Military


4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment
D Troop, 9th Cavalry Regiment
"Dark Horse"

The mission of the 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, "Dark Horse," is to conduct reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) to provide accurate and timely information over a large and complex operational environment to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team commander.

On 28 July 1866, the 39th Congress of the United States passed an act to improve the peace establishment of the nation. This act authorized the formation of additional regiments in the US Army, 2 cavalry and 4 infantry. For the first time in the nation's history, these Regular Army regiments were to consist of black enlisted soldiers. The 9th Cavalry was organized on 21 September 1866 at Greenville, Louisiana, a town near New Orleans. Colonel Edward Hatch, a veteran cavalryman and former general officer in the recently concluded Civil War, was selected to be the Regiment's first commander. The 9th Cavalry, along with its sister regiment, the 10th Cavalry, became known as the "Buffalo Soldier" regiments, a title of respect bestowed by the Indians they fought. The 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment traces its lineage to the formation of Company D, 9th Cavalry Regiment.

In the 1870s and the 1880s, the 9th Cavalry as a whole fought with great distinction throughout the western United States in numerous campaigns against marauding American Indians, Mexicans, and lawless settlers. Cavalry companies across the US Army were officially designated as troops in 1883. Company D, 9th Cavalry subsequently became Troop D, 9th Cavalry. The 9th Cavalry was often the only source of security on the frontier and was often at odds with those who would profit from banditry. While most of the 9th Cavalry's actions were against hostile Indians, in 1884 the Regiment also protected the friendly Indian tribes settled in present-day Oklahoma from settlers seeking to steal their land. From these early campaigns, the 9th Cavalry derived a part of its unit insignia: an Indian in breach cloth mounted on a galloping pony and brandishing a rifle in one hand. The 9th Cavalry troopers earned 15 Medals of Honor during the Indian Wars. Most of these medals were earned by noncommissioned officers leading small detachments of soldiers. The Regiment participated in campaigns against the Comanches, Uses, Sioux, and Apaches.

Two months after the battleship Maine sank in Cuban waters, the Regiment, then stationed at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, was alerted for deployment to war. The Regiment departed 4 days later on 60 rail cars destined for Florida to stage for invasion. One of the first units to go ashore, it fought as dismounted infantry alongside Theodore Roosevelt's Roughriders in the gallant charge up Kettle Hill and San Juan Heights. The Regiment's commanding officer, Colonel Hamilton, was killed in action during the attack. It was there that the Regiment derived the rest of its insignia: the 5 bastioned fort patch of the V Corps, to which the 9th Cavalry was assigned. After the fighting ended in Cuba, the regiment was sent to another trouble spot, the Philippines.

During the Insurrection, the 9th Cavalry continued its hard fighting tradition by conducting 3 successful deployments to the Philippines from 1900 to 1916 to fight the rebellious Moro tribesmen and earned the respect of the military governor, General Arthur MacArthur. While most of the Regiment was deployed to the Philippines, several troops remained stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco. In 1903, these troops served as a Guard of Honor to President Theodore Roosevelt. This was the first time black regular cavalrymen served in this capacity. The 9th Cavalry returned to the Philippines in the early 1920s to combat the insurgency there following the Spanish-American War. Troop D was demobilized in the Philippines on 21 September 1921.

Troop D, 9th Cavalry was reconsituted, reoraganized, and redesignated on 19 March 1969 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry, and was subsequently reactivated. Its organic elements were concurrently constituted and activated. On 16 March 1987, the 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry was moved to Fort Lewis, Washington, and was assigned to the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) as the divisional reconnaissance squadron. In 1991 the squadron was inactivated along with the rest of the 9th Infantry Division.

On 20 September 2002, as part of the US Army's Force XXI force structure, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry was reorganized and redesignated as D Troop, 9th Cavalry and reactivated assigned to 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. There it served as the Brigade's reconnaissance troop. The troop deployed with elements of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division to both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom between 2001 and 2004.

In 2005, as part of the transformation of the 1st Cavalry Division to the US Army's modular force structure, D Troop, 9th Cavalry was again reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry, with its organic elements concurrently reconstituted and activated. It was reactivated on 8 July 2005 as the organic cavalry squadron assigned to the reorganized redesignated 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. The soldiers and equipment previously assigned to the D Troop, 9th Cavalry were reflagged as B Troop, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry.




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