13 March 2009

1-8th Cavalry Regiment

1-8 over

The 1-8th Cavalry Regiment, or the Mustangs as they are known, is the first Unit in the Armed Forces to be featured as Good Sense’s Unit of the Week. This is the unit my father served with during his time with the United States Army. It is fitting that we begin this new feature with this Unit. Courtesy of the Mustangs’ website, I have included below a brief regimental history.

The 8th Cavalry was formed at Angel Island, California in 1866. Since then, 101 troopers of this highly decorated regiment have been awarded the Medal of Honor. The symbol of the 8th Cavalry is a white Mustang, proud and unconquered.

The 8th Cavalry fought throughout the West during the Indian Wars, served in Cuba and the Philippines, and patrolled the border with Mexico. Always ready to ride where needed, the Mustangs hold the record for the longest mounted move by any American cavalry regiment, 2447 miles from Fort Concho, Texas to Fort Keough, Montana in the 1880s. In 1921, the 8th Cavalry was one of the original units of the newly formed 1st Cavalry Division. During World War II, the 8th Cavalry saw action in Pacific and was the first unit to enter Manila.

The postwar years found the 8th Cavalry on occupation duty in Tokyo. Alerted in 1950, the Mustangs conducted the first amphibious landing of the Korean War and during the subsequent counteroffensive, were the first into the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. After the Korean War the 8th Cavalry remained in the Far East on duty in Japan and guarding the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. During the reorganization of the Army in the late 1950s, the regimental headquarters was disbanded and the 1st Squadron transitioned into the 1st Battle Group and then the 1st Mechanized Battalion, 8th Cavalry. Reassigned to Fort Benning, Georgia in 1965, the battalion was reorganized as an airborne and airmobile unit and immediately deployed to the Republic of Vietnam as the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 8th Cavalry, the Jumping Mustangs. Following a distinguished tour in Southeast Asia, the Mustangs returned to the United States with the 1st Cavalry Division. Stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, the battalion was reorganized as an armor unit. With the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the battalion deployed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

In June 1996, the Mustangs turned in their M1A1 tanks and became the third battalion in the United States Army to field the M1A2 Main Battle Tanks.

Here’s to the Mustangs!!!

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