First formed in 1916, the 8th Field Artillery Regiment was activated from elements of the 5th and 6th Field Artillery branches. Organized at Fort Bliss, Texas, its initial service was on the Mexican border.
Nicknamed the "King of Battle" and "Red Leg" this regiment was in the 7th Division and was in training in the province of Brittany, France shown by the ermine taken from the arms of that province. It's motto, "Daring and Tenacious" was also comprises from a combination of both 5th and 6th Field Artillery Branches. Our ability to expand and grow within our military is a testament to our courage and fervor in maintaining our citizens' safety and security from foreign danger.
Current configurations of the 8th Field Artillery Regiment consists of the 1st through the 5th Battalions. One thing I noticed in my research of the 8th Field Artillery Branch is that it had predecessors. I looked at them as teams helping each other to form another team and another to where now there are 5 Battalions within the 8th Field Artillery Regiment. These land-based field artillery teams are organized to direct and control indirect artillery fire on the battlefield.
Since World War I, we have seen Field Artillery advance in its function comprised of these three components: The (FO) or Forward Observer, the (FDC) or Fire Direction Center and what is called the gun line are the actual guns themselves. Multiple FO's may be calling in fire on multiple targets to multiple FDC at any given time, depending on the situation these guys may be facing.
Targets are measured in distances of kilometers and miles which represent a hundredfold increase in range from the old 18th Century concept of meters and yards. Because of this dramatic increase in range, gunners no longer directly see their targets and so they cannot directly engage the enemy with observed direct fire. Using what is typically called, indirect fire, gunners cannot directly see the targets they are engaging. The development in rifled cannons can be attested for the increase in range as well as improvements in propellants, better communication and technical improvements in gunnery computational abilities.
Again, the Artillery Regiment is comprised of a team that must work together to meet their objective. Since the target is not visible to the gunners, the trained artillery observer or FO (forward observer) is heavily relied on to spot the target and relay its coordinates to their FDC.
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