The origin of the 1st Battalion, 13th Armor can be traced to Troop K, 13th Cavalry
(13th Horse), constituted on 2 February 1901 and organized under the 13th
Cavalry Regiment at Fort Meade, South Dakota on 26 July 1901. The regiment
served in the Philippines from 1903 to 1905 and again from 1909 to the end of
1910. From 1911 to 1921 the regiment was stationed along the Mexican border
and was involved in the Punitive Expedition in 1916. The 13th was the first unit
into Mexico and the last out. The regiment remained active between the world
wars, being stationed in Texas and Kansas.
In 1936 the 13th Cavalry became part of what was to become the nucleus of the
Army's Armored Force. As part of the 7th Cavalry Brigade (Mechanized), the 13th
laid the foundations of the new armored divisions, which were to come into being
in 1940. Colonel Charles l. Scott, the regimental commander at the time, was to
become the first commander of the 2nd Armored Division.
On 15 July 1940, the 13th Cavalry was redesignated the 13th Armored Regiment
and became part of the new 1st Armored Division. On 8 November 1942, 13th
Armored, as part of Combat Command B, landed in Oran, Algeria, to participate in
the allied counteroffensive in North Africa. From that time on, the 13th never was
far from the fighting, and it ended the war almost at the Swiss border in Italy.
From 1946 to September 1947, the 13th served as part of the US Constabulary in
Germany. It was inactivated at Coburg, West Germany, on 20 September 1947.
In 1951 the 13th Tank Battalion was reactivated with the 1st Armored Division at
Fort Hood. It remained with the division throughout the 50s and 60s until 1971,
when it became part of the 1st Cavalry Division for 3 years. On 20 June 1974, the
1st Battalion, 13th Armor rejoined the 1st Armored Division at Illesheim, Germany,
until 20 February 1987, when the battalion moved to Vilseck, Germany, where it
remained until 1988 when it was inactivated and redesignated to 2nd Battalion,
13th Armor, at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
In February 1996, the 1st Battalion, 13th Armor, was reactivated at Fort Riley,
Kansas, as part of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. From January 1997 –
December 1997, 1-13 Armor became Task Force (TF) 1-13, when A/1-13 joined
TF 1-41 Infantry as part of Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia. TF 1-13 gained
B/1-41 IN and C/1-4 ADA. Again, from May 2002 – November 2002, 1-13 Armor
became TF 1-13 when A/1-13 deployed with TF 1-41 Infantry for Operation Desert
Spring in Kuwait. TF 1-13 AR gained A/1-41 IN.
On 23 February 2003, 13th tank received its deployment orders to deploy to the
CENTCOM area of responsibility in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The
battalion entered Iraq on 29 April 2003 attached to the 3rd Infantry Division and
assumed control of the Kadimiyah area in northwest Baghdad. TF Dakota served
proudly in Baghdad, Iraq conducting stability and security operations until its
redeployment on 2 April 2004.
The battalion's colors are authorized to carry campaign and battle streamers
embroidered Mexico 1916-1917, Algeria-French Morocco (with Arrowhead),
Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, North Apennines, and Po-Valley.
Alpha Company, 1-13 Armor, is authorized the Army Superior Unit Award for
outstanding service in the Balkans.
The Unit Crest:
The number "13" stands for the number of the Regiment
The crossed sabres represent the type of unit. The Regiment was formally a "Horse" regiment, then later changed to a "Cavalry" Regiment and in the late 90's changed to an "Armor" Regiment.
The blazing sun comes from the state flag of South Dakota where the Regiment was originally formed in 1901 at Fort Meade.
The Palm Branch symbolizes the expeditions in the Philippines.
The Cactus Branch represents the Mexican Punitive Expedition. The Cactus branch also has 5 red berries on it. Each berry stands for the number of times that the Regiment chased Poncho Vila across the Mexican Border.
The words "It Shall Be Done" were given to the Regiment by the war department because of the high spirit, morale & espri de corps of the soldiers within the unit to accomplish the mission.