1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment
As part of the transformation of the 1st Armored Division to the US Army's modular force structure, the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, was inactivated, reorganized, and reactivated as the cavalry squadron assigned to the reorganized and redesignated 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.
Previously, the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Division, "the Army's First Cavalry Unit," better known as the "Blackhawks" had been the divisional cavalry squadron of the 1st Armored Division. Before its tranformation to the modular force structure, the was made up of 3 ground troops, 2 air troops, one headquarters troop and one aviation maintenance troop.
The 1st Cavalry has a proud heritage of over 160 years of distinguished service in the United States Army. This heritage was symbolized by the squadron's over one hundred and one campaign streamers dating back from the Mexican War in 1846 to Desert Storm in 1991. This was the most of any Regular Army unit at that time. This heritage was further symbolized by the fact that some 37 members of the unit had earned the Medal of Honor.
1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry traces its origins to June 1832 when Henry Dodge organized a battalion of mounted Rangers to fight Black Hawk Indian War. The unit was officially organized by an act of Congress as the United States Regiment of Dragoons on 2 March 1833.
The unit guarded the American frontier for over 60 years clashing with the Black Hawk, Comanche, Pawnee, Apache, Modoc, Nez Perce, Mojave, Crow, and the Sioux Indian Nations during the Indian Wars and also won 5 battle honors during the Mexican War. The unit took part in the battle of Santa Cruz Rosales in Mexico after having marched 210 miles in 4 days and nights to reach it.
Taking part in the American Civil War, the unit fought at Anteitam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Shenandoah, Petersburg, and Appomatox.
During the Spanish-American War the unit fought at Santiago, Cuba, receiving its 61st battle honor. Following the war the unit went to the Philippines to put down insurrections. It went on to to guard the Mexican border from Pancho Villa. The 1st Cavalry Regiment as a whole held its last mounted review as a regiment of horse cavalry on 14 December 1932.
The Air Cavalry Troop, Troop D, joined the Squadron in January 1968. The unit remained in the field continuously during Vietnam from 1967-1972, attached as an independant squadron to elements of the 101st Airborne Division, taking part in 13 campaigns.
1-1st Cavalry returned to Europe and the 1st Armored Division, taking up a frontier mission in December 1978 in the surveillance of the international border between the Federal Republic of Germany and Czechoslovakia. There the unit eventually gained additional aviation elements to help support its mission. V Corps' Kiowa force stood at 27 soldiers strong and hailed from Buedingen, Germany. These parts of the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Division consisted of 3 troops: D ("Desperado"), E ("Executioner") and F Troops ("Falcon").
Their mission was to conduct aerial reconnaissance and report what they saw, like obstacles or enemy positions, for example, to the 1st Armored Division headquarters. Where the Kiowas lead, the Division would follow. They also worked closely with the Abrams tanks and Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicles on the ground.
During Desert Storm, 1-1st Cavalry spearheaded the 1st Armored Division's attack into Iraq in Febuary 1991.
The 1-1st Cavalry was the first Task Force Eagle unit to cross the Sava River into Bosnia. 1-1st Cavalry conducted Peace Enforcement operations from December 1995 to November 1996.
The Southern European Task Force (SETAF) and the 1st Armored Division's 1-1st Cavalry Cavalry teamed up to save the day during an October 2001 CMTC rotation that combined light forces and heavy-mechanized forces to throw back an ever relentless OPFOR.
In the late 2000s, as part of the transformation of the 1st Armored Division to the US Army's new modular force structure, 1-1st Cavalry was inactivated. It was subsequently reorganized and reactivated as the cavalry squadron of the reorganized and redesignated 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.
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