1st Cavalry Division
Engineer Brigade
Organizational Legacy
"Sapper Forward"

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Eighth Engineers Dig In To Defend El Qaysumah Airfield

Command 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 1st Cavalry Division Engineering Brigade is a subordinate command of the 1st Cavalry Division, The Division Engineering Brigade, as a Legacy Unit was previously composed of the 8th Engineering Battalion, 20th Engineering Battalioin, and the 91st Engineering Battalion.


On Order, the 1st Cavalry Division Engineering Brigade has an on-order mission to train, deploy by sea, air or land to any part of the world on a short notice in support of the objectives of the theater Commander. Once engaged with the threat; the Engineering Brigade executes mission command of modular engineer units providing combat engineering, general engineering and geospatial support to decisive action in unified land operations. As sson as the threat is eradicated, on Order, the Engineering Brigade redeploys and prepares for future operations.

Organizational Summary:

Many types of organizations have been developed to perform the various engineer missions in a theater of operations. Engineering units range in size from small specialized teams consisting of only two individuals to large commands. Their missions include combat, combat support, combat service support, and support of civil-military operations. The basic philosophy of organization in a theater of operations is to tailor engineer units to the needs of the supported command. The wide variety of engineer organizations provides that flexible capability.

The basic Table of Organization and Equipment (TOE) unit of the engineer system is the battalion. Although engineer battalions normally have a fixed organization, they may also be tailored for specific requirements. Battalions are employed when it is desirable to assign a unit with the complete control of a task or an area. There are four basic types of engineer organizations, plus a variety of different types of separate companies:

  1. Combat Engineer Beigade (Divisional):
    • The US Army has five types of divisions: light infantry, airborne, air assault, mechanized, and armored. Under provisions of the Engineer Restructure Initiative (ERI), each heavy division has an Engineer Brigade with three organic divisional engineer battalions organized and equipped to provide combat engineer support. These battalions will support the ground maneuver brigades of armor and/or mechanized infantry and consist of four engineer companies. The other divisions will have only one organic engineer battalion composed of four or five engineer companies. Regardless of the structure, these battalions perform the primary combat engineer missions in the division's sector and forward.
  2. Combat Engineer Battalion (Corps)
    • Corps combat engineer battalions are normally assigned to a corps' engineer brigade (i.e. V Corps in Europe contains the 130TH Engineer Brigade consisting of three engineer battalions and a number of separate companies). Most corps combat engineer battalions in Europe have been converted into tracked units (i.e. squads are transported in armored personnel carriers). Somewhat larger than the divisional engineer battalions, the corps combat engineer battalions provide combat and sustainment engineering support in the corps and division sectors. They may reinforce divisional engineer battalions and execute infantry combat missions when required.
  3. Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy)
      The combat heavy engineer battalion is normally assigned to an engineer brigade within a corps or theater army. The combat heavy engineer battalion has equipment and personnel skilled in earthmoving and construction. The battalion primarily works in rear areas on sustainment engineering tasks. However, its earthmoving capabilities may be effectively used to provide combat support in forward areas when not under direct fire (i.e. tank ditches, etc.). Missions include the construction of roads, airfields, structures and utilities for the Army and Air Force.
  4. Engineer Topographic Battalion
    • Engineer topographic battalions are assigned to the senior engineer headquarters of a theater army. These units provide topographic engineer and terrain analysis support to all units. It does not have the capability to accomplish infantry combat missions.
  5. Separate Engineer Companies
    • Separate engineer companies in the force structure are designed to provide additional specialized support in areas such as bridging, equipment support, port construction, pipeline construction, mapping and terrain analysis.

The History Of Military Engineering

The history of the Engineering organizations can be traced back to the support of professional French Military Engineers, assited in the creation of the Army Corps of Engineers during America's War for Independence. Today, that French heritage is still seen within our Engineer Corps. The language of the Engineer - "abatis", "gabions", "fascines" and "pontoons" - has its roots in 18th century France. Even the motto of the American Engineers, "ESSAYONS" is French for "Let us try".

As America's War for Independence grew more contentious, it became apparent that there was an obvious need for trained Engineers within the Army. Only a few days after the Army itself was organized, the Continental Congress, on 16 June, 1775, resolved that there should be a Chief Engineer for the Army in a separate department and two assistants under him.

Legacy Command Unit
  1st Cavalry Division Engineering Brigade  

"HQ & HQ" Det, Div Engr Bde

8th Engineer Battalion

20th Engineer Battalion

91st Engineer Battalion

Date Of Issue - 18 February, 2012

This folio of material highlights of the many subsequent historical critical missions performed by members of the 1st Cavalry Division Artillery, whose actions, operations and the many critical issues resolved over its 72+ 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 23 Oct '12 SpellChecked