3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment
The mission of the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, "Warhorse," is to, on order, deploy to a designated contingency area of operations, conduct reception, staging, onward movement, and integration. It would then, on order, conduct combat operations and redeploy upon mission accomplishment.
The 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment was first constituted in the Regular Army as Company C, 8th Cavalry in 28 July 1866, and organized on 27 October 1866 at Angel Island, California. Designated as a cavalry company, the unit was active throughout the Indian Wars, earning streamers for the following campaigns: Comanches, Apaches, Pine Ridge, Arizona 1867, Arizona 1868, Arizona 1869, Oregon 1868, and Mexico 1877. Cavalry companies were formally redesignated across the US Army as troops in 1883. As a result, Company C, 8th Cavalry became Troop C, 8th Cavalry. For the next 60 years, Troop C, 8th Cavalry, continued to develop its arsenal and tactics as horse and lever-action rifles were slowly replaced with armored vehicles and machine guns.
The 8th Cavalry Regiment as a whole was assigned in December 1917 to the 15th Cavalry Division. The Regiment was relieved from service in the 15th Cavalry Division in May 1918. It was assigned on 13 September 1921 to the 1st Cavalry Division. As part of the draw-down in the US Army following the end of the First World War, the unit was disbanded on 1 February 1928 at Fort Bliss, Texas.
The unit reconstituted on 1 August 1940 in the Regular Army as Troop C, 8th Cavalry, and activated at Fort Bliss, Texas, as an element of the 1st Cavalry Division. It was affected by the dismounting of the 8th Cavalry on 28 February 1943. The Regiment was subsequently reorganized on 4 December 1943 partly under cavalry and partly under infantry tables of organization and equipment, before being reorganized wholly as infantry on 20 July 1945 but retaining cavalry designations. The Second World War took the 8th Cavalry Regiment to combat in the pacific, with streamers for participation in New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago with (with arrowhead indicating participation in the initial assault), Leyte, and Luzon. In Luzon, the Troop received the Presidential Unit Citation. The Battalion also earned the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, streamer embroidered 17 OCTOBER 1944 to 4 JULY 1945.
The unit was redesignated on 25 March 1949 as Company C, 8th Cavalry. and deployed to Japan as part of the US Army occupation forces. From the Army of Occupation in Japan, the 8th Cavalry Regiment went to fight in the Korean Conflict. On 25 January 1951, the 1st Cavalry Division, joined by the revitalized 8th Cavalry, rebounding from its tragedy at Unsan, moved back into action. The movement began as a reconnaissance in force to locate and assess the size of the Red Army, believed to be at least 174,000 strong. The Eighth United States Army moved slowly and methodically, ridge by ridge, phase line by phase line, wiping out each pocket of resistance before moving farther North. The advance covered 2 miles a day, despite heavy blinding snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures. The 1st Cavalry Division slowly advanced though snow and later, when it became warm, through torrential rains. The Red Army was slowly, but firmly, being pushed back. On 14 March 1951, the 8th Cavalry had crossed the Hangchon River and on 15 March 1951, Seoul was recaptured by elements of the Eighth US Army.
In Korea, Company C, 8th Cavalry earned the streamers for particiaption in the following campaigns: UN Defense, UN Offense, CCF Intervention, First UN Counteroffensive, CCF Spring Offensive, UN Summer-Fall Offensive, Second Korean Winter, Korea, Summer-Fall 1952, and Third Korean Winter. For its extensive actions in Korea, the unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (Army), streamer embroidered TAEGU, The Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, streamer embroidered WAEGWAN-TAEGU, the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, streamer embroidered KOREA, and the Chryssoun Artistian Andrias (Bravery Gold Medal of Greece), streamer embroidered KOREA.
Company C, 8th Cavalry was consolidated on 1 August 1957 with the 8th Reconnaissance Company (activated on 15 May 1943 at Camp Young, California) and the consolidated unit was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Reconnaissance Squadron, 8th Cavalry. It was concurrently relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division and assigned to the 8th Infantry Division with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated.
The Squadron was reorganized and redesignated on 1 April 1963, as the 3rd Squadron, 8th Cavalry, assigned to the 8th Infantry Division. On 16 December 1986, the Squadron was inactivated in Germany, and relieved from assignment to the 8th Infantry Division. The Squadron was redesignated on 16 February 1987 as the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry and the unit was assigned to the 3rd Armored Division. It was concurrently activated in Germany.
In the early months of 1991, the Battalion participated in combat actions in Southwest Asia, as part of the 3rd Armor Division, and earned the following streamers: Defense of Saudi Arabia, Liberation and Defense of Kuwait, and Cease Fire after deploying in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. For these actions, the Battalion was awarded the Valorous Unit Award, streamer embroidered IRAQ. After returning from these deployments, the unit was inactivated on 15 November 1991 in Germany and was relieved from assignment to the 3rd Armored Division. The former 8th Reconnaissance Company was concurrently withdrawn from the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry. The unit was assigned on 16 December 1992 to the 1st Cavalry Division and activated at Fort Hood, Texas.
Between December 1992 and March 1993, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, deployed to Kuwait with Task Force 2-7th Infantry. In March 1993, A Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, became the first company in the US Army to field the M1A2 Abrams tank. In August 1995, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry became the first battalion in the US Army to field the M1A2 Abrams tank. Between August to December 1996, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, deployed to Kuwait for Operation Desert Spring. 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.
Between August and December 1998, C and D Companies, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, deployed to Kuwait as part of Task Force 1-9th Infantry. Between August and December, 1999, A and D Companies deployed to Kuwait as part of Task Force 2-7th Infantry. Between April and August, 2000, B and C Companies, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry deployed to Kuwait again with Task Force 1-9th Infantry.
Task Force 3-8th Cavalry troopers deployed to Kuwait as part of an Operation Desert Spring rotation from 15 April to 15 August 2001, as part of ODS Rotation 01-02. 3-8th Cavalry barely had returned home from the rotation before being sent back to Kuwait for another deployment as part of Task Force Blackjack from November 2001 to April 2002 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, was called to deploy to Operation Iraqi Freedom II with the 1st Cavalry Division, between March 2004 and March 2005.
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