History of the 303rd RR/ASA/MI Battalion
The 303d MI Battalion is the most decorated MI battalion in the Army. Its
heritage traces back to World War II. Its parent unit, the 3253d Signal
Service Company, was activated on April 29, 1944, in England, with the
mission to intercept German radio traffic.
In 1944, the company supported the XV Corps (US), part of Patton's 3d Army,
and saw action in France, Germany, and Austria. The 3253d earned battle
streamers for action in five campaigns, and was inactivated in January
1946. On June 20, 1946, the company, now designated the 540th Signal
Service Company, returned to Europe to support US Forces in Austria. The
540th assisted in the US efforts to free Berlin and ensure the continued
postwar development of Austria. In 1949, the unit was again inactivated.
The unit's current designation first appeared on September 25, 1950, when
the 303d Communications Reconnaissance Battalion was activated. The 303d's
mission was to provide COMINT to US Forces supporting the UN commitment to
the Republic of Korea. In July 1951, the 540th Signal Service Company was
absorbed into the 303d to preserve the 3253d's and 540th's histories. The
303d continued to provide intelligence collection to UN Forces until the
battalion's inactivation in Seoul, Korea, on June 25, 1955. The battalion
was awarded eight additional campaign streamers, a US Meritorious Unit
Commendation, and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation.
As the 303d Army Security Agency (ASA) battalion, the unit returned to
active duty at Camp Wolters, Texas, on June 15, 1962. It was at this time
that native Texans who formed the initial 303d cadre adopted the unit
nickname, "The Longhorn Battalion." In Vietnam, the 303d supported II Field
Force and added 12 campaign streamers to its colors, 5 US Meritorious Unit
Commendations, and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm and
Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class.
After Vietnam, the unit returned to Texas and made its home at Fort Hood.
After organizational changes, the battalion's companies were used to form
the 312th and 522d MI Battalions. The 303d remained on active status and in
1978 was redesignated the 303d MI Battalion (Provisional) and was assigned
to the 504th MI Group. At the same time the 376th ASA Company and the 370th
ASA Company were redesignated A and B Companies, 303d MI Battalion,
respectively. On April 16, 1982, the 303d was fully activated as the 303d
MI Battalion (CEWI)(Operations)(Corps), with the mission to provide IEW,
especially COMINT, to III Corps (US). Longhorns.