Fort Benning

U.S. Army Fort Benning and The Maneuver Center of Excellence

1st Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment Site

1st Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment


1-81st Crest

No other unit's history better illustrates the power, flexibility, and rich heritage of the armor force than that of the 81st Armor Regiment. The 81st Armor Regiment was activated on 1 October 1941 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Born in the dark days leading to the country's involvement in WWII, the nation called on the Red Lions and the regiment answered to their call to Duty. In early 1942, the 81st Armor was moved to California with orders to defend against possible Japanese attacks. While stationed there, it was redesignated as the 81st Tank Battalion in 1943. Shortly after their service in California, the 81st Tank Battalion headed to Europe in July of 1944 to participate in the battles for Normandy and Northern France. The 2nd Battalion was reformed as Company B, 81st Armor and was successful in liberating Luxembourg City on 10 September 1944. As December 1944 crept closer, the battalion entered the Huertgen Forest in the Alsace Region of France. The battalion then rested and refitted for the final push into Germany. The unit spearheaded the 5th Armored Division's drive to the Rhine River and became the first unit to cross the Siegfried Line into the Rhineland, crossing the Rhine in March 1945. It then drove to the Elbe, 45 miles from Berlin, and was engaged in mopping up German resistance in the Ninth Army sector. Upon returning from the battlefields of Europe, the battalion was deactivated in the fall of 1945. Except for seven months in 1950, it was active from 1948-1956 with the 5th Armored Division at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. In 1962, the 81st and the 94th Tank Battalions and the 505th Replacement Company were redesignated as the 81st Armor under the Combat Arms Regimental System. The First and Second Battalions were assigned to the 1st Armored Division in February of that year. The second battalion was deactivated in 1971 and reactivated in 1972 in West Germany. It was then deactivated in 1989. The 2nd Battalion was once again reactivated in January 1996 as a part of the 1st Armored Training Brigade at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Since the Battalion moved to Ft. Benning, GA in 2011 the 81st Armor Regiment not only has trained Army soldiers, but Marine tankers and our nation’s allies as well.