Military


5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment
"First Round"

The history of the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery can be traced back to the late 1700's. The motto "First Round" was aptly earned. The Battalion was also credited with beginning the tradition of playing Taps over the grave of a fallen comrade. The Battalion was first constituted on 27 April 1798 in the Regular Army as a company in the 2nd Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers. The unit was organized in June 1798 at Alexandria, Virginia, as Captain William McRea's Company, 2nd Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers. It was redesignated on 3 March 1799 as Captain William McRea's Company, 4th Battalion, 2d Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers and again on 31 July 1800 as Captain Alexander D. Pope's Company, 4th Battalion, 2d Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers.

The unit was consolidated on 1 April 1802 with Captain Josiah Dunham's Company, 2nd Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers and Captain John Henry's Company, 4th Battalion, 2nd Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers. Captain Josiah Dunham's Company had been first constituted on 27 April 1798 in the Regular Army and organized in 1799. Captain John Henry's Company, 4th Battalion, 2nd Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers had been first constituted on 27 April 1798 in the Regular Army as a company in the 2nd Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers. It had been organized in June 1798 at Fort Sumner, Maine, as Captain Decius Wadsworth's Company, 2nd Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers. It was reorganized and redesignated on 3 March 1799 as Captain Decius Wadsworth's Company, 4th Battalion, 2nd Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers, before being again redesignated in August 1801 as Captain John Henry's Company, 4th Battalion, 2nd Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers. The consolidated unit was reorganized and redesignated as Captain Nehemiah Freeman's Company, Regiment of Artillerists.

The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 11 January 1812 as Captain Nehemiah Freeman's Company, 1st Regiment of Artillery, and was again redesignated on 10 July 1812 as Brevet Major Nehemiah Freeman's Company, 1st Regiment of Artillery. It was redesignated on 16 August 1813 as Captain William Gates' Company, 1stRegiment of Artillery and was reorganized and redesignated on 12 May 1814 as Captain William Gates' Company, Corps of Artillery. During the War of 1812, the unit was credited with participating in the Canada campaign.

After the War of 1812, the unit was reorganized and redesignated on 17 May 1815 as Captain William Gates' Company, Corps of Artillery, Northern Division. It was redesignated on 6 July 1815 as Brevet Major Alexander S. Brook's Company, Corps of Artillery, Northern Division. The unit was consolidated on 29 October 1816 with Company M, 2nd Battalion, Corps of Artillery, Northern Division. That unit had been first constituted on 11 January 1812 in the Regular Army as a company in the 3rd Regiment of Artillery and organized on 20 August 1812 as Captain William Van Duersen Jr.'s Company, 3rd Regiment of Artillery. It had been redesignated in 1813 as a company in the 3rd Regiment of Artillery under the command of 1st Lieutenant John W. Greene. It was redesignated in 1814 as Captain George H. Richard's Company, 3rd Regiment of Artillery, was reorganized and redesignated on 12 May 1814 as Captain George H. Richard's Company, Corps of Artillery, and was redesignated in June 1814 as Captain James McKeon's Company, Corps of Artillery. It was reorganized and redesignated on 17 May 1815 as Captain James McKeon's Company, Corps of Artillery, Northern Division and was redesignated in August 1815 as Captain Thomas Bennett's Company, Corps of Artillery, Northern Division. It was reorganized and redesignated on 17 June 1816 as Company M, 2nd Battalion, Corps of Artillery, Northern Division, before being consolidated with Brevet Major Alexander S. Brook's Company, Corps of Artillery, Northern Division. The consolidated unit was designated as Company M, 2nd Battalion, Corps of Artillery, Northern Division

The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 1 June 1821 as Company A, 2nd Regiment of Artillery. During the Mexican American War, the unit participated in 11 campaigns: Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Churubusco, Molino del Rey, Chapultepec, Tamaulipas 1846, and Puebla 1847.

The unit fought in the Civil War, where it fired the first round of the first battle of Bull Run, the first historical event leading to its motto "First Round." The unit also participated in another 15 civil war campaigns: Peninsula, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Shenandoah, Appomattox, Virginia 1862, Virginia 1863, Virginia 1865, and Maryland 1863.

In the War with Spain, the unit fired the first round of the battle of San Juan Hill, the second historical event, leading to its motto. During the conflict, the unit participated in 2 campaigns, Santiago and Puerto Rico. It was then sent to help in the suppression of the Philippine Insurrection, being awarded a streamer without inscription for its participation. The unit was also reorganized and redesignated on 13 February 1901 as the 3rd Battery, Field Artillery, Artillery Corps.

The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 31 May 1907 as Battery D, 3rd Field Artillery. The 3rd Field Artillery as a whole was assigned on 17 November 1917 to the 6th Division. The unit served in World War I as part of the 3rd Field Artillery, being awared a streamer without inscription for its participation. In the years after World War I, the unit was inactivated on 1 August 1922 at Camp George G. Meade, Maryland.

The unit was reactivated on 22 September 1922 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois and inactivated there on 14 December 1922. While inactive, the 3rd Field Artillery as a whole was relieved on 24 March 1923 from assignment to the 6th Division and assigned to the 5th Division. The unit was consolidated on 7 September 1927 with Battery A, 14th Field Artillery (active). This unit had been first constituted on 1 July 1916 in the Regular Army as Battery A, 14th Field Artillery and organized on 1 June 1917 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. It was inactivated there on 1 September 1921. It was reactivated on 15 December 1922 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. The consolidated unit was designated as Battery D, 3rd Field Artillery. 3rd Field Artillery as a whole was relieved on 1 January 1930 from assignment to the 5th Division and assigned to the 6th Division and was relieved on 25 September 1939 from assignment to the 6th Division and assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Division. The unit was inactivated on 1 June 1940 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.

The unit was absorbed on 1 January 1941 by Battery A, 3rd Field Artillery Battalion. Battery A, 3rd Field Artillery was reorganized and redesignated on 1 January 1941 as Battery A, 3rd Field Artillery Battalion and on 15 July 1942 as Battery A, 3rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion, an element of the 9th Armored Division. The unit carries honors for 3 camapigns during the Second World War as part of Battery A, 3rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion: Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe. The 3rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion as a whole was relieved on 6 July 1945 from assignment to the 9th Armored Division. Battery A, 3rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion was inactivated on 20 October 1946 in Germany.

The 3rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion as a whole was assigned on 20 October 1950 to the 2nd Armored Division and activated on 10 November 1950 at Fort Hood, Texas. Former Battery D, 3rd Field Artillery was reconstituted on 1 July 1957 in the Regular Army.

Battery D, 3rd Field Artillery was consolidated on 1 January 1960 with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 5th Missile Battalion, 3rd Artillery (active) (first organized in 1794), and the consolidated unit was designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 5th Missile Battalion, 3rd Artillery, with its organic elements constituted on 12 August 1958 and activated on 1 September 1958. The Battalion was inactivated on 18 October 1963 at Oakdale, Pennsylvania.

The Battalion was redesignated on 24 November 1967 as the 5th Battalion, 3rd Artillery, assigned to the 6th Infantry Division, and activated at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. It was inactivated on 24 July 1968 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and relieved from assignment to the 6th Infantry Division.

While inactive, the Battalion was redesignated (less former Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 5th Missile Battalion, 3rd Artillery) on 1 September 1971 as the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery. The former Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 5th Missile Battalion, 3rd Artillery was concurrently redesignated as the 5th Battalion, 3rd Air Defense Artillery, which thereafter had a separate lineage.

5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery was activated on 1 October 1983 in Germany. In 1992, the Battalion redeployed from Giessen, Germany to Fort Sill and quickly certified as an 8-inch battalion as part of III Corps Artillery. In 1993, the Battalion began its conversion to the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). On 1 October 1993, C Battery certified as the first MLRS battery in the battalion, quickly followed by its sister batteries.

The 5-3rd Field Artillery deployed a battery in 2000 to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, with the 1st Cavalry Division. It also redeployed the battery-sized Task Force Comanche Thunder from Southwest Asia with 1-10th Cavalry, 4th Infantry Division, in Operation Southern Watch.

With the inactivation of III Corps Artillery in 2006, the 17th Field Artillery Brigade and its subordinate battalions began a transformation as part of the modular restructuring. 5-3rd Field Artillery remained part of the reorganized and redesignated 17th Fires Brigade, which was subsequently assigned to I Corps at Fort Lewis, Washington. The Battalion relocated there from Fort Sill, Oklahoma along with the rest of the Brigade.




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