The Cavaliers started when a youthful scoutmaster named Don Warren was confronted by a number of young men who did not want to see their scouting organization come to an end. The only inevitable solution was that they, with all of their pride and togetherness, form an organization unlike a regular troop. So they began a drum and bugle corps within the scouting organization, but soon the drumming and bugling overshadowed the scouting activities, and it again became evident that the Cavaliers would now have to become their own organization. When the Cavaliers did indeed become its own unique organization, it adopted a set of principles that are alive and well to this day. Members are trained to be punctual and systematic in the performance of all their drum corps duties. The traits of moral courage, pride, loyalty and character are established in every member. Working with whatever talent is available, the Cavaliers make impossible dreams come true in an atmosphere of courage and optimism. Recognizing its role within the community, the Cavaliers teach the virtues of fair play, develop a spirit of cooperation, and train young men to become polite and courteous young gentlemen. They keep their standards high, foundation strong and ideals treasured. It's a joint effort on the part of corps members, managers, support staff and instructors; each segment is fully aware of its responsibilities to the others.
1952 was the first year the Cavaliers made a threat to the then existing drum corps powers. At a small field in Cedar Rapids, Iowa they beat such top name corps as the Grenadiers, Norwood Park Imperials, and the Four Lakes Council Boy Scouts (currently the Madison Scouts). In 1953 the corps won its first state title, and in 1956 they were already a serious contender for the national title, proving their threat by winning the preliminaries for V.F.W. Nationals and placing third in the finals. Miami, Florida played host in 1957 to the first of thirteen National Championships the corps would win from 1957 to 1980. The corps' amazing precision and its long string of first place victories, which included an undefeated season in 1961, earned them the nickname "The Green Machine." Subsequently the corps has won every major title available to a junior drum and bugle corps, including DCI World Championships in 1992, 1995, a tie in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2006.