Opinion

3RD Armored Cavalry Regiment has 10 wars and 150 years under its belt

FORT CARSON, Colo.—The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment has a 150-year history of fighting in 10 of America's wars and major combat operations, from the U.S.-Mexico War of 1847 to the Philippines Insurrection to World Wars I and II, the Persian Gulf War, Bosnia and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Its troopers have earned 23 Medals of Honor and a Presidential Unit Citation. Its battle flag proudly displays 39 campaign ribbons.

The 3rd ACR is one of the Army's most capable maneuver units, using a lethal combination of Apache helicopter gunships, Kiowa Warrior scout helicopters and Blackhawk helicopters with M1A2 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles. It will have nearly 6,000 soldiers in its ranks—some 600 more than the number training now at Fort Carson—when it returns to Iraq.

The regiment was built to provide scout and reconnaissance functions to Army divisions; it finds what's on the battlefield and destroys it if necessary. Its officers and men led Gen. George Patton's Third Army on its drive into Germany in World War II.

The 3rd ACR is expected to be attached to the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) for Iraq duty. Exactly where it will be in Iraq is classified information.

The 71st colonel to command the regiment, Col. H.R. McMaster of Philadelphia, earned a doctorate from North Carolina State University. As commander of Eagle Troop, 2nd Armored Cavalry, McMaster fought the seminal tank engagement of the Gulf War, the Battle of 73 Easting. In a 21-minute fight, Eagle Troop destroyed an Iraqi Republican Guard regiment of T-72 tanks with no friendly casualties.

McMaster is also author of "Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert S. McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies That Led Us Into Vietnam."

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