50th Chemical Company

Somerset, NJ

Soldiers from the 50th Chemical Company wash off potential chemicals from a HUMVEE as part of the decontamination process during a Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) defense exercise at the Somerset Armory.


Rule the Battle by Means of the Elements

Job training for a Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) Specialist requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training, where you'll learn basic Soldiering skills, and 10 weeks of Advanced Individual Training and on-the-job instruction.

Related Civilian Jobs
The skills you learn as a CBRN Specialist will help prepare you for a civilian career with federal, state and local governments, including law enforcement and civil defense agencies. In addition, personnel managers in Homeland Security, Consequence Management, Environmental Protection, and many other civilian career fields are looking for employees with skills and experience you will acquire as a CBRN Specialist.

Military Occupational Specialties

74D Chemical, Bio
logical, Radiological and Nuclear Specialist
Emergency management specialists, such as the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Specialist, prepare emergency plans and procedures for all types of disasters, including floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, biological warfare and enemy attacks. They are primarily responsible for operating, maintaining or supervising the use of nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) detection and decontamination equipment, as well as smoke-generating equipment. They also train military and civilian personnel on what to do in an emergency.

History of the Chemical Corps

The U.S. Army Chemical Corps traces its history to the European battlefields of World War I. The European use of chemical weapons to break the deadlock of trench warfare led General Pershing to the creation of a Gas Service. It trained and equipped the American Expeditionary Force for defense against gas attack. The First Gas Regiment was formed and deployed to make our defense more robust and to deliver retaliatory strikes. On June 28, 1918, the War Department established the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) to manage chemical offensive and defensive programs. Recognizing that chemical warfare was a likely threat in any future conflict, Congress made the CWS a permanent branch of the Army in 1920.

During the interwar years, the CWS conducted research and development to ensure that the Army had a credible chemical offensive capability as well as an effective defensive posture. The success of these programs helped prevent the use of chemical weapons by our adversaries in World War II. The CWS expanded its battlefield capabilities with implementation of the 4.2-inch chemical mortar and smoke generators, which delivered smoke and high explosive munitions in support of combat arms missions. The CWS also developed and deployed a family of flame and incendiary weapons systems. In 1942 the CWS undertook the responsibility for managing developments in biological, as well as, chemical warfare. After World War II, the CWS, redesignated the Chemical Corps in 1946, continued its work on improving chemical and biological offensive and defensive capabilities. In 1949 it was assigned the responsibilities of radiological warfare, giving the Chemical Corps the responsibility for Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) warfare.

Soldiers of NJ's 114th Infantry move through a
smokescreen and simulated gas attack in 1936.
During the Korean War, the Corps conducted the longest duration smoke mission ever: a continuous smoke screen protected troop movements in Artillery Valley for 14 months. The 4.2 inch Chemical Mortar battalions were also employed extensively, eventually transferring the mission to the infantry in 1953.

During the Vietnam War the Corps developed and used aerial "people sniffers" to find the enemy, thickened fuel flame devices to protect firebases, herbicides to clear fields of fire and tear gas to restrict the enemy and control crowds. With the post-Vietnam demobilization, the Corps found itself in danger of abolishment; however, in light of clear signs that the Soviet Bloc was increasing its ability to employ Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) weapons, the move never came to fruition.

The United States renounced the use of Biological Weapons in 1972 and Chemical Weapons in 1997. Despite these changes in U.S. policy, the threat of attack by CBRN weapons remained high. Thus the Nation determined that it remained essential to maintain a substantial CBRN defensive capability.

Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1991 were clear tests of the Chemical Corps' capability to protect Army forces from an adversary armed with Chemical and Biological weapons. Saddam Hussein's regime had a vast array of these weapons and the Chemical Corps' Herculean efforts to ensure the force was adequately prepared helped to deter Iraq from the use of chemical and biological warfare.

With the terrorist attacks on America on September 11th, 2001, and the Anthrax attacks of October 2001. The original Chemical Corp's mission to "Protect the Force" expanded. The Chemical Corps was called upon to be prepared to protect the homeland, conduct sensitive site exploitation, and to be ready to protect against a greater and ever changing list of potential threat CBRN hazards.

Chemical Corps Soldiers and Units have participated in every stage of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, conducting a variety of missions in support of national objectives, demonstrating their unmatched adaptability and dedication.

Since 1918, the proud Warriors of the U.S. Chemical Corps have served to protect the Nation and the U.S. Army from the threat of CBRN attack and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

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