1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment
The mission of the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, "Charger," is to, on order, deploy to a contingency area of operations, prepare for, and conducts full-spectrum operations. It would then, on order, redeploy and prepare for future operations.
An act of Congress approved on 2 February 1901, authorized the organization of the 12th Cavalry Regiment. Under this authority, the Regiment was formed at Fort Sam Houston, Texas on 8 February 1901.
From 1901 until 1911, the Regiment served posts in Texas, Georgia, and the Philippines. In 1903, the Regiment was sent to the Philippines and then returned to the US to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia in 1905. Four years later, the Regiment returned to the Philippines. In 1914, the 1st Squadron, 12th Cavalry Regiment was ordered to Texas to conduct border patrol duty in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. There they engaged small detachments of raiding bandits until 22 February 1916. The 1st Squadron, 12th Cavalry then reported for duty to Corozal in the Panama Canal Zone. The Squadron remained in Corozal until 1921 when the Regiment was reorganized during the draw-down following the First World War.
After reorganization in 1921, the Regiment remained at various posts in South Texas. On 24 March 1923, the 12th Cavalry was assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Division. On 3 January 1933, the 12th Cavalry was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division and participated in several Division maneuvers.
In 1942, the 12th Cavalry still consisted of horse mounted soldiers. They were dismounted on 28 February 1943 and reorganized in preparation for overseas service. The 12th Cavalry arrived in Australia on 26 July 1943 and began 6 months of jungle and amphibious training. The Regiment's first assault in the Pacific War came on 29 February 1944 when soldiers from the Regiment assaulted the Los Negros Islands in the Admiralty Islands, north of New Guinea.
The 12th Cavalry was assigned to the Layette-Samar Campaign and helped liberate those islands from Japanese control in spite of stubborn resistance. Continuing the attack onto the island of Luzon, Regimental history was highlighted on 3 February 1945 when a flying column of Cavalrymen cut a 100 mile path through enemy-held territory to be the "First in Manilla." After World War II, the 12th Cavalry was reorganized on 20 July 1945 for occupation duty in Japan and was inactivated after serving in that capacity on 29 March 1949.
The unit was reactivated on 15 February 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Reconnaissnace Squadron, 12th Cavalry, with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated. The unit became part of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Polk, Louisiana. 1-12th Cavalry was again inactivated on 3 February 1962. It was redesignated on 15 July 1963 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry, with its subordinate elements being reorganized. On 1 September 1963, the unit was subsequently reactivated assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division in Korea. Later that year, the Battalion returned to Fort Benning, Georgia as part of the reflagging of the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) as the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).
On 28 July 1965, the unit was deployed to the Republic of Vietnam. During the Vietnam conflict, units of the Battalion participated in 12 campaigns and earned 3 Presidential Unit Citations and 3 Valorous Unit Awards for actions against the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army.
On 5 May 1971, the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry had returned from Vietnam to its new home at Fort Hood, Texas as the only mechanized infantry battalion in the 1st Cavalry Division. In mid-1972, 2-12th Cavalry was inactivated and its personnel were reflagged as the 1-12th Cavalry, which had returned from Vietnam after standing down there in June 1972. In FY72, the Battalion participated in a number of events and programs designed to improve the image of the United States Army in the eyes of the public, as well as increasing technical and tactical proficiency.
On 15 June 1983, the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry was relieved of its assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division and was inactivated at Fort Hood, Texas. Three years later, on 4 October 1986, the Battalion was reactivated as the 1st Squadron, 12th Cavalry at Fort Knox, Kentucky. There the squadron assumed the mission of training new armor soldiers. On 16 December 1992, the Squadron was redesignated as the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry and moved to Fort Hood, Texas. It was reassigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, becoming part of the 1st Brigade.
In July 1998, the 1-12th Cavalry at Fort Hood, Texas, completed new equipment training on the M1A2 Abrams tank with a Tank Table VIII crew gunnery live-fire exercise. This event ended a 3-year process of fielding the world's most sophisticated and lethal main battle tank to the soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Division. Fielding of M1A2 tanks to the 1st Cavalry Division was a textbook example of total package fielding (TPF). It also illustrates some of the techniques and procedures that were used in the office of the Project Manager, Abrams Tank System (PM Abrams), to ensure that fieldings of complex weapon systems occur successfully and with minimal impact on the receiving unit. As of early 2001, the 1st Battalion, 12th Calvary Regiment was scheduled to transition to the M1A2 SEP tank.
As part of the Army's transformation towards a modular force, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry was inactivatd on 12 July 2005 and was reactivated as an alement of the reorganized and redesignated 3rd Brigade Combat Team on 14 July 2005.
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