2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment
The mission fo the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, the "Lancers," is to provide the lethality and agility of a combined arms battalion to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. To this end, the mission is to remain trained and ready to deploy, in order to meet contingency mission requirements, as directed.
The 5th Cavalry Regiment began over a century ago, organizing on 28 May 1855 as the 2nd United States Cavalry Regiment at Louisville, Kentucky. A few months later on 27 September 1855, under the command of Colonel Albert S. Johnston, the Regiment marched west to Texas to fight in its first Indian Campaign. Later on, Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee succeeded Colonel Johnston as the Commander. The Regiment fought in a total of 13 Indian Campaigns, symbolized by the Arrow Head shaped Regimental Crest.
Early in 1861, the Regiment went to Carlisle Barracks Pennsylvania, where the officers and men loyal to the South left the Regiment to serve in the Confederacy. Lieutenant Colonel Lee was replaced by Lieutenant Colonel George C. Thomas. In the summer of 1861, the Regiment was redesignated the 5th United States Cavalry. During the Civil War, the troopers of the 5th Cavalry made a charge at Gaine's Mill on 27 June 1862, saving the union artillery from annihilation. This battle was commemorated on the Regimental Crest by the black cross, the Cross-Moline, in the yellow field on the lower half of the crest.
At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, the 5th Cavalry was ordered to Tampa, Florida and then embarked for Cuba. The Regiment's service in this war and later for the Puerto Rican Expedition was symbolized by the White Maltese cross in the black chief of the upper half of the Regimental Coat of Arms.
The 5th Cavalry returned to the United States in 1900. The Regiment served in the Philippine Islands and in Hawaii in 1903 and 1909 respectively. In 1913, the Regiment returned to the United States, where it stayed during World War I, patrolling the Mexican border. On 18 December 1922, The 5th Cavalry Regiment became part of the 1st Cavalry Division.
Having exchanged horses for vehicles in 1943, the men of the 5th Cavalry Regiment spent World War II in the jungles of the South Pacific. After the war, the Regiment was garrisoned in Japan. In July 1950, the Regiment was sent to Korea to serve with other United Nations forces. After one and a half years of combat, the Regiment returned to Japan in 1951.
The Regiment was once again reorganized in August 1963, becoming a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System. As a result, one its troops was subsequently reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated.
The Battalion returned to Fort Benning Georgia in 1965, and then proceeded to the Republic of Vietnam having transformed to a new "airmobile" formation as part of the reflagging of the 1st Air Assault Division (Test). In Vietnam, it participated in 12 campaigns.
During the mid-1970's, the Battalion for a brief time was organized as a tank battalion, taking over the troops and equipment of the 1st Battalion, 81st Armor. This was initially part of the test and evalution of the Triple Capability (TRICAP) divisional structure that the 1st Cavalry Division experimented with. The Battalion was also test unit for the Army's new tank, the M1 Abrams. It was not until the mid-1980's that 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry became a mechanized infantry battalion.
On 12 August 1990, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment was alerted for duty in Southwest Asia. It deployed with the 1st Cavalry Division to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield and subsequently Operation Desert Storm. After 2 intensive months of preparation, the Battalion landed in Saudi Arabia on 12 October 1990. The Battalion deployed to the desert shortly after arriving for thorough and detailed training in preparation for combat operations.
When the ground war started against Iraq, the Black Knights took part in the longest armored drive in the history of modern warfare. They traveled more than 290 kilometers in less than 24 hours, maintained all equipment, and sustained no injury or loss of life. The Black Knights' contribution aided the coalition's effort to overwhelm the Iraqi forces and secure freedom for Kuwait.
The 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina in September of 1998. Designated as Task Force 2-5th Cavalry with over 1,200 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, it was the largest battalion led task force in the United States Army. Task Force 2-5th Cavalry was the only task force in Multi-National Division (North) that split the command and staff structure in half to support 2 fully functioning, independent base camps and 2 hill top remote sites. While in Bosnia, Task Force 2-5th CAV conducted over 4,800 patrols and logged in excess of 550,000 miles. During its time in Bosnia, Task Force 2-5th CAV seized over 1,500 illegal weapons in the city of Zvornik, moderated a logging dispute in the Opstina of Vares, implemented the campaign plan for the city of Srebrenica, seized the initiative for the first-ever mayor's meeting and returns conference, and conducted the extraction of members of the International Community from Zvornik, as well as persons designated as having a "special status." After 6 and a half months of hard work and success, the Black Knights left behind a lasting difference on the people of Bosnia.
As of early 2001, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry was scheduled to eventually be equipped with the M2A3, the latest version of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
After arriving to take over control of the Sadr City district of Baghdad, Iraq on 31 March 2004, 2-5th Cavalry had constantly conducted patrols through 2 Shia insurgencies, the first one lasting from 4 April 2004 until the middle of June 2004. Sadr City saw a month of relative peace before fighting broke out again in eastern Baghdad on 5 August 2004. On any given day and at any given time, these troopers, the Soldiers of Task Force Lancer, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, were policing and patrolling the over-crowded-yet sometimes forebodingly empty-streets of Baghdad's infamous Al-Thawra District, commonly referred to as "Sadr City." The Battalion conducted over 80 days of sustained combat during the initial months of the deployment.
2-5th Cavalry passed the 90-day mark of combat operations on 13 August 2004. During that period, they had engaged countless enemies and lost a few of their Soldiers. After another 20 days of combat, the task force focused on rebuilding the infrastructure and training Iraqi security forces. These efforts contributed to the overwhelming success of Iraq's first free elections in January 2005.