US Army NATO Brigade Unit History


United States Army NATO was established by General Order #46, effective 20 December 1950. The Command was organized as a special field activity, assigned to Headquarters Department of the Army.

Formerly titled: "US Army Elements, Allied Command Europe", the Command has evolved into providing superlative support to nearly 1300 soldiers and civilians and 1500 family members throughout NATO.

Headquarters Brigade, US Army Elements, Allied Command Europe was activated on 3 May 2000 at SHAPE with the mission of providing support to soldiers, civilians and family members in Allied Command Operations NATO.

The Command was expanded on 15 November, 2000 to include soldiers, civilians and family members in the Atlantic Command. This action resulted in a name change to the United States Army North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

In September of 2003, NATO reorganized and Allied Command Europe became Allied Command Operations and Atlantic Command became Allied Command Transformation.

In September 2007, the US Army NATO Brigade Headquarters completed its relocation form Casteau, Belgium at SHAPE to Schwetzingen, Germany at Tompkins Barracks.

In August 2012, the US Army NATO Brigade Headquarters completed its relocation from Schwetzingen, Germany to its new location in Sembach, Germany at Heuberg Kaserne. This move culminated with an

 Uncasing of the USANATO Brigade colors at its new home at Sembach Kaserne in the Kaiserslautern Military Community. 


US Army NATO Brigade Heraldry


Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
Approved June 8, 1990

Red, white and blue are our National colors;
gold is for excellence. The star, adapted
from the National flag of the United States,
and the lion, a traditional European symbol,
are combined with the sword to emphasize
the Command’s allied composition
and mission. The star denotes authority
and the lion personifies courage and power.
The two halves of the shield, united by the
sword, illustrate the unit’s defense mission
and goals.

AFNORTH Distinctive Unit Insignia
Approved August 17, 1992

Black and white/silver symbolize twenty-
four hour vigilance and military preparedness;
green denotes life, hope and
faith in the future. The tower recalls
Charlemagne’s castle in Aachen and
denotes defense. The laurel represents
honor and high achievement. The shield
and sword depict the unity of Europe’s
Armed Forces and their readiness to act
if required.

HHC Distinctive Unit Insignia
Approved May 16, 2001

The black chevron denotes support and
strength. The olive branches signify peace,
dedication and achievement. The four-pointed
NATO star emphasizes the support relationship
to that organization. The two halves
of the shield, united by the sword, illustrate
the unit’s defense mission. The mullet and
lion on the shield represent authority and
courage, respectively. Ultramarine blue and
scarlet denote worldwide capability and sacrifice.
Gold signifies excellence.

AFSOUTH Distinctive Unit Insignia
Approved October 5, 1988

Red, white and green are the colors of the National
Flag of Italy; red and gold are the colors of
the coat of arm of Naples. The swords, crossed
over the shield to indicate strength through support,
combined with the Roman helmet, indicate
military preparedness. The star, a symbol
of authority and command, refers to the unit’s
presence and peace keeping mission. The golden
rays and wreath of laurel symbolize high ideals,
victory and mission accomplishment.