4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment
"Garry Owen" / "Out Front!"
On order the 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment transitions to War and performs reconnaissance and security operations to allow 2nd Infantry Division to execute OPLAN 5027. In December 2004, Camps Stanton and Gary Owen were closed. Also, as part of the transformation of the 2nd Infantry Division to the US Army's new modular force structure, its divisional cavalry squadron was inactivated. Each modular maneuver brigade under the modular force structure recieved an organic cavalry squadron. 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry was reorganized and reassigned as the organic cavalry element of the reorganized 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and moved to Camp Hovey to continue its mission.
Prior to the reorganization of US Forces in Korea and the beginning of the transformation of the 2nd Infantry Division to the US Army's new modular force structure, the 4th Squadron 7th Cavalry was the Army's most forwardly deployed heavy Divisional Cavalry Squadron. It was headquartered at Camp Garry Owen, South Korea, but because of the diversity of the squadron, the squadron was not located on one installation. There were approximately 804 personnel assigned to the unit in its pre-modular organization, including approximately 53 Korean Augmentee to the US Army (KATSUA) personnel. Approximately 624 personnel were located at Camp Gary Own, with 219 in the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, and 135 personnel each in 3 additional troops (A, B, and C Troops). Three additional troops were located at Camp Stanton, 2 with only approximately 27 personnel (D an E Troops) and one with approximately 73 personnel (F Troop). The Squadron as a whole had 27 M1A1 main battle tanks, 41 M3A2 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicles, 16 OH-58D(I) Kiowa Warrior helicopters, and 6 M1064 mortar carriers.
4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment was responsible for accomplishing reconnaissance and security missions and engaging in offensive, defensive and retrograde operations as a part of the 2nd Infantry Division. While assigned as the divisional cavalry squadron, the 4-7th Cavalry was the "eyes and ears" of the 2nd Infantry Division. The Squadron was tasked to be combat ready at all times, to be prepared to counter North Korean aggression, and to ensure the ROK Army was also "Second to None." The Squadron conducted a very active training program to remain prepared to accomplish these missions.
The Squadron's mission essential task list included transition to war, conducting screen, conducting area and zone reconnaissance, conducting movement to contact, performing combat service support operations, conducting tactical movement, and conducting anit-terrorism, force protection, and civil disturbance operations.
Prior to the modular reorganization, the 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry's missions in Korea consisted of:
Quick Saber: On order, the Squadron was prepared to launch armed aerial reconnaissance teams to provide the Division Commander accurate, real-time situational reports allowing him to make well-informed decisions and react to contact. One Air Cavalry Troop was on "the Pistol" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and able to launch in support of these missions within one hour of notification.
Vigilant Warrior: On order, the Squadron would provide forward security and reconnaissance elements in conjunction with the National Command Authority in order to support the multinational peacekeeping force in the evacuation of the Joint Security Area. One Ground Cavalry Troop was locked down on Camp Garryowen for a 7 day cycle in an increased readiness rate able to deploy within 30 minutes (365 days a year).
Counterfire: On order, the Squadron would provide aerial reconnaissance and ground security forces that supported the 2nd Infantry Division's go-to-war OPLAN. The responsibility of ensuring theater-level assets were emplaced, secured, and retain their freedom of maneuver lay squarely on the 4th Squadron 7th Cavalry Regiment.
Counterattack: The Squadron was prepared to reconsolidate, reorganize, and conduct reconnaissance and security operations in order to support the 2nd Infantry Division. The squadron leads the division in during counterattack operations.
As part of its mission 4-7th Cavalry had a mission requirement to deploy within 30 minutes of an alert. The Squadron designated 3 levels of readiness - Squadron Readiness Force (SRF). The squadron designated a ground troop and an air troop at a time to be Squadron Ready Force One (SRF1). These units were poised to execute Vigilant Warrior or any other no-notice operation. Personnel in the SRF1 GCT were prohibited from taking Warrior Passes and all other leaves and passes were at the discretion of the troop commander. These 2 units had to remain alcohol free until they were no longer SRF1. The core of SRF1 was the Initial Ready Package (IRP). The IRP had to be at 100 percent manning, could not take leave or pass, but could leave post for collective training as approved by the SCO. It consisted of the following:
- IRP (Ground) - 7 M3A2, 2 M1064A3, one M923, and one M113A3 (ambulance)
- IRP (Air) - 4 OH-58D(I) with 8 Pilots, 4 Crew Chiefs, and one NCO
- IRP (Avn Supt) - One NCOIC, 2 mechanics, 2 shops soldiers, and 3 III/V
- IRP (C4I) - Either the SCO, the SXO, or the S3
- Either the HHT Commander, XO, or 1SG
- An OIC or NCOIC from S1, S2, S3, S4, SIGO, SMO, MED, and FSE
SRF 2 was available to conduct individual and collective training. The force would backfill SRF 3 on details and ranges. The force had to maintain 50 percent assigned strength on the installation except when training to ensure the SRF was able to execute its scatter plan.
The SRF 3 was available to conduct all details/ranges. The force had to maintain 50 percent assigned strength on the installation except when training to ensure the SRF is able to execute its scatter plan. Normally, the ground troop designated SRF 1 would also be designated SRF 3.
The 7th Cavalry Regiment, known as the "Garry Owen Regiment," was constituted by act of Congress and War Department General Order 56 on 1 August 1866 at Fort Riley, Kansas under command of Colonel Andrew Jackson Smith. Its ranks were filled with a hard-bitten crew of trappers, frontiersmen, and Civil War veterans. 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment traces its lineage to Company D, 7th Cavalry, first constituted on 28 July 1866 in the Regular Army. The unit was organized on 21 September 1866 at Fort Riley, Kansas.
The Regiment received its baptism by fire in 1867, as a part of an expedition against the Cheyenne. On 27 November 1868, the 7th Cavalry swept down on Black Kettle's sleeping village of Cheyenne, and took them completely by surprise. During the Indian Campaigns between 1866 and 1891, the 7th Cavalry acquired the reputation as the most experienced and capable mounted regiment in the US Army. Under such leaders as Brevet Major General George A. Custer, the Regiment fought innumerable battles against the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Nez Perce Indians. On the command "Forward" and the playing of Custer's favorite tune "Garry Owen," the troops stood ready for battle at all times.
On 25 June 1876, the Regiment engaged in the infamous Battle of Little Big Horn in Montana. Despite the outcome of this battle, the engagement distinguished the 7th Cavalry Regiment in setting a pattern for fighting men in courage and devotion to duty. This battle gave the regiment one of six campaign streamers gained in the courage of the long and bloody Indian Wars. Fourteen troopers received the Congressional Medal of Honor during this period.
In 1883 all Cavalry companies in the US Army was redesignated as troops, with the unit becoming Troop D, 7th Cavalry. In the years that followed, the Regiment was part of the Army of Pacification in Cuba and from 1905 to 1907 it helped combat the Phillipine Insurrection in Luzon. After fighting in these locations, the 7th Cavalry joined General John J. Pershing in the Mexican Punitive Expedition against the legendary Pancho Villa in 1916. The 7th Cavalry was assigned in December 1917 to the 15th Cavalry Division and relieved in May 1918 from this assignment.
The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 13 September 1921 as Headquarters Troop, 1st Cavalry Division. It was again reorganized and redesignated on 4 December 1943 as Headquarters Troop, 1st Cavalry Division, Special. Serving with the 1st Cavalry Division in World War II, the 7th Cavalry garnered campaign streamers for New Guinea, Bismark Archipelago, Leyte, and Luzon campaigns and the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. After the Leyte Campaign, 41 Silver Stars were earned by the men of the 7th Cavalry out of 92 given to the entire Division. The Regiment was chosen to escort General Douglas MacArthur into Tokyo. The Regiment served 5 years in Japan as part of the occupation force.
Less than a week after the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, the 7th Cavalry drove 106 miles through enemy lines in 24 hours, the longest one day advance in U.S. military history to that point, in order to join the 7th Infantry Division in Osan. It continued to fight with the 7th Infantry Division throughout the Korean War. The 7th Infantry Division fought valiantly in the battles of Naktong River, Seoul, the Chosen Reservoir, the Yalu, and during Operation Commando. The 7th Cavalry recieved 8 campaign stars and 4 Presidential Unit Citations for service in Korea. It also recieved 4 Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations and the Chryssoun Ariston Andrias Greek Bravery Citation. On 25 March 1949, the unit had been again reorganized and redesignated 25 March 1949 as Headquarters Company, 1st Cavalry Division.
After its service in Korea, the 7th Cavalry returned to Japan with the 1st Cavalry Division to assist in the mission of protecting the island of Hokkaido from attack. In August of 1957, the Regiment moved out of Japan in conjunction with the reduction of ground forces in Japan. On 1 July 1960, the unit was disbanded in Korea.
It was reconstituted on 2 July 1960 in the Regular Army, consolidated with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Cavalry and the consolidated unit was designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Cavalry. Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Cavalry had been first constituted as Troop D, 7th Cavalry on 13 November 1943 and activated on 4 December 1943 in Australia, partly under cavalry and partly under infantry tables of organization and equipment. It was reorganized and redesignated on 25 March 1949 as Company D, 7th Cavalry as part of the reorganization of the entire 7th Cavalry as infantry, through it retained its cavalry designations. In 1957, the unit was inactivated and consolidated with what had previously been Headquarters Company, 1st Cavalry Division.
The unit was redesignated on 25 January 1963 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry, and assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division with its organic elements concurrently constituted. The squadron was activated on 20 February 1963 at Fort Benning, Georgia. In 1965, the 4-7th Cavalry joined the Korea-based 2nd Infantry Division. This new mission made 4-7th Cavalry the eyes and ears for the 2nd Infantry Division along the Western Corridor of the Korean Peninsula. Its organization has changed repeatedly between numbers of air troops and ground troops, but the mission remained the same.
In 1988, the 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry was inactivated and the unit reflagged as the 5th Squadron, 17th Cavalry at Camp Garry Owen, Korea. On 16 February 1989, the 4-7th Cavalry was reactivated in Buedingen as part of the 3rd Armored Division. The Squadron deployed to Southwest Asia in December 1990 and led the Spearhead Division into Iraq and throughout the 100 hour Operation Desert Storm ground war.
4-7th Cavalry was again inactivated on 16 October 1991 in Germany and relieved from assignment to the 3rd Armored Division. Headquarters and Headquarters Troop consolidated on 5 April 1996 with the 2nd Reconnaissance Company and the consolidated unit was designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry. 5-17th Cavalry was concurrently reflagged as 4-7th Cavalry and the unit was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division and activated in Korea. 2nd Reconnaissance Company had originally been constituted on 20 July 1940 in the Regular Army as the 2nd Reconnaissance Troop and assigned to the 2nd Division, which was later redesignated as the 2d Infantry Division. The 2nd Reconnaissance Troop was activated on 1 August 1940 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. It was redesignated on 1 April 1942 as the 2nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop and again on 1 March 1943 as the 2nd Reconnaissance Troop. It was reorganized and redesignated on 10 August 1943 as the 2d Reconnaissance Troop, Mechanized, redesignated on 6 July 1944 as the 2nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, Mechanized, and then on 16 June 1945 and 30 July 1945, as the 2nd Mechanized Reconnaissance Troop and the 2nd Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop respectively. The unit was reorganized and redesignated again on 15 October 1948 as the 2nd Reconnaissance Company and was finally inactivated 20 June 1957 in Alaska and relieved from assignment to the 2nd Infantry Division.
FY02 was a productive year for 4-7th Cavalry. Responsible to train on 3 major weapons systems plus indirect fire assets consisting of over 800 troopers and 55 KATUSAs, the squadron established a training strategy that integrated Air-Ground mission requirements and accounted for the tyrannies of Korea (Turbulence, Distance, Dispersion and Congestion). On an annual basis, the Squadron executed 2 semi-annual training cycles centered around combined arms gunnery and maneuver training densities. In FY02, its OH-58D(I) Kiowas flew 4089 hours while its M3 Scouts and M1A1 Tanks trained 970 miles throughout the Korean countryside. 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry's warfighting readiness remained constant throughout the year in order to maintain continuous readiness and the ability to accomplish our missions.
Also during FY02, 4-7th Cavalry executed 15 no-notice alerts and several real world missions to include: flying security for the President of the United States during his visit to Panmunjeom; reconnaissance of Camp Red Cloud during violent Korean demonstrations to give 2nd Infantry Division commanders real time information; and the Search and Rescue for a downed Aircraft.
Prior to Ulchi-Focus Lens 2003 the cavalry scouts of Troop B, 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, carried out a mock wartime mission at the Korean Training Center on 9 August 2003.
On 1 December 2004, the Squadron's 3 Air Cavalry Troops, D, E, and F troops, were deactivated. Since 1996 the OH-58D(I) Kiowa Warriors tour of duty included such missions as Quick Saber and Vigilant Warrior. The Army's restructuring of forces relocated the Squadron's OH-58D(I) Kiowa Warriors to Air Cavalry and Attack units at Fort Drum, New York.
Also on 1 December 2004, the Squadron closed Camp Garry Owen and Camp Stanton. The 4th Squadron 7th Cavalry reorganized and restationed to Camp Hovey, where they began transforming to an all armored reconnaissance Squadron under the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. This was part of both the reorganization of US Forces in Korea and the transformation of the 2nd Infantry Division to the US Army's new modular force structure. Part of that transformation included the activation of organic cavalry elements in each of the Division's maneuver brigades and the inactivation of the divisional cavalry squadron.
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