189th Infantry Brigade (CATB)- Combined Arms Training Brigade

"Cold Steel"


The 189th Combined Arms Training Brigade (CATB) partners with designated units from each component to enable total Army combat readiness throughout the sustainable readiness model.


We are a proud, disciplined, and safe Combined Arms Training Brigade comprised of agile, adaptive, and responsive professionals – each of whom are creative thinkers who sustain high levels of readiness by focusing on fundamentals.

We see any event–desirable or undesirable—as an opportunity to exploit. We are values-based and characterized by OC/Ts that can coach, train, and mentor effectively across the full spectrum of conflict.

We are equally characterized by a team of strong, informed Military Families able to function effectively in garrison and during deployment. All of us—Soldiers and family members alike—are team players, known for our willingness to help anyone in need.


The 189th Infantry Brigade was formed June 24th, 1921, and has been in service to the Nation through World War II to the present. The brigade is comprised of four Regular Army, five Army Reserve battalions and a Headquarters and Headquarters Company comprised of Soldiers from the Active, Guard and Reserve Components. This abbreviated history is a legacy of firsts in First Army:

The 189th Infantry Brigade changed mission from post-mobilization support of the Army Guard and Reserve towards training readiness; supporting other peer partner brigades as they sharpened their conventional war fighting skills. The Cold Steel Brigade fostered in this new evolution with their standing unofficial motto, “Any mission, anytime, anywhere.”

The 189th Infantry Brigade has deployed and served as the core of training operations ten times over the past two years supporting the U.S. Army Reserve 91st Training Division five times and the Army National Guard’s 41st and 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Teams, the 1st of the 34th (1/34), 81st and 116 Armored Brigade Combat Teams, both the 67th and 297th Battlefield Surveillance Brigades and the 196th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. The 189th has partnered with units from First Corps, 7th Infantry Division, the 593d Expeditionary Sustainment Brigade, 2-2 Stryker, 3-2 Stryker, 17th Fires Brigade and 555 Engineers. The Observer, Coach/Trainers of the 189th have served at Joint Base Lewis-McChord; Yakima Training Center; the Joint Readiness Training Center, National Training Center, Hawaii, the Philippines, Fort Hunter-Liggett, California; Orchard Training Center, Idaho; and are presently deployed to Camp Ripley, Minnesota.

The 189th Infantry Brigade was the first in First Army to design and prove utility of an expeditionary Operations Group operating concept. This operating concept leverages the value of being a collaborator, integrator and synchronizer above being an owner and controller. The value of the operations group is to bring a team of teams together building a multi-million dollar, multi-echelon and multi-component exercise around another brigade commander’s intent to allow their training vision to be realized in real time with realistic training.

The 189th Infantry Brigade was the first in First Army to conceptualize, plan and implement scenario driven immersion as part of overall exercise design so as to increase training realism on a scale model with the Joint Readiness and National Training Centers. This training moves beyond traditional lanes training, and three ups and three down After Action Reviews to better surround Soldiers and units with a healthy learning and realistic battlefield environment.

The 189th Infantry and 191st Infantry Brigades were the first in First Army to merge and become one organization. The brigade completed the merge which coincided with a move across Joint Base Lewis-McChord to our new “old” headquarters here in the old 4-2 Stryker Brigade footprint.

The 189th Infantry Brigade, together with the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Enhanced Performance team, is first anywhere in the Army to formally develop coaching as an identifiable skill set. We conceptualized, crafted and developed an entire transformational coaching pilot program built from the Army Resiliency and Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness programs. The pilot program is unique in that it is one third of our duty description as Observer-“Coach”/Trainers, but not taught anywhere in any Army curriculum elsewhere.

The Soldiers before you spend six months of each year on the road training Soldiers, units and organizations. For us, success is when our students succeed in training and on the battlefield. The 189th Infantry Brigade received the Army Superior Unit Award in 2013 and is pending two additional Army Superior Unit Awards. “Any mission, anytime, anywhere.”


Army Superior Unit Award

Streamer Embroidered 2008-2011


Coming Soon: Pre-Arrival and Arrival Information

Campaign Participation Credit

World War II

Northern France


Ardennes – Alsace

Central Europe


Colonel John G. Schwemmer
Brigade Commander
189th Infantry Brigade
CSM Robert M. Keith
Brigade Command Sergeant Major
189th Infantry Brigade

Points of Contact

  • Staff Duty
  • (253) 966-0969
  • Public Affairs
  • (253) 966-6396
  • Chaplain
  • (253) 477-5328

Mailing Address