The regiment was constituted 2 February 1901 in the Regular Army as Troop K, 13th Cavalry. The regiment was organized on 26 July 1901 in Fort Meade, South Dakota. The first task of the regiment was in the Philippines from 1903 to 1905 and from 1909 to 1910 where they engaged rebels as part of the Philippine–American War..
The 13th Cavalry was transferred to Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1911. On 30 August 1915 the 13th Cavalry was part of a posse that killed Pascual Orozco. On 9 March 1916, the 13th Cavalry was in Columbus, New Mexico, which was raided by Pancho Villa. Eight soldiers and ten civilians were killed. Under General John J. Pershing, the regiment fought in the Mexican Expedition from 1916 to 1917, which was a response to the attack on Columbus. On 12 April 1916, about 100 men of the 13th Cavalry engaged Mexican federal troops in the Battle of Parral. During the fighting, two Americans were killed and six others were wounded. However, they defeated the Mexicans, killing at least a dozen of them or possibly many more. The 13th Cavalry remained ready near the Mexican border until 1921.
In 1936, the 13th Cavalry became a part of the 7th Cavalry Brigade (Mechanized), formed officially in 1940.
The 13th Cavalry was re-formed 15 July 1940 as the 13th Armored Regiment under the 1st Armored Division. On 8 November 1942, the 13th Armored regiment, combined under Combat Command B, landed in Oran, Algeria to augment fighting in North Africa.
From 1946 to September 1947, the 13th Armored regiment was a part of the US Constabulary in Germany. It became inactive in Coburg, West Germany, on 20 September 1947.
In 1951 the 13th Tank Battalion was reactivated with the 1st Armored Division at Fort Hood. It remained with the division throughout the 50s and 60s until 1971, when it became part of the 1st Cavalry Division for 3 years. On 20 June 1974, 13th Tank rejoined the 1st Armored Division at Illesheim, Germany until 20 February 1987, when the Battalion moved to Vilseck, Germany. 13th Tank remained here until 1988, when it was inactivated and re-designated to 2nd Battaion, 13th Armor at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
From 1996–2008, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT) of the 1st Armored Division was stationed at Fort Riley, KS. In March 1996, the 3rd Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment cased its colors and reflagged as the 1st Battalion, 13th Armored Regiment, with the unit's soldiers exchanging their 1st Infantry Division patches for the "Old Ironsides" patches of the 1st Armored Division. Lieutenant Colonel Richard G. Jung Sr. commanded the "Dakota" battalion from 1996–98, honoring the regiment's history with the battalion name and call sign. Called "13th Tank" by those who served in the unit, 1-13 AR was one of two armor/tank battalions in the Bulldog Brigade (under the command of then-Colonel Joseph F.H. Peterson, the eventual commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division).
In January 1997, the 3rd BCT's mechanized infantry battalion – the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment "Dragoons" became the first CONUS-based battalion-sized unit and above to be alerted for deployment to Europe as part of the ongoing peacekeeping effort in the former Yugoslavia. As part of this task force, 1-13 AR's Alpha Company "Ironhorse" under the command of Captain Paul P. Reese, was task organized to 1-41 IN and deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Operation Joint Guard from March–October 1997. Stationed at Camp Dobol near the zone of separation (ZOS) as the first iteration of "SFOR" or the "Stabilization Force" after the designation changed from "IFOR" or the "Implementation Force" in early 1997, "Team Tank" conducted a variety of missions and patrols in accordance with the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP) and corresponding rules of engagement (ROE) while operating within its area of responsibility. The company operated near the Bosnian-Serbian (Republik of Serpska) towns of Sekovici, Bratunac and the infamous Srebrenica. A/1-13 AR consisted of 2 M1A1 tank platoons and 1 M2A2 Bradley platoon (1 organic tank platoon was detached and assigned to A/1-41 IN at Camp Demi). Ironhorse company returned to the 1st Battalion, 13th Armored Regiment in December, 1997 upon redeployment to Fort Riley at the successful completion of their mission.
In February 2003 the 3rd BCT began deploying units to Kuwait for the anticipated Invasion of Iraq. As the US led invasion began, the 2-70 Armor and 1-41 Infantry Battalions (3rd BCT), directly supported the 3rd Infantry Division as part of the initial US advance into Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom. As part of the 3rd BCT, the 1st Battalion, 13th Armor Regiment (TF Dakota), began deployment to Iraq 1 April 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The BCT and subsequently the battalion, were attached to the 3rd Infantry Division, and controlled the Kadhimiya area of Baghdad, and was redeployed to Fort Riley, KS 2 April 2004.
Less than a year later, in February 2005, the 3rd BCT deployed to Iraq for a second time, again attached to the 3rd Infantry Division. The TF was primarily stationed north of Baghdad in the Taji, Mushahda, Tarmiyah, Husseiniya, and Rashidiya districts. The unit was redeployed to Ft. Riley, KS in January 2006.
In March 2008 the 3rd BCT "was inactivated ... as part of the redeployment of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division from Germany to Fort Riley. The 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division was reflagged as the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division in the process. 3rd Brigade was subsequently reorganized and redesiganted as 3rd Brigade Combat Team, an Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and reactivated at Fort Bliss, Texas, home of the 1st, 4th, and 5th Brigade Combat Teams, 1st Armored Division."
The 2nd Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment stood up in 2008 as part of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armor Division at Ft Bliss, TX. The Squadron deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from May 2009 to May 2010.
The 1st Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment ("Warhorse") stood up in 2009 as part of the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, TX. The Squadron inactivated on 15 April 2015 as part of the Brigade's inactivation.
After returning home to Fort Bliss from Iraq in May 2010, the 2nd Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment immediantly began preparing for redeployment to Iraq scheduled for August 2011 in support of Operation New Dawn. In April 2011, the squadron completed a rotation at the Army's National Training Center in Fort Irwin California in preparation for deployment to Iraq. The unit again deployed to Iraq in July 2011 in support of Operation New Dawn as part of the Army's first successful Advise and Assist Brigade. The Squadron's efforts at this critical juncture set the conditions for the peaceful withdraw of U.S. Forces from Iraq in December 2011. Once again, the unit deployed in part as the Army's Security Force Advisory and Assistance Team in 2012 to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Following the 4th Brigade's re-flagging as 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division in 2015, the 2nd Squadron 13th Cavalry Regiment participated in the Brigade's Regionally Aligned Force mission throughout the continent of Africa. The Squadron sent Troopers on various train and assist missions to multiple countries on the African continent to include: Malawi, Morocco, Ethiopia, Namibia, and Zambia. As a result of these missions, the Squadron directly supported the United Nation’s Peace Keeping operations, enhanced the Army's geo-political impact, and increased the readiness of our African allies and partners throughout the continent.1st Squadron was the reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) of the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, and was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) 11-12. 1st Squadron 13th Cavalry returned to Fort Bliss, Texas, in July 2012. The Squadron deployed in support of OEF 13-14, and inactivated on 15 April 2015.
2nd Squadron is the armored reconnaissance squadron of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. With the inactivation of 1-13 CAV in April 2015, 2nd Squadron became the Regimental Home-Base Squadron. It currently remains the only active Squadron currently in the 13TH Horse Regiment