Types of Divisions. The Army has six types of divisions (armored, mechanized, infantry, light
infantry, airborne, and air assault).
a. Armored and mechanized divisions. The Army's heavy divisions (armored and mechanized)
provide mobile, armor-protected firepower. Because of their mobility and survivability, the heavy
divisions are employed over wide areas where they are afforded long-range and flat-trajectory fire.
They destroy enemy armored forces and seize and control land areas, including populations and
resources. During offensive operations, heavy divisions can rapidly concentrate overwhelming combat
power to break through or envelop enemy defenses. They then strike to destroy fire support, command
and control, and service support elements. Using mobility for rapid concentration to attack, reinforce, or
to block, they defeat an enemy while economizing forces in other areas. Heavy divisions operate best in
basically open terrain where they can use their mobility and long-range, direct fire weapons to the best
b. Infantry division. The infantry division is predominantly a dismounted, ground-gaining,
combined arms force capable of operations across the entire spectrum of conflict. It can be effectively
employed in most terrain and environmental conditions where heavy forces cannot exercise their full
battlefield mobility and firepower. The infantry division is best employed in terrain favoring
dismounted operations, such as urban areas. When the division is organized with motorized combat
assets, its tactical mobility and antiarmor potential is greatly increased.
c. Light infantry division. The organization of the light infantry division provides the flexibility
to accomplish missions on a global basis on different types of terrain and against a variety of enemy
forces. It differs from other divisions in both design and concept of employment. The light infantry
division is rapidly deployable and is organized to fight as part of a larger force, in conventional
conflicts, or independently in a low intensity conflict (LIC). The ability of the light infantry division
command and control structure to readily accept augmentation forces permits task organizing for any
situation from low to high-intensity conflicts. The factors of mission, the enemy situation, terrain,
troops and time available (METT-T) largely determine the augmentations required. Although employed
as an entity, the division method of operation is to disperse widely throughout a large area and conduct
synchronized but decentralized operations which exploit the advantages of restricted terrain and limited
visibility. Mass is achieved through the combined effects of synchronized, small-unit operations and
fires, rather than the physical concentration and weight of forces. Massing of light division forces only
occurs when the risk is low and the payoff is high.
d. Airborne division. The airborne division is tailored for airdrop operations and can be
deployed more rapidly than other U.S. divisions. The range of aircraft and instrumentation capability
provide the Air Force with the capability to accurately deliver the airborne division into virtually any
objective area under almost any weather condition.