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15th Cavalry Regiment

The 15th Cavalry Regiment is a cavalry regiment of the United States Army. It was one of the Expansion Units originally established for the Spanish–American War, but has been a general workhorse unit ever since.

15th Cavalry Regiment
15th Cavalry Regiment coat of arms
BranchRegular Army
RoleCavalry One Station Unit Training
Part of1st Armored Training Brigade
Motto(s)"All for One, One for All"
William H. Hay
Distinctive unit insigniaUSA - 15 CAV REGT.png
U.S. Cavalry Regiments
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The 15th Cavalry Regiment was formed in 1901 at the Presidio of San Francisco, California. Immediately upon its organization in 1901, the 15th Cavalry embarked for the Philippines to quell an insurrection in the United States' newly acquired territory. The regiment's next action was part of the Cuban Pacification from 1906 to 1909, followed by duty along the Mexican border and the hunt for Pancho Villa from December 1917 to March 1918.

World War OneEdit

When the United States entered World War I, the regiment sailed for France as one of the four mounted regiments on duty with the Allied Expeditionary Force. The fighting had already bogged down into trench warfare and the role of horse cavalry was nearly over. The 15th was called upon to dismount and relieve exhausted infantry units in the trenches. It was the tank that finally broke the trench lines to end both the war and the role of the horse soldier. The 15th served occupation duty after the war until June 1919 when it returned to the United States.

The 5th Cavalry Regiment was deactivated on 18 October 1921, after 20 years of continuous active service, as part of the massive cutbacks in the Regular Army following "the war to end all wars".

World War TwoEdit

With the advent of the Second World War, the 15th was again called to service in March 1942, this time with new mounts, the armored car and tank. After undergoing training at the Desert Training Center in California, the regiment sailed for the European Theater of Operations, arriving in Scotland in March 1944. Here, the 15th was reorganized as the 15th Cavalry Group (Mechanized). The group was composed of the 15th and 17th Reconnaissance Squadrons. The 15th Cavalry Group landed on Utah Beach on 5 July 1944 as part of Patton's Third Army. The 15th served in four major campaigns in Europe: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe. The 15th Cavalry Group and its two squadrons fought as part of the Third Army, Ninth Army and was later assigned as a security force for several different divisions. The end of the war found the 15th deep inside Germany, covering over 1000 miles of enemy held territory since landing on the Continent in July 1944. When the war ended, the 15th Cavalry Group and its two squadrons had taken nearly 7,000 German prisoners and had destroyed 78 guns and 495 enemy vehicles.

Postwar - the Constabulary EraEdit

Following the war, the 15th was redesignated the 15th Constabulary Regiment, charged initially with occupation duty of the defeated Germany. The 17th Reconnaissance Squadron was deactivated in January 1947, but the 15th Squadron, redesignated as the 15th Constabulary Squadron, continued serving. As the cold war began in earnest, the regiment's duty shifted to patrolling the border between West Germany and East Germany, as well as the border with Czechoslovakia. The Constabulary Force guarded the border until 1952.

Cold WarEdit

From 1952 to 1987, the regiment went through a series of redesignations, inactivations and reactivations. Elements of the regiment served across various Army units in Korea, Germany, and the United States. Troop G served in the Vietnam War from 1971 to 1972, being equipped at that time with the M551 Sheridan Armored Reconnaissance/Airborne Assault Vehicle (AR/AAV).

Reorganization and current statusEdit

In March 1987, the Army overhauled its Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS) to restore some order to the history and lineage of its regiments. One goal of this reform was to keep on active duty those regiments which had earned distinguished records over long years of service. The 15th Cavalry Regiment met this criteria and, in March 1987, was reactivated at Fort Knox, Kentucky, by the activation of its 5th Squadron (Sabers). On 1 May 2018, the 2nd Squadron (Lions) was activated. Both Squadrons, as part of the 194th Armored Brigade, are charged with the mission of training the U.S. Army's enlisted Cavalry Scouts.


15th Cavalry RegimentEdit

Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 15th Cavalry Group, Mechanized;
1st Squadron became 15th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized, attached to 15th Cavalry Group (Mech).
2nd Squadron became 17th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized, attached to 15th Cavalry Group (Mech).
  • After 12 March 1944, the above units underwent the following changes:

HHT, 15th Cavalry Group, MechanizedEdit

  • Unit arrived in France on 1944-07-05.
  • Unit entered Combat on 1944-08-02 near Avranches for the assault on Brest; remained at St. Nazaire and Lorient until relieved by the 66th Infantry Division, and performed screening missions for the Ninth Army until 1945-02-13.
  • Unit attached to [XVI Corps] (United States) and crossed over into the Netherlands on 1945-02-16, and entered Germany on 1945-03-03.
  • Unit located at Montabaur, Germany on 1945-08-14, which is when the Japanese agreed to surrender.
  • Converted and redesignated 1946-05-01 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 15th Constabulary Regiment
  • Reorganized and redesignated 1948-02-02 as Headquarters and Headquarters and Service Troop, 15th Constabulary Regiment
  • Inactivated 1948-12-20 in Germany
  • Converted and redesignated 1950-10-23 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Armored Cavalry Group
  • Activated 1950-11-15 at Camp Polk, Louisiana
  • Redesignated 1953-09-25 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Armor Group.
  • Inactivated 1955-12-01 at Fort Knox, Kentucky

15th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized (less Troop E)Edit

  • Unit arrived in France on 1944-07-05.
  • Unit crossed over into the Netherlands on 1945-02-16.
  • Unit entered Germany on 1945-03-09.
  • Unit was located at Verl, Germany on 1945-08-14, which is the day that Japan agreed to surrender.
  • Converted and redesignated 1946-05-01 as the 15th Constabulary Squadron and assigned to the 15th Constabulary Regiment
  • Inactivated 1948-12-20 in Germany and relieved from assignment to the 15th Constabulary Regiment
  • Activated 1949-05-20 in Germany
  • Inactivated 1952-12-15 in Germany
  • Converted and redesignated 1954-08-13 as the 15th Reconnaissance Battalion

Troop E, 15th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, MechanizedEdit

  • Troop E, 15th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized, converted and redesignated 1946-05-01 as the Light Tank Troop, 15th Constabulary Regiment.
  • Inactivated 1947-02-28 in Germany
  • Disbanded 1953-02-25
  • Reconstituted 1954-08-14 in the Regular Army as Troop L, 15th Cavalry Regiment.

17th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized (Less Company F)Edit

  • Unit arrived in France on 1944-07-15.
  • Unit crossed over into the Netherlands on 1945-02-16.
  • Unit entered Germany on 1944-11-23.
  • Unit was located at Wiedenburck, Germany on 1945-08-14, which is the day that Japan agreed to surrender.
  • 17th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized, inactivated 1947-01-20 in Germany
  • Redesignated (less Company F) 1948-09-01 as the 501st Reconnaissance Battalion
  • Activated 1948-09-25 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma
  • Inactivated 1949-01-25 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma

Portions of the 17th's movements are dramatized in the book, "Teacher of the Year: The Mystery and Legacy of Edwin Barlow".

Company F, 17th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, MechanizedEdit

  • Redesignated 1948-09-01 as the 550th Light Tank Company
  • Redesignated 1951-03-19 as the 550th Tank Company
  • Activated 1951-04-06 at Fort Benning, Georgia
  • Inactivated 1958-06-25 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky
  • Redesignated 1958-10-01 as Troop F, 15th Cavalry Regiment


  • HHC, 15th Armor Group; 15th and 501st Reconnaissance Battalions; and Troops F and L, 15th Cavalry Regiment, consolidated, reorganized and redesignated 1957-04-01 to 1959-05-01 as the 15th Cavalry Regiment, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System
  • Redesignated 1963-07-01 as the 15th Armor Regiment
  • Redesignated 1967-07-01 as the 15th Cavalry Regiment
  • Troop G, 15th Cavalry Regiment arrived in Vietnam on 1971-12-15. For this security assignment, Troop G was equipped with M-551 Sheridan Assault Vehicles in place of their normal Tracked Vehicles.
  • Troop G returned from Vietnam on 1972-02-26.
  • Withdrawn 1987-03-25 from the Combat Arms Regimental System, reorganized under the United States Army Regimental System, and transferred to the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command.
  • 2nd Squadron was activated on 1 May 2018 at Fort Benning, Georgia.


Campaign participation creditEdit

  • Philippine Insurrection:
  1. Mindanao;
  2. Luzon 1902
  • World War I:
  1. Streamer without inscription
  • World War II:
  1. Normandy;
  2. Northern France;
  3. Rhineland;
  4. Central Europe
  • Vietnam:
  1. Consolidation II (Troop G only).


  • None

Commanding officersEdit

  • Colonels Of The Regiment (Commanding Officers of the 15th Cavalry Regiment, 1901–55)
  • 1st COL William M. Wallace March 1901 - October 1906
  • 2nd COL George F. Chase October 1906 - May 1907
  • 3rd COL Joseph Garrard May 1907 - April 1914
  • 4th COL George H. Morgan April 1914 - July 1915
  • 5th COL William A. Shunk July 1915 - October 1916
  • 6th COL William H. Hay October 1916 - October 1917
  • 7th COL Melvin W. Rowell October 1917 - May 1918
  • 8th COL Herman A. Sievert May 1918 - July 1919
  • 9th COL Mortimer A. Bigelow July 1919 - August 1919
  • 10th COL Michael M. McNamee August 1919 - October 1919
  • 11th COL Charles A. Hedekin October 1919 - February 1920
  • 12th COL Michael M. McNamee February 1920 - April 1920
  • 13th COL Thomas B. Dugan April 1920 - September 1921
  • 14th COL Roy B. Harper September 1921 - October 1921

(Inactivated October 1921, reactivated March 1942)

  • 15th COL J. Frank Richmond March 1942 - November 1942
  • 16th COL John B. Reybold November 1942 - August 1944

(Redesignated March 1944 as 15th Cavalry Group, Mechanized)

  • 17th LTC Robert J. Quinn August 1944 - June 1945
  • 18th COL David Wagstaff June 1945 - April 1946

(Redesignated May 1946 as 15th Constabulary Regiment)

  • 19th COL Harold G. Holt April 1946 - July 1947
  • 20th COL William H. Hill September 1947 - July 1948
  • 21st LTC Evert S. Thomas July 1948 - December 1948

(Inactivated December 1948, reactivated November 1950 as 15th Armored Cavalry Group, Mechanized)

  • 22nd COL Alan L. Fulton November 1950 - November 1952
  • 23rd LTC Wilbur Stephenson November 1952 - July 1955

(Redesignated September 1953 as 15th Armor Group)

  • 24th LTC Delbert Tanner July 1955 - December 1955

(15th Armor Group Inactivated December 1955, incorporated into the Combat Arms Regimental System 1957, regimental headquarters disbanded.)


  • "Lineage and Honors Information, 15th Cavalry". United States Army Center of Military History. 9 June 1997. Archived from the original on 22 June 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
  • Headquarters, 15th Cavalry Group (Mechanized). History of the 15th Cavalry Group - Normandy - Northern France - Rhineland - Central Europe Campaigns. (Unit Historical Officer: Verl, Germany, 1945).
  • Budmirovich, Michael. History of the 15th Cavalry Group. (Privately published, 1991).
  • Larson, Ross E. Regimental History 15th U.S. Cavalry 1901 - 1921. (Gov't Press, Ft. D.A. Russell, WY, 28 Feb. 1923)
  • Nash, Douglas E. The 15th Cavalry Regiment - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. (Govt Press, Ft. Knox, KY 1989)