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303rd Military Intelligence Battalion History

The 303d Military Intelligence Battalion, Operations, is the U.S. Army’s most decorated MI Battalion, with 25 campaign streamers, six unit commendations, and three foreign unit decorations. The battalion’s parent unit, the 3253 Signal Service Company, was activated on April 29, 1944 at Wincham Hall, Cheshire, England. Their mission was to gain intelligence from the interception of radio communications between German forces opposing the Allied operations in France. Upon landing at Omaha Beach on July 12, 1944, the company directly supported the 15th US Corps, part of General Patton’s 3d US Army, and briefly, as part of the 7th Army. The 3253 was inactivated at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey on January 25, 1946.

The unit’s current numerical designation first appeared on September 25th 1950 when the 303d Communications Reconnaissance Battalion was activated at Arlington Hall Station, Virginia. The unit’s mission was to provide communications intelligence support to US Forces in Korea. The unit landed at Inchon, Korea in January 1951 in support of the 8th US Army. The 303d earned eight additional campaign streamers, a US Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation during more than four years of service in the Korean War.

On June 15, 1962 the 303d Army Security Agency Battalion was returned to active duty at Camp Wolters, Texas where it began to provide support to the increasing US commitment to the Republic of Vietnam. It was then that “The Longhorn Battalion” name was adopted by the native Texans that formed the cadre of the 303d. Arriving at Long Binh, Republic of Vietnam in May 1966, the 303d provided cryptologic intelligence and Electronic Warfare support to Field Force Vietnam and numerous tactical units. The Longhorn Battalion served for five years in Vietnam and earned twelve campaign streamers along with five more US Meritorious Unit Commendations, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class. On June 15, 1971, the Longhorn colors departed Vietnam and returned to its new home at Fort Hood, Texas.

On April 21, 1978 the 303d was redesignated as the 303d MI Battalion, Provisional, and assigned to the newly formed 504th MI Group.

On April 16, 1982 the 303d was taken off provisional status and fully activated as the 303d MI Battalion CEWI Operations, with the mission to provide intelligence, EW, and intelligence communications support to III Corps.

Although the structure of the 303d continues to change, the mission of providing critical intelligence support to combat commanders has not changed. The Longhorn tradition of being the “First to Know” continues today.

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