The 3rd Cavalry Regiment, formerly the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, sometimes referred to as the “Brave Rifles,” is a regiment of the United States Army currently stationed at Fort Hood, TX.
As it applies to General Alfred Gibbs, the regiment’s history in the United States Army dates back to May 19, 1846, when it was constituted in the Regular Army as the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. At the early forming of the regiment, Gibbs was sent to Jefferson Barracks right after graduating on July 1, 1846, from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Gibbs graduated 42nd in his class and was promoted in the Army to Bvt. Second Lieut., Mounted Rifles, July 1, 1846.
This unit was reorganized at the start of the American Civil War as the 3rd U.S. Cavalry Regiment on August 3, 1861. Some eighty-plus years later, in January 1943, the regiment was re-designated as the 3rd Cavalry Group (Mechanized). Today they are equipped with Stryker vehicles. The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment was the last heavy armored cavalry regiment in the U.S. Army until it officially became a Stryker regiment on November 16, 2011. It will retain its lineage as the 3rd Cavalry Regiment.
Raised at Jefferson Barracks in Missouri in 1846, the Unit was explicitly mustered to participate in the (then) recently declared Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. Their name ”Mounted Riflemen” differed from the currently serving Dragoons. The Mounted Rifles used their Mounts to move from point to point on a battlefield. They would dismount and fight (using their horses for transportation). Seldom did The Mounted Riflemen ”fight from The Saddle” (as did Dragoon and traditional Cavalry).
Sent along with General Winfield Scott and The U.S. Army on The Mexican Campaign, The Regiment fought in almost every significant engagement, and the Regimental Colors flew from the balcony of The Mexican National Palace (1847). It was here General Scott gave them their immortal nickname ”The Brave Rifles”. Still active after The War, The Mounted Rifles were deployed to Oregon Territory in 1851 (with several Companies sent to Texas to fight The Comanche (Native American). The Regiment would also encounter The Apache and Navajo.
With the start of The American Civil War of 1861-1865, The Regiment was renamed The U.S. 3rd Cavalry Regiment. Sent to New Mexico Territory, The 3rd was instrumental to Federal Forces at the Battle of Glorieta Pass (in which The Confederacy attempted one last time to capture The Territory for their ultimate goal – the taking of The Gold Mines in California). Later, The 3rd was assigned to The Army of Tennessee (fighting at Chattanooga, Tennessee, and capturing Little Rock, Arkansas). After The War, The Regiment was assigned to fight the Apache Tribes under War Chief Geronimo. In 1876, The 3rd participated in The Great Plains War against The Sioux (fighting at The Battle of The Rosebud in 1876).
The 3rd would fight in The Spanish-American War and was part of the line which assaulted San Juan Heights (1898). After Cuba was secured, The Regiment was sent to fight in The Philippine Insurrection (1899). They fought in over 60 skirmishes against the Enemy. The Regiment would continue serving in America’s Wars (only now losing its horses for Armored Vehicles and Tanks). World War I, World War II (under famed General George Patton), Korean and The Vietnam Conflict.
They continue to serve, having fought in The Middle East since the start of The Global War on Terrorism (21st Century).