightenment, with seven tongues of flame alludes to the 7th Psychological Operations Group and their basic mission. The torii refers to Okinawa, where the organization was originally activated and the present headquarters of the organization is located. The quill and sword representing the correlation between psychological operations and military achievement; the quill representing the power of ideas; the sword, in addition to representing military aspects of force, alludes to the fact that psychological operations are also a form of warfare. The sword, being a Katana, alludes to the fact that the operations of the Psychological Operations Group are centered in the Asian Theater. The colors black, gray and white refer to the color symbolism of black, gray and white propaganda. The green background or backing is the color used for Psychological Operations organizations.


The distinctive unit insignia was authorized on 15 Apr 1969.

The 7th PSYOP Group was constituted 19 August 1965 in the regular Army and activated 20 October 1965 assigned to the Ryukyu Islands, located in the Machinato Service Area. It was attached to IX Corps for operation and Training. The 7th PSYOP Group was the successor to the U. S. Army Broadcasting and Visual Activity, Pacific, (USABVAPAC) which was disbanded 20 October 1965. The 7th assumed all missions and functions previously administered by USABVAPAC and transferred members and equipment.

Kadena AFB – Vietnam War and North Korea

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7th PSYOP Group was stationedd at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa

The 7th PSYOP Group was tasked with support activities in Okinawa, Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. The group consisted of the 14th PSYOP Battalion, the 15th PSYOP Detachment, the Japan Detachment, the Korea detachment, the Taiwan Detachment, and the Vietnam Detachment.

Lieutenant Colonel Dave Underhill was a member of the 7th PSYOP Group stationed on Okinawa during the Vietnam War. He did psychological operations in both Vietnam and in North Korea in what was at the time the top secret Operation Jilli.  He had previously attended the Advanced Infantry Course at Fort Benning followed by a tour at the PSYOP Directorate of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. He told me about his PSYOP missions during his 30-month tour from 1964 and 1966: 

We had two C-47's on call at Suwon Air Base (K-13) in Korea. The C-47 aircraft originally flew along the DMZ with side-looking radar monitoring activities.  They were loaned to us for use in dropping leaflets.  The camera port was removed and a chute installed for dropping leaflets. The Air Force loved the mission. We would load the aircraft with 3000 pounds (about a million and a half leaflets once we arrived at the best leaflet size, paper weight and aerodynamics for the mission). We would climb to 15,000 feet.  We went on oxygen with a personal tank for each crewman beginning at 12,000 feet. This unit later received the Air Force Outstanding Award. The citation mentioned Special Airlift missions.  I was officially attached to the unit on flight status.  I wear the unit award as a permanent award. 

I asked for a C-130 my first year on Okinawa and everyone told me I would never get a big bird for a PSYOP mission. Using my formulas I was able to plan leaflet missions very successfully and plotted winds-aloft forecasts for the C-47s on the proposed C-130 routes. After the brass saw the accuracy of the drops my second year they gave me one C-130. Prior to the beginning of the favorable weather season (generally Mid-April to late September); I used the mission weather reports to plot drops from 25,000 feet. My Intelligence Sergeant and I both attended the Air Force's Physiological Training School (High Altitude School). From the very first mission in 1964, I would submit an after-action report with projected coverage overlaid on a map of North Korea. I did the same on South East Asia maps for missions there. The projected increase in penetration into North Korea, and the vastly increase in area coverage made the decision for the use of a C-30 a no-brainer. By my third year they gave me two dedicated C-130 aircraft that were stationed at Kadena Airbase, Okinawa for missions in Vietnam and Laos. These aircraft often had propositioned leaflet loads. 

The prepositioned leaflets for North Korea were of a strategic and not a tactical nature. It was all appropriate to the day-to-day activities of the North Korean target audience.  Material would be developed months in advance for the following year's seasonal operation. Near the end, we even had PSYOP at Fort Bragg print and ship leaflets to us. As the program continued, we were also printing in support of Vietnam operations. The nice thing about a strategic operation is the fact the target is the total population of the country.  The content was mostly pro-South Korea and pro-United Nations. We put forth, mostly in pictures, the economic, political, and social prosperity and progress occurring South Korea.

I was on 24-hour call for favorable weather forecast periods. I had a very high telephone precedent authorization called “Flash.” As I recall the priorities were Routine, Priority, Immediate and Flash. I normally notified the duty officer when I went to the movie or whatever. I would be paged and went to the nearest phone where I received the weather forecast. It was always for the next four hour period. That meant that from the time I received the call, we would have to be ready to start our first pass against North Vietnam in four hours. There was no time to waste. I would call the Far East Air Force headquarters in Tokyo to arrange for an aircraft to be readied at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. I then called the operator and said I had a Flash message. Five minutes later, I had the tail number of the aircraft that was scheduled for the mission.

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A 10-Ton Leaflet Load on a C-130

Our printing plant operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and printed 100 tons a month, but we controlled the printing of an additional 900,000,000 products a month by using the Adjutant General's printing plant in Japan, and the United States Information Service Regional Service Center in Manila. They printed the high quality inflation theme North Vietnamese money leaflets. At the peak, a billion leaflets were printed each month.  This included 100,000,000 National Safe Conduct Leaflets.  The leaflet was my idea, and used by over 100,000 Vietnamese. 

Based on the nature of the content, we were able to stock up with leaflets.  When they authorized a second C-130 for 1966, I proposed we stock leaflets at Suwon (K-13) where our C-47 aircraft were based.  We could rig the boxes for C-130 dissemination.  After dropping a load launched from Okinawa, we could land at K-13, load, and drop another 10,000,000 leaflets. We were primed and ready to go in 1966. 

In 1966, we began to launch two C-130s from Okinawa against North Korea. They could drop their leaflets, land and disperse two more loads from our prepositioned stock. Forty million leaflets in under three hours. We had a Captain in Korea on temporary duty at the time, and I asked him to stop by 8th Army G-2 (Intelligence) and see if we were getting any reaction out of North Korea.  He walked in and found the place in an uproar. He asked in a loud voice, “Are you guys getting any reaction out of north Korea?” He said you could have heard a pin drop.  North Korea was on full military alert, and was moving troops. He left content with the knowledge that the regime was reacting to our leaflet drops.

The leaflets used in the initial missions were designed and laid out by me. We had no in-house capability on Okinawa.  Graphics for our magazine publications were done in our Japan Detachment. Eventually, we developed a capability in the Korean Detachment.  At some point a Korean Army Non-Commissioned Officer joined the team from the Army of the Republic of Korea PSYOP. Later, when his enlistment was up, we hired him and he ran our leaflet development. We ran a photographic contest looking for good images, and one individual was so good and his pictures so classic that we hired him too.

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Leaflets Disseminated from the back of a C-130

We learned the most efficient way of loading the aircraft. The floor of the C-130 Hercules was covered with rollers on both sides. The boxes were stood on end. They were too fragile to stack. They were loaded by the aircraft crew, including me. The aircraft would fly at 120-130 knots in a nose-high attitude. The leaflets were stacked one on top of another against the webbing wrapped around the leaflet box. The idea was to have the leaflets spill out the four corners as the box gives way. The early boxes resulted in too much of the weight ending up on the crossed webbing.  We later used a much flatter and wider based bottom that carried about 135 pounds of leaflets. We carried ten tons in all, or about a million leaflets a ton per mission.  Later in the program, we used a smaller leaflet on 13 pound paper for deeper drift, and greater density on the ground.  On these missions, we carried 16,000,000 leaflets.

We still occasionally had a static line snap, until we strung a webbing line across the aircraft so that the static line never hit the sharp (cutting edge) of the raised tail door.  It was stopped by the webbing line across the rear just below the cutting edge of the raised door.

To keep from having to stack the boxes for deployment, we simply stood them on end to compensate for the much larger box base or bottom. The crew carried a broom handle type stick to hold the box from rolling on the rollers, and as the aircraft flew in a nose up-attitude, a box at a time was released at pre-determined intervals based on flight pass duration.

I always wanted as many passes as possible, and the aircraft commander wanted to get the hell out of as soon as possible.  At most I could sometimes hope for two passes or a second partial pass depending on wind direction. The potential flight path was selected from a permanently authorized flight path that stretched from the East Coast to out over the water to a rectangular box on the west coast.  We could actually disseminate while descending to permit covering close-in areas without danger of dumping leaflet into South Korea.

In Vietnam the Group worked in support of the Commander, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (COMUSMACV). A two–man team consisting of a liaison officer and an NCO arrived in Vietnam on 20 October 1965 and remained after the 4th PSYOP Group was formed. At one time more than 80 people from the 7th PSYOP Group were on TDY in Vietnam. Throughout the war, the duties of the 7th PSYOP Group included the provision of PSYOP liaison and offshore printing support for South Vietnam.

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The Machinato Printing Plant – Okinawa

SP4 Jeff Truesdale of the 14th PSYOP Battalion of the 7th PSYOP Group
(December 1972 to June 1973) sent us these photographs of the Machinato Printing Plant on Okinawa.

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Tom Majors (center) adds ink to one of three Presses of the 15th PSYOP Detachment Print Shop on Okinawa.

Specialist Fourth Class Tom Majors of the 15th PSYOP Detachment, 7th PSYOP Group, was assigned to the Machinato Printing Plant on Okinawa from 1966 to 1968. He told SGM Herb Freieman:

When I was there we only had three web presses. They must have brought in more presses after I left in 1968. Looks like some walls may have been taken out to fit all the equipment in there. I loved my tour with PSYOP. It was my first duty assignment with the Army. I was a typist doing final drafts of propaganda scripts from previous drafts that had been corrected with pencil. After a while I wanted a bit more action so I asked to change jobs. I was then assigned to the Art Department and worked alongside Mike Peters. He became a well-known cartoonist after leaving the military. I then became a press-helper in the Printing Plant. I really enjoyed that job because I got to move around and get some exercise.

During 1965 The Okinawa printing plant produced 125 million leaflets for MACV and the Vietnam Detachment produced another 62 million on its web-fed press in Saigon. The Detachment maintained liaison with the Joint United States Public Affairs Office and the Military Assistance Command Political Warfare Directorate. In September two members journeyed to Vietnam to plan and conduct the first high altitude leaflet and toy bundle dissemination over North Vietnam. They returned again in December to assist in a Christmas toy drop over North Vietnam.

In Vietnam the Group worked in support of the Commander, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (COMUSMACV). During 1965 The Okinawa printing plant produced 125 million leaflets for MACV and the Vietnam Detachment produced another 62 million on its web-fed press in Saigon. The Detachment maintained liaison with the Joint United States Public Affairs Office and the Military Assistance Command Political Warfare Directorate. In September two members journeyed to Vietnam to plan and conduct the first high altitude leaflet and toy bundle dissemination over North Vietnam. They returned again in December to assist in a Christmas toy drop over North Vietnam.

In March 1967, the detachment took part in the production of a bar of soap with eight different PSYOP messages that became visible as the soap was used. 25,000 bars of soap were ready for the annual Tet campaign of February 1969. One former officer from the group told me that the soap propaganda caused some hand chaffing in the unit when everyone in his office was ordered to wash their hands over and over again to test out the use of soap bars and see how long it took the new messages to appear.

The 7th Group Detachment produced about 800,000,000 leaflets a month for the U.S. forces in Vietnam in 1968. They worked with JUSPAO to print 2,000,000 copies bi-weekly of the PSYOP newspaper Tu Do (Free South). The detachment also printed six different calendars with a run of 1,720,000 copies and six PSYOP booklets with a run of 330,000 copies.

Major Michael G. Barger in his U.S. Army Command and General Staff College 2007 Master’s thesis Psychological Operations Supporting the Counterinsurgency: 4th PSYOP Group in Vietnam adds:

The initial forces for deployment to Vietnam were drawn either from the ranks of the 7th PSYOP Group, based in Okinawa, or from stateside units, for the most part those stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. According to official order of battle records, elements of the 7th PSYOP Group totaling 143 soldiers conducted psychological operations in Vietnam between 20 October 1965 and 1 December 1967, and additional elements continued to perform missions in Vietnam throughout the war.

SP4 William Boyle was a member of the 7th PSYOP Group in Okinawa. He said:

Our unit had a detachment in South Korea, another in Japan, and had sent some members temporary duty (TDY) to Viet Nam. In May 1965, a larger TDY detachment (about 20 of us) was sent to Bien Hoa attached to the 173rd Airborne Brigade. We were quartered at an old French villa near the river that was already used by the Special Forces. We set up shop in Bien Hoa and used our portable (tractor-trailer carried) presses to print leaflets which we dropped from specially outfitted C-47's,  which were also used as loudspeaker platforms for night missions over Viet Cong territory).

In June 1965, an American Special Forces A camp was overrun. We went to help reestablish the nearby village, which had been largely destroyed in the battle. We operated on the principle that civic action was an integral part of the effort to win the hearts and minds of the people, and visited many hamlets, villages, and towns to evaluate the needs - whether emergency food supplies or construction materials or improvements in public services (schools and clinics).

During the time I was in Nam our detachment was assigned to the 173rd Airborne, the Military Assistant Command Vietnam and the United States Army Vietnam.

I spent many hours in choppers and little fixed wing bush planes, along with many hours in C47's on both day and night missions. My tour ended in May, 1966, and until then the unit had suffered no direct enemy attacks.

Colonel Harold F. Bentz, Jr., commanded the 7th PSYOP Group on Okinawa from 30 November 1968 to 16 May 1972. After four years he was superbly qualified to discuss some of the problems he faced during his multiple tours. Some of the points he makes in  his Senior Officer Debriefing report are:

One major problem regarding PSYOP is the lack of understanding and appreciation for PSYOP by some senior military commanders. Although the situation has improved somewhat during the past decade, there are still some senior commanders who do not fully recognize the importance of the PSYOP weapons system as it is employed in a politico-military conflict situation.

One perennial problem that confronted the 7th PSYOP Group was the fact that not all officers assigned to the group had formal PSYOP training or experience.

It appears that the U. S. Army is deficient in the number of qualified printers…Such personnel shortages seriously reduce the requisite flexibility necessary to support strategic operations…

The Group was responsible for printing approximately 80% of all the PSYOP printing requirements for Vietnam…The Group had to utilize three printing plants, The USIA Regional Service Center in Manila, the U.S. Army Printing and Publications Center in Japan, and the 7th PSYOP Group printing plant.

Retired Colonel Charles V. Nahlik talks about flying leaflet missions over Vietnam for the 7th PSYOP Group as a Captain from 1966 to 1968: 

In support of Vietnam, the 7th PSYOP Group was given a schedule by Military Assistance Command Vietnam and flew missions once a month via the C-130s. We flew into Ubon AFB Thailand the day before and flew the mission the following evening. We sat with the fighter jocks for the evening briefing, jumped into our survival vest, checked maps and weapons and took off.  Depending on the wind direction, we either flew up the Ho Chi Minh trail and then along and below the demilitarized zone or we flew up the east coast of North Vietnam. When we dropped leaflets along the Ho Chi Minh Trail we took lots of fire from the Mu Giah pass. Our electronic jammers were working to their fullest but we still saw the rockets coming up at us. That is something that will start your heart pumping! However, none of that was as frightening as dropping leaflets from one of those tiny O2B aircraft out of Can Tho with a pilot who thought he should have been flying in an attack aircraft. I was dropping leaflets while he was diving at the enemy, dropping grenades and shooting a rifle out the window at Viet Cong in the bush below us. “Pure Crazy” is the way I would describe that experience.

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The 1,000,000,000 Leaflet is Dropped

In March 1967, the 7th PSYOP Group Commander, Colonel Lundelius personally assisted in dropping the one billionth leaflet printed by his unit for high altitude dissemination.

In 1967 the unit was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for their support of military operations. Besides the units mentioned earlier, the 7th PSYOP Group added a Radio Detachment (Provisional) Vietnam. The unit now had 41 linguists who were proficient in 11 different languages. During 1967 they printed 7 billion propaganda leaflets for Vietnam and Korea. Their printing capability was enhanced by using the U. S. Army Printing and Production Center in Japan, and the Regional Service Center in Manila.

In 1967 the unit was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for their support of military operations. Besides the units mentioned earlier, the 7th PSYOP Group added a Radio Detachment (Provisional) Vietnam. The unit now had 41 linguists who were proficient in 11 different languages. During 1967 they printed 7 billion propaganda leaflets for Vietnam and Korea. Their printing capability was enhanced by using the U. S. Army Printing and Production Center in Tokyo, and the Regional Service Center of the United States Information agency in Manila.

The7th Psychological Operations Group was inactivated 30 June 1974 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Redesignated 30 October 1975 as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 7th Psychological Operations Group; concurrently withdrawn from the Regular Army, allotted to the Army Reserve, and activated at the Presidio of San Francisco, California. Reorganized and redesignated 18 September 1990 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Psychological Operations Group. Location changed 15 September 1994 to Moffett Field, California.

Within the psychological operations battalions, there are a number of tactical psychological operations companies. Such companies are organized in the same manner as other Tactical Psychological Operations Companies Army wide. It consists of a Headquarters Section, a Tactical PSYOP Development Detachment or TPDD and three Tactical PSYOP Detachments or TPD. The TPDD focuses on Product Development and Target Audience Analysis while the TPD usually focuses on product distribution, face to face engagement with a given target audience and loudspeaker operations.

Recent Deployment History

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10th Psychological Operations Bn (POB) St. Louis, Missouri

TF-10 deployed to Iraq as an organic USAR BN in 2007, part of OIF V. Supported 25 Infantry Division and 10 Mountain Division.
Deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. 307th Tactical Psychological Operations Company (TPU) – St. Louis, Missouri 1. Supported 3rd MEF.
Deployed to Iraq in 2004, supported 1st CAV and 3rd ID, Operation Iraqi Freedom
Deployed to Iraq in 2007, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF 07-08)
Detachment 1020 deployed with Task Force 10, supported 2nd Infantry Division and 1/504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Baghdad, Iraq
Deployed to Afghanistan in 2010.Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF 10-12).
Detachment 1010 supported 1-506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division in Paktika Province Sharana

308th Tactical Psychological Operations Company (TPU) –Belton, Missouri

Deployed to Iraq in 2007.
Deployed to Iraq in 2010. (Two detachments with the 17th Psychological Operations Battalion)
Deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. (One detachment with 17th Psychological Operations Battalion)

318th Tactical Psychological Operations Company (TPU) – St. Louis, Missouri

Deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1991 (as the 18th PSYOP CO (TAC)(DS)) in support of Desert Shield/Storm. Attached to 1st Infantry Divison.
Deployed to Iraq in 2003, part of OIF 1. Attached to 101st Airborne Division.
Deployed to Iraq in 2007.

Deployed to Afghanistan in 2009

362nd Tactical Psychological Operations Company (TPU) - Bentonville, Arkansas

Deployed to Iraq in support of OIF '03
Deployed to Iraq in support of OIF 04-05
Deployed to Afghanistan in support of OEF 06-07
Deployed to Iraq in support of OIF 09-10
Moved from 16th POB to 10th POB in 2009
Deployed to Djibouti in 2012-2013

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12th Psychological Operations Bn  (POB) Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

Deployed to Afghanistan in 2006.

320th Tactical Psychological Operations Company (TPU) Portland, Oregon

Deployed to Afghanistan in 2004.
Deployed to Iraq in 2008
Deployed to Afghanistan in 2012.

324th Tactical Psychological Operations Company (TPU) Aurora, Colorado

Deployed to Iraq in 2004 during the second year of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF3). Awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation
Operation Iraqi Freedom(OIF 05-06). Awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation.
Deployed to Iraq in 2007 during the fifth year of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF 07-08).
Deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 during the eighth year of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF 07-08). In 2010, deployed to Afghanistan (in support of Marine Expeditionary Forces), Bahrain and the Horn of Africa under Operation Enduring Freedom.
Currently deployed to Afghanistan under OEF XII with 1st Cavalry Division and the 172nd Infantry Brigade.
Moved to 12th PSYOP BN from 14th PSYOP BN in 2009.

349th Tactical Psychological Operations Company (TPU) Aurora, Colorado

Deployed to Afghanistan in 2012

361st Tactical Psychological Operations Company (TPU) Bothell, Washington

Deployed to Bosnia in 2000, part of the Stabilization Force 7 (SFOR 7) peace-keeping mission in support of 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment
Deployed TPD 1270 (15 personnel) to Iraq in 2003, part of OIF 1 in support of 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment Al Anbar Province received Valorous Unit Award.
Deployed TPD 1280 (15 personnel) to Iraq in 2003, part of OIF 1 in support of 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment Baghdad, Iraq received Presidential Unit Citation.
Cross-leveled 11 personnel to 320th PSYOP Company to support their 2004 Afghanistan deployment.
Deployed TPD 1290 to Iraq in September 2004 in support of 1-25 Infantry Stryker Brigade operations in Mosul, Iraq during OIF 3. One member of the detachment was wounded and evacuated from Iraq during fighting in Tal Afar in early 2005. Received Valorous Unit Award
Deployed to Iraq in 2008.
Deployed to Afghanistan part of OEF 12-13

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14th Psychological Operations Bn (POB) – Mountain View, California

301st Tactical Psychological Operations Company (TPU) (ABN) San Diego, California

Deployed to Iraq 2003-2004(1st Reserve Psyop Company on the ground in OIF 1)

304th Tactical Psychological Operations Company (TPU) Sacramento, California

Deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 to 2004
Deployed to Iraq in 2005 to 2006
Deployed to Iraq in 2008 to 2009
Deployed to Iraq in 2011

315th Tactical Psychological Operations Company (TPU) Upland, California

Deployed to Kosovo in 2000, part of Task Force Falcon. Supported 1st Armored Division.
Deployed to Iraq in 2003, part of OIF 1. Supported 3d ID and 1st Armored Division. Deployed to Afghanistan in 2006. Deployed to Iraq in 2008.

353rd Tactical Psychological Operations Company (TPU)Las Vegas, Nevada

Activated 2010

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17th Psychological Operations Battalion(POB) Austin, Texas

Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010 to 2011
TPD 1720 was deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006. Took part in the Battle of Tal Afar receiving a Meritorious Unit Commendation and Valorous Unit Award for their action.
TPD 1640 was deployed to Afghanistan in 2007-2008 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. One soldier from the detachment during the tour was KIA SGT Charles B. Kitowski.

341st Tactical Psychological Operations Company (TPU) San Antonio, Texas

344th Tactical Psychological Operations Company (Airborne) (TPU) – Austin, Texas

345th Tactical Psychological Operations Company (Airborne) (TPC) Lewisville, Texas

Deployed to Afghanistan part of OEF in 2001.

399th Tactical Psychological Operations Company ( TPU) San Marcos, Texas