Born and bred in the Cavalry tradition, 3rd Cavalry draws its lineage from 7th Irregular Cavalry raised in 1841 at Bareilly and its off-spring, 17th Irregular Cavalry raised at Sultanpur in 1846. Often re-designated, by the turn of the century they were called 5th Cavalry and 8th Cavalry. The two regiments serving in India and abroad saw action in Afghanistan, Bhutan, Mesopotamia and Palestine earning Battle Honours Afghanistan 1879-80 and Mesopotamia 1916-18.
They were amalgamated in 1922 to form the 5th/8th Cavalry, re-designated in 1923 as 3rd Cavalry, which was amongst the first Regiments to be lndianised.
In 1941, whilst still in the process of being equipped with armoured cars, 3rd Cavalry campaigned in Malaya to stem the Japanese tide. Names of battlefields like Taiping, Sungei, Pattani, Penang Island, Perak River and Slim River were added to its history. Defying the Japanese in combat, the Regiment earned the commendation, "The Third Cavalry stood fast". It earned the Battle Honours "North Malaya" and "Central Malaya" and Theatre Honour "Malaya 1941-42" for its commendable services.
In 1946, 3rd Cavalry converted to an ‘Airborne Reconnaissance Regiment’, the first armoured Regiment of the Indian Army to be so designated.
In 1948 the Regiment liberated Hyderabad from marauding Razakars and integrated it with the Indian Union. The era of Centurion tanks was heralded by 3rd Cavalry, which became the first armoured regiment to be re-equipped in the fifties.
On 8th September, 1965, when enemy tanks swept through Khem Karan village to capture the Beas Bridge, they were checked by the 3rd Cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Salim Caleb (later Major General Salim Caleb, Mahavir Chakra (Retired)), Lance Daffadar Sahib Singh, Lance Daffadar Tarsem Singh and Sowar Udmi Singh were among those who received gallantry awards. Most treasured perhaps is the ‘Shabash’ it received personally from the late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, the then Prime Minister of India, and a note recording "Well done Caleb, Well done the 3rd Cavalry" from India’s foremost soldier, Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa. The Battle Honour "Asal Uttar" and Theatre Honour "Punjab 1965" were emblazoned with pride in the annals of Regimental history.
In 1971, the Regiment struck again in the Khem Karan sector capturing the hostile defensive position of Shehjra on the banks of the Sutlej. The Regiment was awarded Battle Honour ‘Shehjra’ and Theatre Honour ‘Punjab 1971’.
Personnel of all communities serve in the Regiment, and have earned two Param Vishisht Seva Medals, one Ati Vishist Seva Medal, one Maha Vir Chakra, two Vir Chakras, eight Sena Medals, eleven Mentions in Despatches and three Commendation Cards.
Date of Issue: 8.2.1989