Often called a “unit crest” because it is frequently taken from the crest found on a unit’s coat of arms, the Distinctive Unit Insignia of the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat, 1st Cavalry Division was approved on 11 August 2005, more than two months before the unit was officially reorganized and redesignated from Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division on 17 October 2005.

The Battalion’s support role in performing Military Intelligence, Signals, and Engineering duties is emphasized both by the green chevron—a longstanding symbol of support in heraldry—and the motto “Steadfast And Vigilant.” A trio of horseshoes recalls the Battalion’s association with the 3rd Brigade; their placement on the chevron conveys the unit’s increased support functions as a Special Troops Battalion.

Beneath the chevron, a griffin—part lion, part eagle—is symbolic of the Battalion’s ability to perform reconnaissance, provide security, and deliver support to the Brigade. A key in the griffin’s claws (paws?) is a symbol of Military Intelligence and its ability to unlock information from raw data that increases the chance of mission success. Lightning flashes denote Signal component in the Brigade.

Constituted on 20 August 1921, the Headquarters Troop, 3rd Cavalry Brigade was assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Division but remained inactive until its conversion and redesignation as HQ Company, 9th Armored Division Trains in July 1942; under this designation it earned credit for participation in three campaigns (Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe) and was honored with two Meritorious Unit Commendations.

In 1963 it received the designation it held at the time it was converted to a Special Troops Battalion—HQ Company 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division—and subsequently took part in all but one of the seventeen named campaigns of the Vietnam conflict. In addition to three prestigious awards from the Army—two Valorous Unit Awards and a Presidential Unit Citation—the unit’s service was also recognized with as astonishing four Republic of Vietnam Crosses of Gallantry with Palm and a Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal First Class.

With the launch of the War of Terrorism, the Brigade was deployed to Iraq before its conversion to Special Troops Battalion; its support of Operation Iraqi Freedom during 2004 – 2005 was recognized with a Meritorious Unit Commendation. It would the first of three MUCs earned while deployed to Iraq, which were complemented by a Valorous Unit Award (for achievements between October 2006 and October 2007).

On 18 October 2013, the 3rd Engineer Battalion (later Brigade Engineer Battalion) assumed many of the duties of the inactivated 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

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