The 17th Cavalry Regiment was first constituted on 1 July 1916, making the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, the oldest unit in the 82nd Aviation Brigade. The 17th Cavalry Regiment was organized under the provisions of the National Defense Act of 1916 at Fort Bliss, Texas on 30 June 1916 and constituted on 1 July 1916. General Pershing had taken his columns into Mexico only a short time before and the need of cavalry troops was pressing. Thirty-two officers and 791 veterans from the lst, 3rd, 6th, 8th and 14th Regiments were transferred as the nucleus of the new regiment. The cavalry organization of 17 regiments, in effect when the United States entered the war against Germany, was based upon the National Defense Act of 1916. In May 1917, emergency laws called for an immediate increase to full strength authorized by the National Defense Act, and organization of the remaining 8 new cavalry regiments began at once.
The demobilization of the National Guard of Hawaii followed the end of World War I. As a result the 17th Cavalry was the only mobile line organization in the Hawaiian Department. The regiment, strengthened by various recruit contingents which joined during the summer of 1919, furnished the garrison at Fort Shafter and Schofield Barracks, until the fall of 1920, when the arrival of additional troops relieved the cavalry of some of their duties. The 17th Cavalry was inactivated on 26 September 1921 at Presidio of Monterey, California.
World War II found each division with a reconnaissance platoon. The 82nd Airborne Division was no exception. The Division Reconnaissance Platoon's mission was to gather intelligence in one form or another. Sometimes they attempted to draw fire to expose enemy positions. These Eyees and Ears were eventually strengthened following the war, reorganized and redesignated the 82nd Reconnaissance Company on 15 December 1947. On 15 July 1950 it was again redesignated as the 82nd Airborne Reconnaissance Company.
Divisional reorganizational changes were implemented following the Korean War. Smaller sized cavalry elements were approved for service as separate squadrons under the Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS). Under this system parent regiments were carefully selected. Except for the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 11th, and 14th Armored Cavalry Regiments (which retained their regimental structure), the 1st through the 17th Cavalry regiments were included. In 1957, with the advent of CARS, Troop B, 17th Cavalry, was organized in the 101st Airborne Division and was soon followed by Troop A, 17th Cavalry, in the 82nd Airborne Division. It was the first Division unit to receive aircraft when the Reconnaissance Company was redesignated A Troop, 17th Cavalry in 1957.
On 25 May 1964, the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron, 17th Cavalry was activated. Troop B of the Squadron saw action in the Dominican Republic when it deployed with the 82nd Airborne in 1965 and served as the Division's security element. Troop B also deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in 1968 in support of the Division's 3rd Brigade for a period of 22 months. On 18 January 1973 the Squadron was reorganized. A Troop, 7-17 Cavalry returned from Vietnam and became D Troop, C Troop was converted to an Air Cavalry Troop, and became the 1st Squadron (Air), 17th Cavalry. On 27 October 1983, Troop B again deployed, this time to the Island of Grenada, West Indies. The Squadron maintained elements on the island well into 1984.
The 1980's were marked by an emphasis on the air cavalry. Receipt of the newest of helicopter technology, AH-1S (ECAS), OH-58C, and UH-60 aircraft increased the capabilities of the squadron. Continuing to maintain itself at a high level of readiness, the Squadron (-) participated in Operation Urgent Fury with the 82nd Airborne Division.
In late December 1989, D Troop, 1-17th Cavalry deployed to Panama with TF Wolf as part of Operation Uphold Democracy.
In the summer of 1990 the 1st Squadron received the new OH-58D scout aircraft. In August 1990, the 1-17th Cavalry was conducting a rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center when the 82nd Airborne Division was deployed to Saudi Arabia in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Troop B and part of Troop A deployed with Task Force 1-82. The units were alerted on 5 August 1990 and deployed on the 8 August 1990. The Squadron returned from Fort Chaffee and deployed with the Headquarters Troop and D Troop pilots and aircraft on 12 August 1990. The remainder of the Squadron deployed in September 1990. In 1993 the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry upgraded their aircraft fleet to OH-58D(I)s and turned in the last AH-1F aircraft on 21 June 1993. The Aviation Resource Initiative (ARI) forced the squadron to a pure aircraft fleet and E Troop (UH-60) was deactivated and reflagged as the Squadron's Maintenance Troop.
The 1-17th Cavalry was deployed to Iraq on 3 seperate occasions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. As of November 2005, various elements of the 1-17th Cavalry were known to operating around Lake Tar Tar in northwestern Iraq.
The Soldiers of 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment transitioned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky in early spring 2006 and were reflagged as 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment on 10 April 2006, being officially re-activated as part of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky on the 16th of June 2006.
As part of the 82nd Airborne's own transition to the US Army's modular force structure, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry was reactivated and assigned to the reorganized 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade.
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