Skip to comments.The cavalry still rides . [Fort Huachuca's B Troop honors those who went before]
Posted on 05/19/2013 6:11:34 AM PDT by SandRat
The days of the old horse cavalry of the U.S. Army are generally now only seen in movies.
But on Fort Huachuca those days of the late 1800s are still alive through the all-volunteer B Troop, 4th Cavalry Regiment (Memorial), honoring a unit which served on the post at various times from 1884 to 1912.
Unlike the days of old when the unit protected settlers when Americas westward expansion was at its highest a few years after the end of the Civil War, todays mission of the small unit is to honor and remember those B Troopers and by doing that all cavalrymen who served the nation during the countrys westward expansion.
But to keep B Troops legacy alive more volunteers are needed.
Just ask the organizations program coordinator Chris Zimmerman, who today wears the uniform and stripes as the stable sergeant, but who previous has commanded the small volunteer group.
The operative word is small, because although the unit has 15 horses all official U.S. mounts the group usually can only field five, at best, during events, which in effect are showing the flag, or in this case the red and white guidon of the troop.
His goal is to bring the troop up to nearly full strength, if not more.
Fourteen troopers, thats what we need, he said.
But, in reality, he would like to have a few extra because not all those who are part of the volunteer organization can attend every event, so some extras to fill out the ranks will be a plus, Zimmerman said.
Many have jobs or other commitments and cannot always take part in every activity, the program coordinator said.
Because of current federal financial constraints, the troop is limited to traveling within a 100 mile radius.
In the past the group has participated in activities well beyond 100 miles, including appearing in the Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl parades.
Prior to the constraints, the troop took part in up to 50 events a year but now it is expected the number will be closer to 30, Zimmerman said.
B Troop takes part in almost every fort ceremonial function and for many the end of a parade is the units charge across a field usually Brown Parade Field as K Battery, a group of artillery volunteers, fire off a replica of an old mountain howitzer as the bugle call to charge is sounded. On Friday, three more troopers were given their spurs and now the total is up to seven, of which two are women. The group also has a ladies auxiliary and one woman was accepted into the side saddle rolls Friday.
However, Zimmerman noted were not recruiting for the auxiliary at this time, we need troopers.
Troopers receive no pay for volunteering, however, they are issued appropriate uniform items, period weapons and, of course, a horse and tack.
But Zimmerman said the troopers have to give something in return besides taking part in on post ceremonies and some off-post gigs.
Besides their time and guts they have to give at least 10 hours a week, broken up between morning and late afternoon to muck out the stables and groom their horse, Zimmerman said.
However, besides the commitment, all candidates have to pass riding tests, and he noted sometimes novices are better to train in cavalry maneuvers than people who already know how to ride.
All the training, including how to handle an unexpected dismount, aka falling off a horse is based on the 1886 cavalry manual, Zimmerman said.
As for new recruits, he said what he basically is looking for is someone who can get on a horse and stay there.
What Zimmerman hopes for is a larger presence of troopers to better show what the cavalry days of the 1880s was like in the Old West so when Boots and Saddles is sounded they and their horses are ready to go.
Want to join?
B Troop, 4th Cavalry Regiment (Memorial) is seeking troopers for the all-volunteer group.
The troops program coordinator Chris Zimmerman says anyone who is at least 18 years old and in good physical condition can apply, adding as for an upper age limit physical limitations will weed out those who cant do it.
Those who have the daring, dash and discipline for the next riding school which starts in July can call 533-2178 or go to http://www.huachuca.army.mil/pages/btroop/index.html.
Commander Troy E. Wilcox leads his first charge as commander of the B Troop, 4th U.S. Cavalry regiment (Memorial) recently at Fort Huachuca's Brown Parade Field.
That is pretty neat. I know Fort Knox had a similar unit back when the Armor School was still here.
I know Fort Knox had a similar unit back when the Armor School was still here.
Where did it go? I guess there are many changes in 35 years. Is the Patton Museum still there?
Bravo 13 - 4.
Horseheads NY just dedicated a monument to Army Pack Horses...
Horse heads gets it's name from the 300+ horse heads of the the sick and dieing pack horses put down after Sullivan's march through the Seneca Nation.
I don’t want the point of the article to get lost. They need volunteer troopers. BAD.
Anyone who lives in the area, is over 18, and is interested, PLEASE get over there!
Anyone who has raced at Watkins Glen knows of Horseheads. I love the aviation museum at Elmira. I actually had my first glider lessons in a Schweitzer glider like the one suspended from the ceiling in the terminal building.
Gen Patton rescued a purebred Polish Arabian stallion during WW II. This stallion was named Witez II, I think born in 1939.
The horse came to America, and went to the Kellogg ranch in Pomona, Calif. Mr Kellogg- of cereal fame- stood him at stud for many years and gave free stud service to the U S Cavalry Remount portion of the military.
Witez II appears in many, many current day pedigrees of Arabians here in America. I have a mare who is line bred Witez II who is turning 24 this year. I traced her pedigree back as far as 1810.
As SandRat knows, my adoptive home is the Sorry Gulch, Just kidding, Sierra Vista. After a lifetime as an Army Brat and traveling the world, I joined and was eventually station there with the Electronic Proving Ground. My first son was born at the Army hospital.
If not for the fact I live on the Itracoastal Waterway at the eastern end of I-10, I would be honored to join the Troop. I will visit on my next trip through the area though.
There is now a goodly amount of such activities in Arizona.
For years, there has been a reenactment of the Civil War Battle of Picacho Pass. Members of the Arizona Civil War Council participate as both Union and Confederate solders. The three units include: Company D, 1st U.S. Infantry Regiment, 6th Texas Infantry (Confederate), Civilians Auxiliary Guild.
Then there is the Hashknife Pony Express reenactment, which actually carries US mail, with a special cancellation mark, on its route of some 200 miles. (Note the banner they are carrying for the Sheriff’s Posse.)
Raymond W. Bliss Army Hospital is no more. It’s now a super troop med clinic.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
My Dad was a member of the B troop around 1986 or so when he was stationed at Fort Huachuca. My family would go to the parades just to watch my dad ride by. It was a enjoyable experience.
Buffalo Corral probably hadn’t changed much since I was there as a kid.
I love Sierra Vista and the people who live in Southern AZ.
Went there every other week for years on business.
Thanks for the post.
The Cav unit headed to Fort Benning with the Armor School (BRAC 2005) and the Patton Museum lost most of their tanks (they belonged to the Armor School) and is currently undergoing a major renovation. They reopen next month, so I’ll have to check it out.
...so Ill have to check it out.
Let me know what you think.