1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment
In the summer of 2009, the 1st Battalino, 34th Armor Regiment was inactivated and its personnel reflagged as the 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment as part of the transformation of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division to the US Army's modular force structure.
The 1st Battalion, 34th Armor was constituted in the Regular Army on 28 August 1941 as Company A, 34th Armor Regiment. The unit was activated shortly thereafter on 1 October 1941 at Fort Knox, Kentucky, as an element of the 5th Armored Division. During World War II, the 1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment was relieved from the 5th Armor Division, reorganized and re-designated as the 772nd Tank Battalion before being sent to Europe. Arriving at Le Havre, France in February of 1945, it participated in the Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns. Simultaneously, 2nd Battalion was reformed as the new 34th Armor Regiment, and 3rd Battalion became the 10th Armored Regiment.
In March of 1945, 772nd Battalion was attached to the 44th Infantry Division only days before crossing the Rhine River south of Worms, Germany. The Battalion then led the attack of the 44th Infantry Division, which seized the city of Mannheim, an industrial, and transportation center. In April and May of 1945, with the war fast approaching an end, the 772nd Tank Battalion moved rapidly across Germany into Austria, again leading the 44th Infantry Division. In Austria, the Battalion's final combat mission was highlighted by the surrender of the 19th German Army.
After the end of World War II, the Battalion was deactivated on 14 November 1945 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. It was redesignated on 16 January 1947 as Company A, 306th Tank Battalion. Assigned to the Sixth Army, and allotted to the Army Reserves, the Battalion was activated on 25 June 1947 at Seattle, Washington where the unit remained until 1965. In May of 1949, Company A was reorganized and redesignated as Company A, 306th Heavy Tank Battalion before being deactivated again on 15 September 1950. The unit was completely disbanded on 20 February 1952.
It was reconstituted and redesignated as Company A, 34th Armor in March 1957, the unit was withdrawn from the Army Reserve and re-allotted to the Regular Army. In April of the same year, the unit was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Medium Tank Battalion, 34th Armor, concurrently assigned to the 4th Infantry Division and reactivated at Fort Lewis, Washington.
It was again reorganized and redesignated on 1 October 1963 as the 1st Battalion, 34th Armor and again inactivated on 14 October 1965 at Fort Lewis, Washington, and relieved from assignment to the 4th Infantry Division.
The 1st Battalion, 34th Armor was reactivated at Fort Riley, Kansas on 1 August 1979 and assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, the "Big Red One." From 1980 to 1990 the Centurion Battalion participated in numerous field-training exercises to include 4 REFORGER trips to Germany, and 4 deployments to the National Training Center in California. In December of 1990, the Battalion deployed to Operation Desert Shield in Saudi Arabia. During Operation Desert Storm, the Battalion was the Brigade Assault Force for the breach of Iraqi defenses, and led the 1st Brigade in the night attack against the Tawakalna Division of the Republican Guard, and was the first unit in the Devil Brigade to enter Kuwait.
The Battalion deployed to Kuwait in 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the first unit from 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) to enter that theater of operations. On 7 September 2003, Task Force 1-34th Armor was assigned to the Multi-National Force Iraq and assigned to the Multi-National Division Central. Elements of 1-34th Armor served in Habbaniyah and Ramadi in the Al Anbar province under the 82nd Airborne and 1st Marine Divisions. In Iraq, Task Force 1-34th encountered the beginning of the insurgency in Al Anbar performing full spectrum operations. The task force's missions included tasks such as renovating schools, helping build a local political structure, and simultaneously closing with and destroying the enemy.
1-34th Armor returned from Iraq in 2004. It subsequently participated in a mission readiness exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, LA for a possible redeployment to Iraq. However, in 2006 the mission of the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division changed to one of training units for deployment to Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as providing small security forces (SECFOR) elements.
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