3rd Squadron 6th Cavalry Regiment History


The 3rd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment first constituted as Company C, 3rd Cavalry on May 4, 1861. On Aug. 3, 1861, it redesignated as Company C, 6th Cavalry. The squadron participated with its parent regiment in the Civil War as part of the Army of the Potomac. It then went on to participate in the Indian Wars, the War with Spain, the China Relief Expedition, the Philippine Insurrection, the Mexican Expedition, World War I, and World War II. During World War II the unit served as part of Patton's Third United States Army, where the 6th Cavalry was affectionately known as Patton's "Household Cavalry."

On Dec. 20, 1948, the 6th Cavalry reorganized into the 6th Armored Cavalry. From 1948 to 1973, the regiment went thru a series of activations and inactivations at various locations to include Fort Knox, Kentucky, Fort Meade, Maryland, and Fort Bliss, Texas.

On July 16, 1986, four days after becoming the first unit to receive the AH-64A Apache helicopter, the 3rd Squadron, 6th Cavalry reactivated and reflagged as the 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry. The 3-6 CAV call sign “Heavy Cav” draws on the 7-17 CAV lineage. Following the 7-17 CAV’s return from a distinguished tour in Vietnam, it became the United States Army's only Attack Helicopter Squadron with more AH-1 Cobras than any other unit. This lent itself to the name "Heavy Cav" which was subsequently adopted by 3-6 CAV as their call sign. The squadron served with distinction at Fort Hood from 1986 to 1996.

In December 1996, 3-6 CAV received orders to deploy to the Republic of Korea. Several months later, the squadron, consisting of 24 Apaches, stood ready to fight at Camp Humphreys, Korea. Assigned to the Eighth United States Army, its mission was to provide a screening force on the peninsula's Western coast. On June 15, 2006, the 3rd Squadron, 6th Cavalry was inactivated and its personnel reflagged as the 4th Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, assigned to the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade.

On March 16, 2015, the 3rd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, was activated at Fort Bliss, Texas, and assigned to the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division. Again, 3-6 CAV led Army Aviation as the Army’s first Heavy Attack Reconnaissance Squadron formed as part of the 2015 Army Aviation Restructuring Initiative. This conversion assigned three Shadow TUAS platoons to 3-6 CAV’s 24 AH-64D Apache Attack Helicopters and combined the lethality and effectiveness of manned and unmanned aircraft.

From August 2015 to April 2016 3-6 CAV deployed to the Middle East in support of Operations Spartan Shield and Inherent Resolve. The 3-6 CAV served with distinction during this deployment, to include selection as the 2015 Department of the Army LTG Ellis D. Parker Award Winner in the Combat Category and the Overall Best Aviation Battalion in the Army.