82nd Field Artillery Regiment (United States) - Border War

Border War

On 9 March 1916, the Mexican rebel General Francisco "Pancho" Villa ordered nearly 500 Mexican revolutionaries to make a cross-border attack into the United States at New Mexico. The raid was in response to Woodrow Wilson's recognition and support of the Carranza regime. Commander of the Army 8th Brigade, John J. Pershing led a failed Punitive Expedition to kill or capture Pancho Villa. However, Villa would not be caught and by 1919 had assembled a sizeable force and had initiated several battles against Mexican military troops in an attempt to rally the Mexican people against President Carranza. On the morning of 15 June 1919, Villa's forces attacked Mexican military troops at Fort Hidalgo.

At 0136 Hours on 15 June 1919, the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment (minus Service Company) left Fort Bliss and headed toward El Paso to occupy pre-planned firing positions. When the battle was over, the regiment was recognized with the Distinctive Unit Insignia depicting a black artillery shell and the wavy white background symoblizing the first shot across the Rio Grande by "A" Battery, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery. The motto "Can and Will" was also given to reflect their spirit steeped in traditions of men doing what needs to be done regardless of the obstacles to be overcome.

On 9 September 1921 the 82nd Field Artillery was composed of "A", "B" and "C" Batteries and was designated the 82nd Field Artillery (Horse) Battalion and was assigned to the newly activated 1st Cavalry Division. The Battalion was the only Horse Artillery in the United States Army at the time and the designation meant that all unit members rode mounted horses instead of riding on gun carriages.

On 17 March 1930 the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment was reactivated and the 82nd Field Artillery Battalion (Horse) was reorganized as the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, but lost its designation as (Horse). Parallel to this, the 84th Field Artillery was redesignated as the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery and inactivated. Assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division was also delayed until 1 December 1934.

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