|"Theme From Lyndon Johnson's Texas"|
For those troopers who long for their "Texas Home"|
Composed by Glrnn Paxton & Cindy Walker
1st Cavalry Division Band - Ft. Hood, TX.
| The Outpost ©
HomePage Of America's "First Team"
|On The Trail To The Cavalry Outpost|
Some of you old troopers may wonder why a new Internet GateWay Site was developed for the Cavalry OutPost ©, HomePage Of America's "First Team". As you read the history of many of the subordinate regiments of the 1st Cavalry Division, each grew out of the need for protection of the movements and property of settlers of the Frontier as it slowly ebbed its way West.
As the operating areas of each of the Regiments began to be focused and defined to the Southwest, Fort Bliss, TX began to play a more significant role in controlling the movements of these Regiments. In a timely manner, the Army established a permanent Cavalry Division Table of Organization & Equipment and activated and organized the 1st Cavalry Division (as one of two authorized Cavalry Divisions) at Fort Bliss, TX, and in the detailed organization, designated many of local Regiments as its subordinate Units.
The information of this opening Chapter provides:
However, before browsing this website, it may be appropriate to view a map of the first two URLs of the WebSite that highlights the critical links of the various data bases so that your desired information of the 1st Cavalry Division and its subordinate units may be obtained in a minimum of your time and effort.
To access the 4 ways to enter the WebSite Database (which are on the 2nd URL page). Expand the image to the left for improved viewability and follow the sequences described below:
In addition to additional historical data about the 1st Cavalry Division the 2nd URL accommodates the branches that provide the separate links to enter the WebSite data information website stream.
The time is the 1800s, the place of choice and Opportunity is the new western frontier, and the mood has turned to adventure and search of wealth. It had been several decades since the Unites States gained its independence, and during this time its geographical area has tripled. By the nature of its contagious landscape, the United States was destined to stretch from the Atlantic To The Pacific Oceans. As the Eastern portion of the country became more populated, the attention of many turned westward.
The phrase "Manifest Destiny" was coined to describe the philosophy that the United States had a divine right to become a transcontinental nation. Most of the public was in favor of territorial expansion, though some politicians felt it contradicted the constitution. Strict constructionists were against territorial expansion, while loose constructionists felt expansion was the United States’ destiny. Strict constructionists centered their platform around the fact that the constitution never directly stated that the federal government had the right to acquire land. Those that view the constitution liberally, or loose constructionists, counter that stand by claiming the right of expansion falls under the implied powers of the government. The idea of "Manifest Destiny" split American politics more than any other factor up till the 1850's.
Notwithstanding the growing contradictions to that end, the 1810s began a rapid territorial exploration and expansion that extended the domination of the United States into the far southern, western and northern regions of the North American continent. The most significant and noteworthy exploitations of these new areas was brought about by the establishment of a number of key, well traveled, overland routes. Some of the more notably famous were:
As a result of the perceived "Manifest Destiny", existence of these routes gave proof to the declaration, "build it and they will come !". As more and more emigrants and their wagon trains loaded with their worldly belongings, rolling west, were being stalked and attacked by Indians the need for control by the United States into the far reaches of a largely unsettled, hostile territory became necessary.
The Army, having the charter to explore the large areas of land masses and protect the growing number of people who moved into the new territories, established a number of military posts at strategic locations along the emigration trails throughout the Southwest, West and Northwest regions. These "frontier outposts" were staffed with a fast, mobile and high spirited striking force of cavalry troops to provide protection along the arteries of emigration and commerce. The operation of these territorial missions in the 1800s and early 1900s, began the long enduring sharpening of the tactical skills of the independent, highly maneuverable cavalry regiments of today.
By the 1830's it had become apparent that the rapidly expanding frontier demanded highly mobile troops capable of tracking down and pursuing the Indians beyond their usual haunts to cover the vast expanses of the American West. The roots of the 1st Cavalry Division are found in an answer to those who advocated a mounted military force for speed and mobility, yet trained and properly equipped to fight dismounted as well as mounted. The US Regiment of Dragoons was regionally organized covering a wide segment of the country, as follows:
When the US Regiment of Dragoons were organized, the Western Department of the Army (Army of the West) protected the perimeter of the western frontier, a line stretching from Fort Snelling, Minnesota, in the north, to Fort Gibson, Arkansas Territory, in the south. In October 1833, the five companies first organized were sent under Colonel Dodge to winter in the vicinity of Fort Gibson which had been established 1824 in Indian Territory by Colonel Matthew Arbuckle. They remained there until June 1834.
At headquarters, Colonel Henry Dodge and Lt. Colonel Steven Watts Kearny mapped the campaign that lay ahead. In the summer of 1834, their first western expedition, the first official contact between the American government and the Plains Indians. was charged with impressing the restless Pawnee, Kiowa and Comanche Indian Tribes of their presence and force. The US Dragoon Regiment left Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, on 20 June, 1834. On 25 June, they joined with the forces of General Henry Leavenworth, Commander of the Western Department of the Army, for a two month exploration and survey of the western plains.
On 03 September 1834, Lt. Colonel Kearny, accompanied by three companies of Dragoons totaling 113 men, left Fort Gibson, Oklahoma to establish and occupy a new army post, Fort Des Moines No. 1, located at the mouth of the Des Moines River (near present day Montrose, Iowa), which would protect travelers from Indian encroachment, opening the new frontier territory for settlement. Such a post, located in the upper Mississippi country, would also minimize open warfare between the powerful Sioux, Chippewa and Sac Indian Tribes. In subsequent explorations, lead by Lt. Colonel Kearny, the Dragoons would select and recommended additional sites for two future military posts in the nearby frontier areas, Fort Dodge and Fort Des Moines No. 2, which would eventually become the cities of Fort Dodge and Des Moines, Iowa.
On 29 May 1835, Colonel Henry Dodge and the US Regiment of Dragoons went on a second western exploration from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to the Rocky Mountains. He traveled north, along the west bank of the Missouri River, to the mouth of the Platte River. Moving in a western direction, he followed the Platte River to its source in Colorado and went south to the head-waters of the Arkansas River (near present day Leadville, Colorado) and returned to the Kansas Plains down its valley.
In 1836, with the successes of the First Regiment Of Dragoons in penetrating and mapping areas of the "New Frontier", quickly - additional cavalry units were placed in service as the Second Regiment of Dragoons was organized and the original United States Regiment of Dragoons was redesignated as the First Regiment Of Dragoons. In 1846 the Regiment Of Mounted Riflemen was organized, followed by the organization of the 1st and 2nd Cavalry Regiments in 1855.
Historically, the mission resulted in the establishment of "The Post Opposite
El Paso del Norte", 1849 - 1851, by Major Jefferson Van Horne and his troops
of the 3rd Infantry Regiment. The Post was later named "Bliss" in honor of
Lieutenant Colonel William Wallace Smith Bliss - a former Assistant Adjutant
General in the American-Mexican War, was located on six acres of land (now
downtown El Paso) leased for $250 per month from Benjamin Franklin Coons, a
local merchant in the area. With a new American settlement on the north bank
and adjacent to the Post, the Mexican city on the south bank of the Rio Grande
River, now comprised of several thousand people, became known as Cuidad
|"The Post Opposite El Paso del Norte", (El Paso 1849 ~ 1851)|
The garrison of Fort Bliss, along with soldiers of Fort Selden, NM and other Southwestern outposts, protected the recently-won territory from harassing Apaches and Comanches. With constant Indian raids in the northern areas, the garrisons of Fort Bliss had to be moved frequently to meet the shifting threats. In 1851, the companies of troops stationed in El Paso were moved 40 miles (64 km) north to the area of Fort Fillmore, New Mexico. Records indicate that for more than two years, there was none garrisoned at "The Post Opposite El Paso del Norte".
In January 1854, at the urging of citizens of Franklin, Texas, a new
fortification at a third location, "The Post of El Paso", was established on
leased property of Magofflin's Ranch, also known as Magoffsville.
In 1861, in a broader view of the divided political objectives of the North and South, which was leading to the possibility of a Civil War, the Army organized another new Cavalry Regiment (the 6th Cavalry Regiment) and recognized a prior inconsistency in naming previous Cavalry units. The former Regiments were numerically redesignated sequentially as they had been organized:
On 16 October 1865, following the end of the Civil War, the US Army returned
to Magoffinsville, temporally re-occupied, took quarters at the remains of
Fort Bliss and attempted to restore it to an operable base of operations.
The sound of the bugle and the cry of "Charge" sent the thundering hooves of the US Cavalry troopers to protect the western bound settlers in an era when Indians roamed the western frontier and pioneering settlers clung to their land with determination. The 1st, 7th, 8th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, which in the future would form the nucleus of the 1st Cavalry Division, clashed with the Sioux, Comanche, Arapaho, Apache and the Indian Nations during the Indian Wars.
The cavalrymen pursued marauding Indians on horseback, and if the chase ended, as it usually did, in a dismounted fight, the cavalrymen were trained for that as well. During the years immediately following the Civil War, the Army was indispensable to the opening of the Plains area. The numerous discoveries of precious metals, the availability of cheap land, and the construction of wagon roads and railroads brought more and more settlers to the new west. All needed military protection since the Indians resisted the encroachment of white society. The many posts established ahead of settlements, and abandoned when the frontier had moved beyond them, testify to the fact that the Army continuously cleared the way for civilization.
On November 1867, following the end of the Civil War and the recognition of
the need for additional facilities and personnel in the Southwest, orders were
issued to move to a fourth location and construct a new military facility on
a hundred acres of property leased from the Concordia Ranch. Magoffsville was
not vacated until Camp Concordia was completed in March 1868. Camp Concordia
had three large adobe buildings that straddled three major roads. In addition
there was six officers' quarters, plus a tree lined parade ground.
|El Paso, Texas - circa 1875 ~ 1880|
In March 1869 Camp Concordia was redesignated as Ft. Bliss. Within the decade, tough economic times plagued the nation, and the government sought ways to reduce military expenditures. In part, even then, base closings were a means to save short term money. In January 1877, Ft. Bliss was closed.
From 1866 until 1901 no new cavalry regiments were added to the Regular Army.
There were, however, some alterations in regimental organization. In the major
reduction of the Army in 1869/70, the cavalry companies lost a few
noncommissioned officers, but for six years thereafter the authorized strength
and organization of the companies were unchanged. In the meantime, campaigns
against the Indians continued and commanders clamored for more mounted troops.
At the time, cavalry units still constituted about one-fifth of the entire
Army, roughly the same ratio as in France and Germany.
By 1870 the bulk of the cavalry organizations were in the west. Ninety-two companies were stationed among 59 posts within the vast area from the Canadian border to the Rio Grande River and from Kansas to California. The Plains Indians who had inhabited much of this area traveled and fought on horseback with a skill that gained the respect of the US cavalrymen. They had mobility and speed, and since these features were characteristic of American cavalry, mounted soldiers were a more effective fighting force than infantry in employment against them.
The fluid condition of the frontier caused most of the defensive tasks to be performed by small units. Usually a company of infantry and one of cavalry garrisoned a post, but often a single company constituted the only military protection for miles.
In June 1876 the Sioux, when attacked, overcame nearly half (5 companies) of the 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn. Partly as a result of this catastrophe, Congress voted a permanent increase in the mounted force. The new law actually cut 5,000 from the total number of enlisted men in the Army as a whole, but added 2,500 to the cavalry units employed against the Indians. Each company so employed could have 100 enlisted men, provided the total Army strength of 25,000, then authorized, was exceeded by no more than 2,500. The maximum 100-man cavalry company continued until 1890, but few units reached the authorized strength and fewer maintained it.
On New Year's Day, January 1878, with emphasis on a strategic fortification for
the military protection, a fifth location. for Ft. Bliss was designated and it
would rise again - like a Phoenix, by renting quarters in downtown El Paso
which proved to be a poorly thought out plan, as the post needed better
facilities than rented warehouses.
|Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas - circa 1885|
A new site for the sixth Ft. Bliss was constructed in 1878 on 135 acres, known
by many as Hart's Mill, upstream at the mouth of the Pass of the North, which
had been purchased by the War Department. The site was in an excellent
location which provided the Army easy access through the mountain passes.
|Parade Ground, Ft. Bliss, TX. - Hart's Mill Location|
In 1882 the troops of the ten cavalry regiments were dispersed among 55 posts in the Indian country. The posts having the largest mounted forces were located in the Departments of Missouri and Texas. The 1st and 5th Cavalry were the most widely dispersed, troops of the 1st Cavalry Regiment located 10 stations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and California, and those of the 5th Cavalry Regiment in 7 posts in Wyoming and Nebraska. Improvement in troop distribution came about very slowly. During the late 1880's subjugation of most of the Indians and completion of many miles of railroad made possible the concentration of larger forces at fewer posts.
Meanwhile - at Fort Bliss, the location and growth of the surrounding territories was so good that the railroads exercised their rights of "eminent domain" and laid their rails down through the middle of the parade grounds. The scheduling of drills, marches and ceremonies around the train schedules became too much of a headache. With financial support of the local citizens of Franklin, Texas, the Army purchased a thousand acres of land on the edge of La Noria Mesa, adjacent to the town of El Paso, TX which had experienced vigorous growth. Construction of the, seventh and final, site at La Noria Mesa began in August 1891 and continued over the next two years. The garrison layout centered around a parade ground that was situated along the curve of the mesa. The initial construction featured officers' quarters along the west side of the parade ground and barracks, a mess hall, and a hospital along the east side. Upon completion of construction, the Army abandoned, the Hart's Mill facility in 1893. The La Noria Mesa site remains as the permanent station for Ft. Bliss.
The Battle of Wounded Knee (29 December, 1890), subduing the Sioux in southwestern South Dakota, was the last Indian engagement of any significance to fall in the category of warfare; later incidents were more in the realm of civil actions. The Army could now concentrate its forces at the larger and more permanent posts and relinquish numerous smaller installations that had outgrown their usefulness.
The specifics of the actions at Wounded Knee (Drexel Mission) have been examined in detail by many representing all sides (Department of Army, Department of Interior and the National Congress of American Indians) of the issues which brought about military action. It is difficult to say that the actions for all of the issues were vindicated or even validated. In 1999, the Chief of Military History indicated:
However, with great losses in lives at Wounded Knee Creek, the next few years (on the plains) were comparatively peaceful - which was the objective of the original plan set forth for the Wounded Knee Mission. The abatement of the Indian threat brought about the first reduction in cavalry strength since the Civil War.
The nineteenth century was drawing to a close and the frontier was rapidly
disappearing. Territories were being replaced by states, and people,
settlements, government, and law were spreading across the land. The buffalo
were gone and the Indians were confined to reservations and dependent upon the
government for subsistence. An expanded rail system was available to move
troops quickly to trouble spots.
Despite minor improvements, the US cavalry of 1898 was not prepared for war.
Enlisted cavalrymen numbered fewer than 6,000, and they were as scattered as
at the opening of the Civil War, mainly through the western part of the
country, though part of the 3rd Cavalry was at Fort Ethan Allen,
Vermont, and part of the 6th Cavalry was at Fort Myer, Virginia. Most of the
troopers were garrisoning posts in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, and
other western states. Again they were called in from great distances, some
arriving on their mounts and others coming by rail.
On 25 April, 1898, the United States declared war on Spain following the sinking of the USS Maine anchored in Havana Harbor. This event, resulted from the intervention of the United States in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence. Ongoing United States naval attacks on Pacific possessions of Spain, beginning in Manila Bay 01 May, led to involvement in the Philippine Revolution and ultimately to the Philippine - American War. Although the main issue was Independence for Cuba, the ten week war was fought in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Cavalry regiments engaged in conflicts occurring in:
Except for their wide dispersion, the Regular cavalry regiments of 1898 were in no worse condition than was the rest of the Army at the time. There were only 27,000 enlisted men in the entire Army and therefore the Army had to be strengthened. For the Regular cavalry, an act of 26 April 1898 authorized the reactivation of 2 troops in each regiment- some of the reactivated troops had been inactive since 1890.
Soon after the turn of the century, Ft. Bliss became the focus of activity to
clear the Mexican border of marauders, cattle rustlers and thieves who took
shelter in northern Mexico between raids. The United States involvement in the
Mexican Revolution (1910 - 1917) was varied. The United States relationship
with Mexico has often been turbulent. For both economic and political reasons,
the American government generally supported those who occupied the seats of
power, whether they held that power legitimately or not.
On 14 March 1916, Pershing led an expedition into Mexico to capture Pancho Villa. Pershing organized and commanded the Mexican Punitive Expedition, a combined armed force of 10,000 men that routed the revolutionaries of Pancho Villa severely wounding the bandit himself. Advanced elements of the expedition penetrated as far as Parral, some 400 miles south of the border, but Villa was never captured. The campaign consisted primarily of dozens of minor skirmishes with small bands of insurgents. There were even clashes with Mexican Army units; the most serious was on 21 June 1916 at Carrizal, where a detachment of the 10th Cavalry was nearly destroyed.
The American troops were operating in the domain of Pancho Villa where many of the peasants held pro-Villa sympathies. The Mexican government officers likewise questioned the right of Americans to be there. Even though American officers carried and distributed a proclamation by Mexican Secretary of War, Obregon, extending a vague permission to operate in Mexico, almost no Mexican official believed the expedition to have any legitimate right to be maneuvering through their territory.
In many respects the service performed by the troopers in Mexico was comparable to that they experienced in tracking down the elusive Indians in the years following the Civil War. The hardships they endured were increased by the lack of co-operation on the part of the Mexican Government and the natives. Conflicting information as to the direction the bandits took after their forays more often than not sent the Americans on long circuitous routes, thus delaying their arrival at strategic points and giving the bandits plenty of time to escape. The rough, irregular terrain and the varied climate of Mexico added many discomforts.
Although there had been talk of war on the border for years, no steps had been taken to plan and provide for the handling of supplies for such an expedition. Even so, virtually the entire Regular Army was involved, and most of the National Guard had been Federalized and concentrated on the border before the end of the affair.
On 10 January, 1917, General Funston informed Pershing "that it was the intention of the United States government to withdraw from Mexico at an early date." Pershing "recommended that the date of the beginning of the movement from Dublan, Mexico, be not later than 28 January, 1917, the withdrawal to be entirely by marching, and the command to assemble at Palomas, Chihuahua, and march across the border together." The recommendation was approved, and the Punitive Expedition officially ended the afternoon of 05 February, 1917.
Hostilities in Mexico continued well after the Americans left. On 11 March, 1917, Carranza was officially elected the new President of Mexico but continued to fight off overthrow attempts by Villa and Emiliano Zapata. On 10 April, 1919, Carranza had Zapata assassinated. A year later Carranza himself was assassinated after fleeing Mexico City during a rebellion. Pancho Villa met a similar fate on 20 July, 1923. Around the same time, the army disbanded troops stationed along the Mexican border, thus bringing to a close a turbulent period in Mexican-American relations.
Although the expedition failed to capture Villa, it did provide a valuable training experience for the troopers of the 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 12th Cavalry Regiments who took part and later became units of the 1st Cavalry Division. One of the largest military American military operations since the Civil War, it provided lessons to be utilized as the United States inched closer and closer to World War I. Also, it served as an effective projection of American power which aided in halting raids and aggression along the border.
From 1901 to 1916 the size of the Army varied from year to year. In 1901 Congress had set the maximum strength at 100,000 and authorized the organization of 5 new cavalry units:
Following these authorized organizations and thereafter until 1916 the actual strength was regulated by annual appropriations. From 1902 to 1911 the Army averaged in excess of 65,000 personnel. Of this amount, the cavalry continued to comprise about one-fifth of the total strength.
On 03 June 1916, the National Defense Act set the peace strength of the Regular Army at 220,000 officers and men and of the National Guard at 450,000. Increases to reach these strengths were to be spread over a period of five years. In units, additions to the Regular Army amounted to 10 regiments of cavalry, 33 of infantry, and 15 of field artillery; 13 battalions of engineers; 93 companies of coast artillery; and a number of signal, medical, and other auxiliary troops.
The regimental organization under the 1916 act remained unchanged, retaining its 12 lettered troops in 3 squadrons, a headquarters troop, a supply troop, and a machine gun troop. Enlisted strength of a line troop was fixed at 70 for peace and 105 for war. However the 1916 plan, increasing the strength of the Army, authorized two new cavalry regiments in the first increment.
To enable the new organizations to become operational as soon as possible, experienced officers and men from existing cavalry regiments were transferred to the new ones, and by mid-July 1916 the 16th and 17th Cavalry were in fair shape. These were the last additions to the cavalry forces until after the declaration of war on Germany.
The act also provided for the organization of brigades and divisions, which
previously had not been permanent- that is, they had been organized during an
emergency and existed only so long as the specific emergency lasted. Civil War
brigades and divisions, for example, were disbanded when the war ended, and
new ones created for the War with Spain were not continued after the close of
|Proposed Cavalry Division Table Of Organization - May, 1916|
The new plan called for the formation of 2 cavalry and 7 infantry divisions. The cavalry division proposed consisted of a headquarters, 3 brigades (each with 3 cavalry regiments) , a horse field artillery regiment, a mounted engineer battalion, a mounted signal battalion, an aero squadron, and the necessary trains: ammunition, supply, engineer, and sanitary. The remaining 7 authorized cavalry regiments were assigned to the 7 infantry divisions, a regiment to each division, to provide a mobile force capable of performing reconnaissance, counter reconnaissance, and security missions for the division. Because of their mobility, the cavalry divisions were free for reconnaissance or other duties that took them considerable distances from the remainder of the Army.
On 02 April, 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson asked for a declaration of war against Germany. it surprised no one. Congress, taking fast action, issued the declaration four days later, When the United States entered World War-I against Germany, the cavalry organization of seventeen regiments in effect was based upon the National Defense Act of 1916. In May 1917 emergency laws called for immediate increase to the full strength authorized by the National Defense Act, and organization of the remaining eight new cavalry regiments, numbered 18th through the 25th to begin at once.
On 18 May 1917, an act of Congress provided for twenty National Army (or
temporary) cavalry regiments, which were designated 301st through 320th.
Fifteen of them, the 301st through the 315th, were organized in early 1918 at
various National Army camps, but in August of that year they, too, were
converted to field artillery. Thirty field artillery regiments, the 44th
through the 72nd, and nine trench mortar batteries, the 15th through the 23rd,
were organized from them. None of those units served outside the United States
and all were demobilized in January-February of 1919. The 316th through the
320th Cavalry were not activated during the war years.
Since US cavalrymen had been trained to fight dismounted as well as mounted, many of them did see action as foot soldiers. Again, as in earlier wars, many individual awards for gallantry were earned by the dismounted troopers who fought in other arms and services.
Only a very small portion of the US cavalry saw any mounted service in France. In late August 1918, just before the St. Mihiel offensive, a provisional squadron was formed from Troops, "B", "D", "F", and "H" of the 2nd Cavalry. Fourteen officers and 404 enlisted men from those troops with convalescent horses furnished from the veterinary hospital moved to old Camp Jeanne d'Arc, near Neufchateau, for training in mounted action. After about ten days of training, one troop of the Provisional Squadron was detached and marched to Menil-la-Tour, where it reported for courier duty with the 1st, 42nd, and 89th Divisions. The remainder of the squadron reported to the 1st Division on the night of 11 September 1918, and by a few minutes past noon of the next day US cavalrymen, mounted, were at Nonsard, about five miles behind the original front line of the enemy. Sent out on reconnaissance duty beyond their capabilities, the cavalrymen met the enemy in considerable force and were routed.
After the armistice, Headquarters, Band, and six troops of the 2nd Cavalry acted as an advance guard for the Army movement into Germany, and afterward were stationed along the Rhine with the American Army of Occupation.
Few recognized during World War-I that the means for returning mobility and
shock action to combat was already present in a device destined to
revolutionize warfare on the ground and in the air. This was the internal
combustion engine, which had made possible the development of the tank
and eventually would lead to the mechanized forces that were to assume the
old roles of horse cavalry and to loosen the grip of the machine gun on the
battlefield. With increased firepower and protection, these mechanized forces
would, only some twenty years later, become the armor of World War II. When
the armored artillery, the armored personnel carrier, the wheeled cargo
vehicle, and supporting aviation- all with adequate communications- were
added to constitute the combined arms team of the modern armored division,
commanders regained the capability of maneuver in most of the land areas of
In the early stages of World War I, neither the Allies nor the Germans foresaw the ultimate value of the tank. In late 1914 after observing a small American-made caterpillar tractor in France, an English Officer, recommended to the British Committee of Imperial Defense that caterpillar tractors be armored and armed for use in combat. Although his proposal was not immediately accepted by the committee, it gained strong support of one of its members, Winston S. Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty.
In 1920, the Office of the Chief of Cavalry was established by the National
Defense Act. The total personnel authorization for cavalry was set at 950
officers and 20,000 enlisted men; its actual strength on 30 June 1920 was 965
officers and 15,812 men. In numbers of units, cavalry was little affected by
the immediate reduction in the Regular Army at the war's end, since the
mounted arm already had been fixed at 17 regiments by the National Defense Act
on 03 June 1916,
In addition to the established regiments, squadrons, and troops, the larger units of cavalry divisions and brigades were provided by the 1920 act. Two cavalry divisions, the 1st and the 2nd, were proposed to be added to the Regular Army, the 1st being active and the 2nd inactive. Each division contained two cavalry brigades, and each brigade had two regiments, a machine gun squadron, and a headquarters troop. Other divisional elements were a horse artillery battalion with 75-mm. guns, a mounted engineer battalion, an ambulance company, the division trains, and special troops.
On 04 April 1921 the Army established a permanent Cavalry Division Table of
Organization & Equipment. It authorized a Square Division organization of
7,463 Officers and Men, organized into a Headquarters Element (34); two
Separate Cavalry Brigades (2,803 each); an Engineer Battalion (357); a
separate Ambulance Company (63); a Field Artillery Battalion (790); a Division
Quartermaster Trains Command (276); and a Special Troops Command (337).
Each Cavalry Brigade was organized into a Headquarters and Headquarters Troop (101); two Cavalry Regiments (1,155 each); and a separate Machine Gun Squadron (392). Each Cavalry Regiment was organized into a Headquarters and Headquarters Troop (121); two Squadrons (428 each); a separate Supply Troop (127); and a Medical and Chaplain Detachment (51). Each Machine Gun Squadron was organized into a Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (47); three Line Troops (110 each); and a Medical and Chaplain Detachment (15). Each Cavalry Squadron was organized into a Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (35); and three Line Troops (131 each).
The Field Artillery Battalion was organized into a combined Headquarters and Headquarters Battery and Combat Trains Command (227); three Batteries (161 each); and a Medical and Chaplain Detachment (30). The Special Troops Command was organized into a Headquarters Element (11); the Division Headquarters Troop (161); a Signal Troop (78); an Ordnance Maintenance Company (36); a Veterinary Unit (38); and a Medical and Chaplain Detachment (13).
The Division Quartermaster Trains Command was a unitary structure that
contained all of the Quartermaster Corps elements of the Division. At this
time, all transportation was pack or animal-drawn (horse or mule), except for
14 automobiles, 28 trucks, and 65 motorcycles that were scattered throughout
the various unit headquarters. Without the Trains Command, the 1st Cavalry
Division occupied 6.5 miles of road if it moved in a "column of twos".
Subsequently on 20 August 1921 the 1st Cavalry Regiment, the first unit assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, was preassigned to the 1st Cavalry Division nearly a month before the formal activation of the Division. On 13 September 1921, with the initiation of the National Defense Act, the 1st Cavalry Division was formally activated at Ft. Bliss, Texas and Major General Robert Lee Howze, a Texas native from Rusk County and seasoned veteran of the Frontier Indian Wars, Spanish American War, Philippines Insurrection, Mexican Expedition, World War I and recipient of the Medal of Honor, was selected as its first Division Commander.
Upon activation, the 7th, 8th and 10th Cavalry Regiments were assigned to the new Division. With almost a century of service behind the oldest of its regiments and sixty five years of service for its youngest, the units that had already ridden and fought its way into the pages of history were organized into the newly formed divisional structure. The four regiments were now to fight side by side. Other units initially assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division in 1921 included the 1st and 2nd Machine Gun Squadrons, Weapons Troops, 10th Light Tank Company, 13th Signal Troop, 15th Veterinary Company, 27th Ordnance Company, 43rd Ambulance Company, 82nd Field Artillery Battalion (Horse) and the 1st Cavalry Quartermaster Trains which later was redesignated as the 15th Replacement Company.
Consolidation of these units into the 1st Cavalry Division and its
specialized support functions, along with new tactical equipment training and
developments enabled the Division to evolve into the modern, highly trained,
mission ready, assault and support force of today. As such, it is well staffed
and equipped to execute any on-order mission to deploy by land, sea or air to
any part of the world on short notice and at once engage the threat and
neutralize, suppress or destroy the enemy.
|Newly Organized 1st Cavalry Division Passes In Review|
The 1st Cavalry Division was assigned to the VIII Corps Area and its Division Headquarters and 2nd Brigade Command along with its units were assigned to Ft. Bliss, Texas. The 1st Brigade Command and its units were assigned to Camp Harry J. Jones in Douglas, AZ. Later, the 5th Cavalry Regiment was assigned on 18 December 1922, relieving the 10th Cavalry Regiment. It would not be until 03 January 1933 that the 12th Cavalry Regiment, organized in 1901, would join the 1st Cavalry Division, relieving the 1st Cavalry Regiment.
In early September 1921. the first venture of the 1st Cavalry Division into
the aviation environment was in cooperation with the 12th Observation
Squadron, one of the oldest Unites States Air Force Squadrons, that operated
out of Ft. Bliss. The Air Corps furnished the plane and pilot for observation
of artillery fire while the field artillery furnished the observer. Doctrine
specified that such observation planes should be attached to corps and from
there allotted to Cavalry Units on a mission-by-mission basis as the situation
dictated. The coordination process between Cavalry requirements and Squadron
fulfillment became a major obstacle in its implementation. The General Staff
officers of the Cavalry were often out of touch with the requirements of
modern aerial warfare that their chief complaint about air personnel was the
disrespectful manner in which flying officers flouted regulations by refusing
to wear their cavalry spurs while flying airplanes. The joint venture
experiment ended in June 1926.
|The Line Of March Covered The Harsh Terrain Of The "Big Bend" District|
In the fall of 1923 the 1st Cavalry Division assembled at Camp Marfa, Texas to stage its first divisional-level maneuvers since its organization. The maneuvers were held in the Marfa-Shafter-Alamito area of the Big Bend District, Texas. The line of march was Fabens, Ft. Hancock, Sierra Blanca, Hot Wells, Lobo Flats, and Valentine. The wagon trains, all drawn by four mules (no motorized vehicles yet), seemed endless. Terrain covering an area of 900 square miles was obtained through the generosity and public spirit of ranch owners. The enormous tract was mapped and marked by a detachment from the 8th Engineer Battalion.
The actual maneuvers consisted of both one-sided and two-sided problems with
brigade against brigade and included the entire division as a whole. The 12th
Observation Squadron participated in maneuvers with the Division. The use of
aircraft allowed the maneuvers, in every detail, to conform with actual war
conditions. (It was during this period, from 1922 to 1923, that Captain
Claire Chennault, of later "Flying Tiger" fame, served with the 12t has
aviation engineer officer.) Since this was the first major United States
Army training exercise since WW I, the maneuvers were attended by
representatives of several foreign governments.
On 02 July 1926, when the Army Air Corps was created by Act of Congress, it
began to develop specialized types of aircraft to perform its several
functional needs. Although the helicopter (still in its early stages of
development) was recognized for its ability to operate out of rough terrain -
such as the cavalry operated, it became clear that the fixed wing aircraft
was the device to develop for its operations. Various operational needs of the
cavalry were studied and the Army began to develop specialized types of
aircraft to perform its several functions. For observation - a tandem
two-seater, open cockpit biplane was generally used. Rather heavy, it required
a hard surface runway or its near equivalent.
In 1927 the 1st Cavalry Division carried out the second divisional field maneuvers and readiness testing in the Marfa area. From a Time Magazine article dated Monday, 10 October 1927: "Not since the Civil War had US cavalry engaged in maneuvers on the scale of those conducted last week on 120 square miles of terrain in and about Marfa, Texas. Some 280 officers, 4,000 men, 3,200 horses and 1,500 mules were deployed over gulches, hillocks and sagebrush plains - the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (Fort Bliss) playing "Brown" army to the "White" army of the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (Fort Bliss) and 1st Cavalry Regiment (Marfa). Tanks, cannon, airplanes, Red Cross ambulances and every appurtenance of real war, right down to hot weather, secrecy and red tape, accompanied the show."
Following the maneuvers in October, the Division added the capability of aerial observation by the assignment of the 1st Aero (Observation) Squadron, US Army Air Corps, a unit that had previously been with General Pershing, in 1916, on the Punitive Expedition into Mexico. The unit, a component squadron of the 9th Observation Group, remained with the Division until the end of its subsequent organizational changes in February 1929. Today, its predecessor unit, the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, 9th Reconnaissance Wing operates the high altitude SR-71 (YS-12) Reconnaissance Aircraft and continues to play a vital role in the defense of America.
In 1929 the 1st Cavalry Division carried out its third divisional field
maneuvers, reflecting organizational changes that occurred earlier. In 1928
the Chief of Cavalry, in an early bid to increase the firepower of the cavalry
division while at the same time having to remove personnel, reorganized the
four cavalry regiments of the Division. Aside from redistributing the
machine guns by giving them to each regiment, he authorized the addition of an
Armored Car Squadron.
In the 1929 maneuvers, Liberty Trucks were of the World War I vintage in terms of motorized transportation. included the first incorporation of armored cars and anti-tank guns, and the Division revisited the use of "Portee (using trucks and trailers to more speedily transport horses and their supplies) Cavalry". "A" Troop, 1st Armored Car Squadron, participated in the maneuvers. The armor plating was soft and the vehicles were armed with .30 caliber machine guns. The mechanized scouts earned high marks for their ability to conduct delaying operations, but their good mobility was attributed to dry weather and the lack of fences and ditches along the Texas roads that otherwise would have prevented them from gaining any degree of off-road mobility. There was some surprise at the relative "invisibility" of the cars until they moved.
The "Portee Cavalry" concept employed during the tactical exercise were given high marks for strategic mobility, but were valued little for their tactical mobility. During the regimental phase of the maneuvers the platoon conducted reconnaissance ten miles forward of the main body and across a five-mile front. Radio sets mounted in the vehicles allowed them to send reports every two hours. The platoon was generally successful in delaying the opposing force with the tactical use of ambushes and effective long-range machine gun fire. Opposing forces learned to get off the roads and using their own towed anti-tank weapons as a supporting base of fire, maneuvered to the flanks of the armored cars.
For the next fifteen years, units of the Division, remained stationed at the home base of Ft. Bliss with elements occasionally temporally based at Camp Marfa and Ft. Clark, all located in Texas. The early missions of the Division were comprised of rough riding, patrolling the Mexican border, and constant training. Operating from horseback, the cavalry was the only viable force capable of piercing the harsh terrain of the desert to halt the band of smugglers that operated along the desolate Mexican border.
The history of Fort Bliss up to World War II essentially paralleled that of the 1st Cavalry Division. But in a larger sense, the fortunes of the post reflected the interplay of three factors. 1st and most important), the revolution and resultant instability in Mexico determined the degree to which the southern border needed protection. 2nd) the interwar years were characterized by severe budget restrictions of the Army, a situation that did not begin to improve until the military buildup of the late 1930s. 3rd and last), the role of the horse cavalry as a combat arm in modem warfare continued to decline.
By the mid-1930s even the most diehard cavalrymen at Fort Bliss could not have
been overly optimistic about the future of the cavalry. But the 1st Cavalry
Division was determined not to go out of existence with a whimper. In spite of
the lack of ample funding and the limited availability of new equipment,
priorities were placed on readiness preparation and evaluations by conducting
extensive field maneuvers. To this end, the large expanse of land in the
Marfa-Shafter-Alamito area of the Big Bend District, south of Ft. Bliss, was
used to stage its many divisional-level maneuvers.
On the eve of the United States' entry into World War II, the authorized
strength of the 1st Cavalry Division was now 10,110. By 1940 the 1st Cavalry
Division had constructed the Logan Heights Cantonment area (temporary living
accommodations) for four National Guard Units (20,000 troops) and had made
significant improvements in the facilities at Biggs Airfield, the Ft. Bliss
air terminal. Additional training and preparation for involvement in the
anticipated World War was carried out at the national level by the 1st Cavalry
Division by their participation in the first 3rd Army maneuvers held in the
summer of 1940 at Camp Polk, Louisiana. By Executive Order No 8594, issued on
16 November, 1940, the 56th Cavalry Brigade of the Texas National Guard was
federalized and integrated into the 1st Cavalry Division for intensive field
In 1941, the 1st Cavalry Division then staffed to approximately seventy percent of their authorized strength, began planning for participation in the second 3rd Army field readiness maneuvers that were to be held in the vicinity of Leesville, Louisiana. The maneuvers would become a severe test for the men, their equipments and horses. For the initial movement of the 1st Cavalry Division, railroad cars were assembled from all over west Texas at El Paso, Texas. In anticipation of extended marches over gravel roads in rural Louisiana, each horse was provided with a spare set of shoes. Material and horses were shipped by rail while the men and their personal gear were transported by motor convoy to the maneuver areas.
From 10 August to 04 October 1941, the 1st Cavalry Division participated in
the second 3rd Army field readiness maneuvers that were held in the vicinity
of Leesville, Louisiana. The Division covered approximately 900 miles in the
maneuver area in the 60 day period. The "Blue" and the "Red" Armies that were
selected for this set of LOUISIANA MANEUVERS were the finest and best equipped
this country could then field. They represented a small part of the US Army
Military Establishment of about a quarter million, in total, who would soon
form the strong backbone of a mighty army in excess of thirteen million under
arms, so called today as "The Greatest Generation,
Assembling on the parade grounds, the mounted troops move out toward the
surrounding training areas of open desert terrain, closely followed by the
training supply, support vehicles and weapon carriers that will also
competitively participate in the field exercises. Passing by buildings and
the landmark water tower of Fort Bliss, the rough and rugged terrain of the
forever present Franklin Mountains are seen in the background.
Although the Division was anxious for immediate combat, its first wartime mission was to continue border surveillance as a component of the Southern Land Frontier and the Southern Defense Command. They patiently served on border patrol and participated in the third 3rd Army LOUISIANA MANEUVERS which were held near Mansfield, Louisiana from 04 August to 19 September, 1942.
Although the Louisiana maneuvers provided invaluable data on modernizing the Regular Army, the nation was actually more vulnerable when the maneuvers ended than it had been before they started. Even as the Army's two improvised Corps sparred along the Calcasieu River, across the Atlantic ten German panzer divisions spearheaded a stunning assault that shattered the French Army and drove the British expeditionary force out of the continent.
However, even with the advantages of terrain mobility, the deployment of the cavalry divisions proved to be a thorny problem. The cavalry units remained unpopular with theater commanders because their horses and equipment required shipping space and logistic support far more than that of other units. As a result, the need for units in the Southwest Pacific led General McArthur to accept the 1st Cavalry Division on the condition that they be dismounted.
In February 1943, the entire 1st Cavalry Division was alerted for an overseas
assignment. The 1st Cavalry Division was then converted with equipment as an
Augmented Leg Infantry Division. In the meantime, the troopers continued to
feed and water their horses until the Quartermaster assumed control of them.
Many of the proud cavalrymen would rather turn their stripes, bars, or stars
than trade in their saddles for a seat in any vehicle to become "cushion
|1st Cavalry Division Dismount Ceremony, Ft. Bliss, Texas|
In June the overseas deployment from Ft. Bliss, Texas to Camp Stoneman, California was made in two echelons. The first body, elements of the 5th and 7th Cavalry Regiments, and the 8th Engineer Combat Squadron would be followed by the remaining units of the main body of the Division. At the time of deployment. no one would have ever thought that it would be twenty-eight years before the Dvision would return to the United States. During the long departure of the 1st Cavalry Division, it was deployed for engagement in the following campaigns:
On 26 March 1971, the First Team struck their "colors" at a Stand Down Ceremony at Bein Hoa marking their departure of the 1st Cavalry Division from Vietnam. With the simple but brief ceremony highlighted by the 1st Cavalry Division Band and the bright colors, their tour of duty came to a close. After sixty-six months "in country" and continuously in combat, the First Team and left the 3rd Brigade (Separate) to carry on. The new home base of the 1st Cavalry Division was designated to be located at Ft. Hood, Texas, not Ft. Bliss, Texas, their organizational home base.
Ft. Hood, Texas had begun its own long history beginning on 15 January 1942, when the War Department announced that a camp, to be a permanent station of the Tank Destroyer and Firing Center, would be built in the vicinity of Killeen, Texas. Orders were issued for the Real Estate Branch of the Engineer Corps to acquire 10,800 acres of land northwest of Killeen. On 17 February 1942, the Army announced that the camp would be named Camp Hood in honor of General John Bell Hood, the "Fighting General" of the famous "Texas Brigade" of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, who was later Commanding General of the Confederate Army of Tennessee.
On 05 May 1971, the colors of the 1st Cavalry Division, minus those of the 3rd
Brigade (Separate), were moved from Vietnam to Ft. Hood, Texas and were passed
to the commander of the former 1st Armored Division, Major General James C.
Smith. After twenty-seven years of outstanding dedicated service, hardships
and service overseas, the major organizational units of the 1st Cavalry
Division were relocated back in the state of Texas where it had been organized
a half century before.
In mid June 1972, the stand-down ceremony for the 3rd Brigade (Separate) was held in Bein Hoa, Vietnam and their colors were returned to the United States. The last trooper left from Tan Son Nhut on 26 June, completing the Division recall which had started on 05 May 1971. With the 3rd Brigade completing its withdrawal, the 1st Cavalry had become the first US Army Division to go to Vietnam and the last to leave.
On 21 February 1975, with the conclusion of the TRICAP test evaluations, the 1st Cavalry Division was once again reorganized, becoming the newest armored division in the Army. In the organizational structure of "armor", the Division was deployed overseas for four major Operations; the Persian Gulf War, Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM 1990 - 1991; the United Nations Bosnia peacekeeping mission, Operation JOINT FORGE 1998 - 1999; the Southwest Asia for preparation and participation in the invasion of Iraq, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM 2003 and the occupation of Iraq, Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II 2004 - 2005. Following each of these deployments, changes in the tactical organizations and supporting equipments of the Division were made to improve its mission performance ability.
A second interval of fourty years (18 October 2005) passed before a 1st Cavalry Division unit was stationed at Ft. Bliss, Texas. In tyhis time period the Division was deployed for engagement in the following campaigns:
In celebration, the Horse Cavalry Detachment of the 1st Cavalry Division, with sabers raised high and pistols blazing in a traditional charge, concluded the ceremony with a reenactment of the famous "Cavalry Charge" across the field that was named in 1928 after Lt. Paul A. Noel, 1st Armored Cavalry Troop, 82nd Field Artillery Battalion, a famed polo player, who learned his skill as a horseman while in the 1st Cavalry Division. The cavalry had come home !! The 4th Brigade Combat Team remained remotely located at Ft. Bliss until 2008 when it returned from its second deployment to Iraq and was reunited with the Division at Ft. Hood, Texas.
On 07 July 2006, in anticipation of redeployment to Iraq for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM IV, the 15th Support Brigade Sustainment Brigade (SB) and their Special Troops Battalion (STB) cased their colors in a ceremony at the parade grounds of Coopers Field, Ft. Hood, Texas. Their departure, on 29 July, marked the start of the scheduled return of the Division to Iraq over the coming months which culminated on 15 November, when the 1st Cavalry Division took the reigns for the Multi-National Division in a Transfer Of Authority Ceremony at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq. In order to accommodate the accelerated build-up of troops in Iraq ("the surge"), the deployment of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM IV, which was originally planned to be for one year, was extended to a total of 15 months in the combat zone. During the deployment, with an influx of the Division's resources on the ground patrolling the streets, bomb attacks decreased 73 percent as well as the number of explosive devices identified and detected before they could detonate and cause causalities.
On Wednesday, 27 February 2008, having completed their Transfer Of Authority
for operations in northern Iraq to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, returned
to Ft. Bliss and refreshed from their block leaves, thousands of the 4th
Combat Brigade Team, 1st Cavalry Division Troops marched through the downtown
streets of El Paso, Texas. in a "Welcome Home Heroes Parade".
|4th Brigade Combat Team Marches Through Downtown El Paso|
The majority of the operations of the 4th Combat Brigade were in northwestern Nineveh Province of Iraq. However, some of the soldiers served in the Iraq capital city of Baghdad. They had deployed to Iraq in November 2006 and after 14 months, the last soldiers returned the day before Christmas, 2007.
Capitalizing on the "Lessons Learned" from the most recent deployment in Iraq, several constitutional changes were studied, considered and implemented in the retraining processes of each unit in order to be more prepared and ready when called for their next deployment. In an accelerated effort all of the changes were incorporated by mid year and on 23 June 2008, approximately 200 Soldiers of the advance staging party, 4th "Long Knife" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division arrived at Tallil Airbase, Iraq to begin their 15-month deployment in support of Operation IRAQ - VI (Rotation 08-10).
On 01 May 2009, the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, the last Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division closed out its deployment departure schedule in support of Operation IRAQ - VI (Rotation 08-10).
However it was not long before Ft. Hood began to be repopulated with returning 1st Cavalry members as soon as 04 May, the "Torch Party" of almost 30 from the 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, began their rotation of return deployments as they came back to hundreds of cheering family members, fellow Soldiers and other guests at Cameron Field, located near the 4th ID Headquarters.
0n 13 January 2010, the 1st Cavalry Division closed out its responsibilities
of Operation IRAQ - VI (Rotation 08-10), formally "Multi-National Division
Forces - West and Baghdad" by executing a Transfer Of Authority to the
commander of the incoming division (now designated as "USD - Center") of
control, the 1st Armored Division. The next day, 14 January, the flight of the
trail party of the 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters Soldiers arrived at Ft.
Hood, Texas and as they gathered at the homecoming ceremony at Coopers Field
to greet their family and friends, the Colors of the 1st Cavalry Division were
uncased, signifying the return of the Division from the combat operations of
Operation IRAQ - VI (Rotation 08-10).
|1st Cavalry Division Uncases Its Colors On A Rainy And Cold Evening|
On 17 March, the advanced party of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, the last
organizational unit of the 1st Cavalry Division scheduled to leave
IRAQ - VI (Rotation 08-10), began its return to Ft. Hood as 150 soldiers were
welcomed back from Iraq at Cooper Field. Soldiers from across the Brigade made
up the advance party that will prepare for the arrival of the rest of the
Brigade in April.
01 September, 2010 marked the official end to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and combat operations by United States forces in Iraq. The transition to Operation NEW DAWN. During Operation NEW DAWN, the remaining 50,000 US service members serving in Iraq will conduct stability operations, focusing on advising, assisting and training Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). Operation NEW DAWN, a compromise of the Republican and Democrat Parties to vacate the Iraqi operation by mid 2010, also represents a shift from a predominantly military US presence to one that is predominantly civilian, as the Departments of Defense and State work together with governmental and non-governmental agencies to help build Iraq’s civil capacity.
Also on 01 September, in a symbolic ceremony that took place for the 4th
Combat Team - 1st Calvary Division held their colors casing ceremony at Ft.
Hood for the beginning of an historic mission that will start as they deploy
this month in support of Operation NEW DAWN. The 4th Brigade will be the first
unit of the 1st Cavalry Division to leave specifically in support of the new
|1st Cavalry TOA In Afghanistan|
On 19 May, 2011, in continuing to expand its role in the mid-eastern theater of operations, the 1st Cavalry Division unfurled the unit's new colors in a transfer of authority ceremony with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. During a pivotal time in the war on terror and in Afghanistan’s history, The command authority of the Regional Command East shifted from Combined Joint Task Force-101 to CJTF-1.
The new mission of the 1st Cavalry Division takes the control of eight US,
French and Polish task forces and 14 provinces that, combined, provide safety
and security in an area populated by approximately 7.5 million Afghans. The
Area of Command consists of 43,000 square miles and shares 450 miles of border
(Upper Left) On 17 August, in the first flight of 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry
Division, more than 150 soldiers arrived at Robert Gray Army Airfield,
signaling the conclusion of their year long deployment to Iraq. These
soldiers, an advance party of troopers from units across the Brigade, were
home to help the rear detachment prepare for the return of their peers. After
greetings, some paperwork and checking in weapons, they were welcomed home in
a ceremony held at Cooper Field.
(Upper Right) On 25 August, more that 200 Soldiers from the 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division arrived at the Robert Gray Army Airfield at Ft. Hood after a year long deployment to Iraq. The Squadron was stationed in Mosul, working with the Iraqi army at the Al Ghuzlani Training Center. The flight marked the second battalion within the Brigade to uncase its colors and return home.
On 06 September, Soldiers, mostly from the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment
were greeted with a hug from Elizabeth Laird, Ft. Hood's Hug Lady, and checked
in their weapons. From there, soldiers were bused to Cooper Field, where family
and friends awaited them. During a colorful ceremony, the 4th Advise and
Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division uncased its colors. The uncasing ceremony
marked the official stateside return of the 4th AAB, 1st Cavalry Division,
"Long Knife" Brigade after a year long deployment to Iraq in support of
Operation New Dawn.
|Back In Loving Hands|
On 29 October, a flight from Kuwait brought home 55 soldiers, in what is known as the advanced party, from the various battalions in the 3rd (Greywolf) Brigade. Approximately another 1,200 will follow in the coming week, and the entire Brigade is estimated to be back by the end of the year. This group is the first personnel from three brigades that the 1st Cavalry Division will bring home early from Iraq, alongside several other units across Ft. Hood. In total, about 12,000 Ft. Hood soldiers will be returning home over the next two and a half months.
On 02 November, just shy of a year-long deployment in Iraq, the "Warhorse" Soldiers with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division made their final stop at Ft, Hood and rightfully saying "mission complete." The excitement and anticipation could be felt all over Cooper Field as families reunited with one another after months of waiting.
Although the deployment of "Warhorse" Soldiers may have been long, it ended
with the Iraqi forces patrolling their own streets. Halfway through the unit's
deployment, they had to begin considering plans for the year-end draw-down. As
the Iraqi forces conducted more of their own operations, the Warhorse Soldiers
and command were allowed to concentrate more on redeploying. While this group
of Warhorse Soldiers begin their reintegration process at home, the command
will continue to work on bringing everyone else home before the beginning of
the new year.
|11 November - Veterans' Day|
11 November marks the anniversary of the end of World War I hostilities of the
Allied Nations and Germany. They signed the terms of armistice at the 11th
hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. The anniversary date is also,
by Congressional action, the day that we give thanks, respect and honor to all
veterans for their service to the United States of America.
|We Honor Our Military Forces|
On 27 November, the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st
Cavalry Division returned from its fourth deployment to Iraq and uncased its
colors on Cooper Field. The battalion deployed in May to northern Iraq,
knowing they could be one of the last units to leave the country and that the
mission could change.
It was 7:55 AM local time when the attack began - a strike that would push America into World War II. As explosions sounded and battleships burned, brave service members fought back fiercely with everything they could find. Unknown among these selfless individuals, the sacrifices endured on that infamous day would galvanize America and come to symbolize the mettle of a generation. Taken by surprise, the base was bombarded for two hours, leaving more than 2,000 Americans dead, eight battleships destroyed and the course of American and world history changed forever.
In response to this hostile action, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed
the Congress and delivered his "a day which will live in infamy" war
message. The following day, Congress declared war on Japan and the United
States entered World War II. In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and
the crippling of our Pacific Fleet, there were those who declared the United
States had been reduced to a third-class power. But rather than break the
spirit of our Nation, the attack brought Americans together and fortified our
resolve. Patriots across our country answered the call to defend our way of
life at home and abroad. They crossed oceans and stormed beaches, freeing
millions from the grip of tyranny and proving that our military is the
greatest force for liberty and security the world has ever known.
The morning homecoming and ceremony on Cooper Field marked the return of the Brigade from its fourth and final deployment to Iraq and its return to a brigade combat team from an advise and assist brigade. Being home for the holidays came as a surprise to the Black Jack Soldiers. They didn't know until a couple of weeks ago that they would be back before the Christmas holiday, and they were very fortunate everything worked out just right.
Many Black Jack Soldiers agreed that being one of the last units to leave their footprint in Iraq made their numerous deployment rotations, loss of comrades and countless holidays away from loved ones well worth it.
On 21 December, the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, the last Army unit
to leave Iraq last Saturday night, had been stationed at Contingency Operating
Base Adder, which was the last base to close. Now in white buses, the 3rd
Brigade Soldiers, were being driven the route from Robert Gray Army Airfield
to Cooper Field in an atmosphere of excitement coupled with exhaustion that
filled the vehicles. Completing the trip in about 20 minutes, the white buses
turned onto Battalion Avenue and soldiers stared silently out the windows at
the cheering crowds - their voices muffled by the windows and the engines of
The film clip begins as they were preparing to leave Iraq and enter Camp Virginia, Kuwait through the Khabari-Crossing that has been the gateway for the passage of troops, equipment, and supplies, between Iraq and Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as Operation New Dawn.
The movement of the 3rd Brigade, as the last unit to redeploy out of Iraq, symbolizes the closing of a mission spanning nearly a decade. This last unit to pass through the Khabari-Crossing played an essential role in Iraq since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq in 2003. The Gray Wolf Brigade was there at the beginning of the mission and now, as Operation New Dawn ends, they will be a part of history in the making - and, in their legacy, will see the mission to the very end.
Before "charging" to their loved ones, the Special Troops Battalion and 3rd Brigade uncased their colors, officially marking their return to Ft. Hood. As the soldiers marched onto Cooper Field, family and friends cheered and waved homemade banners, one even offering a marriage proposal.
Near the end of the deployment, Greywolf was responsible for securing a 220 miles stretch of the International Highway, which ran north to south and was traveled by other units leaving Iraq through Kuwait. The biggest challenge of the mission hit within the last 60 days. Tough decisions had to be made while balancing risk and force protection with continuing the mission.
Even though Greywolf will be remembered as the last brigade to leave, no matter when or where in Iraq a soldier deployed over the last eight and a half years, they are proud of their contribution.
On 24 February a small group (approximately 55) of advanced party members of Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, dressed in the darker Army combat uniforms made for Afghanistan symbolizing "the promise of greater things to come" following the "first, historic deployment of the 1st Cavalry Division to Afghanistan." In its mission, the 1st Cavalry Division has the lead position in guiding the coalition forces and civilian entities that compose Combined Joint Task Force-1 in the country's Regional Command-East, headquartered at Bagram Airbase.
More troops are expected at the end of March, with most expected home in
April. The soldiers who arrived Friday left shortly before a rash of riots
erupted across the country in response to the inadvertent burning of Qurans at
the airbase Monday evening. The Public Affairs director for the regional
command, indicated that "all remaining 1st Cavalry Division soldiers "are safe
and indeed accounted for in Eastern Afghanistan." Afghan security forces are
providing security outside Bagram's gates and talking to local leaders to
maintain a calm environment.
|1st Cavalry Division Begins Return From Afghanistan|
On 06 April, a second group of advance party Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry
Division arrived home after a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan with the
mission of supporting Operation Enduring Freedom XII. While deployed, the
First Team was in charge of Regional Command - East and the 31,000 Coalition
Forces Soldiers within it.
On 19 April, the Headquarters Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division transferred the
Authority for the Afghanistan Regional Command - East to the 1st Infantry
Division in a ceremony at Bagram Airfield which closed out an eventful
deployment for the Headquarters Battalion, 1st Calvary Division, which is
heading back to Fort Hood, Texas soon. For the last year, the unit has
overseen day-to-day operations in eastern Afghanistan, a highly complex
region of 14 provinces that included the capital Kabul as well 450 miles of
border with Pakistan.
On 20 April, a significant homecoming took place at Fort Hood as the colors of the 1st Cavalry Division returned home amid a few brewing storm clouds and some drizzle, allowing the symbolic uncasing of the colors of the Division. Since 2003, soldiers from the 1st Cavalry have been deployed to western Asia five times.
The return of the 1st Cavalry Command Staff, 30 members strong, may be have
been small in number, but the emotional family reunions made for a big day.
The main body of the 1st Cavalry started the returned to Fort Hood last week.
There are still a few more soldiers from the Division waiting to come home as
the Air Calvary is still in Afghanistan and preparing for their Transfer of
Authority and redeployment home along with and the 1st Brigade remaining in
Kuwait. The entire Division should be back at Ft. Hood by the end of summer
allowing them to reconstitute personnel and modernize equipment and start the
next leg of their long, classified (at this time) journey.
|1st Air Cavalry Begins Begin Return From Iraq|
The Brigade replaced the 4th Infantry Division's Combat Aviation Brigade on 02 June 2011 at Camp Taji, Iraq. It was the second time the Fort Hood-based units exchanged places at Camp Taji. Soldiers from across the brigade made up the advance party that will prepare for the rest of the brigade's arrival starting in mid-April. It will take about two weeks to bring all of the brigade back from Iraq.
The following video, taken at Camp Liberty and surrounding areas of Iraq,
briefly summaries the present role of the 1st Cavalry Division. Scenes include
the 1st Cavalry Division Color Guard marching with the Colors as well as a
montage of Troopers in recent actions and a film clip of Major Bruce P.
Crandall, A-229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, receiving the Congressional
Medal Of Honor from President Bush while the Division Band plays the "Star
Spangled Banner" in the background,
|1st Cavalry Division Honor Guard|
The charter mission of the Cavalry OutPost © was, and still is, to search continuously, conduct reconnaissance and document the activities of the past and current elements of the 1st Cavalry Division and its future generations of units that will follow. The subsequent sections of the OutPost WebSite starts with the early days of the horse soldier regiments whose initial mission was to protect the western movement of people and trade along the Northwest Oregon and Southwest Santa Fe Trails and railroads and continues to the present day organization and its worldwide operations.
Your are invited to enter the Cavalry OutPost to review a tableaux of the history and operational accomplishments of the 1st Cavalry Division, also know as "The First Team". To enter, just click on the OutPost image below.
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In addition to this URL, the other elements that make up the history of the 1st Cavalry Division also have similar Push Buttons located at the bottom of their gateway URLs.
The Cavalry OutPost ©, located on the far frontier of the Internet is, perhaps, one of the most popular garrisons visited by former troopers, scholars, historians and the casual surfer. Recognized by the US Army Center of Military History as providing a service for First Team Troopers and their families around the world by helping current and former members to stay in touch and remember their proud service with such a distinguished organization.
Need a gift for an Alumni of the 1st Cavalry Division?
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Revised 24 Jan '13 SpellChecked