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 The U.S. Government decided in the fall of 1948 that U.S. forces in Korea be withdrawn and defense responsibility transferred to constabulary forces of the newly formed Republic of Korea so a small "Provisional Military Advisory Group" (PMAG) — consisting of 100 men and officers -- was created on 15 August 1948 to provide training and logistical support to the fledgling constabulary. Between 15 August and 31 December 1948 PMAG’s size increased to 241 men and officers. During the same period, what had been ROK constabulary forces were redesignated the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) and U.S. forces began leaving the country.

The United States formally recognized the Republic of Korea on 1 January 1949. PMAG, on 1 July 1949 with the departure of the last American troops of the 5th Regimental Combat Team from Korea, became the United States Military Advisory Group to the Republic of Korea or as it was commonly known, KMAG. At that time KMAG became an integral part of the U.S. State Department’s American Mission to Korea, thus becoming independent of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur’s Far East Command. This move also put South Korea outside of what the United States considered its strategic defense zones, something which weighed heavily in the decision process when North Korea decided to "liberate South Korea’s oppressed masses from the corrupt Rhee Government."

Shortly after North Korea invaded South Korea, 25 June 1950, command and control of KMAG reverted back to 8th U.S. Army, Korea (EUSAK) and designated as, United States Military Advisory Group, Korea, 8668th Army Unit. It was redesignated the 8202nd Army Unit on 28 December 1950.

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