Brief History of the First Cavalry Division


Read a first-hand account of life in the First Cav

Read about the First Cav's battle in the No Deros Delta

The First Cavalry Division was officially activated in 1921 at Fort Bliss. At its nucleus were the cavalry regiments that had been at the heart of the Indian Wars, including the 7th Cavalry Regiment of Little Big Horn fame.

Although First Cav would see action in both WWII and Korea, it was in Vietnam that the division truly came into its own. Now riding in helicopters, it became not only the first airmobile division of the U.S. military, but also the first Army division fully committed to the war. It was also the last Army division to leave Vietnam.

In October and November of 1965, less than two months after arriving in Vietnam, the division would take part in the Pleiku campaign in and around the Ia Drang Valley. These sharp engagements tested the mettle of the soldiers as well as the tactics of the division, and are the historical basis for We Were Soldiers.

Throughout the rest of the war, First Cav continued to refine the airmobile concept, always striking when and where they were least expected. They took part in some of the most famous battles and operations of the war: Hue, Khe Sanh, Operation Pershing and Cambodia.

Following the Vietnam War, the division went through many changes, both in structure and in technology, but the underlying strategy -- a swift strike force that could inflict heavy damage on the enemy -- remained the same. It was the same strategy the cavalry used when they rode horses and patrolled the Great Plains protecting settlers.

Read full history by Cavalry Outpost Publications | We Were Soldiers - Official Movie Site | © 2002 Military Advantage, Inc.