215th Brigade Support Battalion
Organizational Legacy
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Battalion 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 command units, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team and its Subordinate Units, to contribute to the successful missions enhancement of the warring organization of the 1st Cavalry Division and the honors they achieved are summarized in the chapters that follow.


On order,the 215th Brigade Support Battalion deploys to a designated Contigency area of operation, prepares for and executes Combat Service Support operations while defending assigned areas. On order, redeploys and prepares for future operations.

Organizational Summary:

Although 26 March 1971, officially marked the end of duties in Vietnam for the majority of the 1st Cavalry Division, President Nixon's program of "Vietnamization" required the continued presence of a strong US fighting force. To serve this function, 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 "D" Company, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion and "C" Company, 8th Engineer Battalion helped establish the 3rd Brigade Headquarters at Bien Hoa. Its primary mission was to interdict enemy infiltration and supply routes.

On 30 June 1971, the 215th Composite Service Battalion (Support) was constituted in the Regular Army and assigned to the 3rd Brigade (Special), 1st Cavalry Division and activated in the Republic of Vietnam. Support included, but not limited to administrative services, supply distribution, medical and maintenance support. To provide these services, the battalion was comprised of the following units: Headquarters, Headquarters and Band Support Command, Administrative Company, Supply and Transport Company, Medical Company and Headquarters and Maintenance Support Company.

The 215th Composite Service Battalion demonstrated new concepts, efficiency and dedication of support to the 3rd Brigade through the use of personnel contact teams, brigade, aviation assets and aerial delivery techniques. The 215th participated in four campaigns, including Counter Offensive Phase VII, Consolidation I and II and Cease Fire. In addition to the support of the Brigade, the Medical Company also participated in a significant civil action program involving support missions to the civil population of Vietnam. As a result of the dedication and professionalism of the troopers assigned to the battalion, the unit was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

By 31 March 1972, only 96,000 US troops were involved in the Vietnam combat operations. In less than two months later, the last of the 1st Cavalry Division, the 3rd Brigade, along with the 215th Composite Service Battalion, began its "Stand Down" in a phased withdrawal and was bought back to the United States, completing the division recall on 26 June 1972, which had started over a year earlier on 05 May 1971. The 1st Cavalry Division had been the first army division to go to Vietnam and the last to leave. On 30 June 1972, the 215th Composite Service Battalion was inactivated at Oakland, California.

On 16 December 1991, the 215th Composite Support Battalion was reactivated as the 215th Support Battalion (FWD) at Ft. Hood, Texas. In January and February 1992, the battalion participated in the Army Field Tests of the single channel Ground-Airborne System (SINCGARS). During this test the "Blacksmiths" established a high standard of excellence, achieving a 98.9 percent diagnosis rate for the tested radios. In December, the battalion went to the National Training Center to support the 3rd Brigade. The "Blacksmith" troopers set records for spare parts supply accountability and helped the brigade achieve the highest turn-in operational readiness rate experienced in over 100 National Training Center rotations.

Within 20 days of returning from the National Training Center, the Battalion deployed a Logistic Task Force to Kuwait in support of Task Force 3-41 Infantry during Operation Intrinsic Action, where they provided the full spectrum of combat service support. In January 1993, the battalion returned to Kuwait in support of Task Force 1-9 Cavalry during Operation Iris Gold.

Throughout 1993, the 215th participated in the Army's field testing of the M1A2 tank, helping to prove the viability of new diagnostic test sets for the hull and turret electronic components, as well as proving the suitability for the overall maintainability of the tank.

In July 1993 and in October 1944, the 215th again deployed to the National Training Center, at Fort Irwin, California in support of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. In December 1955, upon returning from the National Training Center, the Battalion deployed logistic elements to Panama to provide the 8th Engineer Battalion with medical and maintenance support following the riots at the Cuban refugee camps.

April 2004, the 215th Forward Support Battalion deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) II. The unit provided direct and area logistics support to the 3BCT in the International Zone in Baghdad. 215th FSB also supported offensives operations in Fallujah.

Functions performed by the subordinate elements of the Battalion are:

HHC Headquarters & Headquarters Company
"A" Company Transport & Supply
"B" Company Maintenance
"C" Company Medical
"D" Company Supports 6th Sqdn, 9th Cavalry
"E" Company Supports 1st Bn, 12th Cavalry
"F" Company Supports 3rd Bn, 8th Cavalry
"G" Company Supports 2nd Bn, 82nd Field Artillery

This folio of material highlights of the many subsequent historical critical missions performed by members of the 215th Brigade Support Battalion, whose actions, operations and the many critical issues resolved over its 92+ years 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 04 Apr '12 SpellChecked