104th Cavalry Regiment
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|104th Cavalry Regiment|
coat of arms
|Branch||Pennsylvania Army National Guard|
|Motto||OVER, UNDER OR THROUGH|
|Distinctive Unit Insignia|
|U.S. Cavalry Regiments|
|103rd Cavalry||105th Cavalry|
The 104th Cavalry Regiment wasn't actually raised until 1921 although some of its subordinate troops can trace their lineage back to the Revolutionary War & War of 1812. For example, Troop A, 1st Squadron, is also known as the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry, the oldest mounted unit in the United States Army. Troop B, 1st Squadron, is also known as the "State Fencibles" while Troop C, 1st Squadron, is also known as the "Governor's Troop."
The 104th Cavalry has gone through many configurations, its elements serving as the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry and the 8th Pennsylvania Infantry on Puerto Rico during the Spanish–American War.
On July 6, 1916, subordinate units of the regiment was mustered into Federal service for the Mexican border and stationed at El Paso, TX. The unit was mustered out on 22 January 1917.
On July 15, 1917, the regiment was drafted and mustered into Federal service for World War I as the 103rd Headquarters Troop, 28th Division; and on December 9, 1917, as 103rd Trench Mortar Battery, 53rd Field Artillery, 28th Division. It served in both France and Belgium and was mustered out on April 12, 1919, returning to state service with its headquarters at Harrisburg.
The 104th Cavalry Regiment was formed as a unit of the Pennsylvania National Guard on 1 June 1921 via conversion of the 8th Infantry Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard. The regiment eventually commanded three squadrons located at Tyrone, Carlisle, and Harrisburg, and was subordinated to the 21st Cavalry Division. The regiment confronted striking coal miners from July through September 1922 at Ebensburg and Cokeburg. The 104th Cavalry provided relief assistance during floods in 1936. The regiment was relieved from the 21st Cavalry Division and assigned to the 22nd Cavalry Division in January 1939. The regiment was re-titled the 104th Cav. Regt. (Horse and Mecz) on 23 September 1940 and was relieved from assignment to the 22nd Division the following month. On 17 February 1941, the regiment was inducted into federal service. After transfer to Salem, Oregon, the units of the regiment were retitled in this manner:
- Headquarters and Headquarters Troop became HHT, 104th Cavalry Group (Mechanized)
- 1st Squadron became the 104th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized)
- 2nd Squadron became the 119th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized)
The 104th Cavalry Group was not sent overseas. The group headquarters and the 119th C.R.S. were inactivated on 15 August 1944 at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma. The 104th C.R.S. was subordinated to the 115th Cavalry Group (Mechanized) and served in combat with the VI Corps in Germany in 1945. The 104th C.R.S. returned to the U.S. and was inactivated at Camp Miles Standish, Massachusetts, on October 22, 1945.
On August 25, 1952, the regiment was redesignated the 104th Armored Cavalry Regiment; on June 1, 1959, it was redesignated as the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, 103rd Armor; on April 1, 1963, the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, 223rd Cavalry; and finally, on 1 April 1, 1975, as the 1st Squadron, 104th Cavalry, headquartered in Philadelphia, PA.
On 28 May 2002, elements of the 1st Squadron, 104th Cavalry Regiment were mustered into Federal service as Task Force Saber. TF Saber deployed to Bosnia Herzegovina as a part of SFOR 12 for a NATO peacekeeping mission.
On 4 January 2005, Troop B 1/104 Cavalry, augmented with platoons from A and C Troops and teams from the 104th Long Range Surveillance Detachment were mustered into Federal Service as part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, and served in ar Ramadi, Iraq from July 2005 to July 2006 attached to the 2nd Marine Division and then the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
In 2003, the 2nd Squadron was reformed and the regiment's current configuration in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard is in two squadrons, one Armored (1st) and one Stryker (2nd). The 2nd Squadron deployed to Taji, Iraq in 2009. With several company sized elements working and living on J.S.S.'s (Joint Security Site) with their Iraqi counterparts.
First Squadron was one again called upon and deployed to the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt in 2008 as part of the 51st rotation of the Multinational Force and Observers.
As of 2013, the 1st Squadron is assigned to the 55th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, and is deployed to Kuwait. The 2nd Squadron is assigned to the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard. As with most other Army units, there is no regimental headquarters, although a ceremonial regimental dining in is held annually in the Philadelphia area.
Distinctive Unit Insignia
A circular device, 1 ¼ inches (3.18 cm) in diameter, with the Regimental motto “Over, Under or Through,” lettered around the outer circumference. Diagonal bar running from 10 o’clock to 4 o’clock, with horse’s head superimposed thereon and filling the center of the circle. Red keystone between horse’s head and 8 o’clock, fishtail cross between horse’s head and 1 o’clock. Outer circumference and horse’s head in yellow; motto and crossbar in blue; keystone in red; and fishtail cross in black.
The shield is of yellow – the Cavalry color; the blue bend is for service as Infantry; the black Maltese cross is for the service in Puerto Rico; the red keystone is the Divisional insignia of the Twenty Eighth Division in which elements of the First Cavalry and the Eighth Infantry served.
The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 104th Cavalry, Pennsylvania National Guard on 24 January 1924. It was redesignated for the 104th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized) on 8 June 1944. It was redesignated for the 104th Armored Cavalry Regiment on 25 August 1952. The insignia was redesignated for 104th Cavalry Regiment on 9 May 1989. It was amended to correct the previous designation dates and the symbolism on 17 October 2003.
Coat Of Arms
Or on a bend Azure five mullets of the first between in sinister chief a Maltese cross Sable and in dexter base a keystone Gules.
That for the regiments and separate battalions of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard: On a wreath of the colors Or and Azure a lion rampant guardant Proper, holding in dexter paw a naked scimitar Argent hilted Or and in sinister an escutcheon on a fess Sable three plates. Motto OVER, UNDER OR THROUGH.
The shield is of yellow – the Cavalry color; the blue bend is for service as Infantry; the black Maltese cross is for the service in Puerto Rico; the red keystone is the Divisional insignia of the Twenty Eighth Division in which elements of the First Cavalry and the Eighth Infantry served, and the five stars represent the five major operations of the Twenty Eight Division.
The crest is that of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.
The coat of arms was originally approved for the 104th Cavalry Regiment, Pennsylvania National Guard on 3 January 1924. It was redesignated for the 104th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized) on 6 June 1944. It was redesignated for the 104th Armored Cavalry Regiment on 25 August 1952. The coat of arms was redesignated for the 104th Cavalry Regiment on 9 May 1989.
- 1st Squadron 104th Cavalry Regiment (United States)
- 2nd Squadron 104th Cavalry Regiment (United States)
- Clay, p. 629.
- Stanton, p. 317.
- Stanton, p. 310.
- Clay, Steven E., U.S. Army Order of Battle 1919-1941 (Vol. 2), Fort Leavenworth: Combat Studies Institute Press, 2010.
- Stanton, Shelby, U.S. Army Order of Battle in World War II, New York: Galahad Books, 1994.
- Historical register and dictionary of the United States Army, from ..., Volume 1 By Francis Bernard Heitman 
- Encyclopedia of United States Army insignia and uniforms By William K. Emerson (page 51).