1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment
"The Fighting Sixth"
1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry, was first constituted on 4 May 1861 in the Regular Army as Company A, 3rd Cavalry and organized between June and October 1861 in Maryland and the District of Columbia. The unit was redesignated on 3 August 1861 as Company A, 6th Cavalry. Company A fought as part of the Army of the Potomac in 16 Civil War campaigns including Antietam, Gettysburg, and Appomattox. After the war, Company A moved west with the regiment spending more than 30 years policing the frontier. Company A took part in 10 Indian War campaigns, particularly against Apache and Comanche Indians. In 1873, Company A, 6th Cavalry became Troop A, 6th Cavalry.
The "Fighting Sixth" sailed to Cuba in 1898 and took part in the famous assault on San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War. Only 2 years later, they took part in the China Relief Expedition. In 1907, the Philippine Insurrection brought Troop A to those islands. Troop A strongly contributed to the decisive victory over the Moros on Jolo in 1909. By 1916, Troop A was in action again, pursuing Pancho Villa in the Mexican Punitive Expedition. In 1918, the 6th Cavalry went to combat once more, this time as a rear echelon during World War I. In 1919, Troop A, along with the entire 6th Cavalry was stationed at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. The 6th Cavalry was assigned on 15 August 1927 to the 3rd Cavalry Division. The unit was consolidated on 14 October 1929 with Troop D, 6th Cavalry (organized in 1861) and consolidated unit was designated as Troop A, 6th Cavalry.
The 6th Cavalry was relieved on 1 December 1939 from assignment to the 3d Cavalry Division. Troop A became partially mechanized in the 1930's, and turned in the remainder of its horses by 1942. The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 21 July 1942 as Troop A, 6th Cavalry (Mechanized). It was again reorganized and redesignated on 1 January 1944 as Troop A, 6th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized). Troop A boasted high-power communications equipment and fast vehicles, making them ideal for maintaining command and control in General Patton's far-flung Third Army.
The unit was converted and redesignated on 1 May 1946 as Troop A, 6th Constabulary Squadron. The 6th Cavalry units performed occupational duties in Germany for 17 years. It was again converted and redesignated 20 December 1948 as Company A, 6th Armored Cavalry. The former Troop D, 6th Cavalry was concurrently withdrawn from Company A, 6th Armored Cavalry and thereafter had a separate lineage.
The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 24 June 1960 as Troop A, 6th Armored Cavalry and inactivated on 24 October 1963 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The unit was activated on 23 March 1967 at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland and inactivated again on 21 June 1973 at Fort Bliss, Texas.
It was redesignated on 22 June 1973 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry, assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, and activated at Fort Hood, Texas with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated. It was relieved on 21 February 1975 from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division.
The Squadron maintained zero strength until 17 January 1985 when it was reactivated as one of the pioneer AH-64 Apache units in the Army. During the early 1980's the 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry, was stationed at Fort Rucker, Alabama, and was known as an Armor Attack Helicopter squadron. The squadron served as a leader in doctinal development and validation for the AH-64 until its inactivation on 15 December 1995 at Fort Hood, Texas.
1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry was reactivated 16 July 1996 at Camp Eagle, Korea, near Wonju. There the "Fighting Sixth" Squadron acted as a combat multiplier to the combatant commander of US Forces Korea and a major deterrent to North Korea aggression in the defense of the Republic of Korea. In the Korean theater, the 3 Apache battalions of the 6th Cavalry Brigade were dedicated to missions critical to the OPLAN: support of 2nd Infantry Division operations (1-2nd Aviation), and anti-special operations forces (anti-SOF) and deep attack operations (1-6th and 3-6th Cavalry). Although the DPRK Scud Belt was within range of Combined Forces Command (CFC) attack helicopters, it was highly unlikely that an attack helicopter battalion would be dedicated solely to Theater Missile Defense operations due to prioritization. While in Korea assigned to the 6th Cavalry Brigade, 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry's mission was to, on order, transitions to war and execute split base operations in designated assembly areas. It would conduct overwater attacks into a designated CSCA. On order, it would also attack deep to destroy enemy forces.
In 2006, as part of the reorganization of US Forces Korea and the transformation of the Army to the new modular force structure, the 6th Cavalry Brigade was inactivated. 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry was also inactivated, before being reactivated at Fort Carson, Colorado, as part of the reorganized Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized). In 2007, the unit redeployed to Fort Riley, Kansas, to join the rest of the Brigade.
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