3rd Armored Cavalry, Fort Hood, TX Challenge Coin

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The 3d Armored Cavalry is the only heavy armored cavalry regiment in the United States Army. Equipped with heavy cavalry hardware—M1 Abrams tanks and M3 Bradley fighting vehicles—the 3d Armored Cavalry under various names has seen action during ten major conflicts, spanning time from the Indian Wars to the latest operations in Iraq. This unique 3d Armored Cavalry challenge coin salutes the dedication and valor that has always been the namesake of this regiment.

In 1846 the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen was created, providing greater mobility than the Infantry and equipped with percussion rifles to provide greater range and more accurate firepower than the Infantry’s muskets or the Dragoon’s carbines. The story of how they came to be known as the “Brave Rifles” is compelling. On August 20, 1847, the regiment lay bloodied and exhausted from fierce fighting at Contreras, Mexico. Yet, as General Winfield Scott approached to order them to an even more difficult battle, each man stood at attention. The General was so choked with emotion over the valor of these men that he removed his hat, bowed low, and proclaimed: “Brave Rifles! Veterans! You have been baptized in fire and blood and have come out steel!” This accolade is emblazoned on the Regimental Coat of Arms, and it is still the source of the Regimental Motto, “Blood and Steel.”

The 3d Armored Cavalry coin captures this entire history in its obverse face, finished with rich enamels in the regimental colors. The reverse of this coin is bronze-colored, with a large area designed to be engraved with a name, date of service, or special message or remembrance. The circumference reads: “Duty, Respect, Courage, Integrity, Service, Honor, Loyalty.”