Through the years the Chicago Recruiting Battalion has placed thousands of qualified applicants into the Army. The Chicago area is one of the most diverse recruiting markets in the country. Recruits from the Chicagoland area add a unique dimension to the Army. The Chicago Recruiting Battalion is currently based at the Philip H. Sheridan Army Reserve Center, 35 miles north of Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan.
The battalion's mission is to recruit for the active Army, United States Army Reserve, Officer Candidate School and Warrant Officer Flight Training. Each year Chicago Battalion recruits approximately 3,000 regular Army and Army Reserve soldiers in more than 200 Military Occupational Specialties. Of those recruits, more than 8 out of 10 are high school graduates with six out of 10 recruits scoring in the top half of the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery Test.
There have been many changes to recruiting through the years spurred by realignments and re-designations. Chicago has been a hub in Army recruiting since 1966 when the 5th Recruiting District was here. Recruiting Battalions were first called Recruiting Main Stations, then renamed District Recruiting Commands. Recruiting Districts became Regional Recruiting Commands, and later, Recruiting Brigades. The Chicago Battalion is currently under 3rd Recruiting Brigade.
In 1966, the Chicago Recruiting Main Station recruited from 54 counties in Illinois and Indiana which encompassed over 32,434 square miles with a population of 10,464,200. There were 150 recruiters manning 53 recruiting stations. During the late 70s through 1993, Chicago Recruiting Battalion's area was only three Illinois counties covering 1,742 square miles and 6,362,000 people.
Starting in June 1992 and ending September 1993, recruiting territories across the country were realigned. Chicago Recruiting Battalion added nine counties, for a total of 12. The battalion had 34 regular recruiting stations and two nurse stations with a total strength of 12 officers, 146 enlisted soldiers and 23 civilians.
Chicago Recruiting Battalion's area changed with yet another realignment in October 1993, growing from 12 counties in Illinois and Indiana to include 25 counties but only in northern Illinois. This increased the territory from 6,761 to over 16,763 square miles with a population of 8,213,295.
The battalion encompasses the area from the Wisconsin border on the north to the southern most counties of Iroquois, LaSalle, Ford, Henry and McLean; east from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River on the west.
The battalion now consists of six company headquarters, 32 recruiting stations, 13 reserve centers, and 189 Army Reserve Troop Program Units.
The high schools our recruiters communicate with have increased from 232 in 1991 to our current number of over 364 non-adjudicated facilities. The battalion also services thirty-five 2-year, and fifty nine 4-year colleges.