3rd Regiment: Brave Rifles

The U.S. Army Cadet Command established the Regimental Affiliation Program in 1985 to foster unit cohesion, camaraderie, esprit de corps, and the pride of belonging among the diverse groups of Cadets attending the Leader Development and Assessment Course from states around the nation.

Cadets attending LDAC have the unique privilege of being members of one of the Army’s finest combat units. Through the Regimental Affiliation Program, each Cadet organization is assigned to an active Army regiment. The goal of the program is to bind Cadets and cadre together in a close-knit and dynamic organizational relationship with a strong sense of teamwork so crucial to success at LDAC.

LDAC’s 3rd Regiment is affiliated with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. “Brave Rifles! Veterans!”

History

On a crimson landscape, the 3rd Cavalry Regiment first dashed to battle during the Mexican War as a regiment of mounted riflemen. The regiment earned its nickname early, as it lay bloodied and exhausted after the fierce fighting at Contreras. Stirred at the sight of each man rising to attention at his approach, General Winfield Scott roared, “Brave Rifles! Veterans! You have been baptized in fire and blood and you’ve come out steel.”

Clashing with Comanches, Apaches, and many others, the 3rd Cavalry fought in almost every Indian war. As Americans in the east turned to fight each other, the regiment served the Union Army during the Civil War from Alabama to Tennessee. It next charged the Spanish at San Juan Hill where its colors were the first to breach enemy lines.

Redesignated the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment during World War II, the Rifles spearheaded major European campaigns. Unleashed from northern France, the regiment raced to the Rhineland and pierced Germany before any other unit. Turned around to assist Bastogne’s relief, it wheeled again to pursue Hitler’s broken legion all the way to Austria. Said General George Patton as the Brave Rifles passed in final review: “I have never seen a better regiment.”

At present, the 3rd Armored Cavalry is the only heavy armored cavalry regiment (ACR) in the U.S. Army. The other two remaining Armored Cavalry Regiments, the 2nd and 11th, are both considered light ACRs. Most recently, the Brave Rifles fought in the desert of Southwest Asia during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. They are currently serving their third tour in Iraq. Regimental honors include the Presidential Unit Citation, the Belgian Croix de Guerre and 21 Medal of Honor recipients.

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