Originally organized as the Headquarters Troop, 3rd Division in November 2017, the Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd  Infantry Division spent almost all of its first nine decades of service as a HQ organization of one type or another for the 3rd Infantry Division. In fact, its March 2004 redesignation as the STB, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division--also known as 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division—marked its first-ever designation as a Battalion.

But this wasn't just any Battalion: it was the Army’s first Special Troops Battalion, 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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