Originally constituted in the Regular Army as the 1st Battalion Mounted Engineers on 1 July 1916, the 8th Engineer Battalion was first given its current designation the following year on 29 July 1917. Assigned to the 15th Cavalry Division in November 1917, the Battalion saw no combat during World War I and was subsequently assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division on 27 July 1921, marking the start of nearly 85 consecutive years of active service as part of the “First Team.” Inactivated in October 2005, the Battalion, nicknamed "Trojan Horse," was activated 21 months later in July 2007 at Fort Hood; its association with the 1st Cavalry Division was renewed when it was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division in June 2014.

Except for the First World War, the 8th Engineer Battalion has deployed for every major conflict involving the U.S. Army since its inception (one of its component units actually took part in the Mexican Expedition prior to the start of World War I). Its record includes action in four World War II campaigns (two involved the Battalion making assault landings), eight in the Korean War, thirteen in Vietnam, all three comprising the Southwest Asia Conflict (First Gulf War), and a minimum of two in the War on Terrorism.

Unit decorations include nine Meritorious Unit Commendations, three Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations, a Presidential Unit Citation, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medals, Valorous Unit Award, and the Greek Cross of Valour.

The Eighth Engineer Battalion Distinctive Unit Insignia, also called a unit crest or simply DUI, was approved on 11 February 1922. Its eight horseshoes indicate the Battalion’s numerical designation the Yucca plant represents service in the Mexican Expedition.

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