504TH MILITARY INTELLIGENCE, ALWAYS READY!
The 504th Military Intelligence (Expeditionary) traces its lineage to the 137th Signal Radio Intelligence Company (Aviation). Activated in the early days of World War II the unit redesignated as 137th Signal Radio Intelligence Company. The unit earned battle streamers for the campaigns of Northern France, Central Europe and the Rhineland.
After World War II the brigades name and tasks were subject to many changes, but on 21 April 1978 the 504th Military Intelligence Group (Corps) was activated and began its evolution to a Military Intelligence Brigade. On 16 September 1985, the brigade was designated as the 504th Military Intelligence Brigade (Corps) at Fort Hood and supported the III Armored Corps. At that time the brigade consisted of a Headquarters & Headquarters Detachment and three Military Intelligence Battalions: 15th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation), 163rd Military Intelligence Battalion (Tactical Exploitation), 303rd Military Intelligence Battalion (Operations)
With the Transformation of the United States Army the 504th was redesignated as the 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade. To fulfill its new mission the brigade relinquished control of the 15th Military Intelligence Battalion and activated three new companies: a Network Support Company, a Forward Support Company and a Long Range Surveillance Troop (B-38th CAV) while restructuring the Headquarters & Headquarters Detachment into a company and expanding its missions. The two remaining Military Intelligence battalions assumed identical missions as intelligence collection battalions.
The brigade's Troop B (LRS), 38th Cavalry Regiment, activated on 16 February 2008, was reorganized and redesignated on 24 June 2010 as Troop C (LRS)(ABN) as part of the newly activated 2nd Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop (HHT), Troop A, Troop B, and Troop C, 2d Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment.
While Troop C within various squadrons of the 38th Cavalry Regiment is sometimes locally referred to as Company C, HQ Department of the Army policy states, "HQDA approved MTOE does not allow for a separate infantry company." In the case of the 1st Squadron, HQ DA wrote, "As documented, the company is a subordinate of 1–38th CAV and as such will carry the designation of Troop C, 1–38th CAV." The policy applies to the 2d Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment as well.
The Brigade has campaign participation credit in World War II (Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe) and the War on Terrorism (Iraq; Transition of Iraq, Iraqi Governance, National Resolution, Iraqi Surge, and Iraqi Sovereignty). The Brigade currently holds a Valorous Unit Award, with Streamer embroidered AL NAJAF PROVINCE 2004; Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered EUROPEAN THEATER; Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered SOUTHWEST ASIA 2004; Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered SOUTHWEST ASIA 2006-2007; Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered IRAQ 2008-2009; Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered AFGHANISTAN 2011-2012; Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered AFGHANISTAN 2017-2018.
INSIGNIAS ORIGIN & MEANING
Shoulder Sleeve Insignia: Approved on 19 December 1985, three months after the unit had first received Brigade designation. A pair of wings alludes to a lofty perspective and by extension the advantage of clear observation that it provides. The lightning flash bisecting the wings denotes a quick response to the commander’s needs for intelligence from all available sources. A fleur-de-lis is a symbol of intelligence, but here it is also a reference to the unit’s service in Northern France and Central Europe. A gold border denotes excellence and signifies achievement.
Distinctive Unit Insignia: Military Intelligence branch colors of silver gray and oriental blue are used for the text of the inscription “SEMPER PRAEPARATUS” (Lain for “Always Prepared”) and the scroll on which it is written, respectively. Blue is the color of loyalty in heraldry, and gold is included to denote accomplishment. A pair of wings alludes to achieving great height as a perspective for visual surveillance. The vertical lightning flash and checkerboard background refer to technological prowess and capabilities, and in tandem they reflect ever-watchful leadership, swift response, and high-speed communications. They also refer to the Brigade’s focus on strategic control of hostile communications and the safeguarding of friendly communications.