91st Cavalry Regiment

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91st Cavalry Regiment (Airborne)
1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment Guidon.jpg
Squadron Colors
Active 1928
Country  United States
Allegiance Regular Army
Branch United States Army
Type Light Airborne Reconnaissance
Role Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting Acquisition
Part of 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne)
Garrison/HQ Tower Barracks
Grafenwoehr, Germany
Nickname "The Airborne Cav"
Motto "Alert"
Engagements World War II
Operation Enduring Freedom
Commanders
Current
commander
LTC Kyle Reed
Notable
commanders
CPT Harold G. Holt
LTC Harry W. Candler
LTC Charles A. Ellis
LTC H. Bruss
LTC Christopher Kolenda
LTC Paul W. Fellinger
LTC Whit Wright
Insignia
Distinctive Unit Insignia 91CavRegtDUI.jpg
Beret Flash 91CavRegt1SquadFlash.jpg
Background Trimming 91CavRegt1SquadTrim.jpg
U.S. Cavalry Regiments
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The 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment (Airborne) is a light Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron currently serving as the 173rd Airborne Brigade's Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting Acquisition (RSTA) Squadron based out of Tower Barracks in Grafenwoehr, Germany. It is the only U.S. Army Airborne RSTA Squadron within the European, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) area of responsibility. The 91st Reconnaissance Squadron was reactivated, reorganized and redesignated the 1st Squadron (Airborne), 91st Cavalry Regiment on 8 June 2006, at Conn Barracks in Schweinfurt, Germany. This reactivation was part of the transition of the 173rd Airborne Brigade to the U.S. Army's new modular force structure.

The 91st Reconnaissance Squadron was originally organized as a mechanized cavalry reconnaissance squadron in the 1st Cavalry Division. It was the oldest and most experienced squadron (battalion) size mechanized reconnaissance unit in the Army. It completed six campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy during World War II, while attached to various Infantry and Armored Divisions. The 91st Cav Recon Squadron was a nondivisional unit and reported directly to the Army's II Corps. The unit was deactivated on 23 June 1953. This reactivation was the first time the colors of the 1st Squadron (Airborne), 91st Cavalry Regiment had flown since the end of World War II. Organized as Task Force Saber, 1-91 CAV subsequently deployed twice with the International Security Assistance Force's (ISAF) Regional Command-East. During Operation Enduring Freedom VIII the Squadron deployed troops to the Nuristan, Kunar, Nangarhar, and Paktika Provinces of Eastern Afghanistan. During OEF X, the Squadron deployed troops to the Logar Province about 50 miles South of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. In June 2012, 1-91 CAV would return to Logar Province, Afghanistan once again in support of OEF XII-XIII. This time, the Squadron held a significant role as the Battle Space owner for nearly all of Logar Province. Soon after returning to Germany in March 2013, 1-91 CAV moved from Schweinfurt to Tower Barracks in Grafenwoehr due to a Brigade realignment and the imminent closure of Conn Barracks.

Lineage[edit]

  • 1st Armored Car Squadron (1928–1939)
  • 1st Reconnaissance Squadron (1939–1941)
  • 91st Reconnaissance Squadron (1941–1945)
  • 91st Reconnaissance Battalion (1950)
  • 91st Armored Cavalry Reconnaissance Battalion (1953)
  • 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment (ABN) (2006–Present)
Constituted in the R.A. on 16 October 1928 as the 1st Armored (Armd.) Car Squadron (Sq.), and assigned to the 1st Cav. Division (Div.). Concurrently, the 1st Armd. Car Troop (organized as Provisional Platoon, 1st Armd. Car Troop at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD, on 15 February 1928; redesignated 1st Armd. Car Troop on 10 June 1928) redesignated Troop A, 1st Armd. Car Sq. Remainder of squadron allotted to the Eighth Corps Area. Troop A transferred to Fort George G. Meade, MD, on 29 August 1928; to Fort Holabird, MD, on 1 October 1928; and finally to Fort Bliss, TX, arriving there on 10 November 1928. The squadron, less Troop A, was organized on 30 June 1932 with Organized Reserve (O.R.) personnel as an RAI unit with HQ at Fort Bliss. Reserve officers assigned to the squadron conducted summer training with Troop A at Fort Bliss. Redesignated 1st Rcn. Sq. on 1 March 1939. The remainder of the squadron was activated on 3 January 1941, less Reserve personnel, at Fort Bliss. Redesignated 91st Rcn. Sq. on 8 May 1941. Location 7 December 1941—Fort Bliss, TX.

Honors[edit]

Medal of Honor Recipients[edit]

  • 1LT Gerry H. Kisters - 31 July 1943, Nicosia, Gagliano, Italy
(From Citation) "...On 31 July 1943, near Gagliano, Sicily, a detachment of one officer and nine enlisted men, including Sergeant Kisters, advancing ahead of the leading elements of U.S. troops to fill a large crater in the only available vehicle route through Gagliano, was taken under fire by two enemy machineguns. Sergeant Kisters and the officer, unaided and in the face of intense small arms fire, advanced on the nearest machinegun emplacement and succeeded in capturing the gun and its crew of four. Although the greater part of the remaining small arms fire was now directed on the captured machinegun position, Sergeant Kisters voluntarily advanced alone toward the second gun emplacement. While creeping forward, he was struck five times by enemy bullets, receiving wounds in both legs and his right arm. Despite the wounds, he continued to advance on the enemy, and captured the second machinegun after killing three of its crew and forcing the fourth member to flee."
  • 1LT Gerry H. Kisters was the first serviceman to be awarded both the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross during World War II.

Distinguished Service Cross Recipients[edit]

  • 1LT Gerry H. Kisters - 7 May 1943, Ferryville, Tunisia
(From Citation) "...In May 1943, Ferryville, Tunisia, Sergeant Kisters made several individual reconnaissance missions, returning each time with timely and valuable information concerning location of artillery emplacements. Alone, and while subjected to enemy heavy artillery and concentrated machine gun fire, and individual rifle fire, Sergeant Kisters crept forward on an artillery piece which was firing on our forces. By the effective use of his hand grenades and rifle fire, Sergeant Kisters wiped out the entire crew."
  • SGT Peter T. Perkins - 3 Aug 1943, Sicily, Italy
(Synopsis, Citation Needed) "...Sergeant Peter T. Perkins (ASN: 18009273), United States Army, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 91st Reconnaissance Squadron, in action against enemy forces on 27 July 1943. Sergeant Perkins' intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty at the cost of his life, exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army."
  • LTC Charles A. Ellis - 2–3 July 1944, Serrazzone, Fonano, Italy
(Synopsis, Citation Needed) "...The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Charles A. Ellis, Lieutenant Colonel (Cavalry), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy in action against enemy forces on 2 and 3 July 1944. Lieutenant Colonel Ellis' intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army."

Unit Decorations[edit]

Ribbon Award Year Notes
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) 2007–2008 for service in Afghanistan
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) 2009–2010 for service in Afghanistan
Valorous Unit Award ribbon.svg Valorous Unit Award (Army) Anvil Troop Only 2007–2008 for service in Afghanistan
alt:Red ribbon with vertical green stripes in the center and a palm leaf in the middle French Croix de guerre, World War II (with Palm) 1943 embroidered CENTRAL ITALY


Campaign Streamers[edit]

ACM with 2 Campaign Stars
Conflict Streamer Year(s) Image
World War II Tunisia 17 Nov 1942 - 13 May 1943 Tunisia Campaign Streamer.png
World War II Siciliy 09 Jul 1943 - 17 Aug 1943 Sicily Campaign Streamer.png
World War II Naples-Foggia 09 Sep 1943 - 21 Jan 1944
World War II Rome-Arno 22 Jan 1944 - 09 Sep 1944
World War II North Apennines 10 Sep 1944 - 04 Apr 1945
World War II Po Valley 05 Apr 1945 - 8 May 1945
Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan 12 May 2007 - 31 Jul 2008
Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan 18 Dec 2009 - 18 Nov 2010
Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan 15 Jun 2012 - 15 Mar 2013


  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign (EAME). There were 16 campaigns in the EAME Theater. The EAME streamer is green with a brown stripe on each edge. The center
    NATO ISAF Medal
    has a narrow blue, white and red stripe. On the upper portion is a narrow white and red stripe with a narrow white, black and white stripe on the lower portion. The brown color is representative of the sands of Africa and the green color for the green fields of Europe. The central blue, white, and red stripes taken from the American Defense Medal ribbon refers to the continuance of American Defense after Pearl Harbor. Green, white, and red are the Italian colors, and the white and black colors refer to Germany.

Distinctive Unit Insignia[edit]

91CavRegtDUI.jpg
  • Description
A Gold color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86 cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Per bend wavy Or and Sable, a motor wheel with speed lines in chief and a horseshoe points in chief, counterchanged. Attached below the Shield a Gold scroll bearing the motto "ALERT" in Black letters.
  • Symbolism
The shield includes yellow, the color of the Cavalry, thus denoting the origin of the organization in that service. The horseshoe also carries out the same idea. The speeding wheel, enhanced by speed lines, creates the impression of the lightning speed of the modern armored force. The motto "Alert" is appropriate, and fittingly expresses the sentiments of the unit.
  • Background
The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 91st Reconnaissance Squadron on 6 August 1942. It was redesignated for the 91st Reconnaissance Battalion on 25 May 1950. The insignia was redesignated for the 91st Armored Cavalry Reconnaissance Battalion on 22 October 1953. The insignia was redesignated for the 91st Cavalry Regiment, with the description and symbolism updated on 1 March 2006.

Coat Of Arms[edit]

Blazon[edit]

91CavRegtCOA.jpg
  • Shield
Per bend wavy Or and Sable, a motor wheel with speed lines in chief and a horseshoe points in chief, counterchanged.
  • Crest
From a wreath Or and Sable, in front of a sun in splendor Proper, a stylized spearhead point down of the second bearing a parachute Argent superimposed by wings conjoined of the first, surmounted by a saber palewise Gules, point down, thereon a bayonet and arrow in saltire of the last.
  • Motto
"ALERT"

Symbolism[edit]

  • Shield
Yellow is the color of the Cavalry and denotes the origin of the organization in that branch of the service. The horseshoe also carries out the same idea. The speeding wheel, enhanced by speed lines creates the impression of the lightning speed of the modern armored force.
  • Crest
The sun in splendor symbolizes the hot, dry desert that covers much of northern Africa, denoting the unit's campaign in Tunisia. The lone parachute and spearhead suggest the unit being the first into battle to spearhead the way for others to follow. It also alludes to the lineage as the First Armored Car Troop and the unit's World War II campaign. The wings refer to the freedom the Regiment protects. The arrow, saber, and bayonet represent strength, teamwork, and cohesion, signifying a combined arms organization.
  • Background
The coat of arms was originally approved for the 91st Reconnaissance Squadron on 6 August 1942. It was redesignated for the 91st Reconnaissance Battalion on 25 May 1950. The insignia was redesignated for the 91st Armored Cavalry Reconnaissance Battalion on 22 October 1953. It was redesignated for the 91st Cavalry Regiment and amended to include a crest on 3 April 2006.

World War II Configuration[edit]

  • 91st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (1941–1943)
Headquarters Troop
A Troop (Recon, Scout Car)
B Troop (Recon, Scout Car)
C Troop (Recon, Bantaam)
E Troop (Light Tank)
  • 91st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (1943–1945)
Headquarters Troop, with Pioneer and Demolitions Platoon
A Troop (Recon, Scout Car)
B Troop (Recon, Scout Car)
C Troop (Recon, Bantaam)
D Troop (Support Troop)
E Troop (Light Tank)
F Troop (Heavy Guns)

Current configuration[edit]

  • 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment (Airborne)
HHT Troop (CMD GRP, MED, COMMO, FIST)
A Troop (Recon Scout)
B Troop (Recon Scout)
C Troop (Infantry, Sniper, Mortar)
D Troop (Support, Maintenance/Transportation)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Army Institute of Heraldry document "91st Cavalry Regiment".

External links[edit]