The Organization of the 1st Cavalry Division

Unit History Links
1st Cavalry Division
Division HQ and HQ Battalion
1st Cavalry Division Band
Horse Cavalry Detachment

1st Brigade
1-7th Cavalry 
2-8th Cavalry 
2-5th Cavalry 
2-12th Cavalry
1-82nd Field Artillery
91st Engineer Battalion
115th Brigade Support Battalion

2nd Brigade
4-9th Cavalry 
1-8th Cavalry 
1-5th Cavalry
1-9th Cavalry
3-82nd Field Artillery
8th Engineer Battalion
15th Brigade Support Battalion

3rd Brigade
6- 9th Cavalry
2-7th Cavalry
3-8th Cavalry
1-12th Cavalry
2-82nd Field Artillery
3rd Engineer Battalion
215th Brigade Support Battalion

1st Air  Cavalry Brigade
1-227th Aviation
2-227th Aviation
3-227th Aviation
4-227th Aviation
615th Aviation Support Battalion

41st Fires Brigade
2-20th Field Artillery
589th Brigade Support Battalion
A Btry., 26th FA (TAB)
324th Network Support Co.

3d Cavalry Regiment  (PDF)
1st Squadron (Tiger)
2nd Squadron (Saber)
3rd Squadron (Thunder)
4th Squadron (Longknife)
Fires Squadron (Steel)
Support Squadron (Muleskinner)

Inactivated or Reassigned Units
History Links

Division Artillery
Division Support Command
Engineer Brigade
15th Sustainment Brigade 
1st Bde Special Troops Battalion
2nd Bde Special Troops Battalion
3rd Bde Special Troops Battalion
4th Brigade
4th Bde Special Troops Battalion
4-5th Air Defense Artillery
5-7th Cavalry
13th Signal Battalion
15th Finance Battalion
15th Personnel Services Bn.
15th Transportation Corps Bn.
2-19th Field Artillery
20th Engineer Battalion
27th Brigade Support Battalion
1-21st  Field Artillery
1-30th Field Artillery
61st Field Artillery Battalion
1-77th Field Artillery
5-82nd Field Artillery
91st Engineer Battalion
99th Field Artillery Battalion
312th Military Intelligence Bn.
68th Chemical Company
545th Military Police Company



The organization of the 1st Cavalry Division has changed many times from the original Table of Organization that it had when the division was organized at Fort Bliss, Texas on 13 September 1921.  It has been horse cavalry, infantry, airmobile and an armor division.  Throughout all of these organizational changes the First Team has continually maintained its cavalry heritage and designations.

The 1st Cavalry Division transformed to the Army's new modular design in 2005 after returning from Iraq where they participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom II.  This transformation changed the structure of the Army from a division-based force to a brigade-based force by making each brigade a self-sufficient unit that is readily deployable and able to provide increased combat power for the commander.  These organization changes occurred in the Spring and Summer of 2005 and  continue.

The 1st Cavalry Division Today

The 1st Cavalry Division is currently home based at Fort Hood, Texas and is led by MG Michael A. Bills and CSM Andrew L. Barteky.  It is assigned three numbered Heavy Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs), the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, and the Division's Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion.  Additionally, the division currently has training readiness authority for the 41st Fires Brigade and the 3d Cavalry Regiment.   The Division Headquarters is currently deployed in Afghanistan along with most of the 3d Cavalry Regiment and the 1-227th Aviation.  The 4-3 Cavalry is deployed to the Sinai, 1-12th Cavalry is currently deployed to Korea, and C Troop, 1-3 Cavalry is in Guantanamo, Cuba.  All remaining First Team units are at Fort Hood. 

To accomplish its missions, the Division uses its Troopers and their major weapons systems, which include the  M1A2 System Enhanced Package (SEP) Abrams tanks, M2A3 and M3A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, M2A2 ODS Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Bradley Fire Support Vehicles, M109A6 Paladin howitzers, AH-64 Longbow Apache helicopters, UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, and CH-47D Chinook helicopters.

The three heavy BCTs are balanced combat organizations with three combined arms maneuver battalions, a fires battalion, a reconnaissance squadron, a brigade engineer battalion, a brigade support battalion (BSB), and the brigade headquarters and headquarters company.  The three balanced, combined arms, maneuver battalions are the BCT's maneuver and close combat elements. They are modular in design, combining a headquarters and headquarters company (HHC) with organic reconnaissance, snipers, mortars, medics, and fire support element, two armor companies, two infantry companies, and a forward support company.  The reconnaissance squadron is responsible for conducting reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance and includes three ground troops equipped with M3 cavalry fighting vehicles and M1114s (up-armored HMMWVs).  The fires battalion is organized to provide responsive and accurate fire support using three batteries of self-propelled 155 mm howitzers, plus counter-fire radar for target acquisition.  The engineer battalion assigned to each BCT has a more robust battalion headquarters, two engineer companies, and a route clearance platoon.  Also added, are assault breaching vehicles, horizontal construction squads, a forward support company attached from the BSB, and as a holdover to the recently inactivated special troops battalion, a signal company, a military intelligence company, and a CBRNE recon platoon. The brigade support battalion (BSB) is organized and equipped to sustain brigade operations and is organized around a headquarters and headquarters company (HHC), a supply and distribution company, a field maintenance company, a forward support medical company and four forward support companies that support the maneuver battalions. 

The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade (ACB) conducts reconnaissance, security, mobile strike, vertical maneuver, support to close combat with ground forces, aerial sustainment, and command and control operations with its four aviation battalions (2 attack, 1 assault and 1 general support) and one aviation support battalion.

The Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion (HHBn) of the 1st Cavalry Division consists of the HHBn command group and battalion staff and contains the Division command group and staff.  The HHBn is organized into four internal companies, the 1st Cavalry Division Band and the Horse Cavalry Detachment.  The Headquarters and Service Company contains the battalion command and its staff and also the division command group (CG, DCG-M, DCG-S, CSM, Chief of Staff and SGS) and the CG's special staff - IG (inspector general), public affairs office, staff judge advocate, chaplain section and safety section.  A Company, OPS, contains the following staff sections: G3 (operations and training), G5 (plans), Division Engineers, Fire Support Element, G7 (Information Operations and Psychological Operations), G9 (civil affairs), CBRNE (chemical biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives), PMO (provost marshal).  B Company, I&S, contains the G1 (personnel), G2 (intelligence), G4 (logistics), G8 (comptroller) and division surgeon section.  C Company, SIG, has the G6 and provides signal support.

The 41st Fires Brigade provides significant indirect firepower to the 1st Cavalry Division or any unit that it supports with lethal fires from its one artillery battalion equipped with 18 M270A1 MLRS (Multiple Launched Rocket Systems).  The firing battalion consists of three firing batteries of six launchers.  The Brigade also has a Target Acquisition Battery, signal unit and logistical support unit to ensure mission accomplishment in all of its fire missions.

The 3d Cavalry Regiment, formed in 1846, is one of the oldest Cavalry Regiments in the Army and is also the Army's newest Regiment of Strykers.  The Brave Rifles are one of the Army's elite brigade-level combined arms units, consisting of nearly 5000 Cavalry Troopers.  It consists of a headquarters troop, 3 maneuver squadrons, a reconnaissance squadron, a fires squadron,  a support squadron, an anti-tank company, engineer company, signal troop and an military intelligence company.

The chart below provides a snapshot of how the 1st Cavalry Division is organized.

The major changes in the 1st Cavalry Division organization structure include the loss of the Division Artillery (DIVARTY); the Division Support Command (DISCOM); the Engineer Brigade; the 8th Engineer, 20th Engineer and 91st Engineer Battalions;  the 13th Signal Battalion; the 312th Military Intelligence Battalion; the 545th Military Police Company; and the 68th Chemical Company which were inactivated in 2005.  Additionally, the 4th Battalion 5th Air Defense Artillery was reassigned to the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade and the 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery was reassigned to the 4th Infantry Division in 2005 and was reassigned to the 41st Fires Brigade in 2007.  The 20th Engineer Battalion has been reactivated at Fort Hood as part of the 36th Engineer Brigade and is no longer assigned or attached to the 1st Cavalry Division.  The 15th Sustainment Brigade was reassigned to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) on 15 February, 2008 after returning from a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq where they provided combat service and support (CSS) to the Division and forces attached to it.  The colors of the 15th Personnel Services Battalion were cased on Cooper Field marking the inactivation of that unit on 15 April, 2008.  The Division's Special Troops Battalion was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion in 2010.  The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 27th Brigade Support Battalion, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery and the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion were inactivated in 2013 and the 1-9th Cavalry was reorganized and reassigned to the 2nd BCT, the 2-7th Cavalry was assigned to the 3rd BCT and the 2-12th Cavalry was assigned to the 1st BCT.  The Brigade Special Troops battalions were reorganized as Brigade Engineer Battalions in 2013 and 2014 and assigned to each brigade.  The attachment of the 41st Fires Brigade and the 3d Cavalry Regiment for training and administration complete the current changes to the 1st Cavalry Division organization.  The inactivation of the 1-21st Field Artillery on 12 June 2014 was the most recent change to the force structure of the Division and its attached units.

The 1st Cavalry Division in 1921

The following is excerpted from, "MANEUVER AND FIREPOWER - THE EVOLUTION OF DIVISIONS AND SEPARATE BRIGADES"  by John B. Wilson published in 1998.  This work is part of the Army Lineage series and the entire work can be found on the Center of Military History web page.  The following information is provided to compare and contrast the current structure of the 1st Cavalry Division against the initial design of a Cavalry Division.

"The postwar cavalry division, approximately two-fifths the size of its predecessor, abandoned the three-brigade structure (Chart 6).  It included two cavalry brigades (two cavalry regiments and one machine gun squadron each), one horse artillery battalion, and combat and service support units.  Each cavalry regiment consisted of two squadrons (of three troops each), a headquarters and headquarters troop and a service troop.  Initially the committee desired a third squadron to train men and horses, which represented a major investment in time and money.  March denied the request because the Army was to maintain training centers.  Unlike the infantry, which incorporated the machine gun into the regiment, cavalry maintained separate machine gun squadrons of three troops each because of the perceived immobility of such weapons compared with other divisional arms.  A headquarters for special troops was authorized, under which were placed the division headquarters troop, a signal troop, an ordnance maintenance company, and a veterinary company.  All transportation was pack- or animal-drawn, except for 14 cars, 28 trucks, and 65 motorcycles scattered throughout various headquarters elements in the division.  Without trains, the division measured approximately 6.5 miles if the men rode in columns of twos.  The Army chief of staff approved the new cavalry division on 31 August 1920.
After approving both types of divisions, March directed the preparation of final tables of organization.  When published the following year, the infantry division fell just below Pershing's recommendation of 20,000, numbering 19,997 officers and enlisted men.  The cavalry division totaled 7,463."
Cavalry Division, 4 April 1921
Chart 6 - Cavalry Division, 4 April 1921
As of: 21 July 2014