The 1st Cavalry Division Museum, located on Fort Hood, Texas tells the history of 1st
both regimental and units, with its vast collection of military artifacts from 1855 to present. Its
exhibits, both indoor and outdoor, feature a wide selection of historical equipment, whether it's an
armored vehicle or aircraft, it has touched the division in a unique way and has added to the
historical significance of the First Team.
The Museum offers a number of programs for Active duty and the public personnel. Programs for active duty included Threat weapon and vehicle training, and Iraqi/Arab Culture Awareness Training. Historical programs included Alamo Siege and Battle Site Staff Ride, Texas Frontier Forts Tour, 1CD in Korea: A Historical Briefing, and the History of the 1st Cavalry Division. These programs are available to Active duty military training groups for free. There is a user fee for other groups.
The museum's public programs included Living History programs on the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War II and Vietnam. The Museum's Living History interpreters will provide an overview of the life and times of soldiers during these time periods. Staff dressed in reproduction period uniforms will describe the uniforms, equipment and weapons used by 1st Cavalry Division troops. These demonstrations will detail the daily life of the soldier, including food craft, drill and tactics, recreation and medical care. In addition, if a female interpreter if available, she will discuss the role of women during these wars; in the home front and in the field.
The museum's newest project is the Lewis and Clark Traveling Trunk. The Museum offers to local school districts a traveling trunk telling the story of the Corps of Discovery. The trunk comer complete with replica materials used and found during the expedition. This program is available to schools and other groups from 5th grade and up. There will be a user fee attached for programs conducted 50 miles or more from Fort Hood, Texas.
This museum is another one of those things that I have just driven by for many years while visiting Fort Hood. I finally decided to take advantage of some free time I had to enjoy the museum. I intend to revisit the museum the next time I am at Fort Hood.
The 1st Cavalry Division "First Team", one of the most decorated combat divisions of the United States Army, is based at Fort Hood, Texas. It was formed in 1921 and served during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War, with the Stabilization Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the Iraq War, and in the War in Afghanistan (2001-present). As of 2013, the 1st Cavalry Division is subordinate to III Corps.
The history of the 1st Cavalry Division began in 1921 as the Army established a permanent cavalry division with 7,463 officers and men to meet partial mobilization requirements.
1st Cavalry Division was assigned to the VIII Corps Area, with its division headquarters and 2d Brigade located at Fort Bliss, Texas, and the 1st Brigade at Douglas, Arizona. The headquarters facilities used by 1st Cavalry Division were those previously vacated by 8th United States Brigade when it was commanded by MG John J. Pershing in 1916, and the wartime 15th Cavalry Division, which had existed at Fort Bliss between 10 December 1917 and 12 May 1918.
The 1st Cavalry Division's Troop List slowly assembled at Douglas, Arizona. The 1st, 7th, and 8th Cavalry Regiments had previously been assigned to the wartime 15th Cavalry Division until they were returned to the VIII Corps Area Troop List on 12 May 1918. 1st Cavalry Regiment remained assigned until it was transferred to 1st Cavalry Division on 20 August 1921. The 7th, 8th, and 10th Cavalry Regiments were transferred on 13 September 1921, although the assignment of the 10th Cavalry Regiment to the 1st Cavalry Division was controversial because the transfer violated the Jim Crow laws. This controversy continued until 18 December 1922, when the 5th Cavalry Regiment, then on the VIII Corps Area Troop List, swapped places with the 10th Cavalry Regiment on the 1st Cavalry Division Troop List.
The 1st Cavalry Division illustrated all of the aspects of the Army's dilemma between realism and idealism. In 1923 the 1st Cavalry Division held division maneuvers for the first time, intending to hold them annually thereafter. However, financial constraints made that impossible. Only in 1927, through the generosity of a few ranchers who provided free land, was the division able to conduct such exercises again. In 1928 Maj. Gen. Herbert B. Crosby, Chief of Cavalry, faced with personnel cuts in his arm, reorganized the cavalry regiments, which in turn reduced the size of the 1st Cavalry Division. Crosby's goal was to decrease overhead while maintaining or increasing firepower in the regiment. After the reorganization each cavalry regiment consisted of a headquarters and headquarters troop; a machine gun troop; a medical and chaplain element; and two squadrons, each with a headquarters element; and two line troops. The cavalry brigades' machine gun squadrons were inactivated, while the responsibility for training and employing machine guns fell to the regimental commanders, as in the infantry.
By the time of the Vietnam War, the 1st Cavalry Division was no longer a conventional infantry unit. It had become an air assault division as the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), commonly referred to as the 1st Air Cavalry Division. The use of helicopters on such large scale as troop carriers, cargo lift ships, MedEvacs, and as aerial rocket artillery, was never before implemented, but by doing so it freed the infantry from the tyranny of terrain to attack the enemy at the time and place of their choosing. In 1965, colors and subordinate unit designations of the 1st Cavalry Division were transferred from Korea to Fort Benning, Georgia, where they were used to reflag the existing the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) into 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Concurrently, the colors and subordinate unit designations were transferred to Korea to reflag what had been the 1st Cavalry Division into the 2nd Infantry Division.
If you are a movie buff, you may remember the 1st Cavalry Division being featured in the 1979 film Apocalypse Now.
Shortly thereafter, the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) began deploying to Camp Radcliffe, An Khe, Vietnam, in the Central Highlands and was equipped with the new M16 rifle, the UH-1 troop carrier helicopter, the AH-1 attack helicopter, the CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter, and the massive CH-54 Skycrane cargo helicopter. All aircraft carried insignia to indicate their battalion and company.
The 1st Cavalry Division has earned its nickname as America's First Team by being the first military unit to accomplish many great things. They were the first unit into Tokyo, the first into North Korea, the first in Vietnam and Cambodia, and the first heavy armored division into Iraq. The Division's motto is "Live the Legend," and when a 1st Cavalry Trooper is on parade, they proudly recall the name of the old Irish marching tune that has become synonymous with the cavalry, "Garry Owen!"
The First Cavalry Division suffered more casualties than any other division during the Vietnam War. Vietnam War casualties: 5,444 killed in action; 26,592 wounded in action.
Monday - Friday 9am - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm
Sunday 12am - 4pm
Closed: Christmas, New Year's Day, Easter, and Thanksgiving.
1st Cavalry Division Museum
56th and 761st Tank Battalion Ave
Fort Hood, Texas 76545