The 7th Cavalry was organized in 1866, after the Civil War caused the desire for a larger military force. Through World War I, its main weapons were Colt revolvers and Springfield rifles. During World War II and the Korean War, it used the main weapons of the U.S. Army (namely, the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, M1911A1, and BAR). However, it converted to a tank unit (because cavalry had become obsolete after the turn of the century), and used mainly the M26 Pershing.
After the Korean War, 7th Cavalry was used mainly in a reconnaissance role. It received the M14 rifle, along with various other new weapons and equipment (including the M60 Super Patton). Also, a few OH-13s were used by the reconnaissance squadrons. Five battalions and squadrons were utilized during the Vietnam War, armed with the new M16, M203 grenade launcher, and M79 grenade launcher. Claymore mines were also used extensively.
The 1st, 2nd, and 5th Battalions were deactivated after the war, however, and only the 3rd and 4th Squadrons remained. These units transformed into mechanized infantry, using APCs and Jeeps, mainly. However, in 1974, the units were reactivated. 1st Battalion became an armored unit, while 2nd and 5th Battalions remained mechanized infantry. The units then fought in the Persian Gulf War, under an aviation brigade. The M3 Bradley was the main fighting vehicle of the 7th Cavalry during that war. Afterwards, 5th Battalion was deactivated.
Currently, the 1st Battalion is in the 4th Aviation Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, armed with the M1 Abrams, OH-58 Kiowa, and UH-1 Iroquois. The 2nd Battalion fights as mechanized infantry under the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, using M2 Bradleys. These two units are both stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. The 3rd and 4th Squadrons, on the other hand, fight as aviation-tank units, with similar dispositions as the 1st Battalion, fighting under the 4th Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division. 3rd Squadron is based at Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia, while 4th Squadron is stationed in various bases north of Seoul, South Korea. The 7th Cavalry is currently a parent regiment.