14th Cavalry Regiment

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14th Cavalry Regiment
Active 1901 — present
Country United States of America
Branch Regular Army
Type Stryker-mounted cavalry
Role Reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition
Motto Suivez Moi (Follow Me)
Engagements Philippine-American War
World War II
Iraq Campaign
Afghanistan Campaign
Insignia
Distinctive unit insignia 14CavRegtDUI.jpg
U.S. Cavalry Regiments
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The 14th Cavalry Regiment is a cavalry regiment of the United States Army. It has two squadrons that provide reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition for Stryker brigade combat teams. Constituted in 1901, it has served in conflicts from the Philippine-American War to the Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

History[edit]

The 14th Cavalry was constituted February 2, 1901 by War Department General Order Number 14. The unit was organized at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, March 5, 1901.[1]

The 14th was stationed in the Philippines from 1903–1906 during the insurgency campaigns. Upon successful completion of that campaign in 1906, the regiment then returned home to the United States and took up garrisons in the Pacific Northwest, where it assumed peacetime duties. The regiment was called back to the Philippines in 1909, although this time it was only engaged in garrison duties and training.

In 1912, the regiment was called for service in the Mexican campaign, joining General 'Black Jack' Pershing's expeditionary forces in the summer of 1916, chasing bandits throughout the Mexican plains. The regiment then returned to Texas, where it began the task of border patrolling until 1918, when it was called into service in Europe. The Armistice at Versailles was signed before the regiment could cross the Atlantic and the regiment resumed its border patrol mission.

In 1920, the 14th Cavalry Regiment moved to Iowa and for approximately the next two decades served in a peacetime capacity. In 1942, the regiment was inactivated, and from its lineage came the 14th Cavalry Group, 14th Tank Battalion and 711th Tank Battalion. On 28 August 1944, the 14th Cavalry Group sailed for Europe, where it landed on Omaha Beach on 30 September and pressed east. On 18 October, the unit was split into the 18th Squadron, attached to the 2nd Infantry Division, and the 32nd Squadron, attached to the 83rd Infantry Division.

Battle of the Bulge[edit]

The unit regained its autonomy on 12 December 1944 and began guarding the Losheim Gap in Belgium. On 16 December, the 14th Cavalry Group received the full brunt of the German winter counteroffensive in the Battle of the Bulge. After two days of savage fighting, the unit reassembled at Vielsam, Belgium and was attached to the 7th Armored Division.

On 23 December, the unit secured the southern flank of the perimeter, which allowed friendly troops to withdraw to safety. On 25 December, the unit was reequipped, attached to the XVIII Airborne Corps and moved back into the Bulge to push back the German Army. After the bloody and brutal fight in the Ardennes, the regiment was assigned to the 3rd US Army, and ended the war near the Austrian border.

While the 14th Cavalry Group was fighting the German Army at the Battle of the Bulge, the 14th Tank Battalion was assigned to the 9th Armored Division's Combat Command B (CCB) and took part in operations in the vicinity of St. Vith, Belgium from 17 to 23 December 1944. The battalion was subject to constant German tank and infantry attacks, repeatedly throwing back the numerically superior attacking German forces while sustaining heavy losses. By denying the Germans their objective, the 14th Tank Battalion disrupted the enemy's time line and momentum, causing the Germans to divert a corps to capture St. Vith. For seven days, the 14th Tank Battalion, as part of CCB, held St. Vith before being ordered to withdraw west of the Salm River. For their actions in defense of St. Vith, the 14th Tank Battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

=== Battle of Remagen == Tank Battalion was unexpectedly thrust into a key role crossing the Rhine when on 7 March 1945 they unexpectedly captured the Ludendorfr railroad bridge at Remagen. They were instrumental in establishing the first Allied bridgehead over the Rhine River.[2] A Company/14th led the advance across the bridge and established fighting positions on the eastern side, repelling multiple German counterattacks by armor and infantry. After ten days of withstanding enemy attacks by ground, air and waterborne forces, the Ludendorf Bridge failed; however, by this time, two additional pontoon bridges had been established and the bridgehead reinforced, allowing the unimpeded movement of US forces into Germany.[3] Company A, the first tank company to cross the Rhine, was instrumental in helping seize the railroad bridge and establishing the first Allied bridgehead over the Rhine. Once across, they established fighting positions on the eastern side, repelling multiple German counterattacks by armor and infantry. For their actions, Captain George P. Soumas, First Lieutenant C. Windsor Miller, Sergeant William J. Goodson, and 1st Lieutenant John Gmball were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.[4] The entire battalion was awarded its second Presidential Unit Citation.[5]

After World War II, the group was reorganized as the 14th Constabulary Regiment and served as a police unit until 1948, when it as again reorganized as the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment and served until 1972 as such on "Freedoms Frontier" at Fulda, Bad Kissingen and Bad Hersfeld, Germany, performing reconnaissance and border duties for NATO until its colors were cased and it was replaced by the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

Service in Iraq[edit]

4th Squadron at Combat Outpost Rawah, Iraq, in January 2006.

The regiment was reactivated on 15 September 2000 as the US Army's first reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA) squadron in the Stryker Brigade Combat Team. The 1st Squadron deployed to Northern Iraq in 2003. The mission was assumed by the 2nd Squadron in October 2004 and, in turn, by the 4th Squadron under the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team in September 2005. The 1st Squadron returned to Iraq in August 2006 and the 4th Squadron's tour was extended an additional 120 days. The 2nd Squadron was reflagged as the 2nd Cavalry squadron in June 2006. Upon finally returning from Iraq in December 2006, the 4th Squadron was reflagged as 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry. The 1st Squadron returned from their second tour in Iraq to Fort Lewis in September 2007. The newest addition, the 5th Squadron, was activated at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii on 13 October 2005 and was redesignated as 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry, in December 2006. The 2nd Squadron then served in Iraq from December 2007 to March 2009, and again in Iraq from June 2010 to June 2011 in the Diyala Province.

Security in Afghanistan[edit]

From December 2011 to December 2012, TF 1-14 CAV deployed to Zabul Province, Afghanistan working with the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and local government to conduct wide area security and build the legitimacy of the Afghan government. Bronco Troop was detached working alongside TF 5-20 Infantry in the Zhari District and later the Spin Boldak District along the Afghan-Pakistan border. Apocalypse Troop was also detached to partner with the Australian Army in Uruzgan Province to secure the region. HHT, Crazyhorse Troop, and C/52nd Infantry "Hellcats" secured the entirety of Zabul Province with two Romanian Army battalions and their Afghan partners. Throughout the deployment, the Squadron trained and mentored local forces, placing them in the lead and paving the way for future units.

Current status[edit]

  • 5th Squadron, inactive, was reflagged to 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry.

Recent deployments[edit]

1st Squadron

  • Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003–2004)
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom (2006–2007)
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom (2009–2010)
  • Operation Enduring Freedom (2011-2012)

2nd Squadron

  • Operation Iraqi Freedom (2004–2005)
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom (2007-2009)
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom (2010)
  • Operation New Dawn (2010-2011)

4th Squadron

  • Operation Iraqi Freedom (2005-2006)

Heraldry[edit]

According to The Institute of Heraldry, the 14th Cavalry Regiment has been granted the following coat of arms:

"Description/Blazon:

Shield: Or, a bend Azure between a Moro kris paleways point up Sable, and a rattlesnake coiled to strike Proper.

Crest: On a wreath of the colors Or and Azure, a dexter arm embowed habited Azure, the hand gloved in a buckskin gauntlet Proper, grasping a staff erect Sable barbed Or, thereon a standard flotant of the last charged with a horseshoe heels upward encircling the Arabic numeral '14' in Black.

Motto: SUIVEZ MOI (Follow Me)."[6]

Likewise, soldiers assigned to any squadron of the 14th Cavalry are authorized to wear its Distinctive Unit Insignia:

"Description/Blazon:

A gold color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86 cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Or, a bend Azure between a Moro kris paleways point up Sable, and a rattlesnake coiled to strike Gules. Attached below the shield a blue scroll inscribed 'SUIVEZ MOI' in Gold letters."[7]

The regimental coat of arms briefly tells part of the history of the unit. The black Moro Kris commemorates more than forty engagements and expeditions in which the 14th participated during the Philippine-American War. The coiled rattlesnake pays tribute to the patrol accomplishments along the Mexican Border during 1912–1918. The blue bend and gold background represent the traditional cavalry color and the uniform of the horse cavalry soldiers.

In Popular Culture[edit]

While the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment was inactivated it was selected by author Harold Coyle along with two other inactivated units the 55th Infantry Division (as the 55th Mechanized Infantry Division) and the 4th Armored Division to form part of the US Tenth Army Corps in his 1993 techno-thriller "The Ten Thousand". [8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daily, Edward L., We remember: U.S. Cavalry Association, (1996) Turner Publishing Company, p. 54.
  2. ^ Hunnicutt, R. P. (1996). Pershing, A History of the Medium Tank T20 Series. Feist Publications. pp. 9–12. ISBN 1112954503. 
  3. ^ "Spotlight on the 291st Engineer Combat Battalion" (PDF). National Worl War II Museum. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Remembering World War II". Congressional Record Volume 141, Number 42. March 7, 1995. Retrieved 9 December 2014. Eisenhower's chief of staff, his alter ego, General Walter Bedell Smith, termed the Remagan Bridge worth its weight in gold. 
  5. ^ Zaloga, Steven (2012). Armored Victory 1945 U.S. Army Tank Combat in the European Theater from the Battle of the Bulge to Germany's Surrender (eBook ed.). Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 9780811745598. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  6. ^ The Institute of Heraldry Webpage, http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/Search.aspx
  7. ^ The Institute of Heraldry Webpage, http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/Search.aspx
  8. ^ Coyle, Harold (1993). The Ten Thousand. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-85292-2.