Raised from the cavalry of the Legion des Pyrenees Orientales, the 22nd fought in Bonaparte's Army of Italy from 1796-1798, and had some of the most celebrated alumni of any chasseur regiment. Here, the future Marshal Bessieres rose from trooper to captain. In Egypt, the regiment served under 23-year-old Brigade Chief Charles Lasalle, later famous as the General who most embodied the dash and gallantry of the French light cavalry. Lasalle, as chef d'escadron in 1797, had led a noted charge of one squadron of the 22nd at Rivoli that, in overthrowing a battalion of the elite Austrian regiment Hoch and Deutschmeister, helped achieve the victory. Often brigaded with the 7th bis Hussars, the 22nd campaigned in Egypt and Syria, defeating the Mamelukes at Salaheih in August 1798. As part of Desaix's 1799 southern expedition, Lasalle lead 200 troopers of the 22nd and a party of the 15th Dragoons in rescuing the future Marshal Louis Davot from hundreds of Mamelukes at Redecieh on 11 February. The ensuring fight was desperate - 26 chasseurs and 55 dragoons became casualties - and Lasalle cut both hands off a Mameluke trying to grab Davout. After Lasalle went back to France, the 22nd came under Colonel Latour-Maubourg, who was then proceded in 1805 by Colonel Bordessoulle; both men would rise to the rank of general and lead cavalry corps later in the Empire.
During the 1790s, all chasseurs wore dark green hussar-style dolmans and breeches trimmed with white metal buttons, white cords and lace. The dolman's collar and cuffs were of the regimental facing color, red-orange for the 22nd, who also had a red-orange edged black visored "Mirleton" cap. Re-clothed in Cairo in 1799, the 22nd was issued pale green dolmans and apple green pelisses.