​Regimental history

PSYOP Historical Timeline

World War I Era

1917, 6 April - United States enters World War I

1918, 23 January - Psychologic Subsection is established in the War Department.  Led by Captain (CPT) Heber Blankenhorn, it studies "the psychologic factor in the strategic situation."  Its members deploy five months later.

1918, 28 August - The AEF Propaganda Section begins operations.  Led by CPT Blankenhorn, it disseminates over 3 million leaflets to enemy forces from August to November 1918.

1918, 11 November - Armistice ends hostilities of World War I.  The Army dismantles its nascent propaganda capability, forcing it to start from scratch when another war begins twenty years later.

World War II Era

1941, 25 June - Psychological Branch is formed in the War Department.  Later known as the Special Study Group and the Psywar Branch, G-2, it is dissolved in December 1942.

1941, 11 July - Coordinator of Information is established.  It is the predecessor of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

1941, 7 December - Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.  U.S. Congress declares war the next day.

1942, 13 June - OSS is established.

1942, 27 October - Psywar Service, Allied Force Headquarters, is created.  Soon re-named the Psywar Branch (PWB/AFHQ), it supports the Mediterranean Theater of Operations.  It is soon assigned to the Information and Censorship Section, headed by BG Robert A. McClure.

1943, 3 January - Morale Operations (MO) Branch, OSS, is established.  It conducts 'black' (falsely attributed) propaganda overseas.  The U.S. Army and Overseas Branch, Office of War Information (OWI), conduct 'white' (openly attributed) propaganda.

1943, 19 February - 1st & 2nd Broadcast Station Operating Detachments (BSOD) are assigned to PWB/AFHQ.  The BSODs provide radio broadcast support to the Allied campaign in North Africa.

1943, 21 May - 1st Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company (MRBC) is assigned to PWB/AFHQ.  Activated the previous month as the first of five MRBCs, it is equipped with transmitters, printing presses, loudspeakers, and monitoring devices.

1943, November - Propaganda Branch, G-2, War Department General Staff, is formed.  This is a reincarnation of the defunct Psywar Branch, G-2.

1943, 13 November - BG McClure becomes head of the Publicity and Psychological Warfare (P&PW) Division in London, England.  Three months later, P&PW becomes G-6, SHAEF.

1943, 29 December - 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th MRBCs are activated at Camp Ritchie, MD.  They deploy to Europe in early 1944 to provide tactical psywar support to the Allies.  The 3rd MRBC is the parent unit in the lineage of today's 7th POB.

1943, 29 December - SHAEF activates the 6808th Publicity and Psywar Service Battalion (Provisional).  Three months later it is reorganized into the 72nd Publicity Service Battalion.

1944, 13 April - G-6, SHAEF splits into two divisions: Publicity and Psywar.  Under BG McClure, PWD/SHAEF oversees the strategic psywar effort in Europe, which includes some five billion leaflets distributed.

1944, June - Psywar Branch, g-2, South West Pacific Area, is established.  Headed by BG Bonner F. Fellers, it supports the Allied return to the Philippines.

1945, 13 March - Position of Theater Psywar Officer is established in the China Theater.  It coordinates joint/interagency psywar activities in Japanese-occupied China.

1945, 8 May - Victory in Europe (V-E) Day.

1945, 14 July - PWD/SHAEF is dismantled.  Military Government's Information Control Division absorbs PWD assets.  Tactical psywar units are soon deactivated.

1945, 9 August - ADM Chester W. Nimitz establishes a Psywar Branch in the Central Pacific Area.

1945, 15 August - Japan announces its surrender following recent atomic bomb drops on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Formal surrender happens on 2 September.  Psywar Agencies Army-wide suffer due to demobilization, but in 1947 a Psywar Branch is revived under the G-2, Far East Command (FEC). 

1950, ​BG McClure and his staff established the Psychological Warfare School in Fort Riley, Kansas. BG McClure was also named Chief, Psychological Warfare Division.

1952, The Psychological Warfare Center in Fort Bragg is established (later became the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.


1950, ​The U.S. Army Far East Command's Special Projects Branch began radio broadcasts and leaflet drops over the Republic of South Korea immediately after North Korea's invasion across the 38th Parallel


1991, 9th PSYOP Battalion, flew aerial loudspeaker persuading adversaries to surrender. Their efforts caused 1,405 Iraqis, including a general officer, to surrender to the Marine forces without a single shot having been fired.

Regimental Insignia

A gold color metal and enamel device 1 1/4 inches (3.18 cm) in width overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Paly of three Argent (Silver Gray), Argent and Sable a wreath of laurel Proper and overall two lightning flash swords saltirewise superimposed by a chess knight.  Attached below the shield is a green scroll inscribed "Persuade Change Influence" in gold.

Silver gray, white and black represent the three types of Psychological Operations; white represents the overt processes, black is for the covert and gray for the hidden.  The laurel wreath symbolizes honor and achievement.  The center device is adapted from the Psychological Operations collar insignia.  The chess knight represents the ability to act obliquely and influence all types of warfare.  The lightning bolt swords denote speed and the ability to strike anywhere.  The insignia was authorized 18 November 1998.

Branch Insignia

​On a gold color disk, crossed daggers with blade forming a lighting bolt, superimposed by a knight chess piece.

Authorized in November 1990 for wear by enlisted personnel assigned to the Psychological Operations Career Management Field (CMF 37).  A collar insignia for officers was approved by the G-1 on 18 April 2004.  The design is that of the enlisted collar insignia without the disc.  The knight chess piece is a traditional symbol of special operations and signifies the ability to influence all types of warfare.  The lightning bolts represent the psychological operations ability to strike anywhere with speed and the two swords represent the combat capabilities.  The item changed to branch insignia with the approval of Psychological Operations as a branch in October 2006.

The primary color of the PSYOP Branch is bottle green, and the secondary color is silver gray.