About the Unit
Distinctive Unit Insignia
A metal and enameled device 1 inch (2.54 cm) in height
overall consisting of a gold colored Norman shield with a black
horse's head couped in sinister chief, and a black bend charged
with two five-pointed stars.
The device is a miniature reproduction of the 1st Cavalry
Division's shoulder sleeve insignia with the addition of two
five-pointed stars. The Division Commander and the Division
Staff wore the distinctive insignia design from 1922 to 1934 as
a shoulder sleeve insignia.
The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the
1st Cavalry Division on 25 August 1965. It was redesignated for
the 1st Air Cavalry Division on 5 August 1968. It was
redesignated for the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) on 10
September 1968. The insignia was redesignated for the 1st
Cavalry Division on 24 May 1971.
Unit Patch (Shoulder Sleeve Insignia)
The patch of the 1st Cavalry Division has a history as
colorful as its design, reflecting the proud heritage of the
United States Cavalry in a timeless manner.
The insignia selected for the First team patch was designed
by Colonel and Mrs. Ben Dorsey. The colonel was then commander
of the 7th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bliss, Texas. Mrs. Dorsey
related that the combination of the golden sunset at Fort Bliss
and the traditional colors of the Cavalry; blue and yellow, were
a great influence on the background color and the insignia. The
choice of the horse's head for the insignia was made by the
family after they observed a mounted trooper ride by their home
on a beautiful blue-black thoroughbred. Later, to improve
visibility, the color scheme was modified replacing the blue for
black, the symbolic color of iron and armor.
On a "sunset" yellow triangular Norman Shield with rounded
corners 5 1/4 inches in height, a black diagonal stripe extends
over the shield from upper left to the lower right. In the upper
right, a black horse's head cut off diagonally at the neck,
appears within 1/8 inches of an Army Green border. The
traditional Cavalry color of yellow and the horse's head is
symbolic of the original organizational structure of the
Cavalry. The color black is symbolic of iron, alluding to the
organizational transition from mounted horses to tanks and heavy
armor. The black stripe, in heraldry termed a "Sable Bend",
represents a "baldric" (a standard Army issue belt worn over the
right shoulder to the opposite hip - sometimes referred to as a
"Sam Browne belt") which retains either a scabbard which sheaths
the trooper's saber or revolver holster.
During the Vietnam engagements, the yellow background of the
patch for Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) was changed to a subdued
Olive Drab (OD) green in order to minimize targeting of
personnel. The yellow/black patch is retained for Class "A"
uniform dress. Otherwise the patch has not changed from the
original design and shape.