Originally organized as the Headquarters Troop, 3rd Division in November 2017, the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division was not designated as a brigade until it was reconstituted as HQ and HQ Company, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division in April 1963 and activated on June 3rd of the same year. Over forty years later, the brigade’s HQ Company was reorganized and redesignated as the Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division on 16 March 2004. The Army’s first Special Troops Battalion, it was formed with a Signal Company, a Military Intelligence Company, and a Military Police Platoon. The 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division Distinctive Unit Insignia was approved on 2 November 2004.

The first deployment the unit made as a Special Troops Battalion came in January 2005, when it served in support of the 42nd Infantry Division and 101st Airborne. Two years later the Battalion was sent to Ramadi where it assisted in counterinsurgency operations in the area of operations assigned to 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. The “Desert Cats” would deploy to the region several more times; for two of those tours—one a twelve-month deployment from 2009–2010 and another shorter mission from November 2012 to June 2013—it would be awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation.

As part of the Army’s decision to transformed its Special Troops Battalions into more robust Brigade Engineer Battalions, the Desert Cat battalion was inactivated in 2014.

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