82nd Field Artillery Regiment (United States)

Foundation and Formation

The 82nd Field Artillery traces it earliest history to that of the "First Dragoons". This type of fighting force was unique employing a fighting force that was skilled both as horse mounted and dismounted troops. Dragoon is derivitave from the French Army designation for the firearm (whose name means dragon
A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern...

) carried by French Dragoons. This type of short musket
A musket is a muzzle-loaded, smooth bore long gun, fired from the shoulder. Muskets were designed for use by infantry. A soldier armed with a musket had the designation musketman or musketeer....

 had a dragons head worked on the muzzle.

From the First Dragoons was formed the First Cavalry which in turn became the mother of the 24th Cavalry.

The 24th Cavalry was organized on 5 June 1917 representing approximately one third of the officers and enlisted men that had made up the First Cavalry. Then, on 1 November 1917, the 24th Cavalry would become the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment consisting of 62 officers, 1448 enlisted men, 1117 horses and 114 mules stationed at Fort D. A. Russell (Texas)
Fort D. A. Russell (Texas)
Fort D. A. Russell is the name of an American military installation near Marfa, Texas, that was active from 1911 to 1946.Established in 1911 as Camp Albert, it was a base for cavalry and air reconnaissance units sent to protect West Texas from Mexican bandits after the Pancho Villa raid.The base...

. The regiment would then be reassigned to Camp Logan
Camp Logan
Camp Logan was a World War I-era army training camp in Houston, Texas. The site of the camp is now primarily occupied by Memorial Park where it borders the Crestwood neighborhood, near Memorial Elementary School. Some chunks of concrete, many building foundations, and extensive trenches used for...

 and later assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas and assigned to the 15th Cavalry.

Border War

On 9 March 1916, the Mexican rebel
Rebellion, uprising or insurrection, is a refusal of obedience or order. It may, therefore, be seen as encompassing a range of behaviors aimed at destroying or replacing an established authority such as a government or a head of state...

 General Francisco "Pancho" Villa ordered nearly 500 Mexican revolutionaries to make a cross-border attack into the United States at New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

. The raid was in response to Woodrow Wilson's
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 recognition and support of the Carranza regime. Commander of the Army 8th Brigade, John J. Pershing
John J. Pershing
John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing, GCB , was a general officer in the United States Army who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I...

 led a failed Punitive Expedition
Pancho Villa Expedition
The Pancho Villa Expedition—officially known in the United States as the Mexican Expedition and sometimes colloquially referred to as the Punitive Expedition—was a military operation conducted by the United States Army against the paramilitary forces of Mexican insurgent Francisco "Pancho" Villa...

 to kill or capture Pancho Villa. However, Villa would not be caught and by 1919 had assembled a sizeable force and had initiated several battles against Mexican military troops in an attempt to rally the Mexican people against President Carranza. On the morning of 15 June 1919, Villa's forces attacked Mexican military troops at Fort Hidalgo.

At 0136 Hours on 15 June 1919, the 82nd Field Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

 (minus Service Company) left Fort Bliss
Fort Bliss
Fort Bliss is a United States Army post in the U.S. states of New Mexico and Texas. With an area of about , it is the Army's second-largest installation behind the adjacent White Sands Missile Range. It is FORSCOM's largest installation, and has the Army's largest Maneuver Area behind the...

 and headed toward El Paso to occupy pre-planned firing positions. When the battle was over, the regiment was recognized with the Distinctive Unit Insignia
Distinctive unit insignia
A Distinctive Unit Insignia is a metal heraldic device worn by soldiers in the United States Army. The DUI design is derived from the coat of arms authorized for a unit...

 depicting a black artillery shell and the wavy white background symoblizing the first shot across the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
The Rio Grande is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. Its length varies as its course changes...

 by "A" Battery, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery. The motto "Can and Will" was also given to reflect their spirit steeped in traditions of men doing what needs to be done regardless of the obstacles to be overcome.

On 9 September 1921 the 82nd Field Artillery was composed of "A", "B" and "C" Batteries and was designated the 82nd Field Artillery (Horse) Battalion and was assigned to the newly activated 1st Cavalry Division. The Battalion was the only Horse Artillery in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 at the time and the designation meant that all unit members rode mounted horses instead of riding on gun carriages.

On 17 March 1930 the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment was reactivated and the 82nd Field Artillery Battalion (Horse) was reorganized as the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, but lost its designation as (Horse). Parallel to this, the 84th Field Artilery was redesignated as the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery and inactivated. Assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division was also delayed until 1 December 1934.

World War II

The 82nd Field Artillery Regiment deployed to Pacific Theater
Pacific Ocean theater of World War II
The Pacific Ocean theatre was one of four major naval theatres of war of World War II, which pitted the forces of Japan against those of the United States, the British Commonwealth, the Netherlands and France....

 in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 with the 1st Cavalry Division and saw action in New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

, the Bismark Archipelago, Leyte
Leyte is a province of the Philippines located in the Eastern Visayas region. Its capital is Tacloban City and occupies the northern three-quarters of the Leyte Island. Leyte is located west of Samar Island, north of Southern Leyte and south of Biliran...

 and Dazon.

Korean War

Following World War II, the battalion performed occupational duty in Japan and was one of the first units to arrive in Korea in 1950. The unit was credited with seven campaign streamers in the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

. On 15 October 1950, it was deactivated and relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division.

Vietnam War

During the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 elements of the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment participated in Operation Clean House, Operation Pershing, Operation Sheridan Saber.

Persian Gulf War

In October 1990, the regiment deployed to Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 in support of Operation Desert Shield. Along with other elements of the 3rd Armored Division, the regiment helped to create the illusion that the main force of the coalition forces would enter Iraq by coming up the Wadi Al-Batin. This feint was part of General Norman Schwarzkopf's Hail Mary plan.

Iraq War

In support of Operation "Iraqi Freedom", elements of the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment were deployed to Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion 82nd Field Artillery found themselves in the midst of a dynamic battlefield. To support the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division in the dangerous Al Thawra District of Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, Charlie Battery began conducting dismounted foot patrols in an area the soldiers call "Squaretown." From Squaretown, insurgent forces have launched mortar attacks and the soldiers are concerned about weapons being transported through the area near the outskirts of Camp War Eagle
Camp War Eagle
Camp War Eagle was the name of the United States Army camp located at the Northeast corner of the Baghdad slum known as Sadr City. It was established in May 2003 by 1st Squadron 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment and B Company 2nd Battalion 37th Armor Regiment which is an element of 1st Brigade, 1st...


Most of the soldiers of 2-82 Field Artillery are located on Camp Steel Dragon in the Green Zone
Green Zone
The Green Zone is the most common name for the International Zone of Baghdad. It is a area of central Baghdad, Iraq, that was the governmental center of the Coalition Provisional Authority and remains the center of the international presence in the city...

. Many of the fire supporters are in different camps. The 2-82 Field Artillery fire supporters attached within the Grey Wolf Brigade Combat Team
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division (United States)
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team is a combined arms armored Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division. Its major equipment includes M1A2SEP Tanks, M2A3 & M3A3 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, M109A6 Paladin Howitzers, and M1114 Up-armored Humvees....

 are serving at 3rd Brigade Headquarters
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division (United States)
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team is a combined arms armored Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division. Its major equipment includes M1A2SEP Tanks, M2A3 & M3A3 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, M109A6 Paladin Howitzers, and M1114 Up-armored Humvees....

, with Task Force 3-8 Cavalry, and with Task Force 1-9 Cavalry. Task Force 2-7 Cavalry and their fire supporters are serving with the 39th Brigade Combat Team at Camp Cooke in Taji. The soldiers of C Battery and the COLT Platoon are attached to Colonel
Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, colonel is a senior field grade military officer rank just above the rank of lieutenant colonel and just below the rank of brigadier general...

 Lanza's 5th BCT and are located on Camp Falcon on the south side of Baghdad. The rest of the 2-82 Field Artillery soldiers, along with nearly 100 soldiers of B Company, 1-160 Infantry, belong to Task Force Steel Dragon.

A typical day for 3-82 at Thunder involves anywhere from 1 to 2 daytime patrols and 1 to 2 nighttime patrols in our sector. These patrols can have any number of focuses from checking on projects in sector to searching for new ones to start or gathering intelligence. The main focus in the sector is helping to rebuild the neighborhood and help the Iraqi Security Forces to take an ownership in the areas. They have started two school projects that are approximately $100,000.00 a piece and several others in smaller amounts.

In October 2003, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery formed Fox Battery, a hybrid mechanized/motorized battery composed of 2nd Brigade (Black Jack) fire supporters. The first platoon consisted of six M7A2 Bradley Fire Support Vehicles taken from Task Force 1-5 Cavalry and Task Force 2-12 Cavalry. The second platoon's composition was six M707 Striker HMMWVs belonging to the COLT platoon of D/9 Cavalry. The battery's existence proved to be vital during the Mahdi Army's
Mahdi Army
The Mahdi Army, also known as the Mahdi Militia or Jaish al-Mahdi , was an Iraqi paramilitary force created by the Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in June 2003....

 uprisings in April 2004 with the mechanized platoon filling the gaps in Black Jack's armor shortage. The second platoon ran counter Improvised Explosive Device
Improvised explosive device
An improvised explosive device , also known as a roadside bomb, is a homemade bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action...

 (IED) and Main Supply Route (MSR) security during this time. Fire supporters from F/3-82 Field Artillery were called upon in August 2004 to go with Task Force 1-5 Cavalry (Black Knights) to retake the southern city of Najaf
Najaf is a city in Iraq about 160 km south of Baghdad. Its estimated population in 2008 is 560,000 people. It is the capital of Najaf Governorate...

, with the rest of the battery relieving Task Force 1-5 Cavalry in Area of Operations Black Knight. In November 2004, Fox Battery soldiers were sent with Task Force 1-5 Cavalry and Task Force 2-12 Cavalry to provide outer cordon for operations in Fallujah
Fallujah is a city in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar, located roughly west of Baghdad on the Euphrates. Fallujah dates from Babylonian times and was host to important Jewish academies for many centuries....

. The battery then accompanied 3-82 Field Artillery to Forward Operating Base Kalsu in December 2004 to run heavy counter-insurgency operations prior to the January 2005 elections
Iraqi legislative election, January 2005
Elections for the National Assembly of Iraq were held on January 30, 2005 in Iraq. The 275-member National Assembly was a parliament created under the Transitional Law during the Occupation of Iraq...

. The COLT platoon is credited for smashing a massive insurgent operation to kill voters on Election Day, without firing a shot. Fox Battery was deactivated in May 2005, with the entire battery receiving the Combat Action Badge for their efforts. Fox Battery was the most decorated unit in 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery with numerous Bronze Star
Bronze Star Medal
The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. As a medal it is awarded for merit, and with the "V" for valor device it is awarded for heroism. It is the fourth-highest combat award of the...

, Army Commendation, and Purple Heart
Purple Heart
The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917 with the U.S. military. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York...

medals being awarded to almost everyone.

The 1st and 2nd Battalion of the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment are currently home based at Fort Hood, Texas, as part of the 1st Cavalry. The 5th Battalion is located at COB Ader, Iraq as part of the 4th Brigade (Long Knife). 3rd Battalion is currently at FOB Warrior and Alpha Battery of 3-82 is located at FOB Marez in Mosul, Iraq as part of 2nd Brigade (Black Jack). In the history of the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, this is a continuation of a long association with the 1st Cavalry Division.

As of February 2009, the entire 82nd has returned to Fort Hood, TX. Where the 3 C's are in full effect.

External links

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