The Five Hundred Fourth Battlefield Surveillance Brigade traces its lineage to the early days of World War II as the One Hundred Thirty-Seventh Signal Radio Intelligence Company (Aviation). The Brigade was reorganized and redesignated a number of times in the years following World War II and in November 2007, the Brigade was redesignated as the Five Hundred Fourth Battlefield Surveillance Brigade as part of Army transformation. In June 2010 the Brigade completed its transformation and now consists of two military Intelligence Battalions, the One Hundred Sixty Third and Three Hundred Third MI Battalions, Second Squadron, Thirty-Eighth Cavalry Regiment and a provisional Special Troops Battalion.
Second Squadron, Thirty-Eighth Cavalry Regiment Phantom Trackers traces its lineage to the Third Reconnaissance Squadron, which was activated in November 1942 at Fort Bliss, Texas. The unit was redesignated as the Thirty-Eighth Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized) prior to deployment to the European Theater of Operations. The Squadron fought across Western Europe, before finishing the war in Germany. Exceptionally good fortune in combat earned the Squadron the nickname “Lucky Thirty Eighth.” On 15 February 2008 Bravo Troop, 38th Cavalry Squadron was re-activated at Fort Hood, Texas and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in August 2008. In June 2010 the unit was expanded and the Squadron was activated in preparation for deployment.
The One Hundred Sixty Third Military Intelligence Battalion, The Blue Watch, was initially organized on 5 April 1945, as the One Hundred Sixty Third Language Detachment, at Luzon, Republic of the Philippines. The One Hundred Sixty Third holds 11 battle streamers from World War II and Korea, and on May 4, 1971, the Secretary of the Army accorded the battalion the title, “The Blue Watch.” The Battalion was reactivated on 17 January 2006 and was the army’s first modular Military Intelligence Battalion, the model for MI Battalions that provide the Maneuver Commander with integrated intelligence assets allowing him to know the enemy through signals, human, and counterintelligence.
The Three Hundred Third Military Intelligence Battalion, Longhorn, is the U.S. Army’s most decorated Military Intelligence Battalion, with 25 campaign streamers, eight unit commendations, and three foreign unit decorations. The Battalion’s parent unit, the 325 Signal Service Company, was activated on April 29, 1944 at Wincham Hall, Cheshire, England. On June 15, 1962 the Battalion was returned to active duty as the Three Hundred Third Army Security Agency Battalion at Camp Wolters, Texas and the “Longhorn Battalion” name was adopted by the native Texans. On April 21, 1978 the Battalion was redesignated as the Three Hundred Third MI Battalion, and assigned to the newly formed Five Hundred Fourth MI Group. In November 2007 the Battalion was restructured as a modular BfSB Military Intelligence Battalion.
The Two Hundred Sixty Eighth Network Support Company was activated in September 1943 at Camp Crowder, Missouri as the Two Hundred Sixty Eighth Signal Construction Company. The unit was reorganized and redesignated a number of times following World War II and was reactivated in April 2007 as part of the Five Hundred Fourth Battlefield Surveillance Brigade.
The Five Hundred Ninth Forward Support Company was constituted as Motor Transport Company Number Sixteen in April 1924. It served in the Italian Campaign during World War II. The Five Hundred Ninth was inactivated 1 November 1946 at Camp Hood, Texas and was redesignated the Five Hundred Ninth Forward Support Company upon reactivation at Fort Hood Texas on 16 December 2007.
The Headquarters and Headquarters Company traces its lineage to the early days of World War II and was reorganized and redesignated a number of times in the years following. In June 2010, the unit was reorganized and expanded to provide the command and control for the Five Hundred Fourth Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, completing its modular transformation.
Shoulder Sleeve Insignia and Distinctive
SHOULDER SLEEVE INSIGNIA
Description: On a blue shield 3
inches in height and 2 1/4 inches in width with
a 1/8 inch yellow border a silver gray winged
lightning flash with wings elevated, the flash
topped with a silver gray demi fleur-de-lis.
Symbolism: Oriental blue and silver
gray are the colors associated with the Military
Intelligence branch. The wings suggest
loftiness, or the advantage obtained from clear
observation. The lightning flash alludes to the
unit’s ability to respond accurately and quickly
in support of the commander’s needs for
intelligence from all sources. The fleur-de-lis
is both a symbol of intelligence and of the
brigade’s roots in the battles of Northern
France and Central Europe. Yellow (gold)
signifies excellence and achievement.
Background: This insignia was
approved on 19 Dec 1985.
DISTINCTIVE UNIT INSIGNIA
Description: A gold color metal and
enamel device 1 3/16 inched in height overall
consisting of a vertical red enamel winged
lightning flash with wings elevated, tipped with
a demi-fleur-de-lis, all within a continuous
blue scroll arced at top and base and passing
behind the wings and demi-fleur-de-lis at the
sides and top and inscribed "SEMPER PRAEPARATUS"
in gold letters; and all areas enclosed by the
wings and scroll are checky of gold and silver
Symbolism: Oriental blue and silver
gray are the colors used for Military
Intelligence; blue and gold signify loyalty and
accomplishment. Wings connote loftiness, the
vantage point for visual observation. The
lightning flash and checky area represent
technological capabilities; together they
symbolize vigilant leadership, celerity and
communications. The checky area and lightning
flash also allude to the organization’s concern
with strategic control over hostile
communications and the security of friendly
communications. The demi-fleur-de-lis, lightning
flash, wings and checky area also refer to the
lineage of the organization when constituted in
1942 as the 137th Signal Radio Intelligence
Company, Aviation. The demi-fleur-de-lis is
further used to denote Europe and the
organization’s participation in Northern France,
Central Europe and Rhineland Campaigns, World
War II. The scarlet color refers to the
Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer awarded
the unit inscribed "EUROPEAN THEATER."
Background: This insignia was
originally approved on 7 Jun 1976 for the 504th
Army Security Agency Group; redesignated for the
504th Military Intelligence Group on 22 May
1978. The distinguished unit insignia was
redesignated on 1 Apr 1986 for the 504th
Military Intelligence Brigade.