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2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment

The mission of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, "Mustangs," is to, on order, deploy to a designated contingency area of operations, conduct full spectrum operations, and redeploy.

The 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry was first constituted on 28 July 1866 in the Regular Army as Company B, 8th Cavalry. The unit was organized on 23 October 1866 at Presidio of San Francisco, California and activated at Angel Island, California. The 8th Cavalry as a whole spent its first years in Arizona fighting the Apache and Commache Indians. The Mustangs were then moved to Fort Davis, Texas in 1875. They served along the Mexican border protecting settlers and ranchers from hostile Indians for the next several years. Throughout the US Army, Cavalry companies were officially designated as troops in 1883, with Company B, 8th Cavalry becoming Troop B, 8th Cavalry. The 8th Cavalry were again sent to fight Indians in 1890, this time to Montana to fight the Sioux.

Mustang troopers were sent to foreign shores for the first time at the turn of the century. They served in Cuba from 1898 to 1902. Their next overseas duty took them to the Philippines in 1910.

In 1915, the 8th Cavalry was moved again. This time they were moved to Fort Bliss, Texas. Their assignment was to patrol the Mexican-American border to protect ranchers from bandit raids. It was during this assignment that 2 of the more famous personnel were assigned to 8th Cavalry: Lieutenant George S. Patton and General Pershing. The 8th Cavalry as a whole was assigned in December 1917 to the 15th Cavalry Division and relieved in May 1918 from assignment to the 15th Cavalry.

The 8th Cavalry became part of the 1st Cavalry Division on 13 September 1921. It served as a horse cavalry regiment until it dismounted on 28 February 1943 and was reorganized on 4 December 1943 partly under cavalry and partly under infantry tables of organization and equipment. The Mustangs subsequently took part in amphibious training and served in the pacific theater during World War II.

Again in 1945, they found themselves in the Philippines. The unit was reorganized wholly as infantry on 20 July 1945, but retained its cavalry designations. Receiving orders directly from General MacArthur, they drove 100 miles from Luzon to Manila driving a wedge in the enemy lines. They were the "First in Manila" and received a Presidential Unit Citation for this action. At the end of WWII, they were ordered to accompany General MacArthur to Japan. They spent the next 5 years in Japan. During that period Troop B, 8th Cavalry was redesignated on 25 March 1949 as Company B, 8th Cavalry.

Eighteen days after North Korea moved across the 18th parallel, the Mustangs made an amphibious landing behind enemy lines. The Mustangs remained in Korea until December 1951, when they returned to Japan for another 5 years. After that Company B, 8th Cavalry was reorganized and redesignated on 1 April 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Reconnaissance Squadron, 8th Cavalry and concurrently, consolidated with 4th Reconnaissance Company. 4th Reconnaissance Company had been first constituted on 20 July 1940 in the Regular Army as the 4th Reconnaissance Troop and assigned to the 4th Division (later redesignated as the 4th Infantry Division). It was activated on 1 August 1940 at Fort Benning, Georgia. It was reorganized and redesignated on 10 June 1942 as the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron and again on 4 August 1943 for service in World War II. The latter reorganizations saw Troop A, 4th Reconnaissance Squadron redesignated and reorganized as the 4th Reconnaissance Troop, Mechanized, which Remained assigned to 4th Infantry Division. The rest of the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron was reorganized and redesignated as the 34th Reconnaissance Troop and relieved from assignment to 4th Infantry Division and thereafter had a separate lineage. 4th Reconnaissance Troop, Mechanized, was redesignated on 30 July 1945 as the 4th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop and inactivated on 12 March 1946 at Camp Butner, North Carolina. It was redesignated on 6 July 1948 as the 4th Reconnaissance Company and activated at Fort Ord, California.

The consolidated unit was transferred (less personnel and equipment) from Japan to Fort Lewis, Washington. It was concurrently relieved from assignment to 1st Cavalry Division and assigned to 4th Infantry Division with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated at Fort Lewis, Washington. On 1 September 1963, the unit was reorganized and redesignated as the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry and was concurrently relieved from assignment to the 4th Infantry Division and assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division.

As part of the 1st Cavalry Division, 2-8th Cavalry was sent to Vietnam in September 1965. The Mustangs saw some of the fiercest battles. B Company was the first unit in the 1st Cavalry Division to receive the Valorous Unit Citation in 1966. 2-8th Cavalry actively patrolled the jungles of Vietnam to the north and south of Highway 1, east of Bien Hoa, until it stood down in June 1972. On 10 May 1972, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter carrying a platoon from D Company, 2-8th Cavalry (named Angry Skipper) crashed and all aboard were killed. The Battalion left Vietnam in 1971 and was inactivated on 28 June 1972.

2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry was reactivated on 20 April 1974 at Fort Hood, Texas. After participating in the Triple Capability (TRICAP) test and evaluations during the mid-1970s, 2-8th Cavalry was reorganized as a mechanized infantry battalion. In this guise, 2-8th Cavalry deployed in August 1990 to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield and subsequently Operation Desert Storm. The Mustangs helped the coalition forces overwhelm the Iraqi forces and secure the freedom of Kuwait, the redeployed back to Fort Hood in April 1991.

In August of 1998, the Mustangs were called upon to deploy to Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Forge as a part of the peace keeping stabilization force. The 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry occupied Camp Bedrock in September of 1998 and patrolled the Tuzla Corridor. The 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry redeployed back to Fort Hood in March of 1999.

As of early 2001, the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, following the transition of the 1st Battalion, 12th Calvary Regiment to the M1A2 SEP tank, was itself scheduled to recieve M1A2 SEP tank.

Command Support Center Scania was typically the last stop for troops heading into Baghdad from Kuwait. Following what was usually a 12-hour convoy ride, the road weary troops stopped there for fuel, food and some rest. After a brief sojourn they start their engines, move out, and more than 100 kilometers later they are in Baghdad. When the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division stopped at Scania on their journey to Baghdad, they were greeted by an envoy from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. The troops wanted to welcome the Mountain Division Soldiers to the 1st Cavalry Division.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:23:49 ZULU