PDF Document –2SCR story January 20, 2011
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The soldiers of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment who have steadfastly served their nation since 1836.
The work of many hands, this document is intended to be a living reference for the soldiers who serve today, as well as a record of the service of those who preceded them.
Special credit goes to William Heidner and the others who were part of the original team that put this book together at the direction of the Colonel of the Regiment.
In this release we try to preserve and present the essence of what it means to be a 2nd Cavalryman. Through this effort, we aim to continue the traditions of this special forces unit while also recording the new chapters and pages of history written by today's Dragoons.
We intend this to be a living document, updated in accordance with the 2nd Cavalry Association's semi-annual reunion schedule and the regiment's experiences and deployments.
The contents of this document are protected under copyright law and any reproduction or modification of the material contained herein may be subject to permission from the 2nd Cavalry Association and the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment.
All material presented here is based on the best information available at the time of publication and is not intended as a final statement on matters of historical relevance or political affairs within the active regiment.
Issued by the 2d Cavalry Association, a Florida corporation and an IRS-registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Revision date: August 13, 2014
Part I - History
History of the Second Dragoons …………………………………………………………………… 1
Part II - Lineage and Honors
Certificate of descent and honor …………………………………………………………………..28
Campaign Credits …………………………………………………………………………………….31
Troop Loans ………………………………………………………………………………………………..32
Medal of Honor Recipients……………………………………………………………………………38
Oberst des Regiments …………………………………………………………………………………40
Part III – Customs and Traditions
Regimental Commendation Programs …………………………………………………………………………43
Armor Association Awards …………………………………………………………………………….44
Regimental Customs and Traditions …………………………………………………..46
2nd Cavalry Association ………………………………………………………………………………………………..60
History of the Second Dragoons
The Second Dragons are the oldest mounted regiment in continuous active service in the United States Army. From its formation in 1836 for the Second Seminole War to its numerous deployments in the Middle East, the regiment has distinguished itself in major campaigns: the Indian Wars, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish–American War, and the World Wars and the Gulf War. Along the way, members of the regiment served valiantly in action, and 20 were awarded medals of honor.
The Birth of the Regiment
In response to mounting troubles in Florida during the Second Seminole War, President Andrew Jackson issued an executive order on May 23, 1836, establishing the Second Regiment of Dragoons. Congress approved $300,000 for the regiment and headquarters were established in Washington, DC in June 1836.
Colonel David Emmanuel Twiggs was the regiment's first colonel. His troops, nicknamed "Old Davey" or "Bengal Tigers", claimed he could "curse them right out of their boots". Lieutenant Colonel William Selby Harney was the second in command and later became the regiment's second colonel. His temper was as fiery as his flaming red hair, and though brutal on the battlefield, his resourceful and conscientious leadership helped shape the regiment's character. Twiggs and Harney set the regiment's original tone and encouraged many of its enduring qualities.
Recruitment began immediately. Companies A and I were organized in the Fort Myer, Virginia area. Company B recruited recruits in Virginia and Louisiana, Harney's home state, while Company C recruited from Tennessee. Companies B and C were not listed in the regiment's active reports until April 1837. Company D was organized from a detachment of the First Dragoons in Florida and was deployed there immediately. Companies E, F, G, and H recruited primarily from New York, and Company K was recruited from New Orleans and activated in March 1837.
In April 1837, regimental headquarters was moved to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, where a "School of the Trooper" was organized for the remaining companies with over 400 new recruits. The new soldiers looked forward to beginning their training. As quickly as the "green" horses were accepted, they were introduced to their new riders, who were also "green" in horsemanship. Her "ambitious climbing in a great hurry", it was said, often led to immediate dismounting. Veterans noted that their "quick time and variety of movements" were unparalleled in mounted tactics.
The Second Seminole War
Even before the regiment's arrival for its first assignment, the men who became Company D had their first encounter near Micanopy, Florida. They drew “first blood” on June 10, 1836 at Welika Pond near Fort Defiance, Florida as members of the July 1836 regiment.
In December 1836 the first four companies sailed from New York to Charleston, South Carolina, for immediate deployment in Florida. Company I joined them in Charleston, and Harney assumed command. The regiment reached the mouth of the St. John's River in Florida in January 1837 and marched to Fort Mellon on Lake Munroe, arriving on 6 February. This post was attacked just two days later, almost immediately embroiling the companies in the war.
On September 9, 1837, three companies of the Second Dragoons and two Florida volunteers surrounded an Indian village. At daybreak the force took the village, including the important chief King Phillip.
This action represented a change in tactics. Garrisons had previously waited in forts and responded to attacks, only to find the Seminoles had melted back into the Florida Everglades. Although some experts doubted the prudence of using mounted troops in this terrain, the Second Dragoons pioneered the practice of taking the fight to the enemy. The Indians responded by signing a short-lived peace treaty.
However, Chiefs Coacoochee and Osceola did not sign the document, persuading the rest of the members to return to the Everglades and continue the fight. This pattern of warfare repeated itself so often that one poet wrote:
"And yet it is not an endless war,
as the facts will clearly show,
Finished forty times
In twenty months or so.”
Harney would do anything to defeat the enemy. In March 1838, Samuel Colt's regiment received 50 Patterson patent rotary carbines. According to legend, Harney bought these guns with his own money. Fifty selected soldiers were fitted with this new carbine and formed a regimental corps of snipers. Some say the sharpshooters were so successful that in 1839 Harney bought 50 more carbines. Thus the regiment earned its reputation for both daring new tactics and the use of new technologies.
The regiment received a red and black combat streamer for its participation in the Seminole War.
Fort Jessup, Louisiana
As the war with the Seminoles drew to a close, the regiment was repositioned in Louisiana, which formed part of the eastern border of the Louisiana Purchase. This was the regiment's first post in the state of Louisiana. In October 1842, Companies A, D, E, F, and G were ordered to move to Fort Jessup, Louisiana, and Fort Towson, Arkansas. The remaining companies worked to improve their positions and search for the last band of enemy Indians in Florida. After completing their duties in Florida, these companies went to Louisiana, where the entire regiment assembled. Headquarters was at Fort Jessup, and other posts were in the Arkansas Territory and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In August 1842, Congress passed an order to dismount the regiment as a cost-saving measure, and it was reconstituted as the Regiment of Riflemen. The Secretary of War noted in his 1842 report that demotion from the regiment saved very little money. It was also noted that the distances along the frontier and the region's mounted Native American tribes required more mounted formations. In March 1843 the regiment was re-established and redesignated the Second Dragoons.
Fort Jessup was home to the Dragoons for four years. They patrolled the border between the United States and the Republic of Texas and provided security along the famous El Camino Real, which took travelers from Natchitoches, Louisiana to Nacogdoches, Texas. Life for the regiment at Fort Jessup was a nice change from the deprivation of service in Florida. Twigs established a steam-powered sawmill at the fort to begin an extensive building program. (Visitors to the Fort Jessup Historic Site, six miles east of Many, Louisiana, can see some of the original buildings of this frontier post.)
After a temporary stint in Europe, a Captain William J. Hardee briefly armed several companies of Dragoons with lances. A report by the Inspector General at the time said the unit was the "best trained" unit in the entire army.
The Republic of Texas was formed in 1836 after fighting for independence from Mexico. For the next decade, Mexico refused to recognize independence from Texas and made sporadic attempts to regain its lost province. The land along the border was in constant turmoil from these most reckless raids. On March 1, 1845, Congress voted to admit Texas into the Union. The Mexican government immediately severed diplomatic relations with Washington.
President James K. Polk continued to hope that a negotiated settlement could be reached. In addition to resolving the issue of annexing Texas, he wanted to acquire additional Mexican territory that stretched to the Pacific Ocean. Negotiations were further complicated by a long-unresolved dispute over Texas' southern border. Spain and Mexico claimed the Neuces River as the southern boundary, while Texas and the United States claimed the Rio Grande River as the international boundary. In anticipation of hostilities, Brevet Brigadier General Zachary Taylor assembled an "Army of Observation" at Fort Jessup.
war with Mexico
In July 1845, General Taylor's forces began moving to Texas. Most of his force embarked from New Orleans for Corpus Christi, Texas. The Second Dragoons were the exception and chose to get to Corpus Christi overland from Fort Jessup. They completed the 501-mile march in 32 days and, contrary to some predictions by others outside of command, reported to General Taylor in good shape. In March 1846, General Taylor was ordered to move his forces to the Rio Grande River to repel any invasion. General Taylor's force left Corpus Christi to establish a base of operations at Point Isabel. The vanguard of his force, led by a squadron of Second Dragoons and Major Ringold's flying artillery, then moved to establish Fort Texas along the Rio Grande River. This position was directly across from the Mexican city of Matamoras, near what is now Brownsville, Texas.
The Dragoons began an aggressive plan of mounted patrols along the Rio Grande. The regiment acted as eyes and ears for General Taylor and provided security on the flanks. This gave the regiment a good introduction to the area and some of the local ranchers. On April 25, 1846, General Taylor received word that the Mexican Army was crossing the river above and below his position. Two companies of dragoons moved to the lower crossing while companies C and F scouted the upper crossing. The next day one of the company's native leaders returned to the camp and claimed that the units had been attacked by a large force of Mexicans near La Rosia and "all were either cut to pieces or taken prisoner". The two dragoon companies of 60 men were surrounded and ambushed by over 500 Mexican cavalry. They suffered nine dead and two wounded. Thornton was pinned to the ground when his horse was shot in mid-air as he overcame an eight-foot wall of chaparral to charge through the enemy. The entire command, now under Captain William Hardee, was captured and taken to Matamoras. This battle gave President Polk the pretext he needed to invade Mexico.
During a counterattack on Palo Alto on May 8, 1846, the regiment was largely responsible for pushing the enemy east and exposing its left flank. The next day at Resaca de la Palma, General Taylor ordered Captain Charles A. May to silence a battery of Mexican guns that had blocked the Matamoras Road. May said, "I'm going to attack them," as he led his squadron (Companies D and E) through American infantry lines and into Mexican artillery fire. May overpowered the battery and captured a Mexican general. May's order of the day "Remember your regiment and follow your officers" has become the regiment's motto.
Another hero of the Mexican War was Sergeant Jack Miller, whose small patrol was ambushed near Monclova in November 1847 by a force five times its size. The dragoons were about to get their carbines when Miller shouted, "Don't shoot, men! If 20 Dragoons can't saber 100 Mexicans, I'll join the Doughboys and cart a fence rail my whole life.” The Dragoons counterattacked, killing six Mexicans, wounding thirteen and capturing seventy. Losses in Miller's unit were limited to just one wounded and three slightly scratched mounts.
On June 29, 1846, Colonel Twiggs, the regiment's first colonel, recently promoted to brigadier general after ten years in command, handed command of the regiment to his successor, Colonel Harney. Harney retained command for the duration of the Mexican War. Congress later awarded Twiggs a sword with a jeweled hilt and gold scabbard as a tribute to his bravery in Monterey. The regiment's service proved invaluable in every major campaign of the war, and it is one of perhaps two regiments in the army with elements taking part in every battle. The regiment added 14 green and gray campaign streamers to the regimental standard during the war with Mexico.
The nation expands west
After the Mexican War, the regiment moved west to secure the newly acquired lands of the country for the influx of settlers. In June 1849, soldiers of Company F, under the command of Major Ripley Arnold, set up camp on the banks of the Trinity River in Texas, which they named Fort Worth in honor of General William J. Worth, with whom the regiment had served during the last few years of the Seminole War. This area is now known as "the fort that became a city", Dallas/Fort Worth.
The regiment spent the pre-Civil War era fighting Native Americans and securing the routes that brought settlers to the new territories of the United States. In 1854, the Second Dragoons took part in a campaign against the Sioux Indians and defeated a sizeable Brule Sioux force near Ash Hollow, Nebraska, without suffering a single casualty. This action forced the Sioux to sign a peace treaty.
Dated in late 1857 in response to reports of harassment and abuse by federal officers
Mormon Settlers in Utah, a battalion formed from the regiment, was dispatched to crush Mormon resistance to US agency as part of a 2,500-strong expeditionary force. Anticipating a confrontation, Mormon leader and Utah governor Brigham Young mobilized the Utah militia, but agreed terms just before the expeditionary force reached the state. This long and arduous winter march is immortalized in the printing of Don Stiver's Never a Complaint.
On 14 June 1858 Harney was promoted to brigadier general and Philip St George Cooke was made third colonel of the regiment. During this time Colonel Cooke published the definitive manual of cavalry tactics used by both sides in the Civil War.
In July 1860, the President of the United States ordered Harney to St. Louis to assume command of the Department of the West. Once there, however, the combination of the rush of political events and his own political naivety ruined him. Though a brilliant cavalryman, Harney, as a political novice, could not navigate the tangle of Missouri political affairs. Suspicious of Southern sympathies by the powerful Blair-Benton faction in Missouri, local politicians called for his removal, and President Lincoln relieved him of his command in May 1861. On August 1, 1863, Harney was placed on the retirement list. In recognition of his long and loyal service, he was promoted to brevet major general on March 13, 1865. President Lincoln later admitted that Harney's impeachment was one of his administration's biggest mistakes. Harney later served on several Indian commissioners and became known as "the nation's foremost Indian expert". He died on May 9, 1889 in Orlando, Florida. In his honor, the Sioux gave him the title "Man-who-always-kept-his-word". There is a common thread running through everything he did and tried to do - a passionate desire to serve. His epitaph in Arlington Cemetery testifies to his humility and devotion to the regiment. It simply reads, "Harney, Second Dragons". In 1985, Fort Leavenworth named its new high school after this distinguished cavalryman.
Now, at the opening of the Civil War, Brevet Major General Twiggs turned over all Union forces and supplies in Texas to Confederate General Ben McCulloch. Twiggs was promptly discharged from federal service and on May 22, 1861 received an appointment to the rank of major general in the Confederate Army. At the time he was the senior general officer in the Confederate service, but the former Dragoon was too old to take the field.
Both the Union and Confederacy thought that Colonel Cooke would support the Southern cause. His son, John R. Cooke, became the Confederate Army Surgeon General and his favorite daughter's husband was none other than J.E.B. Stuart. Some even said he "might pull a Twiggs," referring to the surrender of Union troops. Nonetheless, his loyalty to the Constitution remained steadfast. In November 1861 he was promoted to brigadier general and given command of a cavalry brigade in Washington. During the Peninsular Campaign he commanded the Cavalry Reserve, a division composed of two brigades.
The Civil War Years
In 1861 the Second Dragoons were recalled east to fight in the Civil War. Due to the ongoing unrest on the plains, the regiment was full of combat veterans. Thomas John Wood was appointed fourth colonel in the regiment and almost immediately promoted to brevet brigadier general and put in charge of a brigade of volunteers. Wood fought the entire war with the Tennessee Army and saw action at Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge outside of Chattanooga. Many famous officers of the company commanded the regiment, notably Captains Wesley Merritt and Theophilus Rodenbough.
The Dragoons' designation was changed to the Second United States Calvary Regiment on August 3, 1861. Company C was the last unit to fight as dragoons during the Battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri. Second Calvary fought as part of the Army of the Potomac's First Calvary Division, taking part in numerous campaigns in Virginia and the battles of Antietam, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Manassas, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor.
During the Battle of Fredericksburg, Sergeant Martin Hagan and a handful of soldiers held a Confederate cavalry brigade from the J.E.B. Stuart's Corps, allowing the Union Army to retreat across the river. Hagan accomplished this mission without the loss of a single man, horse, or major piece of equipment, and for his brave action he was awarded the Second Dragoons' first Medal of Honor. Sgt. Hagen is not listed as a Medal of Honor recipient by any of the agencies charged with prosecuting these matters. The regiment has several sources that suggest he was the regiment's first receiver. Regimental Museum staff have asked the National Medal of Honor Historical Society to clarify.
Many historians point to Stoneman's Raid in 1863 as the resurgence of Union cavalry. Second Cavalry soldiers who took part in the raid would no doubt agree. General George Stoneman, who had been with Colonel Cooke during the "Mormon Expedition," led this successful raid deep in the rear of General Robert E. Lee's army of Northern Virginia. This action proved ill-timed and a major strategic blunder for General Joseph Hooker. The absence of these troops as a cavalry screen at Chancellorsville allowed Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson to fall on the unsuspecting flank of the Union Army in disastrous consequences.
A generally better mission was the advance of Union cavalry under General Alfred Pleasanton to defeat the Confederate cavalry of J.E.B. Stuart at Brandy Station. Pleasanton, who had been a junior lieutenant with Captain May at Resaca de la Palma and had been a regimental major at the Battle of Yorktown in 1862, was the newly appointed cavalry chief of the Army of the Potomac. The regiment, commanded by Captain Wesley Merritt, led a charge against Confederate cavalry at Kelly's Ford during this historic battle. This was the first time the Union cavalry dared to do battle with J.E.B. Stuart's troops in a direct duel. This action got Stuart a "black eye" in the Southern press and may have influenced his actions over the next three weeks leading up to the epic Battle of Gettysburg.
The First Cavalry Division, Army of the Potomac, led by former Second Dragoons, Major General John Buford, engaged in steady reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance combat with Stuart's cavalry as Lee's forces moved from Virginia to Maryland to begin their invasion of the north, which at Gettysburg ended . General Buford established the area of operations on the battlefield, deploying his cavalry division as dismounted skirmishers, and began attacking Lee's forces as they entered town in search of shoes. His successful resistance against a vastly superior force until the Union army could be brought forward ensured that the Union army would hold the high ground of Cemetery Ridge. Buford's action remains the classic example of a pre-cover operation.
In June 1864, the regiment charged the Confederate lines at Louisa Court House in an attempt to smash the Confederate cavalry. Captain T. F. Rodenbough, commander of the regiment at the time, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his outstanding bravery during that brief but violent encounter. Although badly wounded, Rodenbough showed a lead that secured a brilliant victory. He returned to service in September 1864 and took part in the Battle of Winchester, leading a desperate charge against Confederate artillery at Opequon Creek. During an immediate follow-up attack by the entire First Cavalry Division, Confederate fire again seriously wounded Rodenbough and he lost his mount and right arm. Amid the confusion, Sergeant Conrad Schmidt of K Company lifted the badly wounded captain and, under heavy fire, carried him to the rear.
Schmidt was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery in the face of the enemy in saving his captain's life. The annual regimental award, presented to the most outstanding senior non-commissioned officer, is named in honor of First Sergeant Schmidt. The famous Don Stiver print "Sergeant's Valor" vividly depicts Schmidt's exploit, showing two Regimental Medalists of Honor in the same action.
In October 1864, General Sheridan aimed the torch at the Shenandoah Valley. During this campaign, Confederate cavalry continually harassed Sheridan's troops to such an extent that Sheridan ordered General Tolbert of the First Cavalry Division to "either whip the enemy or be whipped himself." On October 9, 1864, the divisions of Generals Wesley Merritt and George A. Custer, along with a reserve brigade, including the Second Cavalry, attacked the flanks of the Confederate line. The Confederates, overwhelmed by overwhelming numbers, broke off and fled ten miles south past Woodstock, Virginia. During the attack, Private Edward R. Hanford of Company H captured the battle flag of the 32nd Virginia Cavalry. For his bravery during the charge and for capturing an enemy battle flag, Hanford was awarded the Medal of Honor. In all, the regiment was awarded 14 battlesnakes and five medals of honor during the Civil War.
The Indian Campaigns
With the end of the Civil War, the Second Regiment of Cavalry returned to the western frontier and its campaign against the Indians, who had grown brave in the absence of "the long knives". The regiment was scattered across several states and territories, with often only a single troop occupying a post.
On May 15, 1870, Sergeant Patrick Leonard and four men from C Troop were searching the Little Blue River, Nebraska, for stray horses when suddenly a war party of about 50 Indians surrounded the detachment. Quickly running for cover, Leonard dismounted from his men and discovered that Private Thomas Hubbard and two mounts had been wounded. The Indians attacked twice and the soldiers repelled them, killing one Indian and wounding three. Leonard then butchered the two wounded horses to form a parapet just in time to repel a third charge in which the cavalrymen killed two more Indians and wounded four others. Within an hour the Indians withdrew. Leonard had to withdraw his patrol on foot because the Indians killed all the horses during the attack. Leonard then took under his care a settler family of two wives and one child. While moving to the next settlement, the Indians did not renew their attack. Leonard arrived safely at C Company's bivouac at 11:00 p.m. with his entire patrol and the relatively safe civilians.
Leonard and Privates Canfield, Himmelsback, Hubbard and Thompson were awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery in action. This has long been considered Leonard's second medal, as he received his first as a corporal in the 23rd Infantry. The Medal of Honor Historical Society revealed in a 1985 publication that there were actually two Sergeant Patrick Leonards. It was only after reviewing their widows' welfare applications that society discovered different middle names and backgrounds. The annual regimental award for the most outstanding junior non-commissioned officer is named in honor of Sergeant Leonard.
A battalion of the Second Regiment almost joined Custer before his last stand. In June 1876, Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer of the Seventh Cavalry was offered the service of the Second Regiment's "Montana Battalion," but he declined the offer. On June 25, Custer stumbled into a force of 5,000 Sioux warriors who killed every officer, soldier, and civilian in Custer's wing of the Seventh Cavalry. Two days later, the Montana Battalion uncovered the evidence of Custer's fate.
By April 1877, most United States cavalry regiments were engaged in war with several small groups of Indians. The Cheyenne surrendered in December. Although Sitting Bull escaped to Canada, Crazy Horse surrendered in April 1878. This left only a chief named Lame Deer and his warriors on the ground claimed by the US government, but the US cavalry, including the "Montana Battalion ' of the second cavalry, was on the hunt. Marching day and night with only brief interruptions, the cavalry reached the area of an Indian camp near Little Muddy Creek, Montana, on May 6.
At 1:00 am on May 7, 1877, after only a few hours of rest, the soldiers broke camp and marched for the rest of the night. At dawn, the warriors of Lame Deer surprised them. Company H charged through the village and stampeded the horses, and then the other cavalry troops charged and thoroughly routed the Indians. The village was one of the wealthiest Indian camps ever conquered. The soldiers found many artifacts from Custer's Seventh Cavalry, including uniforms, leaders, and weapons. At the height of the battle, Private William Leonard became isolated from his command and defended himself from the Indians from a position behind a rock for over two hours before being rescued. For bravery in action, Privates William Leonard of L Troop and Samuel D. Phillips of H Troop were awarded the Medal of Honor.
In August 1877, elements of the US First and Second Cavalries followed Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians for nearly two weeks. Suddenly, the Indians at Camas Meadows, Idaho, turned their backs on their pursuers and broke off the pursuit before fleeing through what is now Yellowstone Park to Montana.
General O.O. Howard, who later accepted the surrender of Chief Joseph's Nez Perce band, ordered L Troop of the Second Cavalry to return to Fort Ellis for provisions on August 25. From there, they would later join Howard. On September 18, a force of approximately six hundred men, including Troops F, G, and H of the Second Cavalry “Montana Battalion,” marched northwest to prevent the Indians from reaching Canadian territory and discovered that Chief Joseph had done camp on Eagle Creek along the eastern portion of the Bear Paw Mountains. Three troops of the second cavalry were immediately dispatched to attack the Indians' rear and drive off their herd of ponies. Meanwhile, the Seventh Cavalry attacked the Indian positions but were repulsed. Another attack - this time with the help of infantry - also failed.
White Bird and several other Indian chiefs were heading to Canada with the herd of ponies when Lieutenant Edward J. McClernand and Company G caught up with them. In a brief skirmish, McClernand captured the Indians and the pony herd intact. McClernand was awarded the Medal of Honor for his skill and bravery. It was becoming apparent that the Nez Perce would only be starved out of their entrenchments. After a four-day siege, Chief Joseph surrendered to General Howard on October 4, 1877.
During the Nez Perce campaign, Captain Norwood's L force of the "Montana Battalion" was part of a force under General Howard. On August 20, 1877, the Nez Perce turned against their pursuers, drove off their pack train and were able to escape with it. Dangerously short on supplies, Howard dispatched L Troop and two other First Cavalry troops to recover the supplies. After eight miles of hard riding, the detachment overtook the Indians, and heavy fighting ensued. Corporal Garland, although wounded in the hip and unable to stand, continued to direct his men until the Indians withdrew. Four men from L Troop received the Medal of Honor for bravery and bravery in the field: First Sergeant Wilkens, Corporal Garland, Farrier Jones and Private Clark. The annual regimental award for the most outstanding soldier is named in honor of Farrier Jones. The farrier was a combination medic, veterinarian, and blacksmith of a cavalry unit.
In the fall of 1878 elements of the Second Cavalry were attached to two newly constructed forts in the Department of Dakota named Fort Custer and Fort Keogh. The Dragoons spent most of that year awaiting the return of Sitting Bull from Canada. It was also a year with no pay for the cavalry, as Congress had failed to settle pay for the army.
As winter approached, Cheyenne Chiefs Dull Knife and Little Wolf led their bands north from the reservations in Oklahoma toward Canada. US soldiers intercepted Dull Knife and the Indian chief surrendered at Fort Robinson, Nebraska.
A month later, Little Wolf and his band of Indians reached Wyoming and fled to the Sand Hills. Lieutenant William P. Clark, who had developed a special relationship with the Indians, was sent after Little Wolf with Troops E and I of the Second Cavalry. On March 25, 1879, Clark found Little Wolf's camp in Box Elder Creek, Montana. After negotiations, Clark persuaded the chief and his band to return to Fort Keogh under escort. The army hired several of them as scouts and allowed them to remain in the north.
On April 5, while marching back to Fort Keogh, a small group of Indians escaped and attacked two soldiers. Sergeant Glover and ten men in his charge from Company B, Second Cavalry charged the Indians and, although outnumbered, forced them to surrender. Sergeant Glover was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery in action.
During the winter of 1886 the regiment was occupied by bands of Indians following the buffalo herds south of Canada, occasionally attacking settlers and stealing their supplies. During the summer and fall, most of these bands surrendered in Fort Keogh, Montana. At this time, the only major group of North Plains Indians not housed on a reservation were the Sitting Bull Sioux group of Canada.
In early March 1887, without warning, a large group of Sioux crossed the border into Montana. C Troops from Camp Stambaugh, Wyoming and E Troops from Fort Sanders, Wyoming were quickly deployed to Montana. The second cavalry pursued the Sioux for 150 miles and finally surprised their camp at O'Fallon's Creek, Montana. In fierce fighting, the cavalry killed many braves and killed or captured 46 horses. It was this loss of horses that forced the band to disband and flee back to Canada.
Captain Eli L. Huggins was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service at O'Fallon's Creek, where he surprised the Indians in their stronghold and fought them boldly and with great courage. Captain Huggins became the regiment's 12th Colonel. The annual regimental award for the most outstanding junior officer is named in Huggins' honor.
Lieutenant Lloyd M. Brett was awarded the Medal of Honor for his fearless conduct and dashing courage in dispersing the Native American pony herd. Brett became commander of the Third Cavalry Regiment in 1927. For actions against the Indians, the regiment received 13 additional red and black battle streamers, while soldiers in the regiment received 15 Medals of Honor.
The war with Spain
The Spanish-American War of 1898 found the regiment in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico. They were assembled in Georgia when all regular army units and several hundred thousand volunteers began to gather in the southern United States. This was the first time the entire regiment had been together since the Civil War. They moved to Mobile, Alabama to prepare to move to Cuba. Troops A, C, D, and F boarded transports with their horses, and the remainder of the regiment moved overland to Tampa, Florida, where the remainder of the force was assembled. Due to a lack of transportation, the rest of the regiment did not board ships, instead abandoning their wagons to help move Teddy Roosevelt's "Rough Riders" to the ships.
The four troops that arrived in Cuba found that they were the only mounted cavalry available for the campaign. They worked primarily for General Shafter, commander of the troops in Cuba, and held a variety of jobs. Teddy Roosevelt noted that "the second cavalrymen are everywhere. You see them all day long. You hear their hooves clattering all night long.”
During the Armistice, the women and children of Santiago were sent through the American lines to El Caney. A desperate situation arose here, for 22,000 refugees lived in a town of normally a few hundred inhabitants. Squad D, under Lieutenant Allen, was put in charge of the unpleasant task of feeding the people and patrolling the site. Although this work kept the troops away from the line of fire, the task was a very important one. It was the first work of this kind undertaken by the army during the campaign, but would continue on a large scale across the island for years.
Second Calvary troops fought at El Caney, San Juan Hill, Aquadores and around Santiago Cuba. Troop B deployed to the Puerto Rican campaign in July and August. Due to illness, the squadron was returned to the United States in late August. In January 1899 the entire regiment began pacification service in Cuba and remained there for three years, where much work was done to educate the people and improve the sanitation of the island.
The early twentieth century
From January 23 to July 18, 1905, the regiment broadened its experience by participating in the Cavite Campaign in the Philippines. On February 14, 1910, the regiment fought in the Battle of Tiradores Hill near Pindar, Mindanao. The regiment was followed by several clashes with the Moros: one at Mount Bagoak, Jolo, on December 3, 1911, and another near Mount Vrut, Jolo, from January 10–14, 1912.
Back in the United States, in June 1912, the Second Cavalry undertook the mission of enforcing the laws of neutrality along the international border between the United States and Mexico. "I should be fortunate to have your magnificent regiment under my command again," General Pershing telegraphed Colonel West (15thColonel of the regiment) when the second left Jolo Island, Philippines, in 1912. The section of the international border between the United States and Mexico assigned to the regiment gradually extended from El Paso to Presidio, Texas for a distance of 262 miles. This operation represented the regiment's first "border patrol" and "border security" mission - a precursor to future missions later in the century.
The regiment left Fort Bliss, Texas in December 1913 for Fort
Ethan Allen, Vermont, for training and maneuvers. These field exercises, often in conjunction with Northeastern State National Guard units, were often under the personal direction of General Leonard Wood.
1914 culminated with the Regiment's Horse Show Team representing the Army at the annual horse show at Madison Square Garden in New York. Representing the army in national competition was a task in which the regiment had excelled for many years. The beautiful silver trophies awarded to the regiment are still used to recognize excellence within the regiment. The Dragoon Lightning Trophy was originally awarded to the Regimental Horse Team in 1914. One of the award-winning team members was First Lieutenant George Brett, son of Medal of Honor recipient Lloyd Brett.
As the nation began to contemplate involvement in the European war, the army recognized the need for a pool of trained leaders. General Wood directed efforts to train business leaders and professionals for the Army's future needs. The Second Cavalry established training camps in Plattsburg, New York to train business leaders from New York City and Philadelphia in the basics of army life. This was so successful that the regiment set up a second camp at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, near the Chickamauga Civil War battlefield. The regiment, under the command of Joseph T. Dickman, the regiment's seventeenth colonel, trained over 13,000 of these men into five provisional regiments. This program to train a pool of leaders ready to respond in times of national emergency became the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Dickman commanded the US Third Infantry Division during the "Great War". His leadership in the Second Battle of the Marne would forever mark the 3rd Infantry Division as the "rock of the Marne".
The First World War
World War I was another chapter of American history in which the Second Dragoons excelled.
May 12, 1917 at Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont, the regiment was divided into thirds and formed two new cavalry regiments. A third of the officers, men and equipment formed the Eighteenth Regiment and a third the Nineteenth Regiment. The three regiments were then recruited to strength. Later that same year, the Eighteenth Cavalry Regiment was redesignated the Seventy-sixth Field Artillery and attached to the Third Infantry Division, which served with distinction during the war. Their unit crest now bears the heraldry of the 2nd Dragoons. The Nineteenth Regiment was also redesignated the Seventy-seventh Field Artillery in 1917 and was attached to the Fourth Infantry Division, which served with distinction during the war.
In April 1918, just under three weeks after leaving the United States, the Second Cavalry landed in France in the Toul sector. Originally used to perform military police duties and manage horse depots, the regiment was the only American unit used as horse cavalry during the war. A provisional squadron formed from Troops B, D, F and H was the last element of the regiment to ever charge the enemy as mounted cavalry.
General Pershing's words were true again halfway around the world as he landed first in England and then in Chaumont, France, with 31 Dragoons of Headquarters Force as his escort. These were the first American Expeditionary Force troops in France. The commanding officer of Pershing's headquarters was Captain George S. Patton, Jr.
The Second Dragoons fought in the Aisne-Marne Offensive from July 18 to August 6, 1918, where the American First and Second Divisions invaded the western flank of the German Marne at Soissons. Detachments of the regiment also took part in the Oisne–Aisne offensive from 18 August to 11 September. The greatest honors the regiment received in the war were for its part in reducing Saint Mihiel Salient. From September 12th to 16th troops A, B, C, D, F, G and H fought magnificently under Lieutenant Colonel D.P.M. Hazard's command.
At this point in the war, General Pershing was assembling six divisions on an 18-mile front. The First Division bailed out, bypassed Mont Sec (which the French had attacked in vain for years) and reached the German Heudicort-Nosard line. From there the Second Cavalry traversed the forest of La Belle Oziere, Nosard and Vigneulles and explored the open country as far as Heudicort, Creue and Vignuelles. They would eventually advance as far as Saint Maurice, Woel, and Jonville in pursuit of the enemy.
The last Allied offensive, the Meuse-Argonne campaign, lasted from September 26 to November 11, 1918. Attached to the American 35th Division, the Second Cavalry played an important role as the left flank element of eight divisions and later as the main effort between the Meuse and Argonne Forest. The plan of the American First Army was to bypass the strong points of Montfaucon and Romagne on either side. Then the forces would take the high ground at Barricort in a concerted effort aimed at crushing all German positions in front of Sedan.
The 35th Division led the attack on the left with a skirmish in which Second Cavalry troops fought valiantly during a six-day battle between 26 September and 2 October 1918. The battle began at Vauquois and meandered through the Bois de Roussigny, Ouvrage D' Aden, Cheepy, Charpentry, Baulny, Bois de Montre Beau and Exermont. The regiment's men were commended for "... fulfilling their duties with fearlessness, courage, and disregard for danger and hardship." During World War I, three rainbow-colored campaign streamers were added to the regiment's standard.
After the Germans were driven across the Meuse at Sedan, the stage was set for the November 11 armistice. The Second Cavalry remained with the occupying army in Germany in Koblenz until August 1919.
The interwar years
After serving in the Army of Occupation, the regiment returned to the United States for duty at Fort Riley, Kansas. It remained there from 1919 to 1939 and fulfilled peacetime duties as a school training regiment. This cavalry school thrived under the leadership of a band of visionary men destined to become general officers in World War II. The list includes such revered names as Patton, Truscott, Keyes, and Mattox, among many others.
THE CAVALRY SCHOOL
Fort Riley, Kansas, 26. August 1924.
Subject: Commendation of General Pershing.
To: Commanding Officer, 2nd Cavalry.
I am very pleased to report that on the way from my quarters to the station, General Pershing told me that the cavalry squadron that was escorting him was the best looking cavalry he had ever seen.
I hope you will pass this on to the members of the Second Cavalry as I felt it was a very great compliment. The appearance of the squadron was not to be outdone.
Edw. L King
Brigadier General, USA
BG Edward King commanded Troop M for many years as a young captain and served as Civil Governor of Jolo Island during the Philippine Rebellion.
At Fort Riley, the regiment experimented with the first armored cars, and when more money became available for maneuvers in 1936, it took part in the first armored and cavalry maneuvers. In 1936, the Second Cavalry celebrated its centenary, marking 100 years of dedicated service to the nation. In 1938 two tank regiments, the 1st and 13th, and a reinforcement of artillery and light aircraft joined the regiment for manoeuvres. Then as now, the regiment led the army in developing combined arms organization and tactics.
Second World War
The invasion of Poland by the blazing German tanks in 1939 accelerated the move to mechanize American forces, leading to the first large-scale mechanized maneuvers in 1940. By 1941, Second Calvary was taking part in similar large-scale maneuvers in Louisiana. Headquarters for the Louisiana maneuvers was at the Bentley Hotel in Alexandria, Louisiana. In January 1942, the Second Cavalry performed frontier duty in Tucson, Arizona.
As the emphasis in the Army shifted to armor, the regiment, still a horse outfit, returned to Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas, for refitting. There it was redesignated and refitted on 15 May 1942 to form the Second Armored Regiment of the Ninth Armored Division. It was this equipment that gave rise to specialized armored units, originally composed of Second Cavalry men and equipment. These units, the 2nd Panzer Battalion, the 19thPanzer Battalion and the 776thPanzer Battalion, would excel in combat through the European and Pacific theaters of operations. (Also at this time company D, 89thCavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 9ththThe armored division was formed from part of the old regiment. From here on it has a separate lineage.)
In June 1943 the regiment was renamed Second Cavalry Group, Mechanized. Colonel Charles Hancock Reed became the 31ststcolonel of the regiment. In December the regiment was reorganized again, its elements being the Headquarters and Headquarters Force, the 2nd Cavalry Group, Mechanized, and the 2nd (now 1st Squadron) and 42nd (now 2nd Squadron) Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadrons, Mechanized.
Elements of the regiment landed in Normandy in July 1944 and soon distinguished themselves as part of General Patton's Third Army. The regiment performed such daring reconnaissance missions that it became known to German high command as the "Ghosts of Patton's Army" and appeared to appear at various points behind German lines.
On September 17, 1944, German Army Group "G" prepared for a major tank attack against the Nancy salient in order to stabilize the line along the forts of Belfort, Epinal, Nancy and Metz. Prominent armored units from the enemy Army Group included the 2nd and 11th Armored Divisions, along with elements of the 16th Armored Division, the 130th Panzer Lehr Division and the 111th Armored Brigade. This armored force, although underpowered, was still a formidable enemy. The Second Cavalry held the top of the Nancy ledge. What early scouts reported as "six Tiger tanks with infantry support" turned into a major clash that staggered the regiment. The regiment was found to be bearing the brunt of the 5th Panzer Army's attack.
As a result of the regiment's accurate and timely reporting, and the valuable time gained by its vigorous delaying action, the German attack stalled well short of its objective. The key city of Luneville remained safe and under the control of the Second Cavalry Regiment. The Germans suffered irreparable damage in the battle and were unable to launch another offensive until the Ardennes campaign three months later.
While Patton's Third Army was poised to continue offensive operations east into Germany, Hitler's war machine had secretly assembled a large force for Germany's final counteroffensive in the west. The Germans amassed 25 divisions in a sparsely manned, "quiet sector" along the Belgian and Luxembourg Ardennes. On December 16, 1944, the Germans attacked before dawn along a 60-mile front. The American units in this sector were either full of inexperienced soldiers or exhausted from previous fighting. All were stretched thin.
The German offensive quickly gained ground and a "bulge" formed within the American lines. This characteristic gave the fight its name "The Battle of the Bulge". Although cut off and surrounded, many small units continued to fight. These pockets of resistance seriously disrupted the German timetable, buying valuable time for American and British forces to reinforce the area and halt the incursion. Many of these actions were carried out by the 2nd and 19ththTank battalions of the Ninth Armored Division, tracing their lineage to the Second Cavalry. The cited Second Armored Cavalry Regiment (Second Armored Battalion) would earn Presidential Unit Commendation for their heroic efforts early in the battle. The 4th Infantry Division holding the southern shoulder of the bulge flexed but did not break. This would be key to the Third Army's successful operations as it moved to relieve the besieged forces in the bulge and the encircled town of Bastogne.
The Third Army faced east as it prepared to move north to meet the penetration and drive through to Bastogne to relieve the 101stairborne division. Having severed contact with the enemy, the regiment was monitoring the movement of the Third Army as General Patton made good on his promise to divert his army into the new battle within 48 hours. This rapid shift and change in attack direction from east to north was one of the most notable examples of the successful application of the principle of maneuver during the war. The Second Cavalry Group advanced into position along the southern shoulder of the bulge, relieving elements of the Fourth Infantry Division which were holding this key area. Third Army elements drove through the German formations to reach the encircled forces at Bastogne. The 37ththThe tank battalion, led by Lieutenant Colonel Creighton Abrams, officially replaced the 101ston December 26, 1944. Abrams later became the 38ththOberst des Regiments.
Colonel Reed led the regiment into Czechoslovakia in the deepest American penetration of the war. Led by Colonel Reed, the Second Dragoons rescued the world-famous Lipizzaner stallions in a daring raid through German lines into what would later become the Soviet occupation zone. Colonel Reed defied Soviet threats and safely drove the Lipizzaners back to Germany. In 1960, Walt Disney Productions released a full-length (albeit historically flawed) film entitled Miracle of the White Stallions, which captured the drama of these events.
As significant as this raid has become for all horse lovers around the world, the real reason for the raid may have been to loot vital information from a high-ranking officer in German intelligence. Simultaneously, a force of the Second Dragoons moved to a POW camp nearby to rescue American and Allied prisoners. Not only was the rescue of the Lipizzaners a success, but the regiment also secured the surrender of the 11th Armytharmored division. This ended the 9/11 war relationshipthPanzers and the Second Dragoons and began the peace relationship that continues to this day.
On May 8, 1945, Germany surrendered. The Second Cavalry had advanced far into Czechoslovakia when orders came to man a hold line. The goal had been the capture of Prague, but for political reasons the Soviets should capture the city. The Russians also had orders to take Pilsen, which was already in American hands. Knowing the American attitude, the Soviets were determined to continue their march on Pilsen. On May 11, 1945, Soviet Major General Fomenich of the 35th Armored Brigade told Colonel Reed to move the Second Cavalry aside - his forces were advancing. Colonel Reed, then in command to hold his current line, told the Soviet commander, "If you go forward, remember that our guns are still loaded." Fomenich made no reply. That night the regiment received word from the Corps to begin movement back to the US zone, and the Second Cavalry finally left Czechoslovakia on 14 May without incident. Colonel Reed embodied the will and determination of the cavalryman in this prelude to the Cold War.
Not only did the regiment participate in the European theater, but elements of the regiment, designated the 776th Amphibious Tank Battalion, also participated in amphibious operations throughout the Pacific. These elements earned a mention of the Philippine President and Battle Streamer in Leyte and the Ryukyus campaigns for island hopping and jungle warfare efforts. This unit, an amphibious reconnaissance force equipped with 75mm self-propelled howitzers mounted on tracked amphibious vehicles (AMTRACs), often led the landings of the Seventh Infantry Division. Once ashore, their guns served as artillery support for the division's vanguard elements.
Overall, the regiment earned five brown campaign streamers for actions in Europe and two yellow streamers for battles in the Pacific islands. The Presidential Unit citation for Bastogne is represented by a streamer embroidered in blue.
The time of the gendarmerie
When the war ended, Second Calvary became part of the occupying army in Europe. In May 1946 the regiment was renamed the Second Police Regiment and underwent special training and reorganization. Their mission was to "win the peace" in Europe and maintain control of the US occupation zone inside Germany. Under a common occupation policy developed primarily at the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences in 1945, the Allied powers assumed joint sovereignty over Germany. American, British, Soviet and French forces occupied separate zones.
The U.S. Constabulary, an elite military organization of the highest standard, was commanded by Maj. Gen. Earnest N. Harmon, a former World War I commander of Second Cavalry Squadron. "Old Gravel Voice" was hailed as the second Patton. As a former commander of the 1stPanzer Division in Tunisia, the 2ndPanzer Division throughout Europe and the XXII. Corps in Czechoslovakia gave "Hell on Wheels" to the 2ndArmored Division got its famous nickname.
The regiment was key to the early development of the police force. Not only were they the first unit to take over police duties months before the police force was founded, they also designed the distinctive “Circle C” patch, founded the police academy in Sonthofen and initially taught the courses. Squad D was used as a model for the Mechanized Police Squad.
The regiment was still under the command of Colonel Reed and worked for the Third Army under General George S. Patton, the military governor of Bavaria. The regiment provided security forces and performed police functions as it assisted in raiding war criminals and weapons caches. She also ensured order in the displaced persons' camps and in southern Germany. The regiment's contribution to winning peace in Germany was not only significant, but also a harbinger of future missions, now referred to as "Peace Support Operations".
One of the most interesting changes to the regiment's organization and equipment chart was the reintroduction of the horse. This modification was due to the fact that even the venerable Jeep could not roam some of the areas due to the battle damage and debris. During a review of the troops in front of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Colonel Reed proudly walked by with the stately mounted regiment. "Ike" expressed his displeasure with the horses, explaining that he thought he had gotten rid of all the horses in the army. The various commanders, including Colonel Reed, were required to report to the General and explain the change to the Constabulary's authorized equipment list. The Constabulary's mission continued into the early 1950s, although the regiment's name was changed to 2ndPanzer Cavalry Regiment in 1948.
The Cold War
The Cold War officially began in 1945, although Constabulary-era troopers undoubtedly hoped for peace after the horrors of war. There is no definitive date for the start of the Cold War, although in 1949 the chilling evidence of a growing world threat was evident to world leaders. Winston Churchill had declared that "an Iron Curtain" had fallen over the countries of Eastern Europe. During the Constabulary period, many of the indicators of future conflicts already existed.
When the political situation in the Soviet occupation zone began to change, a new period of border surveillance mission began for the regiment. The regiment made the transition to the Cold War. Initially, the regiment operated from the cities of Freising and Augsburg. In 1951, the regiment set up its headquarters in Nuremberg.
In 1955, the regiment was posted to Fort Meade, Maryland, under a "gyroscope" rotation schedule with the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment. It returned to Germany in 1958 and re-established the regimental headquarters in Nuremberg at the Merrell barracks. The gyroscope program was discontinued and the Second Armored Calvary Regiment would remain in Germany for the next 33 years, covering the entire duration of the Cold War.
The regiment's mission was to train for war and to conduct border surveillance. The regimental headquarters were established at Merrill Barracks in the city of Nuremberg. The squadrons were located throughout southern Germany, with the First Squadron operating from Bindlach, the Second Squadron in Bamberg and the Third in Amberg. The Regiment's Aviation Company was formed in May 1960. It operated from Soldiers Field AAF in Nuremberg and moved to Fuecht Airfield around 1967. Sometime after 1973, this unit eventually became Fourth Squadron. The Regimental Support Squadron and the Command and Control Squadron also operated from Nuremberg.
The regiment conducted gunnery training in Grafenwöhr, maneuver training in Hohenfels, later the Combat Maneuver Training Center, and took part in numerous REFORGER exercises (Return of Forces to Germany). The troops were constantly rehearsed to carry out their part of the NATO war plan. During its time in Germany, the Second Armored Calvary Regiment saw improvements in equipment and facilities as the Army recovered from the post-Vietnam era cutbacks. During this period, the regiment was considered one of the most elite units in the entire army and the best trained of the 300,000 soldiers stationed in Europe.
During the Cold War, the Second Armored Calvary Regiment was responsible for patrolling 450 miles (731 kilometers) along the Iron Curtain. Their sector included 375 kilometers of the border between West and East Germany and the entire 356 kilometers of the West German-Czechoslovakian border. From a distance, the border area looked deceptively peaceful and scenic. However, closer inspection revealed a massive and deadly barrier system. A series of metal lattice fences topped with barbed wire and equipped with sensitive warning devices, watchtowers with interlocking observation panels, and concrete walls similar to those in Berlin presented a formidable barrier to freedom. Legal border crossings were few, and these were heavily guarded and fastened. The East German and Czech border commands consisted of hand-picked individuals who were considered politically reliable and well-trained in marksmanship and surveillance. The small number of successful escapes from East Germany, typically around 25 per year in the Second Armored Calvary Regiment (ACR) sector, testified to the deadly efficiency of the barrier system.
In order to conduct continuous border surveillance in the sector, the regiment operated six border camps in addition to the squadrons' home garrisons. Camp Harris (Camp Coberg) in Coberg, Kingsley Barracks (Camp Hof) in Hof, Camp Gates in Fire, Camp Pitman in Weiden, Camp Reed in Rotz and Camp May in Regen. From the border camps, units of the Second ACR patrolled their sectors by vehicle and on foot, with helicopter air support. In each border camp, an emergency team was kept on stand-by around the clock and was able to evacuate the camp within 15 minutes of the alarm horn sounding. The regiment worked closely with the German border authorities, the BGS (Federal Border Guard) and the BBP (Bavarian Border Patrol) as well as the ZOLL (Customs Police), exchanging intelligence information and conducting joint patrols. The regiment's mission required the constant vigilance and dedication of all soldiers stationed along the Iron Curtain.
In November 1989, Second ACR saw the fall of the Iron Curtain. Regular border patrols ceased on 1 March 1990, ending the Cold War phase of the regiment's history. The Cold War era represents the longest single mission in the Regiment's history.
Families played an important role in regiment life in Germany. Volunteers and family support groups provided assistance and sponsored family activities for the entire unit. The regiment and its squadrons also held family days and open houses so that both its family members and the German population could understand the soldiers' duties and the mission of the regiment. To support this effort and to help the regiment's commander convey his policies and messages directly to the soldiers, the regiment published its own monthly newspaper, The Dragoon, from 1976 to 1991.
On November 8, 1990, the Second ACR was in the process of redefining its post-Cold War mission when it was alerted for deployment to Saudi Arabia. On November 11, VII Corps' initial instruction "not to move until November 20" became "begin movement tomorrow".
At the forefront of VII Corps' deployment to Saudi Arabia, the regiment occupied assembly sites deep in the Saudi desert in mid-December. There, intensive training was carried out over several months and the ground offensive was planned. The 210th Artillery Brigade, AH 64 Apache helicopters from the 2-1 Aviation Battalion, the 82nd Engineer Battalion and other assets were added to form the 8,500-strong "Dragoon Battle Group".
This battle group, which had worked together in Europe, continued to train and secure the corps until the start of hostilities. The regiment, commanded by Colonel Leonard D. "Don" Holder, the 65ththRegimental Colonel, received the following mission: "On G-Day, H-Hour, 2nd ACR will attack through the western flank of enemy defenses and conduct offensive cover operations to develop the situation for VII Corps." Am 23 February artillery fire prepared the area and the Second Cavalry charged, breaching the Iraqi-Saudi border wall and moving north into Iraq. It was the first time the regiment had seen combat in over 45 years.
Over the next 72 hours, the Second Cavalry led VII Corps' charge as it advanced into southern Iraq. From February 22–26, the regiment engaged in a series of fierce engagements with elements of four Iraqi divisions, three of which were armored or mechanized. Most famous is the "Battle of 73 Easting" in which the 2nd and 3rd squadrons destroyed an Iraqi armored brigade while the 1st and 3rd squadrons identified the flank of the Tawalkana Division and forwarded the 1st Infantry Division to Kuwait for exploitation. By the end of its cover mission, the regiment had breached the Republican Guard's defences, delivered crucial intelligence to the Corps Commander, and led three heavy divisions into battle. During the 100-hour war, the regiment moved over 250 kilometers, integrated air cavalry and close air support into its combat, took over 2000 prisoners and destroyed 159 enemy tanks and 260 other combat vehicles. Their actions against the Iraqi divisions have become textbook examples of modern mounted operations. The regiment's casualties in the operation were six soldiers killed in action and nineteen wounded.
After the armistice, the regiment moved to Kuwait and then back to Iraq, occupying a position along the demarcation line south of the Euphrates. From there, it monitored the border for compliance with the ceasefire and provided humanitarian aid to thousands of Iraqi refugees who had escaped the ravages of the conflict.
The regiment was relieved at the demarcation line on 7 April and returned to Saudi Arabia for transfer to West Germany. The regiment received two other tan streamers for the regimental standard and the red and blue streamer of the Valorous Unit Award for actions in Southwest Asia.
Transition back to the continental United States
As part of the post-Cold War troop withdrawal in Europe, the regiment relocated to Fort Lewis, Washington in 1992. Renamed the Second Armored Cavalry Regiment (Light), the unit was tasked with developing a new organizational structure for a deadly, even more rapidly deployable cavalry force. The regiment remains at the forefront of operational doctrine development.
In the summer of 1993, the regiment moved again to Fort Polk, Louisiana. The Second Dragoons became the cavalry regiment of the XVIII Airborne Corps and served as part of a rapid deployment force that could move quickly anywhere in the world. In addition, the regiment played an important role in cultivating the warfare skills of the Army's light forces through its continued support of the Joint Readiness Training Center. By augmenting both enemy and friendly forces, the Dragoons helped provide the light troopers in today's army with the most realistic training available.
Deployment to Haiti
In January 1995, the regiment was called upon to strengthen American foreign policy through the aptly named and highly successful United Nations mission, Operation Uphold Democracy. The Second Dragoons were an integral part of a multinational force that helped Haitians restore democracy. The soldiers of the regiment provided security during parliamentary and presidential elections and ensured the first democratic transfer of power in the history of this country.
The regiment rotated headquarters force and all three maneuver squadrons to the fledgling Democracy between January 1995 and March 1996, with the support squadron providing logistical support. During their stay in Haiti, the soldiers of the Second Dragoons operated in a variety of roles. They guarded humanitarian aid convoys loaded with food for the Haitian people and served as the United Nations Rapid Reaction Force (UNQRF). By assisting in the seizure of illegal weapons and conducting security patrols, the regiment helped restore civil order in the capital, Port-Au-Prince, and throughout the Haitian countryside. They protected not only the Haitian President, but also the US President and Vice President during their state visits. In all of these missions, the Second Dragoons displayed the professionalism and devotion to duty that have characterized the regiment since its inception.
Posting to Bosnia and Herzegovina
In April 1997 the regiment received a warning order to prepare for deployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the first Mission Rehearsal Exercise, held at JRTC in June, the unit moved to Germany to begin integration into the First Armored Division. In the meantime, all equipment has been shipped to the Intermediate Staging Base in Tazar, Hungary.
The regiment's participation in Operation Joint Guard began when the 2nd and 3rd Squadrons moved across the Sava River to Bosnia in August 1997 to reinforce the 1st Infantry Division (Forward) in support of the first free local elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The regiment's air cavalry, Fourth Squadron and Regimental Support Squadron also moved into the country. The regiment's separate companies - the 502d Military Intelligence Company, 84thEngineering Company, H-159thAviation Maintenance Company and the Air Defense Battery - completed the regimental force list.
While the Ground Squadrons were in Bosnia, the Regimental Headquarters was dispatched to Germany to train with the First Armored Division Headquarters in preparation for assuming command in Bosnia. During August and September the regiment was spread across five countries on two continents and was under the direct command and control of three different General Officer Commands. This period included another first for an Army unit during a 12-month period: the regiment participated in major training exercises at all three Army combat training centers: the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk and the Combined Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) in Hohenfels, Germany. In October, the remainder of the regiment rode into the theater of war and assumed responsibility for the American sector of the Multinational Division (North), stretching from the war-damaged bridge at Brcko in the north to the devastated city of Srebrenica in the south.
The regiment's first major action in Bosnia was the seizure of Serbian radio-TV towers to prevent hate speech from being broadcast to the Republic of Srpska. Other important operations carried out by the regiment were: the reorganization of the special police of the Republika Srpska; the establishment of the first multi-ethnic police station in the city of Brcko; Security for the announcement of the Brcko Arbitration Decision (an attempt to clarify the status of this Serb-dominated town in Bosnia); Introduction of common number plates and currencies in Bosnia and the opening of the Bosnian railway system. In conducting operations in the sector, the regiment conducted an estimated 12,500 patrols and 480 weapons cache inspections, supervised the removal of over 12,000 mines and oversaw 350 training exercises for the ex-belligerents.
The regiment's transfer to Fort Polk marked the end of its eighth overseas operational deployment in the service of our country. It returned home to resume its mission as an armored cavalry regiment of the XVIII Airborne Corps awaiting enlistment.
Operation Enduring Freedom
Bull Troop, 1st Squadron, deployed to Southwest Asia 13 Aprilth, 2002 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism. There the unit served in Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan and Djibouti as port and site security. The unit was relieved by Lightning Troop, 3rd Squadron in October 2002.
Operation Iraqi Freedom
After receiving a 96-hour deployment order, 2nd Squadron and RTAC deployed to Iraq on 5 April 2003. The regiment was deployed as a whole in May. The dragoons spent a year in eastern Baghdad, helping the people of that city to rebuild their lives and suppressing insurgents.
The regiment's soldiers worked to restore peace and normality to the people in their zone. They ensured security at key infrastructure sites such as power plants, telephone stations and propane gas distribution points, reopened hundreds of schools and hospitals, and began efforts to restore the Iraqi police force to a respected, effective organization capable of efficiently combating the rising criminal threat. The regiment also took part in hundreds of direct actions in support of coalition goals, killing, wounding and capturing dozens of anti-coalition fighters during that time. The regiment's success was crucial in laying the foundations for security and stability in the devastated city of Baghdad. The regiment also led the recruiting, training and employment of several companies of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, providing another example of "Iraqis helping Iraqis". A small cadre of NCOs and officers built these combat organizations from the ground up, and the ICDC light infantry became the strongest combat multiplier available. With trained soldiers and guides on call 24 hours a day, the ICDC has played a critical role in checkpoint operations, raids, patrols and cordons and searches. The Dragoons seized or destroyed over 278,059 pieces of ammunition, plastic explosives, mortar tubes and grenades of various sizes, RPG launchers and grenades, detonators for IEDs, grenades, heavy machine guns, assault rifles, handguns, and maps detailing target locations and proposed targets. In addition, the 2d ACR arrested over 1,000 criminals, former regime loyalists and insurgents.
At 4:32 p.m. on August 19, 2003, a vehicle loaded with explosives drove into the United Nations compound, rammed into the south-west corner of the mission building and detonated. The blast destroyed the southwest corner of the building and severely damaged the adjacent spine clinic. The regiment quickly deployed troops to secure the area and treat the casualties, saving the lives of 125 UN personnel.
Am 4thApril 2004, the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment and parts of the 1stBC, 1stCavalry Division engaged in some of the fiercest urban fighting the US Army has been involved in since the Battle of Mogadishu. The regiment (+) and thousands of Muqtada Al-Sadr militiamen clashed violently in the Battle of Sadr City that lasted seven hours and claimed the lives of eight men. By the morning of April 5, the militia had been thoroughly defeated and all government buildings recaptured. In all, nearly 300 enemy combatants were killed or wounded. This battle marked the beginning of coordinated attacks across Iraq. Within 48 hours, the regiment was ordered to move south and fight insurgents in the towns of Al Hilla, Al Kut, An Najaf, Kufa and Ad Diwaniya. This action required an extension of the regiment for a further 3 months and the recall of 4thSquadron and advance prepare for deployment in Kuwait.
The regiment fought short but intense battles in Al Kut, Kufa and Ad Diwaniya to retake the city and government buildings. In An Najaf, hundreds of Muqtada al-Sadr militiamen fought a protracted battle that lasted several weeks. During May and June, elements of the regiment conducted offensive operations that resulted in daily contacts with the militia. At the end of June, the regiment was replaced by elements of the 1ID.
At the end of the deployment, the regiment suffered the loss of 21 soldiers and over 100 WIAs. The enemy suffered over 1000 dead and hundreds captured. The entire regiment returned to Fort Polk on July 15, 2004.
Transformation and return to Fort Lewis
In October 2004 the regiment was promoted to "2. Cavalry Regiment", with orders to move to Fort Lewis, Washington and convert to the Army's Fourth STRYKER Brigade Combat Team (SBCT). Approximately 300 soldiers from the regiment were transferred from Fort Polk to set up the new SBCT. Under the new organization, the regiment was transformed into a primarily infantry-based unit with three infantry squadrons, a reconnaissance squadron, a field artillery squadron, and a support squadron. All centered on the new STRYKER combat vehicle and designed to be rapidly deployed from the air for conflicts around the world.
Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-09
In April 2007, the regiment received another call for assistance in the war on terror. The regiment immediately began gunnery qualification and training at the Joint Multi-National Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany. On August 12, 2007, the regiment arrived in Kuwait and prepared its Stryker vehicles and other equipment for relocation to Baghdad.
On September 13, 2007, the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment with 3rdBrigade, 2ndInfantry Division (Arrowhead) Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Camp Liberty, Baghdad. The regiment took on a unique mission, sending the squadrons to all parts of Baghdad while President George W. Bush's augmentation campaign was in full swing to crush the insurgency that has ravaged Iraq for the past two years had.
1stSquadron (War Eagle) was sent to NE Baghdad along with A, B and C Companies to work in the predominantly Shia area around Sadr City in Ur, Thawra, Jamilla and Adhamiyah. 1stThe squadron conducted clearing operations to include cordon and tap, tactical checkpoints, and time-sensitive target raids in Sadr City. Their operations culminated in the JAM Special Groups uprising in Sadr City in late March 2008. 1stThe squadron joined Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police units to take the fight to the enemy. The fighting ended on May 11, 2008 after JAM Special Groups suffered heavy casualties and Muqtada al Sadr ordered radical militia elements of JAM to stand down in connection with a ceasefire negotiated with the Iraqi government. 1stSquadron then completed a wall separating southern Sadr City from Sadr City proper and transitioned into non-lethal operations as they gave the Iraqi people over $1 million in projects, small business grants and security jobs for local nationals ( Sons of Iraq) to help keep the area safe. August 2008, 1stThe squadron was deployed to Mosul for the remainder of the deployment to support the 3D Armored Cavalry Regiment in its final effort to quell violence in and around Mosul.
2ndSquadron (Cougars) was sent to East Rashid in southern Baghdad along with Companies D, E and F. E Company quickly distinguished itself by fighting Sunni al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) extremists in multiple complex attacks that left 10 soldiers operationally wounded and at least 13 enemy killed in action. 2nd Squadron then began with 3rd Squadron's G Company, H Company, I Company and N Troop (Wolfpack) throughout Dora and Hadar located in East Rashid for Operation Dragoon Talon , clear-and-hold operations. This operation focused primarily on Baghdad's Muhallas 834, 836 and 846, which were mostly abandoned, heavily laden with improvised explosive devices and an AQI stronghold. Over the next few months, Seasons 2 and 3 fought AQI and gained control of East Rashid. The squadrons then expended considerable resources and effort to rebuild the area as locals returned safely to their homes.
While the 2nd Squadron remained at East Rashid until May 2008, the 3rd Squadron was called up as a reserve corps and sent to Diyala Province to join the 4th SquadronthBrigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Raiders) Stryker Brigade Combat Team. The 3rd Squadron, with G, H and I Companies, was dispatched to clear the agriculturally rich area known as the "Breadbasket" in and around the Hamrin Mountains. Operation Raider Harvest focused on clearing AQI from the last major safe haven in Iraq. The 3rd Squadron fought in the area from December 2007 to October 2008 and saw significant improvements as they captured and killed AQI fighters, found hundreds of weapons caches and rebuilt the region from the ground up through humanitarian reconstruction projects.
4thSquadron (Sabre) moved to Forward Operating Base Prosperity to conduct operations in the Al Karkh district north of the Green Zone, the center of all government activity in Iraq. Featuring only O Troop, P Troop, elements of Q Troop and some assistance from I Company, 4thSquadron took over the previous combat space of two battalions and conducted largely non-lethal operations to secure the heart of Baghdad. Al Karkh quickly became the safest area in Baghdad as 4ththSquadron set the standard for working with the Iraqi Police Force and Al Karkh became a role model for the rest of the city to emulate as the city transitioned into a peaceful state.
Fire Squadron (Hell) with A, B and C Batteries and K Troops deployed from Camp Taji to secure Agar Quf region northwest of Baghdad. While the C battery acted as a 1stBrigade, 1stThe cavalry division's tactical reserve conducted air strike missions to take out high priority targets, the rest of the squadron focused on securing Baghdad's northern belts. As the Fires Squadron secured Agar Quf, it also conducted large-scale non-lethal operations as the squadron attempted to improve this agriculturally rich area by providing power improvement projects, water pumping, and irrigation improvements throughout the region.
In January 2008, Fires Squadron along with 1 returned to control of the regimentstBattalion, 21stInfantry (Gimlets) there 2. Brigade, 25thInfantry Division Stryker Brigade Combat Team from Hawaii. The regiment was tasked with destroying AQI remnants in the Abu Ghraib and Agar Quf regions. Including 1-21 infantry, 84thThe Engineer Company and Regiment conducted the historic operation on March 20, 2008 to locate and return the remains of Staff Sergeant Keith "Matt" Maupin to his family. SSG Maupin has been veteran since his capture by AQI combatants on the 9th and the recovery of his remains enabled the Army to keep our promise of leaving no one behind.
In April 2008, the regiment received orders to move to Diyala Province to replace 4thBrigade, 2nd Infantry Division no later than 1 June 2008. Minus 1stSquadron moved the regiment en masse to Diyala Province in May to join No. 3 Squadron and No. 2 Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Saber). From late May to October 2008, the regiment fought extremist Sunni and Shia elements across the province. Again, the regiment set the standard for non-lethal impact as the regiment focused on provincial reconstruction and empowered government officials to take responsibility for their communities. The deadly attempt culminated in a mainly Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)-led operation to purge the province of the last remnants of insurgent activity. Over 50,000 members of the Iraqi Army, Iraqi National Police and Iraqi Police Forces came to the province to conduct Operation Good News of Goodwill. The regiment worked with ISF units to clear villages, roads and palm groves previously controlled by terrorist elements. At the end of the operation, the ISF was able to return the area to the Iraqi forces and the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment turned over a more secure province to 1stBrigade, 25thInfanteriedivision (Arctic Wolves) Stryker Brigade Combat Team aus Alaska.
During the fifteen-month deployment, the regiment fought both Shia and Sunni terrorists while focusing on rebuilding and securing neighborhoods and villages throughout Baghdad and Diyala province. This was all accomplished with the tireless support of the Regimental Support Squadron and Special Troops Squadron as they provided daily logistical, medical, intelligence, air surveillance and communications support.
At the end of the operation, the regiment suffered the loss of 29 soldiers, over 250 soldiers were wounded in action and over 70 Stryker, MRAP and other older vehicles were destroyed by improvised explosive devices. However, the enemy suffered over 100 killed, over 1100 captured and 100,000 improvised explosive devices, weapons, ammunition and equipment captured and destroyed. The regiment saw key areas of East Rashid, Sadr City and Diyala Province transform from bastions of terrorist activity into more peaceful communities controlled by the Iraqi government as the Iraqi people restored their communities to normalcy. The regiment returned to Vilseck, Germany on 27 October 2008 to refit and prepare for future operations.
OEF deployment May 2010 – April/May 2011
The 2nd Cavalry Regiment deployed to Regional Command South (RC S) in Afghanistan in May 2010, during a period of historic increases in insurgency. As part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) was to conduct population-centric counterinsurgency operations throughout the RC S to train, mentor and oversee the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). enable lasting stability and legitimacy of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA).
Regimental Headquarters took on the daunting task of taking command of Combined Team Zabul in Qalat, Zabul Province in July 2010. Working with provincial GIRoA leadership, the ANSF and coalition forces, the headquarters was responsible for more than 3,000 American and Romanian soldiers, 3,800 Afghan National Army soldiers and 1,800 Afghan National Police officers in a 17,300-square-kilometer province with a population of over 250,000 inhabitants. Exceptional Command and Control oversaw more than 4,500 partner presence patrols, route clearance patrols, and other routine operations that ensured the ANSF's self-contained capability. Synchronized intelligence along with focused target analysis resulted in over 50 weapons and explosives caches seized by insurgents, over 3,000 pounds of homemade explosives recovered, over 300 IEDs cleared and over 34 enemy retrans sites destroyed. The resolution of over 289 Special Operations missions resulted in the destruction of over 79 valuable targets.
Throughout the deployment, the regiment covered the length and breadth of the RC S. From the northwest, the 1st Squadron provided the first US maneuver forces in Uruzgan province and worked with the Afghan National Police, providing security and governance in historically neglected regions of the province. In March 2011, WAR EAGLE quickly relocated the entire squadron back to Panjwai and Dand Districts in Kandahar Province to operate as part of Task Force Kandahar. Working with Afghan partners and the Canadian 22nd Battle Group, WAR EAGLE conducted OPERATION TALLAHASSE, a brigade-size clearing operation that became the largest operation in the region.
In Zabul province, the 2nd Squadron conducted the largest combined arms operation in the province, OPERATION GRAND RAPIDS, which seriously disrupted enemy support zones and greatly reduced enemy activity along Highway 1 and the rest of the province. COUGAR's presence was also felt in Kandahar Province, where the Dog Company conducted significant jamming operations at the "Horn of Panjwai". Most importantly, in February 2011, COUGAR facilitated the first full security transition in Afghanistan between coalition forces and ANA.
From Zharay and Maiwand Districts, 3rd Squadron established two prime barricade positions throughout Afghanistan, the "Wolf Pack Wall" and the "Security Wall". WOLFPACK's hard work and efforts denied the enemy the opportunity to launch attacks in Kandahar Province. In September 2010, Stryker crews from Hawk and Iron Companies made history by engaging the enemy in sustained combat for the first time using the Stryker Variant Mobile Gun System. Archer Battery set the tone by conducting a fire operation in July 2010 that resulted in the regiment's first confirmed kill while in operation. Archer continued to provide superlative indirect fire support throughout the 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division's area of operations.
To the east in Spin Boldak District, Kandahar Province, the 4th Squadron guarded the Afghan-Pakistani border alongside the Afghan Border Police. SABER made great strides in creating conditions for conversion into a westernized border crossing point. In addition, SABER performed over 26,000 biometric registrations, a historic number unmatched by any other unit in Afghanistan. From August 2010 to April 2011, the Lightning Troop, as part of Task Force Raider, conducted tireless dismounted patrols in two Kandahar City subdistricts. In January, the Maddog Force assumed the counter indirect fire mission inside the Kandahar Airfield Ground Defense Area and conducted patrols in the missile boxes around Afghanistan's second-largest coalition airfield.
In Zabul Province, behind the walls of the Qalat Police Academy, Fires Squadron trained and mentored Afghanistan's future security forces. In addition, HELL managed the regiment's IED defeat cell, Route Clearance Patrol operations and supported the ability to deploy ISR assets and signals communications capabilities throughout Zabul province. HHB provided technical and tactical expertise for its three detached howitzer batteries, as well as for the Kandahar Airfield Ground Defense Area mission, deploying its Q36 and Q37 radar teams wherever required in RC S.
The Regimental Support Squadron conducted vital combat duty support operations from Kandahar Airfield to support the regiment's presence, which spans three provinces. MULESKINNER demonstrated partnership when assigned to assist the Dutch Redeployment Task Force in the repatriation of all equipment and supplies from Uruzgan province to Kandahar Airfield by managing the MRAP vehicle driver training program and equipment deployment to Romanian land forces and generator courses and maintenance repairs were offered by the Afghan National Army in Zabul Province. Primarily through the Dragoon Case Management Program, MULESKINNER diligently tended to the regiment's wounded and dead.
Regardless of the fact, the regiment remained flexible, adaptable, and carried out each task with panache and professionalism, contributing greatly to the overall mission of bringing peace and stability to the people of Afghanistan.
OEF deployment July 2013 – April 2014
The 2nd Cavalry Regiment, based out of Vilseck, Germany, was based in Kandahar, Afghanistan from July 2013 to April 2014 and served with the 4th Infantry Division Headquarters. Arriving at the height of combat season in the grueling 120-degree heat, the unit took over the combat space previously covered by two brigades. Although the regiment's leaders had the same general mission, the specific duties each leader performed varied widely from unit to unit. For example, some leaders advised Afghan National Security Forces leaders, some had a missile defense mission to ensure Kandahar Airfield remained safe, others provided in-extremis task forces, and still others ensured mobility or transported supplies along key routes.(army magazine,Volume 64, Number 8)
From the steamy swamps of Florida to the frozen Rocky Mountains, from the badlands of the Midwest to the deserts of Southwest Asia, from the northern plains of Europe to the Cascades of western Washington, from the disease-ridden jungles of the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico to the Island of Haiti and from their service in the Civil War and the War with Mexico to their current mission as a cavalry regiment with the American Emergency Corps, the Second Dragoons have been in active service for nearly three quarters of a century and are the Army's oldest continuously active mounted regiment.
Although the regiment, with its current organization and equipment, may bear little resemblance to those first mounted soldiers, the cavalry spirit nevertheless lives on to this day. The Dragoons of the 21st CenturystCentury to proudly uphold the legacy by following the orders of Captain May in Resaca de la Palma:
"Remember your regiment and follow your officers."
Certificate of descent and honor
The Department of the Army Center for Military History issues the official certificate of descent and honor. This document lists the campaigns and battles for which the regiment and its troops are awarded campaign participation. Much of the history of the nation and regiment can be traced from this document.
If two or more of the companies or troops took part in a battle, the regiment receives credit for that battle and is authorized as a campaign or battle streamer. If a company or troop participated in the battle, that company or troop will receive a separate credit for participating in the campaign. Troops are authorized a silver band to be displayed on their guidon staff to denote those battles for which they have been awarded separate campaign credits.
Pedigree and Honors
Constituted 23 May 1836 in the Regular Army as the Second Regiment of Dragoons and organized with headquarters at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.
Redesignated 5 March 1843 as Second Rifle Regiment and dismounted at the same time.
Reassembled and redesignated as the Second Dragoon Regiment on 4 April 1844.
Redesignated Second Cavalry 3 August 1861.
Assigned to 2nd Cavalry Division 15 August 1927 to 15 July 1942.
Inactivated 15 July 1942 at Fort Riley, Kansas; Personnel and equipment transferred to the 2d Panzer Regiment (see APPENDIX)
Redesignated and activated 15 January 1943 as 2nd Cavalry Mechanized at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
The regiment was disbanded on 22 December 1943 and its elements reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Force, 2nd Cavalry Group, Mechanized, and 2nd and 42nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadrons, Mechanized.
The above units were rebuilt and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Police Regiment and 2nd and 42nd Police Squadrons on 1 May 1946.
Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Police Regiment reorganized and redesignated 2 February 1948 as Headquarters, Headquarters and Service Troop, 2nd Police Regiment.
The above units were converted and redesignated by elements as elements of the 2nd Armored Cavalry (Headquarters, Headquarters and Service Force, 2nd Police Regiment as Headquarters and Headquarters Force, 2nd Armored Cavalry) on 16 November 1948.
2d, 776th,and 19thTank battalions (see APPENDIX) were consolidated with the 2nd Armored Cavalry on 8 January 1951.
(Bataillons and companies redesignated as Staffeln and Troops respectively on 23 May 1960)
Renamed 2d Armored Cavalry (Light) on 1 July 1992, reorganized from 199 men and equipmentthLight Infantry Brigade. 1stsquadron of 1-33 armor; 2ndsquadron of 3-47 infantry; 3rdSquadron of 2-1 Infantry.
4-17 Cavalry Squadron renamed 4-2ACR (L) 15 January 1994.
Relieved of affiliation with the XVIII Airborne Corps on April 2005. 4thSquadron deactivated, men and equipment moved to 4thBde, 10thmountain department.
Regiment redesignated in June 2006. 2CR renamed to 4/2 SBCT. At the same time it was renamed 1-25 Infantry 2SCR.
The 2nd Armored Regiment was formed in the United States Army on July 11, 1942 and assigned to the 9th Armored Division.
Activated 15 July 1942 at Fort Riley, Kansas with personnel and equipment of the Second Cavalry.
The regiment was disbanded on October 9, 1943 and its elements were reorganized and redesignated as follows:
Second Armored Regiment (minus 1st and 3rd Battalions, Band and Maintenance, Service and Reconnaissance Companies) as 2nd Armored Battalion.
1st Battalion as 776th Armored Battalion and relieved of assignment to 9th Armored Division.
3rd Battalion as 19th Tank Battalion.
Reconnaissance Company as Troop D, 89th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized (hereinafter separate line).
Band and maintenance and service companies were dissolved.
After October 9, 1943, the above units were changed as follows:
The 2nd Tank Battalion was inactivated 7 October 1945 at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia.
Relieved from deployment with the 9th Panzer Division on 9 January 1951.
The 776th Tank Battalion was reorganized and redesignated as the 776 on 28 January 1944thAmphibious Tank Battalion. Inactivated 21 January 1946 at Camp Anza, California.
The 19th Tank Battalion was inactivated at Camp Patrick Henry on 9 October 1945.
Relieved from assignment to 9th Panzer Division on 8 January 1951.
Credit for participating in the campaign
Presidential unit quote (2ndtank battalion quoted)
Presidential unit citation
Valorous Unit Award
True Cross 1847
Little big horn
New Mexico 1852
New Mexico 1854
He died in 1869
Defense of Saudi Arabia
Cold Port Petersburg
|war with Spain|
First World War
Second World War
Leyte (with arrowhead) Ryukyus
Campaign credit for individual troops
Troops eligible to receive separate credit for participating in the campaign as follows:
Puerto Rico 1898
Fort Henry and Donellson
Missouri 1861 (Wilson’s Creek MO)
Second World War
New Mexico 1860
First World War
Presidential unit citation(Army), Streamer embroidered BASTOGNE
(2nd Tank Battalion quoted; WD GO 17, 1945)
Presidential unit citation(Army)
Operation Iraqi Freedom from April 6, 2003 to June 15, 2004
Valorous Unit Award, streamer embroidered Iraq.
Permanent Orders 44-7 dated March 18, 1992
For the period February 23, 1991 – February 26, 1991 (Battle of 73 Easting)
Belgian War Cross 1940 mit Palme, streamers embroideredBASTOGNE; quoted in order of the day of the Belgian Army for the action at BASTOGNE
(2nd Tank Battalion cited; DA GO 43, 1950 and DA GO 27, 1950)
Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron and Troops A, B and Cadditionally entitled to:
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, streamer embroidered 17 October 1944 to 4 July 1945 (776th Amphibious Tank Battalion cited; DA GO 47, 1950)
1st Squadronadditionally entitled to:
Army Superior Unit Award, Haitifrom January 1, 1995 – July 22, 1996
(DA GO 15, 1997 & 25 of June 8, 2001)
2nd Squadronadditionally entitled to:
Army Superior Unit Award, Haitifrom August 20, 1997 to October 21, 1997
(DA GO 15, 1997 & 25 of June 8, 2001)
Presidential unit citation(Army)
Operation Iraqi Freedom from March 30 to May 1, 2003
Valorous Unit Award - Irak (GO 2013–15)
September 1, 2007 to October 31, 2007
3D squadronadditionally entitled to:
Army Superior Unit Award, Haitifrom August 20, 1997 to October 21, 1997
(DA GO 15, 1997 & 25 of June 8, 2001)
Army Superior Unit Award – Bosnien 1997(08/20/97 to 10/21/97, DAGO 2001 – 25)
HQ and HQ Troop, Troop E, Troop F, Troop G, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry
HQ and HQ Troop, Troop I, Troop K, Troop L, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry
Regimental Medal of Honor recipient
BRETT, LLOYD, M. 2. Lieutenant, 2. Kavallerie in O’Fallon’s Creek, Montana, 1. April 1880
CANFIELD, HETH Private, Kompanie C, 2. Kavallerie in Little Blue, Nebraska, 15. Mai 1870
CLARK, WILFRED Private, Company L, 2nd Cavalry at Big Hold, Montana, August 9, 1877
GARLAND, HARRY Corporal, Kompanie L, 2. Kavallerie in Little Muddy Creek, Montana, 7. Mai 1877
GLOVER, T.B. Sergeant, B Troop, 2nd Cavalry at Mizpah Creek, Montana, April 10, 1879
*HAGAN, MARTIN Sergeant, 2nd Cavalry at Fredericksburg, Virginia, December 13, 1862
HANFORD, EDWARD R. Private, Company H, 2nd Cavalry at Woodstock, Virginia, October 9, 1864
HIMMELSBACK, MICHEAL Private, Company C, 2nd Cavalry at Little Blue, Nebraska, May 15, 1870
HUBBARD, THOMAS Private, Kompanie C, 2. Kavallerie in Little Blue, Nebraska, 15. Mai 1870
HUGGINS, ELI L. Captain, 2nd Cavalry, RHQ at O'Fallon's Creek, Montana, April 1, 1880
JONES, WILLIAM H. Farrier, Kompanie L, 2. Kavallerie in Camas Meadows, Idaho, 20. August 1877 in Little Muddy Creek, Montana, 7. Mai 1877
** LEONARD, PATRICK Sergeant, Company C, 2nd Cavalry at Little Blue, Nebraska, May 15, 1870
LEONARD, WILLIAM Private, Company L, 2nd Cavalry at Muddy Creek, Montana, May 7, 1877
McCLERNAND, EDWARD J. 2. Leutnant, 2. Kavallerie am Bear Paw Mountain, Montana, 30. September 1877
PHILLIPS, SAMUEL D. Private, Company H, 2nd Cavalry at Muddy Creek, Montana, May 7, 1877
RODENBOUGH, THEOPHILUS F. Captain of the 2nd Cavalry, Regimental Commander at Trevilian Station, Virginia, June 11, 1864
SCHMIDT, CONRAD First Sergeant, Company K, 2nd Cavalry, at Opequon Creek, Winchester, Virginia, September 19, 1864
THOMPSON, GEORGE W. Private, Company C, 2nd Cavalry at Little Blue, Nebraska, May 15, 1870
TOMPKINS, CHARLES H. First Lieutenant, 2nd Cavalry at Fairfax, Virginia, June 1, 1861
WILKENS, HENRY First Sergeant, Company L, 2d Cavalry at Little Muddy Creek, Montana, 7. Mai 1877
Note: Regimental officers were assigned to the regiment (not troops or companies) so their citations do not reflect which troop they were with when they won their medal. Enlisted soldiers have been assigned to the troop level, so their assigned unit is listed. Sergeant Martin Hagen is the exception to this rule. Sergeant Hagen did not list his operational unit in the available documents.
*Sgt. Hagen is not listed as a Medal of Honor recipient by any of the agencies charged with prosecuting these matters. The regiment has several sources that suggest he was the regiment's first receiver. Regimental Museum staff have asked the National Medal of Honor Historical Society to clarify.
** It was previously reported that Sergeant Patrick Leonard was a double Medal of Honor recipient. That's wrong. The Medal of Honor Historical Society discovered in an article published in 1985 that there were actually two different Sergeant Patrick Leonards, both Medal of Honor winners. It was only through a review of their widow's claims that they discovered that they had different middle names and two different ones people were.
Oberst des Regiments
|David Emmanuel Twigs||1. Oberst des Regiments||8. June 1836 – 29. June 1846|
|William Selby Harney||2. Oberst des Regiments||30. June 1846 – 14. June 1858|
|Philip St. George Koch||3. Oberst des Regiments||14. June 1858 - 12. November 1861|
|Thomas John Wood||4. Oberst des Regiments||12. November 1861 – 9. June 1868|
|Innis N. Palmer||5. Oberst des Regiments||June 9, 1868 – March 20, 1879|
|John W. Davidson||6. Oberst des Regiments||March 20, 1879 – June 26, 1881|
|John P. Hatch||7. Oberst des Regiments||26 June 1881 – 9 January 1886|
|Nelson B. Schweitzer||8. Oberst des Regiments||June 9, 1886 – October 29, 1888|
|David R. Clendenin||9. Oberst des Regiments||29. October 1888 – 2. April|
|George G Hunt||10. Oberst des Regiments||10. April 1891 – 2. June 1898|
|Henry E. Noyes||11. Oberst des Regiments||2. June 1898 – 16. November 1901|
|Eli L. Huggins||12. Oberst des Regiments||December 5, 1901 – February 24, 1903|
|Winfield Scott Edgerly||13. Oberst des Regiments||March 2, 1903 – June 23, 1905|
|Fredrick K. Ward||14. Oberst des Regiments||June 23, 1905 – October 1, 1906|
|Frank Westen||15. Oberst des Regiments||1.Ok. 1906 – 31. Dec. 1913|
|William J. Nicholson||16. Oberst des Regiments||1 January 1914 – 11 February 1915|
|Joseph T. Dickman||17. Oberst des Regiments||12 February 1915 – 21 June 1917|
|Arthur Thaler||18. Oberst des Regiments||22 June 1917 – 11 August 1919|
|John S. Winn||19. Oberst des Regiments||4 November 1919 – 18 July 1922|
|Charles A. Romeyn||20. Oberst des Regiments||12. June 1922 – 31. May 1924|
|George Williams||21. Oberst des Regiments||June 1, 1924 – July 31, 1926|
|Llewellyn Oliver||22. Oberst des Regiments||24. June 1926 – 9. June 1928|
|Alexander M. Miller||23. Oberst des Regiments||July 1, 1928 – March 31, 1931|
|Selwyn D. Smith||24. Oberst des Regiments||June 30, 1931 – July 15, 1935|
|Dorsey R. Rodney||25. Oberst des Regiments||1. August 1935 – 31. August 1937|
|Arthur W. Holderness||26. Oberst des Regiments||25. August 1937 – 25. April 1939|
|Thoburn K. Brown||27. Oberst des Regiments||18. April 1939 – 8. August 1939|
|Harry D. Chamberlin||28. Oberst des Regiments||August 9, 1939 – March 31, 1941|
|John T. Cole||29. Oberst des Regiments||1. April 1941 – 30. June 1942|
|Gilman C. Mudget||30. Oberst des Regiments||15 July 1942 – 14 January 1943|
|Charles H. Reed||31. Oberst des Regiments||15 January 1943 – 31 August 1944|
1. November 1944 – 31. August 1947
|William P. Withers||32. Oberst des Regiments||September 1, 1944 – October 31, 1944|
|George C. Elms||33. Oberst des Regiments||1 September 1947 – 31 January 1948|
|William D. Long||34. Oberst des Regiments||1 February 1948 – 31 January 1949|
|Theodore T. König||35. Oberst des Regiments||1 February 1949 – 28 February 1949|
|Franklin F. Wing||36. Oberst des Regiments||1 February 1949 – 30 April 1950|
|Marshall O. Wallach||37. Oberst des Regiments||1. May 1950 – 31. August 1950|
|Robert W. Porter||38. Oberst des Regiments||11 August 1950 – 6 June 1951|
|Creighton W. Abrams||39. Oberst des Regiments||7. June 1951 – 29. June 1952|
|William F. Eckles||40. Oberst des Regiments||30 June 1952 – 31 August 1953|
|John CF Tillson III||41. Oberst des Regiments||September 1, 1953 – June 8, 1954|
|Jesse P. Moorefield||42. Oberst des Regiments||June 8, 1954 – July 10, 1954|
|William H. Greer||43. Oberst des Regiments||July 10, 1954 – July 11, 1955|
|William E. Lobit||44. Oberst des Regiments||July 12, 1955 – June 7, 1956|
|Jones W. Duncan||45. Oberst des Regiments||June 23, 1956 – July 27, 1957|
|Leslie R. Wilcox||46. Oberst des Regiments||28 July 1957 – 5 January 1959|
|Richard G. Ciccolella||47. Oberst des Regiments||6 January 1959 – 27 July 1959|
|Lawrence E Schlanser||48. Oberst des Regiments||6 July 1959 – 31 November 1961|
|George B. Pickett jr.||49. Oberst des Regiments||December 1, 1961 – July 1, 1963|
|Carleton Preer, Jr.||50. Oberst des Regiments||2 July 1963 – 1 August 1964|
|Frank B. Ton||51. Oberst des Regiments||1. August 1964 – 3. November 1965|
|James P. Cahill||52. Oberst des Regiments||2. November 1965 – 30. August 1967|
|Clarke T. Baldwin, Jr.||53. Oberst des Regiments||30. August 1967 – 9. September 1968|
|Walter G. Allen||54. Oberst des Regiments||September 9, 1968 – March 19, 1970|
|Matthew R. Wallis||55. Oberst des Regiments||March 19, 1970 – September 10, 1971|
|Charles P. Graham||56. Oberst des Regiments||10. September 1971 – 23. May 1973|
|John W. Seigle||57. Oberst des Regiments||23. May 1973 - 19. November 1974|
|John W. Hudachek||58. Oberst des Regiments||19. November 1974 – 4. June 1976|
|Harold R. Page||59. Oberst des Regiments||4. June 1976 – 6. June 1978|
|Robert E. Wagner||60. Oberst des Regiments||6. June 1978 – 16. June 1981|
|David M. Maddox||61. Oberst des Regiments||16. June 1981 – 14. November 1983|
|William W. Crouch||62. Oberst des Regiments||14. November 1983 – 6. August 1985|
|John H. Tilelli, Jr.||63. Oberst des Regiments||6. August 1985 - 6. May 1987|
|James J. Steele||64. Oberst des Regiments||6. May 1987 – 1. August 1989|
|Leonard D. Halter||65. Oberst des Regiments||1 August 1989 – 1 July 1991|
|John C. Eberle||66. Oberst des Regiments||July 1, 1991 – July 1, 1992|
|Thomas M. Molino||67. Oberst des Regiments||July 2, 1992 – July 8, 1994|
|Walter L. Sharp||68. Oberst des Regiments||July 8, 1994 – June 13, 1996|
|Dennis E. Hardy||69thOberst des Regiments||June 14, 1996 – September 3, 1998|
|Douglas E. Lute||70thOberst des Regiments||4. Sept. 1998 – 1. Aug. 2000|
|Terry Wolff||71stOberst des Regiments||1 August 2000-17. June 2003|
|Bradley W. May||72. Oberst des Regiments||18 June 2003 – 24 February 2005|
|Jon S Lehr||73. Oberst des Regiments||25 February 2005 – 1 June 2006|
|John RisCassi||74thOberst des Regiments||1 June 2006 – 13 January 2009|
|James R. Blackburn, Jr.||75thOberst des Regiments||13 January 2009 – 27 July 2011|
|Keith A. Barclay|
Douglas A. Sims
|76thOberst des Regiments|
77thOberst des Regiments
78thOberst des Regiments
|27 July 2011 – 8 January 2013|
8 January 2013 – 15 July 2014
July 15, 2014 –
|Patrick J. Ellis||79. Oberst des Regiments||July 15, 2016 –|
Regimental awards are presented annually to officers, non-commissioned officers, enlisted men and units for outstanding service. These awards are presented at the Regimental Spring Ball. A display of awards is maintained at Regimental Headquarters.
DRAPER AWARD: The Draper Armor Leadership Award is presented annually to promote, maintain and recognize effective leadership in armor and cavalry units. The unit selects an armored cavalry force as the best ground cavalry force based on measurable performance in seven functional areas. The award also recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement in leadership or training, or who have made significant contributions to the force. The Chief of Armor and Commanding General of Fort Knox is the proponent of this award.
HARVAY AWARD: Presented by the Second Cavalry Association to the regiment's most distinguished junior officer and non-commissioned officer. It is awarded complimentary lifetime membership in the 2d Cavalry Association to recognize the service of those who have shown the highest level of professionalism in the Second Dragoon traditions.
ABRAMS AWARD: Awarded to Best Non-Lettered Troop (includes all separate companies, all HHTs, S&T Troop, Maintenance Troop and Medical Troop). This award is a counterpart to the Draper award, which recognizes the best unlabeled troop, company or battery that has demonstrated the most professional excellence over the previous year.
RODENBOUGH AWARD: Awarded to the top Regimental Aviation Troop (captioned) for demonstrating the most professional excellence over the past year.
THE PELHAM AWARD: Awarded to the best Squadron Fire Support System to recognize the traditions and heritage of field artillery within the regiment. The selection criteria are based on the unit's performance during the Dragoon Thunder exercise.
THE HUGGINS AWARD: Awarded to the Junior Officer of the Year (all ranks in the Company) to recognize the regiment's most outstanding junior officer for the past year.
THE THAYER AWARD: Awarded to the Warrant Officer of the Year (WO1 through CW3) based on assessed leadership performance, physical fitness, individual weapons qualification, and leadership ability.
THE SCHMIDT AWARD: Awarded to the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year (SFC through CSM) based on their assessed performance in leadership positions, physical fitness, weapons qualification, leadership qualities, tactical and technical ability, and special achievements. Nominees are judged on their individual achievements as well as their contributions to the unit.
THE LEONARD AWARD: Awarded to Junior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year (CPL to SSG) for recognizing outstanding achievement by winning the NCO of the Quarter Board.
THE BLACKSMITH AWARD: Awarded to the Soldier of the Year based on assessed leadership performance, physical fitness, weapons qualifications, leadership qualities, weapons qualifications, leadership qualities, technical and tactical skills, and special achievements.
SERVICE HISTORY AWARD: Awarded to the 2nd ACR Family Member, Volunteer of the Year, for his volunteer services, his impact on the quality of life of 2nd ACR Soldiers and their families, and impact on the quality of life of the Fort Polk community.
SCOUTS OUT: This annual training exercise determines the best scout section in the regiment. Scouts Out is a competition based on multiple events designed to test each team's mental and physical agility, technical and tactical acumen, and the section's ability to work together as a team in the most difficult of circumstances.
DRAGOON LIGHTNING: Dragon Lightning is a combined arms exercise that trains and externally evaluates the regiment's anti-tank companies and the 84thengineering company. This exercise culminates in the awarding of a trophy and a streamer to the best anti-tank company.
DRAGOON THUNDER: Dragon Thunder is an annual competition and external evaluation of the regiment's indirect fire systems. The best squadron is awarded the Pelham Award. The best howitzer battery is awarded the McRae Guidon Streamer. This streamer was named in honor of Captain McRae, an artilleryman who took over Troop G on February 21, 1862 at the Battle of Val Verde, New Mexico. G Troop soldiers fought as artillerymen and manned the guns of McRae's Battery.
TROOP COMBAT: The Troop Battle is an annual event designed to assess the operational capabilities of ground cavalry troops through a realistic and challenging force-on-force training event. Squad Combat will focus on the Ground Cavalry Force's Mission Essential Task List while integrating air cavalry, air defense, and engineer operations.
Armor Association Awards
ORDER OF ST. GEORGE: The awarding of the Bronze Medallion of the Order of St. George is the Armor Association's recognition of the awardee as the very finest tank driver or armored cavalryman. The award of the Order of St. George's Silver Medallion is recognition of the U.S. Armor Association for the awardee upon the completion of long and distinguished service in armor or armored cavalry. The Black Medallion serves to recognize tank lieutenants and junior tank drivers and cavalrymen.
The award of the Order of St. George's Gold Medallion is a recognition by the United States Armor Association of the select few men who, even after retiring from long and distinguished careers in the service of armor or armored cavalry, continue to be active supporters Armor.
ORDER OF ST. JOAN D'ARC: The Armor Association established the Order of St. Joan D'Arc to honor ladies who have voluntarily contributed significantly to the morale, spirit and welfare of armor or cavalry units and communities. Such voluntary contributions were intended to exemplify the spirit of the Order's namesake in service to others.
NOBEL PATRON OF ARMOR: The Armor Association developed the Nobel Patron of Armor Award to recognize those individuals, other than tankers or cavalrymen, who have contributed significantly to the operational success or morale and welfare of armor and cavalry organizations.
Squadron of Honor of the Dragoons
The Dragoon Squadron of Honor was formed in 1952 by the 39thColonel of the Regiment, Colonel Creighton Abrams, Jr. Inclusion on this prestigious list can only be made by nomination and approval of the Colonel of the Regiment. To be "dragoned" a soldier must have served at least 12 months in the regiment. NCOs and enlisted men are nominated by the Regimental CSM, Squadron CSM, or their Troop First Sergeant. Officers may be nominated by the regiment's colonel, his squadron, or squad commander, depending on the nominee's position. Nominees must have a record untarnished by incidents, punishments, or other actions that reflect unfavorably on the regiment.
Regimental Customs and Traditions
coat of arms
Coat of arms:
Sign:Tenné, a dragoon in Mexican War uniform, mounted on a white horse, brandishing a saber, and charging a Mexican field gun defended by a gunner armed with an actual rammer, mainly two eight-pronged mullets.
Kamm:On a wreath of colors (Or and Tenné) the headgear of the dragoons of 1836 Proper.
Symbolism:The color of the attachments of the old dragoon regiment was orange, which is used for the field of the shield; The badge was an eight-pointed gold star, two of which (according to the numerical designation) are placed on the shield. The traditional episode in the regiment is Captain May's squadron attacking the Mexican artillery
in Resaca de la Palma, commemorated by the main charge on the sign. The coat of arms is self-explanatory.
Background:The crest was originally approved for the 2nd Cavalry Regiment on August 6, 1920. It was modified to change the 6-pointed stars to 8-pointed stars to match the old Dragoon star on April 28, 1924. The crest was redesignated for the 2d Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron on 31 July 1944. On 26 November 1946 it was redesignated for the 2d Constabulary Squadron. It was redesignated 17 March 1949 for the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment (US Constabulary). The crest was redesignated for the 2d Armored Cavalry on 1 September 1955. The insignia was redesignated for the 2d Cavalry Regiment effective 16 April 2005.
Shoulder Sleeve Badge
Description:On a black disc, within a 1/8 inch (0.32 cm) yellow border, 2 ¾ inch (6.99 cm) overall diameter, a yellow octagon with concave sides, a green scalloped circle, and a white fleur de lis over a green one Motto scroll with the inscription "Toujours Prêt" in yellow letters.
Symbolism:The design of the shoulder sleeve insignia is based on the regiment's distinctive insignia, badge type, approved April 28, 1924. The yellow octagon simulates the eight-pointed star insignia worn by dragoons, with the 2 being 1836. The green, serrated circle depicting a palmetto- Simulated leaf depicts the regiment's first action against the Seminole Indians in Florida, where the palmetto leaf grows in abundance. The Fleur de Lis is intended for combat service in France in both World War I and World War II. The motto "Toujours Prêt" (Always ready) expresses the spirit and panache of the regiment.
Background:The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved on 23 June 1967 for the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. They were amended on October 9, 1967 to change symbolism. Badges were rebranded for 2nd Cavalry Regiment effective April 16, 2005 with updated description.
Distinctive unit insignia
Description:A metal and enamel device, 1 inch (2.54 cm) high, consisting of a gold eight-pointed star of rays surmounted by a green palmetto leaf set with a silver-tipped fleur-de-lis, on a green enamelled scroll of ribbon forming the base of the regimental motto "Toujours Prêt" in golden metal letters.
Symbolism:The eight-pointed star insignia worn by dragoons, with the 2nd Cavalry originally being formed in 1836 as the 2nd Regiment of Dragoons. The palmetto leaf represents the regiment's first action against the Seminole Indians in Florida, where the palmetto leaf grows in abundance. The Fleur de Lis is intended for combat service in France in both World War I and World War II. The motto "Toujours Prêt" (Always ready) expresses the spirit and panache of the regiment.
Background:The unit's distinctive insignia was originally approved for the 2nd Cavalry Regiment on 16 January 1923. The insignia were altered to change the 6-pointed star to an 8-pointed star to match the old Dragoon star on April 28, 1924. On March 23, 1931 it was amended to dictate the manner of wearing. It was redesignated for the 2d Constabulary Squadron on 21 January 1948. The badge was redesignated 17 March 1949 for the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment (US Constabulary). It was redesignated 1 September 1955 for the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, changed 20 August 1965 to change the description. It was redesignated the 2nd Cavalry Regiment effective 16 April 2005.
Since the mid-19th century, the 2nd Regiment of Dragoons, now proudly serving as the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, has had the tradition of wearing a wide-brimmed, black felt hat.
The 2nd Cavalry Regiment continues the tradition by wearing the "Stetson" or other wide-brimmed hats as determined by the Colonel of the regiment. Active duty personnel wear this headgear in accordance with standards published by the active regiment.
All veterans of the regiment are entitled to wear this distinctive hat.
The regimental decoration, translated from French "Toujours Prêt", means "Always ready". It indicates that the regiment is in constant readiness, ready to go whenever and wherever the need arises. Today, this distinction is found on the regimental insignia and the units' distinctive insignia, sometimes referred to as the unit crest. The Regimental Accolade is also the source of the Regimental Salute.
All enlisted soldiers deliver the regimental salute to officers and from junior officers to senior officers. The salute is derived from the regimental accolade and is performed as follows:
Lone Junior in class exclaims, "Always Ready, Sir"
Single senior in class replies: "Always Ready"
The regiment's motto is "Remember your regiment and follow your officers." These were the words spoken to his dragoons by Captain Charles A. May in 1846, just before their valiant attack on Resaca de la Palma.
It is customary for the regimental commander to sign all correspondence within the Dragoon battle group and affiliations such as the 2nd Cavalry Association so that his number is given in chronological order of command e.g. "70. Colonel of the regiment."
The regiment's birthday is celebrated on May 23rd every year. On May 23, 1836, the United States Congress declared: "...it be resolved that, under the direction of the President of the United States, it shall be raised and organized to accept the service of volunteers and raise an additional regiment of dragoons or mounted riflemen, and it is further decreed that under the direction of the President of the United States an additional regiment of dragoons or mounted riflemen shall be raised and organized, to be composed of equal numbers and ranks of officers, corporals, musicians, and privates, who form the regiment of dragoons now in the service of the United States, who receive the same salaries and allowances, are subject to the same rules and regulations, and are hired in all respects on the same terms and on the same terms - as was done for said regiment of dragoons , which is now in service, is mandatory.”
On June 15, 1836, the Army Headquarters in Washington D.C. the General Order No. 38, which stated: “The Second Regiment of Dragoons shall be recruited and organized with as little delay as possible, and the various officers appointed shall report for orders and recruiting instructions to the colonel of the regiment, who shall be his recruiting headquarters centralized and will report to the Adjutant General.
Regimental Organization Day
Regimental Organization Day is celebrated on May 9th every year. This date was chosen to commemorate the brave attack of Captain Charles A. May's dragoons at Resaca de La Palma in 1846.
The organization flag of a mounted unit has traditionally been referred to as the "standard" as opposed to the "colors" carried by dismounted units. The regimental standard is the most visible symbolic representation of the regiment. The standard and accompanying set of national colors are displayed in the Regimental Commanders' Office and worn at all regiment ceremonies and formations. When a new standard is issued, the old one is withdrawn from service and kept at the Reed Museum. Many earlier standards are on display at the Reed Museum, the oldest dating from 1861.
Regimental Color Guards and Color Bearers
The Regimental Color Guard is detailed on a squadron rotation basis. The Squadron Command Sergeant Major is responsible for training Color Guard members. During regimental formations, the color guard is overseen by the Regimental Command Sergeant Major.
Regimental pass in review
The order to pass the regiment or any element of it in a review during a parade or ceremony is given in the following manner:
Control Officer: "Second Dragoons - Pass in Review"
The Dragoon Band, if formed, consists of volunteer soldiers from across the regiment. They are usually brought together to play for different regimental functions. The earliest record of the dragoon band is at the Battle of Buena Vista in 1847, when they played "Hail Columbus" as the regiment entered the city. The Regimental Band was an integral part of the Regiment until the late 1970s.
In the fall of 1998, the regiment began training and equipping the regimental fifes and drums of the Second Dragoons. This volunteer unit can trace its heritage with the Second Dragoons to the regiment's earliest days. It is said that at one of the first regimental ceremonies, the army band scheduled for the performance was delayed. Some of the regiment's members, with strong Celtic backgrounds, whipped out their Highland bagpipes and played a traditional Scottish tune. The regimental fifes and drums played at squadron and regiment changes of command, formal occasions and other ceremonies. It played at dedication ceremonies in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as at Mardi Gras parades in the home station area of Ft. Polk, Louisiana.
After the dissolution of that group, Merritt Powell, one of the founding members, continued on his own as an Honorary Regimental Piper, playing at Dragoon funerals, homecoming and deployment ceremonies when he was able.
The regiment's official song is "Hit the Leather and Ride" by Captain Meredith Wilson in 1903. It praises the infantry "behind us" but promises "they'll have to eat cavalry dust to find us."
"Hit the Leather and Ride"
It's far - from San Juan Hill to the gallant twenty-sixth in Bataan -
Now the spurs mix their jingling with the jingling of a tank; —
Our scouts scout to protect the Yankee flank; —
Our mechanized security is money in the bank; —
It's the cavalry rolling up -
We'll hit the leather and ride, take it all in our step, hit the leather and ride all the way, -
And though we're glad to have the infantry behind us, -
They'll have to eat cavalry dust to find us, -
Let every galloping Yankee's son hop in a saddle or tank, "Hit the Leather and Ride" all the way, -
Though some are mechanized, you'll recognize the outfit, -
Today we ride like hell for leather, -
Today we ride like hell for leather, -
Let your spurs rip!
Let the load begin!
Let the rally order — — roll through the valley like a drum roll — —
Make hooves ring true - - in a wild tattoo!
Colonel Teddy and Custer know how we're going to line up when the big day comes -
The official regimental march is 'In the second cavalry' and dates from at least 1900 and compares life in the cavalry to the other branches. Sergeant Jack Leonard, who served with the regiment in the 1880s, provided a chorus. The melody comes from the old song "Crambambuli". In 1903 the men of the regiment also used these amusing lines to compare their lot with that of their comrades in the other branches:
"In the Second Cavalry"
Oh it's groom, groom, groom!
It's the fate of the soldier
If he enlists in the cavalry:
And it's work, work, work
You can't really get away from that
If you are in artillery;
But it's drill, drill, drill
When you're not at the mill
In the second cavalry.
It was eighteen thirty-six
That we fought in the Everglades;
When we showed the Seminole the trick
That from memory never fades;
We've been in many fights since
Because that's where we belong;
So we got the right we deserved
Men to sing the song of this regiment
Chor: Dust, dust, dust
Is the lot of the soldier
When he joins the cavalry.
And it means hiking, hiking, hiking
what they don't like
For our friends, the infantry;
Oh, it's shoot, shoot, shoot
When the trumpets sound
And it's fight, fight, fight
For the right of your country
In the second cavalry.
When the trumpet sounds, it's firing
Stop it, and we may lower our war flag
We are always ready to say the least
Flirt with a pretty girl.
Because when making love or on a call from work,
Unser Motto ist „Always Ready“,
Oh, a soldier's life is the best of all
So today we sing with a will.
Let's sing a song to the cavalry
We'll follow where it leads
We love his yellow standards,
All lined with gallant deeds.
So here's for the horses and the brave riders
Free in the trot and canter,
To the rush and the rush and the savage
Dashing cavalry melee.
When the trumpets sound and the chargers
spring and the lines of foes roll,
Then dearer are the ways of war,
To the boys of spur and steel.
With "Old Glory" light through the dusty
light and our guides float free,
For the ranks of war, it's hip, hip, hooray!
In the second cavalry.
The Regimental Museum (formerly known as the Trophy Room) was renamed in 1980 after Colonel Charles H. Reed, the regiment's 31st Colonel. The collection underwent a complete renovation and transformation beginning in July 1998, culminating in a grand reopening in October 1999. Items of historical importance in the museum focus on telling the history and history of the oldest continuously serving mounted regiment in the US Army through the exhibition of artifacts and art. Among the collection is a silver tea service presented to the regiment by Mrs. George S. Patton, Jr. in recognition of the regiment's part in planning and conducting General Patton's funeral. Also found are the regiment's original 1836 descriptive scrolls, which stand alongside the scrolls of the Dragoons' Squadron of Honour. In addition, many of the regiment's prints by Don Stivers, a well-known American military history artist, are incorporated into the storyline along with numerous other artifacts depicting the history of the regiment.
The Reed Museum moved to Ft. Lewis with the regiment in 2004, and when the Dragoons moved their permanent home back to Germany in the fall of 2006, the museum was boxed and moved to Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany, where it was stored during the regiment's 2007-08 remained deployed in Iraq and is currently being recovered.
The regimental colors are orange and gold. Orange reminds us of the orange trim on the Dragoon uniform and gold reminds us of the eight-pointed star worn on the Dragoon shako.
Image of the Regimental Commander
On the day of the change of command, the photograph of the outgoing regiment commander is placed in chronological order with his predecessors at the regiment's headquarters.
Gift of the regimental commander
The outgoing regiment commander usually presents a gift of historical importance, which is given a place of honor in the regiment's museum.
Almighty, merciful and loving Father, we praise and bless you for bringing us all together to celebrate this meal. We bless you for all the good gifts we receive from you, especially for peace and freedom. We ask you now to bless us for your ministry and this sustenance that we will receive from your generosity for our good. Father of all mercy, praise and glory to you today and forever. Amen.
Almighty, merciful and loving Father, you are the one who hears all our prayers and answers our requests. We, the Soldiers of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, ask you to remember, as we do, the tremendous sacrifices made by those who have gone before us. They gave their lives so that we could live and breathe freely. We ask you to take them into your hands. Father, give us the strength and wisdom to learn from their example to uphold liberty and life at home and around the world. Keep us alert as we guard the borders of freedom. Give our leaders the wisdom and power to lead well. Give us all courage and confidence.
Be a wise counselor to us all soldiers to keep the peace and a strong shield for us against our enemies. Oh Heavenly Father, give us the resolve that the peace and freedom won at such a great cost endure!
Father, hold all the soldiers of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in your almighty hand and protect us in the shadow of your wings. Amen.
Custom of reporting and leaving the regiment
Immediately after an officer or non-commissioned officer has been assigned to the regiment, it is common for a letter of welcome to be sent from the regiment to the individual. In the case of an officer, the regimental commander sends the letter, while the regimental command sergeant major sends the letter of welcome to a non-commissioned officer. This letter will usually contain all the information needed to orient the individual and facilitate their immediate adjustment to their prospective duties and new position. All new officers normally report to the Regimental Adjutant or Squadron Adjutant and are approached by the Regimental or Squadron Commander at the appropriate time. At this point, the new officer will be guided by the regiment's duties and organization, the new officer's likely assignment, and perhaps the history, customs, and traditions of the regiment. On leaving the regiment, whether for civilian life or for a new assignment, it is customary for all officers to pay their respects personally to the regiment or squadron commander.
births in the regiment
After the birth of a child of an officer of the regiment, the colonel of the regiment presents a “baby cup” to the new dragoon on behalf of the officer treasury.
deaths in the regiment
When the regiment is in garrison and one of its officers, non-commissioned officers, or enlisted men dies, memorial services are held in the chapel by the squadron to which the individual was assigned. The squadron chaplain conducts the services and honors are given according to the rank of the deceased. It is customary for the regimental standard to be present at services and for the regimental commander, regimental commander sergeant major, respective squadron commander and squadron command sergeant major to be present.
Regimental Formals are held twice a year and include a ball and dinner. As with any other regimental function, the regimental standard is in place and the regimental command sergeant major is responsible for deployment and retirement.
Historical regimental toast
I propose a toast:
TO THE HARD DRAGOONS WHO RIDE WEST FROM THE FLORIDA EVERGLADES TO THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS, SECURE THE BORDERS OF OUR ADVANCED CIVILIZATION AND LEAD THE VICTORY MARCH TO MEXICO CITY.
TO THE CAVALRYMAN WHO ARRIVED WITH MCCLELLAN AND SHERIDAN IN THE BITTER BATTLES BETWEEN STATES AND THEN WON THE WEST FOR A GROWING NATION.
TO THE CAVALRYMAN WHO FIGHTED IN CUBA, THE PHILIPPINES AND FRANCE DURING WORLD WAR I.
TO THE MECHANIZED CAVALRYMAN WHO GIVED THE SHARP POINT TO THE SPEAR THAT PATTON WENT THROUGH THE HEART OF EUROPE.
TO THOSE ARMORED CAVALRYMAN WHO GUARDED A DIFFICULT PEACE ALONG THE BORDERS OF THE FREE WORLD UNTIL THE WALLS CALL DOWN LIKE JERICHO.
AND TO THE TROOPER WHO LEAD A 150 KM ATTACK INTO IRAQ.
YES, I BRING A TOAST TO MANY MEN - MANY MEN WHO ARE ONE.
I offer a toast to this dedicated combat professional,
THE 2D UNITED STATES CAVALRY TROOPER.
Historical regimental punch mix and ceremony
Add a bottle of each to the Regimental punch:
Cold Duck (champagne and red wine) Bacardi's Rum
Roggenwhisky Old Bordeaux
Double Napoleon Brandy
Southern Comfort Wodka
Evian Water Sliwowitz
Two non-alcoholic beers from Sharp
While the regimental punch is being prepared, read the following aloud:
The 2nd Regiment of Cavalry was organized as the 2nd Regiment of Dragoons in 1836 to fight the Seminole Indians in Florida. The dragoons wore an eight-pointed star as a cap decoration, which today forms the background of the regimental coat of arms. The palmetto leaf superimposed on the star symbolizes the five years that the Dragoons fought in the Everglades and swamps. Pour half a bottlefineAndred winevia dry ice to commemorate her baptism in battle.
A year after the Seminole Campaign, units of the regiment added three more streamers to the Dragoon banner for battles against the Cheyenne, Nez Perces, and Bannocks in the Southwest Territories. PourRye Whiskeyabove the dry ice to symbolize the taste for this drink that the soldiers developed.
Add toTequilafor the fourteen campaigns fought in Mexico in 1846 and 1847.
Doubleadded for Captain May's headless attack on the blazing Mexican artillery at Resaca de la Palma. "Remember your regiment and obey your officers!" was called Captain May, and it became the regiment's motto.
During the Civil War, the 2nd Dragoons officially became the US 2nd Cavalry Regiment and earned 14 Battle Streamers for engagements such as Chancellorsville, Shenandoah, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Gettysburg. Add at this pointSouthern comfortfor punch.
From 1866 to 1880 the regiment fought again against the Indians in Wyoming, Kansas, Montana and the Little Big Horn. In memory of this, add the last of thefineAndred wine.
In 1898 the 2d Cav entered the Spanish-American War and fought alongside Roosevelt's Rough Riders. Add nowBacardi Rumto represent the streamer for Santiago.
The regiment entered World War I and was the only unit to fight as cavalry - horses and all. For places like the Argonne and the Marne, add the French wine,Alter Bordeaux. “Toujours Pret!” (Always Ready) was added to the crest as well as the fleur-de-lis.
Renamed 2d Cavalry Group, Mechanized, the regiment entered World War II, landed in Normandy in 1944 and received a PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION and the Belgian Croix De Guerre for the Battle of Bastogne. Other elements of the regiment fought in the Pacific Theater and earned Philippine Presidential Commendations. Pour now for these actionsNapoleon Brandy.
The next campaign liquor used in this historic punch, vodka, represents the Ryukyus battle that took place at the end of World War II.
The regiment was renamed the 2nd Police Regiment and served in the German occupation. In 1940 it became the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment and began border service along the longest stretch of the Iron Curtain patrolled by American forces.Rheinweinsymbolizes the Central European campaign, the journey through Germany and the long Cold War.
The next ingredient you must add to your historic punch is the one that sustained the regiment's fighting spirit and panache throughout its combat in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait -Evian-Wasser.
Flexibility and versatility are hallmarks of the Second Dragoons, and the regiment proved this again in Haiti. As a member of the Multi-National Task Force, the regiment had clocked more accident-free miles, eaten more dust, and drunk less beer than any unit in recent memory. To commemorate our Haitian experience and the "two beer limit," add2 non-alcoholic beers from Sharpas the next ingredient.
Again responding to the nation's call, the regiment was deployed to the Balkans as part of the Stabilization Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. A bottle in honor of our Balkan peacekeepersSlivovitz (plum brandy)is added to the mixture.
Now for the toughest task of all...drinking that punch!!!
The Second Dragoons and Their Special Relationships
The Spanish Riding School
The Spanish Riding School, one of Austria's most famous attractions, is home to the world-famous Lipizzaner stallions. The origin of the breed goes back to the Austrian Imperial Stud Lipizza in 1850. The stables were originally located near Trieste, Italy, in the former part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
In the closing days of World War II, the regiment played an important role in the school's survival. In 1944 the school's priceless stud farm had been relocated to Hostau, Czechoslovakia, to protect it from the dangers of Allied air raids. In April 1945, with American forces advancing from the west and Soviet forces from the east, Colonel Charles H. Reed, 31st Colonel in the regiment, decided to capture Hostau. This action liberated a large group of Allied POWs and saved the famous horses from safe confiscation by the Soviets.
After coordinating with the German commander of the Hostau site for its surrender and with higher headquarters for approval, soldiers of the 42nd Squadron (now the 2nd Squadron) advanced into the city. The soldiers of the 42nd then herded, rode and transported the horses to the Bavarian town of Kotzting. In 1960, Walt Disney Productions released a full-length (albeit historically flawed) film entitled Miracle of the White Stallions to capture these momentous events.
In 1955 the Spanish Riding Schools finally returned to Vienna. Since then, these magnificent horses have entertained hundreds of thousands of spectators in Austria and around the world. In August 1985, the regiment was ceremonially honored for its service by the Mayor of Vienna.
In September 1944, the regiment, then known as the 2nd Cavalry Group, liberated the small town of Lunéville in the Lorraine region of France for the second time, having already done so in 1918. Every year since 1945, the inhabitants of Lunéville have celebrated this liberation of their city, which has been attended by a delegation from the regiment every year since 1972.
In 1944, Patton's Third Army advanced across France, pushing hard toward Germany. At the head was the 2nd Cavalry Group. The regiment punched a large dent known as the Nancy salient in the 5th Panzer Army's line. This enemy force represented the largest concentration of German armor since Normandy, and consisted of no fewer than five armored divisions and five brigades.
The defense of Lunéville, forced to halt the advance, is now considered a classic cavalry action. Early warning of the German counterattack by the vigilant cavalry scouts and the valuable time gained by vigorous delaying action helped secure the key crossing at Lunéville. The subsequent attack of the XV. Corps on one flank and a brilliant anti-tank defense by the 4th Panzer Division on the other resulted in such heavy tank losses that the enemy would not attempt another full-scale counterattack three months later.
On May 8, 1945, after the capitulation, hundreds of thousands of German soldiers were deported to Russian, British, French and American prisoner of war camps. However, the 11th Armored Division found extraordinary help from the 2nd Cavalry Group (Mechanized). To evade the Red Army, the 11th Panzer Division, with 16,000 men and 4,000 vehicles, made contact with the 2nd Cavalry at Pilsen. Busy with the evacuation of about 534 purebred Lipizzaners from Hostau to Bavaria, it took May 8-12 (1945) to negotiate a surrender.
The town of Kotzting had a long tradition of a religious pilgrimage on horseback, which took place every year at Pentecost in May. In 1945 the city approached the 2nd Cavalry and asked permission to hold this celebration. It was granted, but serious problems still threatened the ceremony. The central figure of the pilgrimage, the "bridegroom", was Mr. Frans Oexler, then a prisoner of war with the 11th tank personnel. Also, there were no horses. Captain Fred Sperl was instrumental in solving these problems. Since the 11th tank soldiers were to be processed for dismissal, Frans Oexler became dismissal number 1 and was allowed to borrow a Lipizzaner as a mount.
The tradition has continued over the years and the people of Kotzting have not forgotten the goodwill of the Second Cavalry. In May 1985, 40 years after the events described above, a delegation from the Regimental Headquarters, the Regimental Band and the 2nd Cavalry Association took part in the pilgrimage in Kötzting.
Contact with the town of Kotzting was resumed in July 2014 with the intention of renewing relations with the club, the regiment and the reed museum.
2nd Cavalry Association
The Second Cavalry Association was founded in 1899. It is a private organization of people who have served with the regiment. It is today the oldest veteran organization formed around a specific entity. Membership is open to any member or former member of the regiment. The association publishes a newsletter for membersthoroughbred. For more information, contact the Regimental PAO or correspond directly with the Association: 2d Cavalry Association, 151 Sargent Street, Newton, MA 02458
The association operates the gift shop known as The Spur of the Moment and supports the Reed Museum. The Association was the main sponsor and support for the Regimental Pipes and Drums.
Currently, the Association funds such projects as the Wounded Warrior Program, Association Scholarship Program, Regimental Memorial and Awards Program, Family Readiness Group Program, and numerous other programs that support 2nd Troops Dragoons, veterans and their families.
The association acts as the regimental commander's and regiment's representative at all Army medical centers throughout the continental United States to track and assist our wounded warriors. The association also represents the regiment commander and the regiment at all funeral services for our fallen dragoons.