A HORSE BY ANY OTHER NAME IS STILL A HORSE
Call it what you will – camaraderie, esprit de corps. Around here we call it – Cav Pride. To anyone that has ever served in a Cavalry unit, or has even been attached to a Cavalry unit, it’s just something you have to live with. The way your neck hairs bristle when someone says ‘horse shit’ like it’s a bad thing. The way your chest swells when the flag goes by. The way your heart aches when another veteran from any number of wars fails to make muster. It is both undeniable and unavoidable, yet also unexplainable. A mysterious ‘disease’ that sweeps through the ranks of the troops, claiming victims in rapid succession, and leaving none unscathed. You may not like the guy standing next to you – hell, you might hate his guts – but you’ll put your life on the line for him without a moments hesitation, because you know he’ll do the same for you.
I’ll let some former troopers try to explain the feeling:
Here is my personal observation. I have a son in the Army stationed at Ft. Hood. With an Infantry unit. The point I wish to make is as follows:
I have met many members of different units in the Army with many postings in different units. One thing that I have noticed is that when a soldier is stationed with a Cav unit something changes. The soldier’s mind-set changes drastically. Let’s tell it like it is. A Cav unit is different. Cav troopers are shock troops. Move fast; hit hard; and move on. This makes a Cav trooper a different kind of person. It also makes a soldier think different. Tactics of Infantry and Armor are very different. Once a soldier is in a Cav unit it seems to stick. And nothing makes sense after that. Where is the locate; hit; hit hard; and withdraw to plan the next hit? Nothing seems to make sense after that. It is a very effective tactic. We hit them; hit hard; and left them wondering what the hell happened. This appears to instill a pride that other units lack.
I have asked and discussed with others this feeling. It just doesn’t exist. It seems that once in the Cav always in the Cav. We are different. There is the Army and then there is The Cav.
Here is what brought this whole subject up. Yesterday a person came up to me [and] asked “How’s the Boy Scouts?”
Now just a little background….I wear a jacket now and then with our unit crest and an Army retired button on the collar. I asked “what the hell ya talking about?” He said “I see the BS symbol on yer collar.” Now knowing what he meant, I was offended but understanding of his comment. But offended just the same. I replied “Fuck you.” Perhaps the wrong response (it was the spur of the moment). This was a knee jerk response. Anyhow he was taken aback. He was not offended, but more curious I would react the way I did. At this point I told him what the symbolism was. The Palmetto, the eight-pointed star, etc. After I was done speaking my tongue lashing he was taken aback. Perhaps he listened; perhaps he did not. But bet on this. He will think twice about speaking out of turn again! And in the end he learned perhaps a bit about the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. But the point is I taught him something.
Think twice. Each and every opportunity. Take a moment in your time and explain your Regiment. Take pride in your past and your Regiment’s past. Learn; explain; and remember!!!! If we do not, who will?
In my heart I will always be a member of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. I will always be a Trooper. And I will always be in the CAV!!!! Remember your Regiment! Learn and teach the past! The saying “Charge Hard!” has meaning in the heart of every Trooper! Teach those who follow.
I agree. I spent three of my best years in the Army in the 2nd ACR from ’88 – ’91. Before that I was at Fort Irwin (Op-For Support) and before that in the 8th ID, and nothing prepared me for the Cav. … what a great experience. Every soldier should spend time in the Cav. It is a completely different mind-set. I mean, no other unit in the Army is as self sufficient as the Cav. They all rely on other assets (Div Arty for artillery, air brigades for air support, support battalion for support, etc…). Not the Cav. We have all of our own assets and are totally prepared to use them. Although I was in Support (I was on an MST responsible for Direct Support of 2/2 ACR), we still had to act and think Cav, train like the Squadron does, etc. In fact, I was one of two volunteers for the BDAR team, whose responsibility was to stay with the combat trains for the Squadron. No other DS level troopers were as close to the front as us, and I LOVED every minute of it. We spent more time in the field than the main support troop did, and I loved it too. It completely prepared me for combat. I earned my Desert Storm Spurs and I hang the orders proudly in my office at home, as well as every other 2nd ACR memento I have. In closing, I just want to say God Bless the Cav, the US Army, and all of the men and women who are out there protecting us from terror and tyranny as well as our freedom and our way of life.
Sgt. Bruce Sorge
Always Ready, Second to None
I was attached to HHT during the ground war in the Gulf. Long enough to experience that feeling you all mention. The rest of my unit and I (B Co. 511 MI) were treated like fellow troopers, not just someone along for the ride. I am presently in the Mississippi National Guard, and proudly wear the Toujours Pret on my right shoulder. If ever there was another situation where the 2nd ACR could use my services, I would do it without hesitation. God Bless the Cav.
SGT Marvin Horton
A CO, 223rd ENG BN
I was the Fire Support SGT for the 1st Sqdn, 2nd ACR from OCT 89 to MAY 92. I had just came off from 4 years as a drill sgt, and I did not know what to expect to do in a CAV SQDN. I soon found out that there is no unit in the ARMY that is as close knit and dependent on each other as the CAV. It was the best time that I had in my 23 years in the ARMY, and I am a lifetime member of the 2ACR Association ( l-832 ). There is no unit in the Army that has the awesome firepower that we have, and the ESPRIT de CORPS. I am proud to call myself a 2ACR CAV soldier. Always Ready!
(Drill11b) OCT ’89-MAY ’92
Ft Sill, OK
There you have it. Unavoidable, undeniable, the slightest contact and you are infected for life.
TOUJOURS PRET – ALWAYS READY (to spread)!