12th Cavalry Regiment
Organizational Legacy
"Always Ready"

  "12th Cavalry Regimental Marching Song"  
Composed by An Unknown Artist
Lyrics By Major M. L. Stufflebeam
Sung By Major M. L. Stufflebeam

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"Courtesy of Texas Highways, September 1990 Issue"
Barracks and Officers' Quarters, Ft. Sam Houston - cira 1900

Regimental Distinctive Unit Insignia


The 1st Cavalry Division, a major subordinate command of the US Third Mobile Armored Corps, is a 19,000 soldier, heavy armored division stationed at Ft. Hood, TX. As one of the two "on-call" heavy contingency force divisions of the Army, the First Team has an on-order mission to deploy by sea, air or land to any part of the world on a short notice. The following narratives, divided in timeline eras of major operational missions, describes the threat environment, tactical conditions, evolution of equipment technology and the strategic methodology employed by one of its subordinate units, the 12th Cavalry Regiment, to contribute to the successful missions and enhancement of the warring organization of the 1st Cavalry Division.



The mission of the 12th Cavalry Regiment is to, on order, deploy to a contingency area of operations, prepare for, and conduct a full-spectrum operation. It would then, on order, redeploy and prepare for future operations.

Organizational Summary:

On 02 February 1901, the 12th Cavalry Regiment, currently represented in the 3rd and 4th Brigades of the 1st Cavalry Division, Ft. Hood, Texas was constituted in the Regular Army. The regiment was organized 08 February 1901, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, with Colonel James N. Whelan, commanding. There it was charged with protecting stage and mail routes, building and maintaining forts, and establishing law and order in a vast area full of outlaws, Mexican revolutionaries. During the years of 1901 and 1902, following the organization at Ft. Sam Houston, companies of the regiment moved to Fort Clark, Fort Bliss and Fort McIntosh, all located in Texas. The early history of 12th Cavalry Regiment was closely tied to the movement of people and trading activities in the areas of the south western plains and along the Mexican Border.

US Army Frontier Fort Locations In Texas

As may be determined by the map below, the troopers of the 12th Cavalry Regiment were garrisoned in facilities that were established as early as 1848, 1849 and 1852 to strategically protect the vast Texas frontier areas adjacent to the Mexican border.

Forts in 1849
Forts in 1854
Forts in 1860

In 1903, the Regiment was deployed, by squadrons, to the Philippines, completing the change of station on 30 August 1903. Following two tours of duty in the Phillippines,the Regiment returned to the States in February 1911. THe 12th Cavalry had numerous assignments along with a wide range of of graphical locations, such as Ft. Robinson, Nebraska; Ft. Huachuca and Ft. Apache, both in Arizona; Ft. Meade, South Dakota; Gallup, New Mexico; El Paso, Texas; and in 1913 - completing the chsin of assignments, back to Ft. Robinson, Nebraska.

The 12th Cavalry was one of several cavalry units that patrolled the Mexican border before, during and after World War I. The border was patrolled constantly, and because of the lack of roads in the area, the operations of the cavalry was the only practical and effective way to monitor the activity. In March 1920, major elements of the Regimenmt were deployed to Ft. McIntosh located in Del Rio, Texas - adjacent to the Rio Grande and the Mexican border, where they remained until 1921.

On 22 January 1921 the 1st Cavalry Division was constituted in the US Regular Army. On 13 September 1921, with the initiation of the National Defense Act, the 1st Cavalry Division was formally activated at Ft. Bliss, TX and Major General Robert Lee Howze, a Texas native from Rusk County and seasoned veteran of then 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 formal 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.

Later, on 18 December 1922, the 5th Cavalry Regiment was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, 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.

The current capability of the 12th Cavalry Regiment has been developed in conjunction with the long history of the 1st Cavalry Division. It is the combination of the experienced training received by each dedicated member of the Team and adherence to the performance level and traditions of the past. Highlights of the many subsequent historical critical missions performed by members of the 12th Cavalry Regiment and the honors they achieved are summarized in the chapters that follow:

As of today, the 12th Cavalry Regiment is currently represented by the following active units:

This folio of material highlights of the many subsequent historical critical missions performed by members of the 12th Cavalry Regiment, whose actions, operations and the many critical issues resolved over its 108 year history to meet the changing threat and the honors they achieved are summarized in the following sections:

Table of Contents

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Copyright © 1996, Cavalry Outpost Publications ® and Trooper Wm. H. Boudreau, "F" Troop, 8th Cavalry Regiment (1946 - 1947). All rights to this body of work are reserved and are not in the public domain, or as noted in the bibliography. Reproduction, or transfer by electronic means, of the History of the 1st Cavalry Division, the subordinate units or any internal element, is not permitted without prior authorization. Readers are encouraged to link to any of the pages of this Web site, provided that proper acknowledgment attributing to the source of the data is made. The information or content of the material contained herein is subject to change without notice.

Revised 06 Apr '12 SpellChecked