71st CAVALRY REGIMENT
Distinctive Unit Insignia
Description: The insignia is a 1 1/8 inch (or 2.86 cm)-tall metal and enamel shield, colored silver and in the shape of an argent. On the shield is a sable-colored bar and an azure-colored lion holding a fleur-de-lis in it's dexter (or right) paw. The inscription "GALLANTLY FORWARD," in blue letters, is attached below and to the sides of the shield.
Symbolism: The colors blue and white are for Infantry, the previous unit designation. Black and golden orange were the colors used for Tank Destroyer organizations, indicating the unit’s origin. The raging lion symbolizes aggressive and warlike qualities. The fleur-de-lis is gold (for golden orange) to indicate the battle honors were awarded to the organization as a Tank Destroyer unit in World War II.
3-71 Unit History
The 71st Cavalry Regiment has, throughout its history, served as a tank destroyer battalion, a mechanized cavalry reconnaissance squadron, a heavy tank battalion, and an armored infantry battalion.
The regiment was originally activated on Dec. 15, 1941, at Fort Knox, Ky., as the 701st Tank Destroyer Battalion. The 701st deployed to North Africa in support of the 1st Armored Division in 1942 and saw action throughout WWII, ending up attached to the 10th Mountain Division in Northern Italy.
In 1945, the 701st was inactivated, then the unit was converted and re-designated in 1947 as the 327th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, part of the Organized Reserves. The unit was further re-designated in 1949 as the 327th Heavy Tank Battalion.
In 1951, the 327th was withdrawn from the Organized Reserve Corps and assigned to the 1st Armored Division as the 701st Armored Infantry Battalion. The 701st served under 1st Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Polk, La., until it was inactivated in 1957.
On March 17, 2004, the 71st Cavalry Regiment was formed to provide reconnaissance squadrons for the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum.
The 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, can trace its lineage directly back to Company C, 701st Tank Destroyer Battalion. Tank Destroyer units were lightly armored for greater speed and their personnel had "an aggressive, elite spirit." All these abilities contributed to their motto "Seek, Strike, Destroy."
During WWII, the tank destroyer battalions served in multi-functional roles and earned a proud combat record. Although some are surprised that a tank destroyer unit could end up as cavalry, it isn't unusual for armor and cavalry units to convert from one to another. The 71st Cavalry was converted several times while still maintaining its proud and elite traditions.
In February of 2006, the unit deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Squadron was deployed to northeastern Kunar and Nuristan provinces and served with distinction there, earning the Meritorious Unit Citation. The Soldiers of the regiment deployed in support of OEF again in December 2008, this time in Logar province.