The Armor branch traces its origin to the Cavalry. A regiment of cavalry was authorized to be raised by the Continental Congress Resolve of December 12, 1776. Although mounted units were raised at various times after the Revolution, the first in continuous service was the United States Regiment of Dragoons, organized in 1833. The Tank Service was formed on March 5, 1918. The Armored Force was formed on July 10, 1940. Armor became a permanent branch of the Army in 1950.
There are currently 16 recognized Armor Regiments and 15 Cavalry Regiments in the Regimental system for the active Armor force. These numbers include one Armor and two Cavalry Regiments for the training base at USAARMC. The lowest numbered CONUS-based battalion of the regiment will usually be designated regimental home-base having regimental responsibility and will maintain the regimental colors and memorabilia. When all battalions are OCONUS, usually the lowest numbered OCONUS battalion or squadron assumes regimental responsibility and maintains regimental colors and memorabilia.
Lieutenants serving as a platoon leader in Korea clearly get an opportunity to develop their leadership skills and receive professional development at an accelerated rate when compared to the majority of their Armor officer peers. Training in Korea is intensely METL focused due to 'real world missions', and leaders can rely on getting a priority placed on personnel and resources directed to Korea. In the end, that means more training and fewer distractions for junior armor officers assigned to Korea.
Paragraph 36, Change 1 to War Department Special Regulations No. 42, dated 29 December 1917, stated that the insignia on the collar of the coat for Tank Service would be "A conventionalized tank, one inch high, with the number of the regiment attached to the bottom." The approved design was a front view of a French tank.
On 26 January 1918, the Tank Corps of the American Expeditionary Force was formed and on 12 September 1918 went into initial action at St. Mihiel. Ten years later, the Experimental Mechanized Force was formed at Fort Meade, Maryland, but it lasted only two months.
The insignia approved in 1917 was not well received, and a new design was announced for the Tank Corps per Change 2 to Service Regulation 42, dated 7 May 1918. The new design showed the side view of a Mark VIII Tank above two stylized dragons breaching fire over a wreath. War Department Circular 72, dated 16 March 1921, eliminated the insignia of the Tank Corps.
Paragraph 13b, AR 600-35 prescribed the collar insignia for Infantry (Tanks) as "The Infantry insignia with a circular raised center superimposed with the letter 'T'."
The exigencies of the service prevailed and the foundling armored force was swept to and fro until the fall of 1931. The fledgling Mechanized Force came to Camp Knox, Kentucky. In 1936, the 7th Cavalry Brigade (Mechanized) was formed at Fort Knox.
In a letter dated 21 March 1922, The Adjutant General approved a new design for Infantry (Tanks). Change 2, AR 600-35, dated 28 March 1922, prescribed the insignia for Infantry (Tanks) to be "The Infantry insignia with tank superimposed." This insignia was rescinded by Change 2, AR 600-35, dated 22 August 1933.
On 10 July 1940, Fort Knox became the Home of Armor with the creation of an Armored Force. Kentucky tankers fought to the bitter end on Bataan, and the 26th Cavalry fought the last horse-mounted action in the Philippines.
A new insignia for the Armored Forces was authorized by War Department Circular 56, dated 25 February 1942. This insignia was the side view of the Mark VIII Tank used in World War I. The insignia was continued in use until the Armor Branch was established in February 1951. The new insignia was the result of the Army Reorganization Act of 1950 as announced in Army Bulletin No. 9. The Armored Forces and Cavalry were combined into a single branch called Armor. The Armored Forces insignia was no longer used; however, the Cavalry was continued in use as a collar insignia for personnel assigned to Cavalry Units.
Change 15, AR 600-35, dated 13 March 1943, added the insignia for Tank Destroyer Forces. This change specified the design was a "75-mm gun, motor carriage M3, in gold color metal." The insignia was rescinded by Change 2, AR 600-35, dated 28 November 1944.
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