1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment
The mission of the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor is to, on order, deploy by air, sea, and land to any contingency area, project a strong forward presence and conduct combat operations to defeat an armored heavy force in order to preserve regional stability. Following the transformation of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team to the modular force structure, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor is the "Iron Fist" of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized).
1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment traces its lineage to the 78th Tank Battalion, which was activated on 13 January 1941 at Fort Knox Kentucky.
The unit was redesignated the 758th Tank Battalion (Light) on 8 May 1941. The 758th was the first tank battalion in history to be organized with black soldiers. A 758th soldier designed the regimental crest, the rampant head of a black African elephant symbolizing the soldier's pride in their heritage and their unit's mission of mobile armored warfare. Today, every 1-64th Armor soldier wears that same crest, which is prominently displayed on the unit colors with the motto "We Pierce."
The 758th Tank Battalion served with the 92nd Infantry Division in World War II, and was inactivated on 22 September 1945 at Viareggio, Italy. The 758th served with distinction in the Italian campaign of World War II, where it earned the first 3 of the many campaign streamers on the Battalion colors.
In 1949, the 758th Tank Battalion was redesignated the 64th Heavy Tank Battalion and assigned to the 2nd Armored Division. In 1950, the 64th Tank Battalion was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, and deployed overseas for combat operations during the Korean War. The Battalion participated in a total of 8 separate campaigns and fought from the intervention of the Chinese Communist Forces in November 1950 until the Cease-Fire in 1953.
In 1957, the 64th Tank Battalion was inactivated at Ft. Benning, Georgia. In 1963, the 64th Armor Regiment was activated as a parent regiment under the Combined Arms Regimental System. All 4 battalions of the 64th Armor were in Germany for over 20 years of distinguished service. In 1987, the 1st and the 4th Battalions, 64th Armor, redeployed from Germany to Fort Stewart, Georgia. 5th Battalion, 32nd Armor was inactivated and its personnel reflagged as 1st Battalion, 64th Armor. Two Battalions of the 64th, the 2nd and 3rd, remained in Germany. The 1st Battalion was also the 64th Regimental Headquarters and Fort Stewart was the home base.
In 1990, the Battalion deployed with the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) as part of Operation Desert Shield. During combat operations in Iraq as part of Operation Desert Storm, the Battalion spearheaded the division attack against the forces of the Iraqi Republican Guard and advanced over 350 miles in only 4 days. During this action, the unit earned its two campaign streamers: the Defense of Saudi Arabia and the Liberation of Kuwait. Following the successful conclusion of the war, the battalion redeployed to Fort Stewart.
In October 1993, elements of the Battalion deployed as part of Task Force 1-64th Armor to protect the United Nations Operation Somalia (UNOSOM) forces deployed to Africa for Operation Continue Hope. The Task Force conducted force security missions in a hostile theater for 6 months before safely returning all soldiers home in March of 1994. In reaction to the shooting down of US Army Black Hawks in Mogadishu, Somalia in October 1993, 1-64th Armor deployed an immediate reaction force in support of 2-22th Infantry, part of the 10th Mountain Division, to help suppress further attacks on US personnel.
Elements of 1-64th Armor deployed during the mid-1990s to Bosnia as part of Stabilization Force 8 (SFOR 8).
In September 2002, 1-64th Armor deployed to Kuwait in order to prepare for offensive operations. In March of 2003, Task Force 1-64th Armor attacked across the border to liberate Iraq and force a regime change as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Task Force 1-64th Armor led the Division into the heart of Baghdad in order to demonstrate American resolve, presence, and destroy the Hussein regime.
In January 2005, 1-64th Armor deployed again to Baghdad, Iraq where the Battalion immediately began combat Operation Tissa Nissan. The heroic actions of the Rogue Soldiers secured the most dangerous routes in Baghdad on a daily basis. The Battalion enabled the Iraqis to vote in two elections including the historic National Referendum which provided Iraq with its first democratic government in the country's history.
In 2006, the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division Mechanized began transformation to the US Army's new modular force structure. As part of this transformation, 1-64th Armor was reorganized, but remained a part of the reorganized and redesignated 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
The 1-64th Armor deployed in mid-2007 for another tour of duty in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The unit remained in that country into 2008.
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