On 14 July 1919, the Brigade was demobilized at Fort Brownsville, Texas. The organization and activation of the 1st Cavalry Division brought about the reconstitution of the Brigade on 20 August 1921, as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Cavalry Brigade, an element if the 1st Cavalry Division. On 01 September 1921, the unit was organized at Camp Harry J. Jones in Douglas, Arizona.
In 1923, the 1st Cavalry Division assembled to stage its first divisional maneuvers since WWI at Camp Marfa, Texas. The line of march was Fabens, Fort Hancock, Sierra Blanca, Hot Wells, Lobo Flats and Valentine. The wagon trains, all drawn by four mules (no motorized vehicles yet), were endless. Over the next four years, elements of the division were stationed at Camp Marfa, Fort Bliss and Fort Clark, which were all in Texas.
The entire Army was expanding and acquiring new equipment. Faster and lighter medium tanks were assigned to both, cavalry and infantry units. There was also a new urgency for readiness being expressed by Washington. Japan, which had invaded Manchuria in 1931, continued to expand conquests into China and Nazi Germany had annexed Austria and was threatening to seize Czechoslovakia.
In 1938, against the background of international tensions, the 1st Cavalry Division staged its second divisional maneuvers in the mountains near Balmorhea, Texas. The staging of the third divisional maneuvers was made even more memorable and intense by their timing. The starting of the maneuvers, 01 September 1939, coincided with the invasion of Poland by Germany, who used the most modern and deadly military force of its time. With the surprise of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 07 December 1941, troopers outfitted their horses and readied their weapons and vehicles in anticipation of the fight against the Axis.
In February 1943, the entire 1st Cavalry Division was alerted for an overseas assignment as a dismounted unit. An impatient 1st Cavalry Division was dismounted and they were processed for movement to the Southwest Pacific theater as foot solders. In mid June 1943, the last troops of the division departed Fort Bliss, Texas for Camp Stoneman, California and later on 03 July, boarded the "SS Monterey and the SS George Washington" for Australia and the Southwest Pacific.
On 26 July, three weeks later, the division arrived at Brisbane and began a
fifteen mile trip to their new temporary home, Camp Strathpine, Queensland,
Australia. The division received six months of intense combat jungle warfare
training at Camp Strathpine in the wilds of scenic Queensland and amphibious
training at nearby Moreton Bay. In January 1944 the division was ordered to
leave Australia and sail to Oro Bay, New Guinea. After a period of staging in
New Guinea, it was time for the 1st Cavalry Division to receive their first
baptism of fire.
Just after 800 hours on 29 February, the 1st Cavalry troopers climbed down the
nets of the APD's and into the LCM's and LCPR's, the flat bottomed landing
craft of the Navy. The landing at Hayane Harbor took the Japanese by surprise.
Following the assault on Los Negros, the Brigade left footprints on Bismarck
Archipelago and the Philippines. On 13 August 1945, the 1st Cavalry Division
was alerted that they were selected to accompany General Douglas MacArthur to
Tokyo and would be part of the 8th Army in the occupation of Japan.
At 8:00 on 08 September, a history making convey left Hara-Machida with Tokyo as their destination. Headed by Major General William C. Chase, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, the party included a veteran from each troop of the division. Passing through Hachioji, Fuchu and Chofu, the Cavalry halted briefly at the Tokyo City Limits. General Chase stepped across the line thereby putting the American Occupational Army officially in Tokyo and adding another "First" to its name;
"First in Tokyo".
The first mission of the division was to assume control of the city. On 16 September, the 1st Cavalry Division was given responsibility for occupying the entire city of Tokyo and the adjacent parts of Tokyo and Saitama Prefectures. 1946 was welcomed as a new dawning of peace for the 1st Cavalry Division. The days of privation, hardship, suffering and death were over for the first time since 07 December 1940. They year found the 1st Cavalry Division in control of Tokyo and vicinity, the capital of the war-built Japanese Empire. On 01 March, the 1st Cavalry Division was given the occupational responsibility of seven prefectures of Japan, in addition to the four occupied during the previous months.
The 1st Cavalry Division began 1947 with the continuation of its occupation of the heart and nerve center of the Japanese Empire. Although there was no change in occupational policy, there had been vast changes among the troopers themselves. The combat veterans of the division had been replaced by new arrivals from the states. Their time was spent in receiving advanced training, guard duty, patrolling and specialist assignments.
As the new year of 1948 opened, the influence of the occupation was everywhere. Japan had been converted into a peaceful nation with a framework of government under its new constitution that would make it a lasting democracy. Reduction of troops continued throughout the year.
On 25 March 1949, the 1st Brigade was inactivated and relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division. On 20 May 1949; The 1st Brigade was converted and redesignated as Headquarters, 1st Constabulary Brigade, assigned to the United States Constabulary, and activated in Germany. On 24 November 1950; the Brigade was relieved from assignment to the United States Constabulary. On 15 August 1951 the Brigade was inactivated in Germany and on 05 December 1951, disbanded.
On 15 July 1963, the Brigade was reconstituted in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division and on 01 September 1963, was activated in Korea. The 1st Brigade and its subnorate units was stationed at Camp Blue Lancer Valley (BLV), located only three miles northeast of Munsan. All soldiers fortunate enough to have received assignment at the BLV have little to wonder of this appealing military sector in addition to the recreation and leisure facilities. Organizationally, the 1st Brigade remained at BLV unitl it was reflagged 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division in 1965. The colors of the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division moved to Fort Benning, GA in preparation to the movement of the Division to Vietnam.
On 20 September, the 1st Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division debarked from the troop ship USNS Geiger and marched ashore at the city of Qui Nhon, Republic of Vietnam. The brigade consisted of three airborne infantry battalions, the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 8th Cavalry and 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry with the 2nd Battalion, 19th Artillery as a direct support unit. The brigade loaded quickly into helicopters and moved inland to the main base camp of the division at An Khe. In the Oriental calendar year of the "Horse", the airborne soldiers had returned to war wearing the famous and feared patch of the First Cavalry Division. The "First Team" had entered its third war - and the longest tour of duty in combat history.
On 23 October 1965, the first real combat test came at the historic order of General Westmoreland to send the First Team into an air assault mission to pursue and fight the enemy across 2,500 square miles of jungle. Troopers of the 1st Brigade and 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry swooped down on the NVA 33rd regiment before it could get away from Plei Me. The enemy regiment was scattered in the confusion and was quickly smashed.
On 16 May, Operation Crazy Horse, another search and destroy mission began in
the jungle hills between Suoi Ca and Vinh Thanah valleys. Initial contact was
made by Company "B", 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry. Soon the entire 1st Brigade
was involved in bitter engagements in tall elephant grass and heavily canopied
jungle. Once the enemy was surrounded, all available firepower was
concentrated on the area. The Viet Cong regiment was hit with artillery,
aerial rockets, tactical air strikes by F-4s and bombs from high flying B-52s.
Many of the enemy soldiers, trying to flee the devastation, were cut down in
Cavalry ambushes. Many important military documents, detailing the Viet Cong
infrastructure in Binh Dinh, were discovered.
On October 25, Operation Thayer II continued the drive to pacify the Binh
Dinh Province. On 01 November troopers of the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 5th
Battalion, 7th Cavalry became engaged in a sharp fight with the 93rd Battalion
and the 2nd Viet Cong Regiment. The action took place in the vicinity of
National Route 1 and Dam Tra-O Lake south of the Gay Giep mountains. In Thayer
II the enemy suffered a punishing loss of 1,757 killed.
The division began 1968 by terminating Operation Pershing, the longest of the
1st Cavalry's Vietnam actions. When the operation ended on 21 January, the
enemy had lost 5,401 soldiers and 2,400 enemy soldiers had been captured. In
addition, some 1,300 individual and 137 crew weapons had been captured or
On April 19 1968, Operation Delaware was launched into the cloud-shrouded A
Shau Valley, near the Laotian border and 45 kilometers west of Hue. None of
the Free World Forces had been in the valley since 1966, which was now being
used as a way station on the supply route known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The
first engagement was made by the 1st and 3rd Brigades. Under fire from mobile,
37 mm cannon and 0.50 caliber machine guns, they secured several landing
zones. For the next month the brigades scoured the valley floor, clashing with
enemy units and uncovering huge enemy caches of food, arms, ammunition,
rockets, and Russian made tanks and bulldozers. By the time that Operation
Delaware was ended on 17 May, the favorite Viet Cong sanctuary had been
On 01 May 1970, the First Team was "First into Cambodia" hitting what was previously a Communist sanctuary. President Nixon has given the go-ahead for the surprise mission. Pushing into the "Fish Hook" region of the border and occupying the towns of Mimot and Snoul, troopers scattered the enemy forces, depriving them of much needed supplies and ammunition. Ending on 30 June, the mission to Cambodia far exceeded all expectations and proved to be one of the most successful operations of the First Team. All aspects of ground and air combat had been utilized. The enemy had lost enough men to field three NVA divisions and enough weapons to equip two divisions. A years supply of rice and corn had been seized. The troopers and the ARVN soldiers had found uncommonly large quantities of ammunition, including 1.5 millions rounds for small arms, 200,000 antiaircraft rounds and 143,000 rockets, mortar rounds and recoilless rifle rounds. The sweeps turned up 300 trucks, a Porsche sports car and a plush Mercedes-Benz sedan.
The campaign had severe political repercussions in the United States for the Nixon Administration. Pressure was mounting to remove America's fighting men from the Vietnam War. Although there would be further assault operations, the war was beginning to wind down for many troopers.
The efforts of the 1st Brigade were not limited to direct enemy engagements but also, using the experiences gained during the occupation of Japan and Korea, encompassed the essential rebuilding of the war torn country of South Vietnam. As a result of its' gallant performance, the regiment was awarded two presidential Unit Citations and the Valorous Unit Citation.
Although 26 March 1971 officially marked the end of duties in Vietnam for the 1st Cavalry Division, President Nixon's program of "Vietnamization" required the continued presence of a strong US fighting force. The 2nd Battalion of the 5th Regiment, 1st Battalion of the 7th Regiment, 2nd Battalion of the 8th Regiment and 1st Battalion of the 12th Regiment along with specialized support units as "F" Troop, 9th Cavalry and Delta Company, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion helped establish the 3rd Brigade headquarters at Bien Hoa. Its primary mission was to interdict enemy infiltration and supply routes in War Zone D.
The 1st Brigade, began its "Stand Down" in a phased withdrawal and was bought back to the United States, returning to Fort Hood in April 1971. The 1st Cavalry Division had been the first army division to go to Vietnam and the last to leave.
"Firsts" had become the trademark of the First Team.
On 27 January 1973, a cease-fire was signed in Paris by the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the National Liberation Front (NLF), the civilian arm of the South Vietnam Communists. A Four-Party Joint Military Commission was set up to implement such provisions as the withdrawal of foreign troops and the release of prisoners. An International Commission of Control and Supervision was established to oversee the cease-fire.
By the end of three months intensive training, the 1st Cavalry Division was
one of the most modern and powerfully equipped divisions in the Army. The
first glimpse of their capability came in December 1990, on the division's
Pegasus Range which had been built up from the sands of the Saudi desert.
Every tank and Bradley crew test fired their new weapons as part of the new
equipment transition training. Throughout this period, leaders of the division
were planning and rehearsing the First Team's role as the theater
counterattack force - the force that would defeat any Iraqi attack into Saudi
The First Team began a calculated war of deception along the Saudi border. The goal was to lure Saddam Hussein into believing the main ground attack of the Allies would come up the Wadi al Batin, a natural invasion route, causing him to reposition additional forces there. The deception consisted of three major thrusts;
After thirty-eight days of continuous air attacks on targets in Iraq and Kuwait, the commander of the Allied Forces, General Norman Schwarzkopf unleashed all-out attacks against Iraqi forces very early on 24 February 1991. On that day, the mission of the 1st Cavalry Division was to conduct a "feint" attack up the Wadi al Batin, creating the illusion that it was the Allies main ground attack. Meanwhile, far to the west, the VII Corps and the XVIII Airborne had already began a deep strike into Iraq.
The enemy reacted as anticipated. Iraqi divisions focused on the coalition
threat in the Wadi, and the First Team froze them. The deception worked, in
that it tied down four Iraqi divisions, leaving their flanks thinned and
allowed the VII Corps to attack virtually unopposed, conducting a successful
envelopment of Iraqi forces to the west.