The 7th Cavalry Regiment was constituted on July 28, 1866 in the Regular Army as the 7th Cavalry. It was organized on September 21, 1866 at Fort Riley, Kansas as part of an expansion of the Regular Army following the demobilization of the wartime volunteer and draft forces. From 1866 through 1871, the Regiment was posted at Ft. Riley and fought in the Indian Wars, notably at the Battle of the Washita in 1868.
From 1871 through 1873, Seventh Cavalry companies participated in occupation duties during the Reconstruction period in the South. Sent north once more to the Western Frontier, the Regiment garrisoned Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory. Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer’s disaster at the Battle of the Little Bighorn on June 25 and 26, 1876, while a stunning defeat, demonstrated the sheer bravery of the 7th Cavalrymen: fourteen soldiers received the Medal of Honor during that battle. During World War II, the 7th Cavalry Regiment was deployed to the Pacific Theater where it participated in many campaigns. After the war, the regiment moved to Japan and assumed occupation duty. In July 1950, the 7th Cavalry deployed to South Korean and fought in some of the war’s bloodiest battles, most notably the Battle of Pusan Perimeter. The 7th Cavalry saw over 18 months of continuous combat before being redeployed back to Japan to continue occupation duties.
The 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry was reorganized from the regiment on 1 September 1963. The battalion saw service in Vietnam and is most remembered for its victory in the Ia Drang Valley of Pleiku Province in November 1965. After its service in Vietnam, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry was reactivated as a Divisional Cavalry Squadron and deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm. Screening well forward of its Division as part of a calculated deception operation, 1-7 CAV clashed with Iraqi Forces long before the actual ground war began. In the massive three day push into Iraq, 1-7 CAV functioned as the eyes and ears of its Division and the 7th Corps.
In April 2004, 1-7 CAV deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Squadron executed combat operations in the al Rashid District of Baghdad, neutralizing insurgent threats, while securing the Route Irish. 1-7 CAV deployed again to Baghdad from October 2006 to January 2008, conducting full spectrum operations targeting terrorist cell network and promoting Sunni national reconciliation as part of the “Surge.” From February 2009 to January 2010, 1-7 CAV deployed for a third time to Baghdad, rigorously targeting Shia IED and rocket cells while promoting economic reconstruction and local governance efforts. The 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry has just finished its fourth deployment to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn 11-12, conducting security operations throughout IJOA, enabling the retrograde of US forces and equipment in compliance with the Iraqi Security Agreement and supporting ongoing sustainment operations.