12th Cavalry Regiment
DeMilitarized Zone
"Always Ready"

DMZ - Freedom's Frontier
The Korean War wound down to a negotiated halt when the long awaited armistice was signed at 1000 hours on 27 July 1953. A DeMilitarized Zone (DMZ), a corridor - 4 kilometers wide and 249 kilometers long, was established by dividing North and South Korea. The nominal line of the buffer zone is along the 38th parallel; however, the final negotiations of the adjacent geographical areas, gave the North Korean Government some 850 square miles south of the 38th parallel and the South Korean Government some 2,350 square miles north of it.

On 20 August 1957, the First Cavalry Division, guarding the northern sections of Honshu, Japan was reduced to zero strength and transferred to Korea (minus equipment). On 23 September 1957, General Order 89 announced the redesignation of the 24th Infantry Division as the 1st Cavalry Division and ordered a reorganization of the Division under the "pentomic" concept, In ceremonies held on 15 October, the colors of the 24th Division were retired and the colors of the 1st Cavalry Division were passed to the Commanding General of the old 24th Division, Major General Ralph W. Zwicker. "The First Team" had returned, standing ready to defend Korea against Communist aggression. The redesignated and reorganized First Cavalry was assigned the mission of patrolling the "Freedom's Frontier" (DMZ).

On 15 February 1957, as a part of the pentomic reorganization, the 12th Cavalry Regiment was reorganized as a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System and redesignated as the 2nd Battle Group, 12th Cavalry. On 15 November, the unit was activated in Korea and assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division to perform its mission as an active member of the Army of the United States only front line division.

Needs Data

On 15 July 1963, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, 12th Cavalry was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry and, along with Companies "A", "B" and "C", was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. On 01 September 1963, the 1st Battalion was activated in Korea, replacing the 2nd Battle Group which was inactivated and relieved from the 1st Cavalry Division. The unit remained on duty at the DMZ until 01 July 1965, when it was transferred (less personnel and equipment) from Korea to Fort Benning, Georgia and reorganized.

DMZ Treaty Village, Today (NK Side)
NOTE - Although fighting was stopped, in July 1953, by the armed truce, North and South Korea have remained officially in a state of war for forty-five years, signified by the fact that over 1,000 UN personnel have been killed in duty at the DMZ. As of today, because of communist obstructionist tactics, years have gone by and no peace treaty has ever been agreed to and signed. An ever present "alert" status is in effect, as evidenced by the presence of a North Korean military force of 1.1 million troops stationed within miles of the Demilitarized Zone facing the South Korean force of 660,000 troops supported by 37,000 American soldiers stationed in the area.

On 15 June 2000 the first major breakthrough leading to more stable, peaceful conditions in the Korean Peninsula came about by the signing of a landmark agreement committing the Koreans to work toward reunification, to allow the reunions of families separated during the Korean War, and to improve economic cooperation between the two nations. While the joint communication was short of specifics, it signaled that the leaders, South Korean President, Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il hoped to put relations on the Korean Peninsula on an even footing and raised hopes for the eventual reunification of the nations. Later, South Korean officials outlined plans for implementing the historic agreement -- including the creation of a military hotline and building a railway crossing at the nations' heavily patrolled border.

Pedaling For Peace (SK Side)
0n 01 November 2009, South Korean Officials opened a new bike trail along the Civilian Control Line (CCL), east and west of the Unification Bridge, on a limited basis with an eye toward promoting exercise, tourism and the idea of an eventual reunification of the peninsula. The trail is in an off limits area for most civilians since Korean War hostilities ended in 1953. One of the objectives is to promoting a wish for peace and hoping for unification and appreciating the great nature preserved so well at the DMZ. It is the chance of a lifetime, to ride on a new bicycle trail through an area that has been shut off from most of mankind for decades.

Riders have to pass through a military checkpoint to get onto the trail, but the CCL is a good five miles south of the actual DMZ and within the sight of the sometimes unpredictable soldiers of North Korea. The ride is filled with memorable sights. The rivers of the area are unmarred by boat or fisherman. The terrain is relatively flat, absent of any houses, and, in the distance in every direction, there are postcard-worthy views of the mountains. This truly would be a nature-lover's paradise, were it not for the armed soldiers, the guard towers and all the barbed wire.

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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 08 Nov '09 SpellChecked