1st Battalion, 33rd Armored Regiment
"Men of War"
As part of the Army's transformation towards a modular force, the 1st Battalion, 33rd Armored Regiment was redesignated 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment in 2005, and reassigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. The 1-33rd Cavalry contiued the 1-33rd Armored's lineage.
The mission of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company mission was to deploy by air and sea, draws or downloads equipment, occupies a designated assembly area and prepares for combat. On order it conducts combat service support of the Task Force's offensive and defensive operations. The Headquarters and Headquarters Company provides command, control and combat support for the four tank companies in the battalion. The HHC consists of the Battalion Commander and staff, Maintenance, Medics, Mortars, Scouts, Support, Commo and DFAC personnel. HHC supports every battalion mission, every day.
Only one battalion of the 33rd Armored Regiment remained an active component of the US Military at the turn of the 21st century. This was the 1-33rd Armor based at Fort Lewis, Washington. The 1st Battalion, 33rd Armor Regiment was activated 15 April 1941 at Camp Beauregard, Louisiana. The unit went through a rigorous train-up period in September 1943 and then set sail for action in Europe. Once on the ground, the 33rd Regiment became the "Sunday Punch" in the 3rd Armored Division's famous drive across the continent. The unit moved so fast across France to the Falaise-Argentan Gap that tank commanders often received maps of terrain that had been crossed several days prior. There were no detailed plans, no briefings, and no objective short of Berlin.
Slowed only by lack of fuel and supplies, the unit fought at a furious tempo. As one of the spearhead units, the 1st Battalion had the honor of being the first American force to capture a German town, Roentgen. On 16 November 1944, 1-33rd Armor was ordered to seize the towns of Hasenrath and Scherpenseel. The Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Mills, was killed while directing the fight, but 1-33rd fought on to victory. The unit was later accorded the great honor of receiving a Distinguished Unit Citation for its heroic performance and LTC Mills was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. The 1st Battalion continued its assault across Germany, eventually halting at Dessau on the Elbe River.
After World War II, the battalion went through a series of deactivations and reactivations. In March of 1995, the 1st Battalion, 33rd Armor Regiment was reactivated at Fort Lewis, Washington as part of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. The soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 33rd Armor Regiment subsequently carried on the "Men of War" tradition preparing for battle at Yakima Training Center, the Joint Readiness Training Center, and the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.
1st Battalion, 33rd Armor deployed in May 2001 in preparation for a rotation to the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, Louisiana, with the 25th Infantry Division (Light) in December. Joining 1st Battalion, 33rd Armor, at Yakima Training Center [YTC] were attachments from 25th Forward Support Battalion and 593rd Corps Support Group. Training at YTC gave tank crews an opportunity to polish skills that might have gotten rusty on while in garrison. The tank companies honed their warfighting skills and tested themselves in a capstone event called Tank Table VIII. In this event, individual crews used all of the tank's weapons systems to engage and destroy troop and vehicle targets between the ranges of 350 to 2,400 meters. There were 10 series of engagements, which are conducted during both the day and night.
The Army's first two Interim Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT), 3rd Brigade of the 2nd Infantry and 1st Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division, both stationed at Fort Lewis, started the transition to IBCTs in 1999. They were scheduled to finish the process in fiscal year 2003 and 2004, respectively. As of July 2001 discussions were underway with the manufacturer of the Interim Armored Vehicle to accelerate fielding of the vehicles to 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, and 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.
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