1st Squadron - 10th Cavalry Regiment
As of January 1st, 2006, the 1st Squadron- 10th Cavalry Regiment of 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, has been operating out of Forward Operating base Kalsu, located in Iskanderyah, Iraq. The units mission along with that of the 2nd Brigade was to train Iraqi Security Forces to conduct operations independent of coalition assistance.
On order, 1st Squadron, 10th U.S. Cavalry, deploys, prepares for combat operations, and on order conducts ground reconnaissance and security operations. Historically known as the "Buffalo Soldiers," the squadron provided increased security and reconnaissance.
While the 2nd Brigade gained new technology and capabilities, it lost 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor, which transferred to the new 4th Brigade Combat Team. However, 2nd Brigade Combat Team gained 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 4th Infantry Division's cavalry squadron. Instead of having just a troop, the Brigade will have a whole squadron. The new assignment has brought on a long adjustment period for the soldiers of 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry.
Before the 2004 restructuring process, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, soldiers were equipped with OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters and M1A2 Abrams tanks as the primary weapons platforms used to complete their missions of conducting reconnaissance, which provided the division freedom to maneuver. 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, is now composed of mostly cavalry scouts. It has 23 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, is slated to have 30 Humvees and will work with 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation, for air reconnaissance support.
The squadron began transforming in early summer 2004 in accordance to the Army's modular transformation plans. By fall, it had moved the OH-58Ds to other divisions with most of the helicopters going to Fort Bragg, N.C.; the M1A2s went back to the plant in Lima, Ohio and the armor crewmen were transferred to combined arms battalions within 4th Infantry Division. It has become a lighter, stealthier organization.
Instead of being the "eyes and ears" of the division, the mission shifted to work as scout teams for 2nd Brigade Combat Team. The squadron consisted of six platoons, each with five Humvees and three Bradleys. The unit started training on the Bradleys and with 1 st Battalion, 4th Aviation. After more internal reorganization, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, was slated to begin building unit cohesion by training on platoon lanes with other units in the brigade.
Following the end of the Civil War, the United States began its great expansion westward. To protect the settlers and to aid in the opening of the west. The Regular Army Cavalry was increased by four regiments. One of those four regiments was the 10th Cavalry, activated at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on July 28, 1866, under the command of Colonel Benjamin H. Grierson.
The 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment was originally constituted on 28 July 1866 in the Regular Army as Company A, 10th Cavalry. It organized on 18 February 1867 at Fort Leavenworth, KS. It should be noted that cavalry companies officially were redesignated as troops in 1883.
The 10th was formed as a regiment of Negro Volunteers, composed of freed slaves from the southern states and some veterans of the Civil War. In July 1867, the 10th Cavalry reached full strength and moved to Fort Riley, Kansas, to take up its first duty assignment patrolling the Kansas and Pacific Railroad. Before the year ended, the regiment joined General Phil Sheridan to ride against Black Kettle's Band of Cheyenne; the most respected tribe of the Plains Indians. During this period, Captain L.H. Carpenter, Commanding Officer of H Troop, won the regiments first Congressional Medal of Honor in a 26 hour fight against an outnumbering enemy force. The 10th Cavalry as a unit was cited for gallantry by General Sheridan.
As the Indian threat in Kansas diminished, the 10th moved south to the Oklahoma Territory, building the post that is now know as Fort Sill. During their stay in Oklahoma, the troopers of the regiment fought the Commanche and earned from them the name of "Buffalo Soldiers". The term still lives today as the main symbol of the regiment.
In 1874, the Commanche were beaten and the 10th Cavalry rode west to Texas to fight the Apaches. In July 1880, Chief Victorio and his band broke from their New Mexico reservation and began a reign of murder and pillage through Texas. The 10th Cavalry chased Victorio into Mexico and defeated him. As order was being restored in Texas, Geronimo rose as a threat in Arizona and the 10th was called upon to counter him in 1885. For two years the unit fought Geronimo and his renegade band. During one pitched battle, Lieutenant Powhatten Clark rushed through a hail of bullets to the side of a wounded comrade and carried him to safety. The lieutenant won the second Congressional Medal of Honor in the 10th Cavalry history. The Apaches were finally subdued and the Regiment was returned to garrison duty, patrolling the Apache Reservation.
In 1898, the Spanish-American War began and the 10th Cavalry was among the vanguard of American troops that were sent ashore in Cuba. They fought at Las Guasimas, Santiago, and charged San Juan Hill alongside the "Rough Riders" of Teddy Roosevelt. The Commander of D troop, Lieutenant John J. Pershing, received the Silver Star for his bravery during this campaign. Sergeant Major Edward Baker Jr. and four troopers also received the Congressional Medal of Honor. In the years following the Spanish-American War, the 10th served in Cuba on occupation duty in the Philippines riding against the insurgents of Aguinseldo and at Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont.
In 1913, the regiment returned to the southwest for duty at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, patrolling the Mexican Border. Pancho Villa, the infamous Mexican bandit, raided Columbus, New Mexico in 1916. The 10th Cavalry joined the expedition sent into Mexico to subdue him. In one engagement with the bandits, E Troop made military history by being the first Army unit to use overhead machine-gun fire to support advancing friendly forces. The declaration of was against Germany in 1917 caused many members of the Regiment to tune their ears for an assignment overseas, but the 10th was destined to remain on the border and fight in the last recorded Indian fight in the United States - a fire fight with a small band of Yaqui Indians just west of Nogales, Arizona.
The 10th Cavalry itself was assigned to 1st Cavalry Division from 13 September 1921-18 December 1922; and reassigned to the 2nd Cavalry Division from 24 March 1923-15 August 1927; to the 3d Cavalry Division from 15 August 1927-10 October 1940; and to the 2nd Cavalry Division 10 October 1940.
The 10th Cavalry left Fort Huachuca in 1931 and was assigned to various posts around the country including Fort Meyers, Fort Leavenworth, and West Point. In 1941, with World War II on the horizons, the regiment was brought back together at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After training for deployment, the regiment was sent overseas, however, it was inactivated shipboard off of the coast of Africa on March 10, 1944, and the personnel transferred to other units [other accounts state that it inactivated on 20 March 1944 at Algiers, North Africa].
The unit was redesignated on 20 October 1950 as Company A, 510th Tank Battalion with the 10th Cavalry concurrently being relieved from assignment to 2nd Cavalry Division. It activated on 17 November 1950 at Camp Polk, LA. The 510th Tank Battalion was sent to Germany as a member of the U.S. Army Europe. It inactivated on 1 May 1958 in Germany.
Redesignated 10 June 1958 as Troop A (Reconnaissance), 10th Cavalry, it activated on 25 June 1958 at Fort Knox, KY.
In 1957, the adoption of the Combat Arms Regiment System saw the rebirth of the 10th Cavalry Regiment. The 510th Tank Battalion was inactivated ant the 10th was reborn on June 25, 1958. Reorganized and redesignated on 1 September 1963 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry; it was concurrently transferred (less personnel and equipment) from Fort Knox, KY, to Fort Lewis, WA, and assigned to the 4th Infantry Division (with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated).At Fort Lewis, the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry trained and maintained its readiness to serve as the eyes and ears of the 4th Infantry Division.
Early in 1966, when the 4th Infantry Division was alerted for deployment to the Republic of South Viet Nam, the 1st Squadron also started its preparation. B Troop was the first unit in the Squadron to be deployed to Viet Nam, on August 6, 1966. The remainder of the Squadron followed soon after, with C Troop being the last to arrive on October 11, 1966. It was a member of D Troop that received the first Distinguished Flying Cross awarded to a member of the 4th Infantry Division in Viet Nam. Warrant Officer Ernest V. Hansel was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and as a result the Army Airfield at Camp Enari, RVN, was dedicated to his memory, bearing his name.
The Squadron was awarded its first unit citation for action at LZ Oasis in May 1969. The Valorous Unit Award was presented to the Squadron for the heroic defense of the landing zone against the determined attack of a battalion sized enemy force. During its deployment to Viet Nam with the 4th Infantry Division, the Squadron earned 12 campaign streamers. The 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry moved to Fort Carson, Colorado with the 4th Infantry Division on November 8, 1971, where it remained until January 16, 1987. It then moved to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where it was redesignated Task Force 1-10 Armor.
On June 4, 1993, the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry returned to its old home and mission, once again becoming the vanguard of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Carson Colorado. The 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) was transferred to Fort Hood, Texas on December 15, 1995, and once again the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry was in Texas preparing for the day that the troopers of the Squadron, with saber in hand, will follow the Cavalry Guidon to where ever duty may call. Long live the Buffalo Soldier.
In March 2003, the 1st Squadron, 10th United States Cavalry (The 4th ID’s Cavalry Squadron) deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Squadron crossed the border into Iraq in the early dawn hours of 14 April 2004 leading the 4th Infantry Division north from Kuwait; in it’s combat operations since the Vietnam War. The Squadron led the division up Highway 1 thru Baghdad, Taji, and on to Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, destroying resistance from Iraqi forces. The Squadron secured and held multiple airfields, and military complexes for later use by follow-on forces as far north as K2 Airfield near Bayji.
In June, the Squadron conducted a grueling forced march of nearly 200 kilometers from K2 airfield to the Iran-Iraq border to stop Iranian infiltration into Iraq, demonstrating remarkable endurance. Cavalry troops occupied the border cities, destroyed enemy resistance and conducted civil military operations, assuming responsibility for 336.5 km of border. (A Brigade sized area, with a third of the equipment and personnel) Over the next four months the Squadron stood up, trained, and equipped Iraq Border Police and other security forces, 1600 Iraqis in all first under 2nd Brigade then under 4th Aviation Brigade. The 10th Cavalry troopers screened the inhospitable border region, providing medical care, food, and water to over 27,000 pilgrims in a massive humanitarian undertaking.
In October, the Squadron conducted air combat operations across the division’s area, launching Scout/Attack helicopter teams in support of divisional units during Operation IVY TYPHOON. In this operation, 1-10 CAV helicopters patrolled HWY 1 from Taji to outside Tikrit dramatically reducing IED emplacement along this major highway. The helicopters of Squadron flew more combat hours than any other unit in the Iraqi Theater of Operations.
In November 2003, the Commanding General of 4ID(M) ordered the Squadron to conduct strike force operations and moved the Squadron to the Tikrit area to stop guerilla activity. The Squadron quickly captured the terrorist ring that had shot down two Blackhawk helicopters prior to the Squadron’s arrival. In less than a month, the Squadron stopped all guerilla activity in Eastern Tikrit. On the night of 13 December, the Squadron along with the 1st Brigade participated in a short-notice operation south of FOB Saber, near the town of Ad Dawr named Operation Red Dawn, the mission that captured Saddam Hussein.
In January, the CG 4ID(M) ordered Squadron to move to the Balad area to conduct further strike force operations securing the largest concentration of soldiers in Iraq - LSA
In operations throughout northern Iraq the Squadron conducted thousands of raids and patrols, and captured or killed nearly a thousand enemy combatants; in short, no other unit in the 4th Infantry Division moved or fought in more locations than the 1st Squadron, 10th United States Cavalry.