1-71 Cavalry History
The 71st Cavalry was originally constituted on 3 December 1941 in the Army of the United States as the 701st Tank Destroyer Battalion. It was activated on 15 December 1941 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The unit saw action throughout WWII and earned campaign participation in Algeria-French Morocco, Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, North Apennines, and the Po Valley.
The 701st was inactivated on 29 October 1945 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The unit was converted and redesignated on 27 August 1947 as the 327th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, and allotted to the Organized Reserves. It was again converted and redesignated on 22 March 1949 as the 327th Heavy Tank Battalion. On 17 November 1950, it was inactivated at Ottumwa, Iowa only to be converted and redesignated on 27 February 1951 as the 701st Armored Infantry Battalion; concurrently, withdrawn from the Organized Reserve Corps, allotted to the Regular Army, and assigned to the 1st Armored Division.
On 7 March 1951, the 701st AIB moved to Fort Hood, Texas for a period of six years until it was inactivated on 15 February 1957 at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and relieved from assignment to the 1st Armored Division. In September 2004, the 71st Cavalry was activated from newly assigned Soldiers as well as existing units from the Division.
11 months after activation, 1-71 CAV deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom IV. The squadron began combat operation throughout AO Cobra in Western Baghdad, with a primary mission as the Military Transition Team (MiTT), partnered up with 1st Brigade, 6 Division of the Iraqi Army. The 15 October Constitution Referendum and the 15 December National Election marked two distinct watershed events in the fledgling Iraqi nation.
In late February and through much of May, the squadron surged in response to an attack on the Samara Mosque. Intense 24 hour patrols throughout AO Cobra saturated the area, showing support for the Iraqi people and the Iraqi Security Forces. Throughout this time, the squadron’s efforts assisted in easing sectarian tensions during a tenuous time.
By the first of April, the squadron was released from the MiTT mission and tasked with a new AO on the Western outskirts of Baghdad. AO Ghost included the strategic target Abu Ghraib compound and 18 kilometers of Corps MSR. Throughout this period, the squadron once again was forced into a non-contiguous battlefield with a command and control node at Abu Ghraib. The rural environment of AO Ghost is the antithesis to that of the urban AO Cobra, enlisting the Soldiers of 1-71 CAV to adjust lessons learned over the course of six months into new, wide-open surroundings.
1-71 CAV redeployed with 1BCT, 10th Mountain Division in July 2006. The unit recovered and prepared for another tour in Iraq. From 2007 to 2008 1-71 deployed to Kirkuk, Iraq for 15 months.
A year and a half after returning from Iraq, the Squadron deployed to the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. 1-71 returned to Fort Drum in the spring of 2011.