Why Was the 7th Cavalry Nicknamed "Garryowen"?


Quick Answer

The 7th Cavalry is nicknamed Garryowen in honor of the Irish drinking song Garryowen that was adopted by the cavalry as its march tune. The 7th Calvary is a United States Calvary Regiment that traces its roots to the mid-19th century.

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Full Answer

The 7th Cavalry was organized at Fort Riley, Kansas in 1866. The Seventh was the only U.S. cavalry regiment of the period to have a band, although many infantry regiments did. The band adopted Garryowen as its march tune, thus earning the regiment its nickname from the rest of the army.

The regiment is best known in history for its crushing defeat at Little Bighorn under General George Custer. The cavalry trained as a horse cavalry up until World War II, at which time it dismounted. In 1943, the cavalry packed up and headed to the action in the Pacific Theater.

After World War II, the 7th Cavalry fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the Korean War. Three battalions, the 1st, 2nd and 5th, served during the Vietnam War as the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division. The brigade referred to themselves as the "Garryowen Brigade." The 7th Cavalry went on to serve in Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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