3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment
3-71st CAV conducts surveillance and reconnaissance operations to enable the 3rd Brigade Combat Team to act decisively at a time and place of its choosing. The 71st Cavalry, as you can tell from the lineage, was converted several times and served as a tank destroyer battalion, a mechanized cavalry reconnaissance squadron, a heavy tank battalion, and an armored infantry battalion. Elements of other cavalry regiments also served as tank battalions during World War II. By tradition, cavalry is the only branch that can also be organized as infantry, armor, or aviation, in addition to its traditional reconnaissance mission. The Tank Destroyer Force as a seperate branch of the US Army was also completely disbanded following the Second World War.
The 71st Cavalry was originally constituted on 3 December 1941 in the Army of the United States as the 701st Tank Destroyer Battalion. It was activated on 15 December 1941 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The unit saw action throughout WWII and earned campaign participation in Algeria-French Morocco, Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, North Appennines, and the Po Valley. The 701st was inactivated on 29 October 1945 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The unit was converted and redesignated on 27 August 1947 as the 327th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, and allotted to the Organized Reserves.
It was again converted and redesignated on 22 March 1949 as the 327th Heavy Tank Battalion. On 17 November 1950, it was inactivated at Ottumwa, Iowa only to be converted and redesignated on 27 February 1951 as the 701st Armored Infantry Battalion. It was concurrently, withdrawn from the Organized Reserve Corps, allotted to the Regular Army, and assigned to the 1st Armored Division. On 7 March 1951, the 701st AIB moved to Fort Hood, Texas for a period of 6 years until it was inactivated on 15 February 1957 at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and relieved from assignment to the 1st Armored Division. On 17 March 2004, the 71st Cavalry Regiment was formed out of this illustrious line of succession. Thereby, a parent regiment under the United States Army Regimental System.
The 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry traces its lineage directly back to Combat Recon Company (C or "Charlie" Company) of the 701st Tank Destroyer Battalion.
3-71st Cavalry can also take pride in the fact that the original tank destroyer concept called for great mobility (Tank Destroyers were lightly armored for greater speed) and its personnel had "an aggressive, elite spirit." Tank Destroyer units had a large reconnaissance capability built into their structure, with some self-propelled battalions having an organic reconnaissance company as one of its 4 line companies. All these abilities contributed to their Tank Destroyer Force motto "Seek, Strike, Destroy." During WWII, the tank destroyer battalions served in multi-functional roles and earned a proud combat record.
The 3-71st Cavalry Squadron was reactivated as part of the overall transition of the 10th Mountain Division to the US Army's new modular force structure. A Cavalry element was required by the new structure for each Brigade Combat Team. 3-71st Cavalry became the Cavalry Squadron assigned to the 10th Mountain's newly reorganized 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
As of late spring 2006, the 3-71st Cavalry operated in the Kunar province of Afghanistan, as part of the on going Operation Enduring Freedom.
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