The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division was first constituted on 12 November 1917 at Fort Bliss, Texas. In less than six months, the Brigade deployed to France. During World War I, the Brigade participated in battles such as the Aisne Defensive, Chateau Thierry and the Champagne-Marne Defensive. The Brigade conducted offensive actions at Aisne Marne and Saint Mihiel, breaking the three-year stalemate of trench warfare.
The Brigade conducted numerous operations in World War II. On 1 June 1942, the Brigade was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters Company, 3rd Infantry Division. By October 1942, the Brigade deployed to North Africa. There the unit participated in actions in Morocco and then made amphibious landings in Sicily and France.
The Brigade moved across France and into Germany, encountering increasingly fierce opposition. After three years at war the long trek ended near Salzburg, Austria. 1st Brigade deployed to the Republic of Korea where it fought in eight campaigns beginning with its landing at Wonsan in November 1950. The Republic of Korea decorated 1st Brigade twice for its actions. The Brigade was cited in Department of the Army General Order 43 for the defense of the Imjin River and the Hantan River line in April 1951, for the strategic retrograde from April to May 1951, and for the defense of Seoul in May 1951.
In January 2003, the 1st Brigade Combat Team arrived in Kuwait with the mission to deter Iraqi aggression in the region. By March, following countless training exercises in the Kuwaiti desert and an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein from President George W. Bush, the future seemed clear. On the night of 20 March 2003, the Brigade crossed the border into Iraq and began its march to Baghdad.
The 1st Brigade Combat Team returned to Iraq in December 2004 to Salah-ad-Din province for OIF III. In January 2007 the Brigade redeployed to Iraq, this time to al-An Bar Province, making it the first Brigade Combat Team to deploy to Iraq three times and one of the first brigades to deploy as part of the surge that proved to be the turning point in the war. The Brigade deployed to Iraq for the fourth time. The Brigade was the first unit to organize, train, equip, and operate as an Advise and Assist Brigade. The Raiders partnered with six Iraqi Divisions and three operational commands in Baghdad, a city of over seven million people, where at one time eleven U.S. Brigade Combat Teams and two Divisions operated.
In September 2012, the Brigade deployed as a Security Force Assistance Brigade to advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in southeastern Afghanistan while providing Village Stability Operations throughout the Zabul province of Afghanistan. As part of the Brigade’s deployment they oversaw the transition of several ISAF bases to the ANSF and the Afghan government.
Beginning in 2015, the Brigade deployed in support of US Army Europe and Operation Atlantic Resolve conducting training in multiple countries including Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. The Raider Brigade was forward deployed four times in support of the Regionally Aligned Forces mission and conducted training and exercises with many NATO and Coalition partners.
In 2018 and 2020, 1ABCT completed a nine-month rotation as the Regionally Aligned Force (RAF) for U.S. Pacific Command. During the rotation to Korea, 1ABCT served as the rotational armored brigade combat team supporting the 2nd Infantry Division Republic of Korea / United States Combined Division. 1ABCT’s primary mission was to be prepared to support the state department during Non-Combatant Evacuation (NEO) and as the Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Task Force. 1ABCT also completed gunnery qualification of all crews and maintained a heightened state of readiness in order to be able to “Fight Tonight” during the rotation to Korea.
In January 2022, Raider Brigade was called upon for a no-notice deployment to the U.S. Army Europe and Africa Command area of operations to deter aggression against NATO following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Through rapid deployment, strategic equipment draw, and a rigorous training regimen, Raider Brigade expeditiously produced a combat credible force prepared to fight and win against a peer adversary. Raider Brigade’s readiness and professionalism enabled it to answer the nation’s call during the Ukrainian Security Crisis. Today, Raider Brigade stands poised to redeploy and prepare for the next mission. The Raiders, true to their motto, are always, “Raiders First.”