History of the 303rd RR/ASA/MI Battalion

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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.

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