6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment
"Honor and Courage"
The story of the 8th Cavalry begins with the activation of Troop B on 23 October 1866 at Angel Island, California. After being activated, the 8th Cavalry spent the first years in Arizona fighting the Apache and Commache Indians. The Mustangs were 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. They 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 became part of the 1st Cavalry Division in September 1921. During the first part of the 20th century, the Regiment experienced organizational changes, including assignments to the 15th and 1st Cavalry Divisions, and a redesignation as an infantry unit. On 1 February 1928 the Regiment was disbanded. After America's entry into the Second World War, the 8th Cavalry Regiment was reconstituted in the Pacific Theater. The Mustangs took part in amphibious training and served gallantly while fighting at New Guinea and Leyte, invading and taking the Bismarck Archipelago. Again in 1945, they found themselves in the Philippines. 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 World War II, they were ordered to accompany General MacArthur to Japan. They spent the next 5 years in Japan.
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.
In 1957, shortly after the Korean Conflict, the 8th Cavalry was again inactivated. However, its services would be required a decade later when the US became involved in the Vietnam conflict. On 1 April 1968 the 8th Cavalry was reconstituted, and assigned to the 23rd Infantry Division. In Vietnam, the 8th Cavalry won 16 streamers for campaigns, to include a streamer for action related to the Tet Counteroffensive. In 1973 the Regiment was again inactivated only to be reconstituted in 1977. The 8th Cavalry served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Storm, in both the defense of Saudi Arabia and the liberation of Kuwait.
The 6th Squadron, the newest element of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, was constituted on 28 May 2004 at Fort Stewart, Georgia as an Armored Ground Reconnaissance Squadron of the new 4th Brigade Combat Team (Vanguard) of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized). This activation was part of the transformation of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) to the US Army's new modular force structure. Modular divisions activated a fourth brigade, and Cavalry Squadrons became integral organic elements of the modular Brigade Combat Teams. The new cavalry unit drew a core of personnel from E/9th Cavalry, which had been inactivated and reflagged as an element of the 6-8th Cavalry. E/9th Cavalry had been the 2nd Brigade's organic Cavalry Troop under the previous force structure.
The 6th Squadron stood-up in less than 9 months and deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III in January 2005. Once in Iraq, the Squadron conducted a relief in place with one of its sister units, the 1st Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, and assumed the mission of conducting counter insurgency operations in the urban and rural areas south of Baghdad. When insurgent activity in the Squadron's sector was defeated, the Squadron was tasked to stand-up and begin training the newly formed 5th Iraqi Army Brigade. Once the Iraqi Brigade and its 4 battalions were trained and handed over to other US battalions for employment in and around the Green Zone, the Squadron assumed the mission to provide security to the Airport Road area, known then as the most dangerous stretch of road in Baghdad. In just a short time, the Squadron, along with supporting Iraqi Security Forces, eliminated nearly all Anti-Iraqi Forces (AIF) activity along the route, and as a result of conducting persistent ISR and precision operations in the adjacent neighborhoods, AIF activity throughout the sector was significantly reduced. In January 2006, the Squadron conducted a relief in place, and it redeployed back to Fort Stewart to begin preparation for future operations.
In 2007 the 4th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) was alerted for deployment to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in late 2007. The 4th Brigade, including the 6-8th Cavalry, continued to serve in that country into 2008.
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