2nd Cavalry Regiment (United States)

2nd Cavalry Regiment
(2nd Dragoons)

Regimental coat of arms
Active 1836–present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Army
Type Cavalry
Role Cavalry, ambush
Garrison/HQ Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany
Nickname(s) Second Dragoons[1]
Motto(s) Toujours Prêt (Always Ready)
Engagements Mexican-American War
Indian Wars
American Civil War
Spanish–American War
Philippine–American War
World War I
World War II
Gulf War
Commander Colonel Patrick J. Ellis
William S. Harney
Henry Hopkins Sibley
David E. Twiggs
Albert Sidney Johnston
Philip St. George Cooke
Joseph T. Dickman
Harry Chamberlin
Creighton Abrams
David M. Maddox
John H. Tilelli, Jr.
Don Holder
Walter L. Sharp
Distinctive unit insignia
Shoulder sleeve insignia
U.S. Cavalry Regiments
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The 2nd Cavalry Regiment, also known as the 2nd Dragoons,[1] is an active Stryker infantry and cavalry regiment of the United States Army. The Second Dragoons was a component of VII Corps until September 2013, and remains a unit of the United States Army Europe, with its garrison at the Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany. It can trace its lineage back to the early part of the 19th century.

In addition to its two current names, former names are 2nd Riflemen, 2nd Dragoons, 2nd Constabulary Regiment, 2nd Armored Cavalry, and 2nd Stryker Cavalry.

Previous names and dates

The regiment has previously been known as the 2nd Regiment of Dragoons (May 1836 – March 1843, April 1844 – August 1861); 2nd Regiment of Riflemen (March 1843 – April 1844); 2nd US Cavalry Regiment (August 1861 – July 1942); 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Mechanized) (January 1943 – December 1943); 2nd Cavalry Group (Mechanized) (December 1943 – July 1946); 2nd Constabulary Regiment (July 1946 – November 1948); 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (November 1948 – July 1992); 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Light) (July 1992 – June 2006); 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment (June 2006 – July 2011) and most recently 2nd Cavalry Regiment (July 2011 – present).

Motto and patch


Between 1808 and 1815

In 1808, there was one regiment of light dragoons and during the War of 1812 another regiment was raised. Units of both regiments of dragoons served in engagements at the Mississineway River; the Battle of Lundy's Lane; Fort Erie and the Siege of Fort Meigs. These two regiments were consolidated on 30 March 1814 into the Regiment of Light Dragoons but this new unit was dissolved on 15 June 1815.[2]

Early organization

Resaca de la Palma, Texas, 9 May 1846. Here Captain Charles A. May's squadron of the 2d Dragoons (now 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment) slashed through the enemy lines in an attack that climaxed the opening campaigns of the Mexican War. Their bravery proved that the 2,500 American soldiers under Zachary Taylor had enough self-confidence and pluck to shatter the Mexican force of 6,000 and eject it forever from Texas. May's attack order was simple and effective: "Remember your regiment and follow your officers."
Bezaleel W. Armstrong, second lieutenant, 2nd Dragoons, 1846; served in the Mexican War at Vera Cruz and Mexico City, 1847–48; died 1849, aged 26, daguerreotype c. 1846.

The precursor organization was originally established by President Andrew Jackson on 23 May 1836, as the Second Regiment of Dragoons of the US Army. Two squadrons were originally raised, one at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, and one in Florida to combat the Seminole Indians. It saw its first combat during the Seminole Wars, then served on the Texas frontier under Colonel David Twiggs. The regiment fought in the Mexican-American War, the early frontier Indian Wars, Bleeding Kansas, and the Utah War.

Under an act of Congress dated 23 August 1842 the regiment was re-designated as the Regiment of Riflemen effective 4 March 1843. This act was repealed on 4 April 1844 and the regiment reverted to its previous designation.[3]

The 2nd Cavalry Regiment was stationed in Waterloo, Iowa.

Civil War

At the onset of the Civil War in 1861, it was recalled to the Eastern theater and redesignated in August of that year as the Second Cavalry. For much of the war, it was a key part of either the "Reserve Brigade" or the "Regular Brigade" of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac and served in numerous campaigns and battles. During the Battle of Gettysburg, the 2nd US Cavalry served under Wesley Merritt and engaged the Confederates south of Gettysburg on the third day.

Like the other early mounted units, many members of the Second Cavalry went on to higher ranks and command positions on both sides during the war.

Indian wars

Spanish–American War, World War I and World War II

During the Spanish–American War, the 2nd Cavalry deployed to Cuba, joining Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, fighting at El Canay, San Juan Hill, Aquadores, and Santiago. The regiment remained in Cuba on pacification duty for the next three years. From Cuba, the regiment deployed to the Philippines, participating in the Cavite Campaign in 1899 as well as fighting the Moro in 1911 and 1912.

During World War I, the regiment deployed again, this time under "Black Jack" Pershing in Europe, participating in several battles, including the Aisne-Marne Offensive. Troops B, D, F and H became the last elements of the regiment to ever engage the enemy as mounted horse cavalry.

During World War II, the regiment (this time under the designation "2nd Cavalry Group, Mechanized") landed in France in July 1944, becoming part of General Patton's Third Army. During this period, the regiment became known as the "Ghosts of Patton's Army" due to their ability to conduct reconnaissance, materializing seemingly at will behind German lines. The regiment made the deepest penetration of the war, arriving in Czechoslovakia before finally linking up with Soviet forces heading west. Under the leadership of Colonel Charles H. Reed, the regiment rescued the famous Lipizzaner stallions [miracle of the white stallions, Walt Disney film released 1963]from the combat zone and brought them to safety in Germany. At the end of the war, the unit was re-designated, yet again, as the 2nd Constabulary Regiment, and eventually the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in 1948.

Cold War, Desert Storm, and reorganization

During the Cold War, the regiment (Headquarters (HQ) – Nuremberg, 1st Squadron – Bindlach (near Bayreuth), 2nd Squadron – Bamberg, 3rd Squadron – Amberg, and 4th Squadron (Aviation) – Feucht (near Nuremberg) were responsible for guard and surveillance duty along the Iron Curtain, acting as a tripwire for a possible Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe. The regiment's border sector varied in its dimensions over the years but always included portions of both the East German and Czechoslovakian borders with the Federal Republic of Germany. The regiment patrolled the border by air and ground. Ground cavalry troops on the border operated out of border camps close to the frontier. Regular border tours in sizable sectors contributed to the development of independence and self-sufficiency that characterizes cavalry operations and paid great training dividends in leader training to the cavalry squadrons of the regiment.

In 1978, M Company, 3rd Squadron, 2nd ACR was selected to represent the US in the 1979 Canadian Army Trophy (CAT), finishing 4th – the first time the US entrant had not placed last. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe meant the regiment had to redefine its role. During this process, the regiment was alerted for deployment to Saudi Arabia in response to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq.

The regiment spearheaded the VII Corps end-run deep into Iraq during the Persian Gulf War. During its covering force mission, units of the regiment destroyed two brigades of the Iraqi Republican Guards Tawakalna Division in the Battle of 73 Easting. The 2nd Squadron, 2nd ACR alone contributed 55 Iraqi tanks destroyed, 45 other armored vehicles, an equal number of trucks, hundreds of Iraqi infantry KIA, and 865 Iraqi soldiers taken prisoner.[4] The unit earned the Valorous Unit Award for its service in Operation Desert Storm.

Returning from the Gulf, the regiment was relocated from Vilseck, Germany to Fort Lewis, Washington. The regiment's ground squadrons were converted into a light cavalry unit consisting of Humvees mounted with TOW launchers, Mk 19 grenade launchers, .50 caliber machine guns and squad automatic weapons (SAW). The 2nd ACR "light" was then sent to Fort Polk in Louisiana in 1992. From there, the regiment deployed in support of the peace enforcement operation in Haiti from 1995 to 1996. The 3rd Squadron ("Wolfpack") was the first ground unit to deploy and operated under the 25th Infantry Division in Port au Prince, Haiti. After six months in Haiti, 1st Squadron arrived to replace 3rd Squadron. In October 1995, 2nd Squadron replaced 3rd Squadron and redeployed in March 1996 completing the cycle.

Bosnia service

In April 1997, the regiment received orders to be prepared to deploy to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Following the first mission rehearsal exercise held at the JRTC in June, the unit moved to Germany to begin integration with the 1st Armored Division. Meanwhile, all its equipment was shipped to the intermediate staging base at Taszar, Hungary.

The regiment's participation in Operation Joint Guard began when the 2nd and 3rd Squadrons moved across the Sava River into Bosnia in August 1997 to augment the 1st Infantry Division (Forward) in support of Bosnia-Herzegovina's municipal elections. The regiment's air cavalry, the 4th Squadron and the Regimental Support Squadron also moved into the country. The regiment's separate units – the 502nd Military Intelligence Company; the 84th Engineer Company; Company H (Aviation Maintenance), 159th Aviation Regiment; and the Air Defense Battery – completed the regimental troop list.

While the ground squadrons were in Bosnia, the regimental headquarters deployed to Germany to train with the 1st Armored Division Headquarters in preparation for assuming command in Bosnia. During August and September, the regiment was spread across five countries on two continents, and was under the direct command and control of three different general officer commands. This period included another first for any Army unit during a 12-month period: the regiment participated in major training exercises at all three of the Army's combat training centers: The National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, and the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) at Hohenfels, Germany. In October the remainder of the regiment rode into theater, assuming responsibility for the American sector of Multinational Division (North), which stretched from the war-torn bridge at Brčko in the north to the shattered city of Srebrenica in the south.

The first major action of the regiment in Bosnia was the seizing of Serbian radio-television towers to control communications into the Republika Srpska. Other significant operations that the regiment conducted include: the restructuring of the Republika Srpska Specialist Police; the creation of the first multi-ethnic police department, in the city of Brčko; security for the announcement of the Brcko Arbitration Decision (an effort to resolve the status of this Serb-dominated city within Bosnia); institution of common license plates and currency in Bosnia, and the opening of the Bosnian rail system. In conducting operations in this sector, the regiment executed an estimated 12,500 patrols and 480 weapon storage site inspections, supervised the removal of over 12,000 mines, and oversaw 350 training exercises for the former warring factions. The regiment served one of the longest tours of military units there.

21st century

After returning from Bosnia, the unit remained at Fort Polk, Louisiana until deployed again to the Gulf for Operation Iraqi Freedom, remaining for a total of 16 months earning another Presidential Unit Citation. The regiment was required to fight against insurgent forces in areas ranging from Baghdad to Najaf to Al Kut. On its return from combat operations, the regiment found itself heading back to Fort Lewis in Washington in December 2004. The regiment was re-designated the 2nd Cavalry Regiment and reorganized as a Stryker brigade combat team in April 2005.

A Stryker from the regiment participating in a Joint Task Force-East training exercise at Novo Selo Training Range, Bulgaria, 3 September 2009.

On 1 June 2006 at Fort Lewis, Washington, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment and the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division conducted a joint reflagging and casing of colors ceremony. The 2nd CR was reflagged as the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker). The 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division cased its brigade colors and was reflagged as the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment. The Army restationed 2nd SCR to Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany, near the regiment's Cold War home of Nuremberg, as of 15 September 2006. With a foundation of infantry-based tactics and the mobility of the Stryker vehicle, the Stryker unit has become more of a hybrid, filling the gap between pure, light infantry and the mechanized, heavy infantry.

On 8 May 2007, the Department of Defense announced that the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Stryker) would deploy to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in August 2007. The 3rd Squadron (Wolfpack), with Troop N ("Nemesis") of 4th Squadron attached, along with Troop E ("Eagle"), 2nd Squadron (Cougars), were very successful in rooting out Al-Qaeda forces from their last stronghold in Baghdad's Hadar neighborhood in East Rashid. 1st Squadron participated in the final clearance of Sadr City. The regiment served a 15-month tour in Iraq in both the Baghdad area and later Diyala province. It was at its most consolidated by June 2008 with all units but 1st Squadron, which was in Sadr City. On 25 November 2008, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Stryker) was officially welcomed back to Vilseck, Germany.

In July 2010, they deployed to Afghanistan upon their return the name was changed from 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment to 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Stryker).

Operation Enduring Freedom

On 15 March 2010, the Department of Defense announced that the 2nd Cavalry Regiment would deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and the International Security Assistance Force in July 2010. In July 2010, 1st Squadron assumed responsibility of Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan in Uruzgan Province as well as the Shah Wali Kot District serving alongside Australia's 2nd Cavalry Regiment. The remainder of the regiment was located in the volatile Kandahar Province with regimental headquarters located at FOB Lagman.

In the summer of 2013, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment deployed to Afghanistan for a second time in southern Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and the International Security Assistance Force. The Regiment redeployed to Rose Barracks in April 2014. The Regiment was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation for their efforts in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

Current structure

2nd Cavalry Regiment(Stryker) Structure

The 2nd Cavalry (Stryker) is organized as a Stryker brigade combat team, consisting of the following units (all squadrons minus 1st Squadron conducted reflagging ceremonies in summer 2012 to realign the regiment to historical precedence):

2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment:[5]

  • Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop "Vipers" (Stryker headquarters troop)
  • 1st Squadron "War Eagles" – (Stryker squadron)
    • Headquarters Troop "Mustangs" – (Stryker headquarters troop)
    • Apache Troop – (Stryker infantry troop)
    • Bull Troop – (Stryker infantry troop)
    • Comanche Troop – (Stryker infantry troop)
    • Dakota Troop – (Forward Support Troop)
  • 2nd Squadron "Cougars" – (Stryker squadron)
    • Headquarters Troop "Headhunters" – (Stryker headquarters troop)
    • Eagle Troop – (Stryker infantry troop)
    • Fox Troop – (Stryker infantry troop)
    • Ghost Troop – (Stryker infantry troop)
    • Havoc Troop – (Forward Support Troop)
  • 3rd Squadron "Wolfpack" – (Stryker squadron)
    • Headquarters Troop "Hammer" – (Stryker headquarters troop)
    • Iron Troop – (Stryker infantry troop)
    • Killer Troop – (Stryker infantry troop)
    • Lightning Troop – (Stryker infantry troop)
    • 3rd Howitzer Battery
  • 4th Squadron "Saber" (reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition squadron)
    • Headquarters Troop "Warhorse" – (Stryker headquarters troop)
    • Nemesis Troop – (Stryker cavalry scout troop)
    • Outlaw Troop – (Stryker cavalry scout troop)
    • Palehorse Troop – (Stryker cavalry scout troop)
    • Quickstrike Troop – (anti-armor troop – 9 TOW-equipped Stryker vehicles and Stryker MGS vehicles)
    • War Wagon Troop – (Forward Support Troop)
  • Regimental Engineer Squadron "Pioneers" (engineer squadron)
    • Headquarters Troop "Lakota" - (headquarters troop)
    • Argonaut Troop – (engineer troop)
    • Beast Troop – (engineer troop)
    • Calusa Troop – (Stryker signal troop)
    • Maverick (Delta) Troop – (military intelligence troop)
    • Elite Troop – (Forward Support Troop)
  • Fires Squadron "Artillery Hell" (field artillery squadron)
    • Headquarters Battery – "Hellraisers"
    • Archer Battery (6-gun 155mm howitzer battery)
    • Bulldog Battery (6-gun 155mm howitzer battery)
    • Cobra Battery (6-gun 155mm howitzer battery)
    • FST Troop – (Forward Support Troop)
  • Regimental Support Squadron "Muleskinners"
    • Headquarters Troop "Hellraisers"
    • Supply and Transportation Troop "Pack Horse"
    • Maintenance Troop "Blacksmiths"
    • Medical Troop "Scalpel Medics"

Medal of Honor recipients

Notable members



  1. 1 2 "Special Unit Designations". United States Army Center of Military History. 21 April 2010. Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  2. Stubbs, Mary Lee; Connor, Stanley. Armor-Cavalry Part I: Regular Army and Army Reserve. From the Office of the Chief of Military History, Washington D.C., 1969.
  3. Heitman, Francis B (1903). Historical register and dictionary of the United States Army : from its organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903. Government Printing Office. p. 143. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  4. Guardia p.71
  5. "Welcome to 2d Cavalry Regiemt! "Dragoons"" (PDF). U.S. Army. 5 January 2012. p. 3. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 "United States Army Center of Military History Medal of Honor Citations Archive". Indian War Campaigns Medal of Honor Recipients. United States Army Center of Military History. 8 June 2009. Archived from the original on 26 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-23.

External links

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