2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment
The mission of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, "Ghosts," is to, on order, 2-7 CAV deploy to a designated contingency area of operations, conduct reception, staging, onward movement, and integration. It would then, on order, conduct combat operations and redeploy upon mission accomplishment.
The 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment was first constituted on 28 July 1866 as Company B, 7th Cavalry and was officially organized as an active army unit on 10 September 1866 at Fort Riley, Kansas. The unit fought with distinction during the 1870s and 1880s in numerous, hard fought campaigns against the American Indians. These campaigns included: Comanches, Little Big Horn, Nez Perces, Pine Ridge, Montana 1873, and Dakota 1874. Cavalry companies across the US Army were officially designated as troops in 1883. As a result, Company B, 7th Cavalry became Troop B, 7th Cavalry.
From the period 1892-1917, the 7th Cavalry as a whole fought in Cuba, the Philippines, and in Mexico. In September of 1917, the 7th Cavalry participated in the last true "Cavalry Charge" during the battle of Guerrero.
The unit fought during the Mexican Expedition from 1916-1917. In December 1917, it was reassigned to the 15th Cavalry Division and released from this assignment in May 1918. On 13 September 1921, the 7th Cavalry as a whole was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. From 1918-1943, the Regiment was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, where it patrolled the Mexican border. During this period the unit also, participated in numerous exercises which helped prepare for World War II.
In February 1943, the Regiment turned in its horses and began retraining as foot soldiers for action in the Pacific Theater. Having moved to Australia in July 1943, the 7th Cavalry conducted extensive amphibious and jungle training. Through June 1945, the troopers of the Garryowen saw heavy fighting from the Admiralties to Luzon, earning its first Presidential Unit Citation. On 2 September 1945, the 7th Cavalry landed on the Japanese Mainland with General MacArthur. As part of the 7th Cavalry, the unit fought with distinction during World War II, earning a Presidential Unit Citation, 2 French Croix de Guerres and a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. Campaign participation credits included: New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Leyte, and Luzon. A later consolidation led to the following World War II campaigns to be added to the unit's lineage and honors: Algeria-French Morocco, Tunisa, Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Southern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe.
After World War II, the unit was assigned as part of the Occupation Forces of Japan and stayed there until the start of the Korean War. In 1949, Troop C, 7th Cavalry was reorganized and redesignated as Company C, 7th Cavalry, having already been reorganized fully as infantry in 1945. The 7th Cavalry was one of the first units to arrive in Korea and was immediately thrown into the fray. Heavy casualties were suffered in each battle, but the unit somehow stayed together and always had the strength to battle again. This unnatural ability to keep coming back earned the unit the nickname "Ghosts" by the North Koreans. The 7th Cavalry fought in the battles of Hwanggan, Poksong-Dong, Kwanni, and the Naktong River Defense. When the 1st Cavalry Division attacked north, the 7th Cavalry was in front, smashing 106 miles behind enemy lines in a historic 24 hours. Three more Presidential Unit Citations were added to the colors. The Regiment's Korean campaign record included participation credits given for: UN Defensive, UN Offensive, CCF Intervention, First UN Counteroffensive.
In 1957, Company B, 7th Cavalry was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated in Korea. In 1963, the unit moved to Fort Benning, Georgia as part of the reflagging of the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) as the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).
On 18 September 1965, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry arrived in Qui Nhon Harbor, Republic of Vietnam. In the famous battles of the la Drang Valley in November 1965, elements of the 7th Cavalry Regiment virtually annihilated the 66th North Vietnamese Regiment and earned another Presidential Unit Citation.
The Vietnam remembrance "We Were Soldiers Once ...and Young" was coauthored by Lieutenant General Harold G. Moore, USA ( Retired), and Joseph L. Galloway. It recounts 4 days of incredibly intense and desperate combat between the US Army's 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) and 3 regiments of North Vietnamese infantry in the Ia Drang Valley in Pleiku Province in November 1965. Then-Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, whose saga is recalled in the first part of the book, and subsequently in a major motion picture. Joe Galloway, a young UPI war correspondent, was on the ground with Moore's unit. 1-7th Cavalry's sister battalion, the 2-7th Cavalry, is the major focus of the balance of the book. Elements of several other cavalry regiments were also involved in the action. All told, during a 4 day period, 234 young Americans lost their lives in the action. The 2-7th Cavalry alone had 155 killed in just 6 hours. Together, the 2 battalions killed perhaps 10 times as many of the enemy.
In the Bong Son area, elements of the 7th Cavalry Regiment mauled 3 different enemy battalions into combat ineffectiveness. For its actions in Vietnam, the 7th Cavalry as a whole was awarded 4 Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry with Palm.
The 2-7th Cavalry deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom on 7 March 2004. The unit was stationed at Camp Cooke, north of Baghdad on the Tigres River. Mission number one was to track down and detain/eliminate terrorists and other anti-coalition forces in its area of operations. The second mission was to provide security for the Green Zone. The area of operation for the unit was probably about 30 miles from north to south and 5 miles from east to west. On the average day soldiers were getting shot at 2-3 times and had a mortar shot or grenade thrown about every other night. Somewhere around 750,000 Iraqi's lived in the area making it difficult to identify the enemy among the rest of the population.
Other missions of the 2-7th Cavalry included showing progress to the Iraqi people and trying to improve the quality of life. The 2-7th Cavalry controled about 9 million dollars of reconstruction money and used that to repair sewers, fix electricity issues, refurbish schools, and a whole host of other projects. Two big issues for the Battalion were security and seeing progress. The 2-7th Cavalry commander sat on 2 different District Councils (sort of like a city council) trying to teach them about democracy and how to address the issues of their districts. Commanders below him sat on neighborhood councils and those above him sat on the City Council. There were a total of 9 districts in Baghdad.
As part of the Army's transformation towards a modular force, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment was inactivated on 14 July 2005 and relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division. It was subsequently reactivated at Fort Bliss, Texas assigned to the reorganized and redesignated 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
In 2008, the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division was inactivated. The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas was inactivated and its personnel reflagged as the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, which was subsequently reactivated there.
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