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Cav Divison

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Cav Divison

1st Cavalry Division In Vietnam

The 1st Cavalry Division (1st Cav Div) is a heavy armored division of the United States Army with base of operations in Fort Hood, Texas. It is the largest division of the U.S. Army with 16,700 soldiers. Currently the 1st Cavalry Division is attached to the U.S. Army III Corps and is commanded by Major General Joseph F. Fil, Jr.

On a yellow triangular Norman shield with rounded corners 5 1/4 inches in height overall, a black diagonal stripe extending over the shield from upper left to lower right and in the upper right a black horse's head cut off diagonally at the neck all within a 1/8 inch green border.

Symbolism: Yellow, the traditional cavalry color, and the horse's head refer to the division's original cavalry structure. Black, symbolic of iron, alludes to the transition to tanks and armor. The black diagonal stripe represents a sword baldric and is a mark of military honor; it also implies movement "up the field" and thus symbolizes aggressive elan and attack. The one diagonal bend, as well as the one horse's head, also alludes to the division's numerical designation.

Background: The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved January 3, 1921 with several variations in colors of the bend and horse's head to reflect the subordinate elements of the division. The current design was authorized for wear by all subordinate elements of the division on December 11, 1934 and previous authorization for the variations was cancelled. See Patches of the 1st Cavalry Division for current versions.

The history of the 1st Cavalry Division begins in 1855, when the unit then designated as the 1st Cavalry Regiment was formed. In 1861 it was redesignated the 5th Cavalry. This unit participated in several battles in the American Civil War, including Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, Wilderness, and Appomattox.(Arthur,14)

The Army established a permanent cavalry division Table of Organization & Equipment on 4 April 1921. It authorized a Square Division organization of 7,463 Officers and Men, organized as follows:

• Headquarters Element (34 men)

• Two Separate Cavalry Brigades (2,803 men each)

• Field Artillery Battalion (790 men)

• Engineer Battalion (357 men)

• Division Quartermaster Trains Command (276 men)

• Special Troops Command (337 men)

• Ambulance Company (63 men)

On 20 August 1921, the War Department Adjutant General constituted the 1st and 2d Cavalry Divisions to meet partial mobilization requirements, and authorized the establishment of the 1st Cavalry Division under the new TO&E on 31 August 1920. Since 1st Cavalry Division was to assemble from existing units, it was able to go active in September, 1920, even though the subordinate units did not arrive at their assigned stations completely until as late as 1922.

1st Cavalry Division was assigned to the VIII Corps Area, with its Division Headquarters and 2d Brigade located at Fort Bliss, Texas, and the 1st Brigade at Douglas, Arizona. The Headquarters facilities used by 1st Cavalry Division were those previously vacated by 8th United States Brigade when it was commanded by MG John J. Pershing in 1916, and the wartime 15th Cavalry Division, which had existed at Fort Bliss between 10 December 1917 and 12 May 1918.

Headquarters, 2nd Cavalry Brigade, had existed at Fort Bliss since 10 December 1917, when it was part of the wartime 15th Cavalry Division. Headquarters, 2nd Cavalry Brigade was deactivated in July of 1919, and was reactivated at Fort Bliss on 31 August 1920.

Headquarters, 1st Cavalry Brigade had previously existed at Fort Sam Houston, but their quarters had been vacated when 1st Cavalry Brigade deactivated in July of 1919. These facilities passed to the 2nd Infantry Division when they returned from France. 1st Cavalry Brigade was reactivated on 31 August 1920 at Douglas, Arizona, occupying the facilities left vacant when Headquarters, 3rd Cavalry Brigade was deactivated in July, 1919.

First Cavalry Division’s Troop List was slowly assembled. The 1st, 7th, and 8th Cavalry Regiments had previously been assigned to the wartime 15th Cavalry Division until they were returned to the VIII Corps Area Troop List on 12 May 1918. 1st Cavalry Regiment remained so assigned until it was transferred to 1st Cavalry Division on 20 August 1921. The 7th, 8th, and 10th Cavalry Regiments were transferred on 13 September 1921, although the assignment of the 10th Cavalry Regiment to the 1st Cavalry Division was controversial because the transfer violated the Jim Crow laws.

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