Fort Stewart, Ga. – Five cavalrymen assigned to 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, assisted in the restoration of an M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle from May 4-6, 2021, at the National Museum of the United States Army on Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The Bradley served in the 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division that was the division’s cavalry squadron and spearhead for the U.S. invasion into Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
The vehicle was the first Bradley to cross the demilitarized zone into Iraqi during OIF and took part in the Battle of Baghdad. Modern day 6-8 CAV troopers working on the vehicle enabled the intersection the past and present of U.S. Army cavalry history.
“The cavalry and 3rd Infantry Division have long standing traditions and history with the U.S. Army and getting the opportunity to preserve the history of 3-7 CAV is a great honor,” said 1st Lt. Jared Roush, 2nd Platoon Leader in Company D, 6-8 CAV, 2nd ABCT.
The Bradley was fully restored from the ground up, replacing most of its major components including the electronic systems, engine and repairing the exterior body of the vehicle to make it look like as it did when it came off the assembly line. The Troopers help set up the exterior of the vehicle to make it look historically accurate to the time it served combat during OIF. Using their knowledge of what to place on the Bradley, the Troopers got to work placing identification panels, duffle bags, fuel cans, water cans and tarps among other things.
“I thought it was great because I got to help make a Bradley make it look as it did in combat. When people go to visit the museum now, they can see an accurate representation of a Bradley at that time,” said Spc. Philip Stark, one of the five Troopers from Company D, 6-8 CAV, 2nd ABCT, selected to maintain the living piece of history.
The 3-7 CAV was deactivated January 15, 2015, at Fort Stewart, Georgia, when 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID was deactivated and converted to an infantry brigade combat team. However, the brigade was converted back to 2nd ABCT on October 16, 2017, but with 6-8 CAV and not 3-7 CAV as its reconnaissance squadron. The 3-7 CAV will maintain its place in the annals of cavalry history for now with units, such 6-8 CAV, and the museum as its diligent caretakers.
“The 6-8 CAV was proud to support the restoration project of this historic 3-7 CAV Bradley Fighting Vehicle at the National Museum of the United States Army,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Lamb, commander of 6-8 CAV, 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID. “The experience connected our Troopers to the past and instilled in them the significance of our 3rd Infantry Division lineage and the vital importance to preserve our shared cavalry history for future Troopers.”