Skip to Content

My.Army.Mil. Learn more about your Army media. How you like it.

Fort Hood Press Center

Get the Latest Updates

Featured News

  • The command team of Col. William Benson and Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Menton case the colors of the 4th Brigade Combat Team “Long Knife,” 1st Cavalry Division, as the unit inactivates Oct. 17 at Cooper Field on Fort Hood, Texas. The brigade is one of 12 active brigade combat teams that will inactivate as part of the Army’s force restructuring announced in June.   

    The command team of Col. William Benson and Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Menton case the colors of the 4th Brigade Combat Team “Long Knife,” 1st Cavalry Division, as the unit inactivates Oct. 17 at Cooper Field on Fort Hood, Texas. The brigade is one of 12 active brigade combat teams that will inactivate as part of the Army’s force restructuring announced in June.  The unit stood up in 2005 and deployed four times in support of the Global War on Terror: three to Iraq and most recently to Afghanistan; returning summer 2013.  “The good thing about the Army is that the Army is about people,” Benson said. “The experiences that these leaders and Soldiers have, they take with them to their next unit, and that’s what makes the Army stronger. It’s always sad to see a unit inactivate and case their unit colors, but it’s for a good reason and the Army becomes stronger because of it.” (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy D. Crisp, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs (released).

     

    ‘Long Knife’ Brigade cases colors, inactivates during ceremony

    story by Sgt. Angel Turner

    1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs                                    

    FORT HOOD, Texas One day short of its eight-year anniversary, the 4th Brigade “Long Knife” Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, cased its colors during an inactivation ceremony Oct. 17 at Cooper Field here.

    “This ceremony is symbolic and yet is a real initiation in the first step, which is to enhance the capability of our units here at Fort Hood,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, the commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division.

    “Long Knife Soldiers, past and present, thank you for all you have done,” said Ierardi, a native of Philadelphia, Penn.  “Your legacy and greatness will forever live in the rolls of Army history.”

    The brigade, activated in 2005 at Fort Bliss, Texas, inactivates as part of an Army force restructure set in play in June.  Twelve brigade combat teams will inactivate as bring the total number of BCTs from 45 to 33.

    “The Army has been through organizational changes before,” said Col. William Benson, outgoing commander of 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. “Divisions and brigades have come and gone in an almost cyclical way according to the needs of the American people and government.”

     “Long Knife” Soldiers have deployed four times, with three tours to Iraq and one tour to Afghanistan, where they advised and assisted their counterparts to enhance their security forces.

    Along with the brigade, the 27th Brigade Support Battalion; 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment; and the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion also cased their colors.

    The remaining three battalions were reassigned within the 1st Cavalry Division.

    The 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment now falls under 1st Brigade Combat Team; 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment is now assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team; and the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment is now a part of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

    “The need for the brigade is no longer so this should not be a cause for disappointment.” Benson said.  “The brigade accomplished its assigned mission. The efforts of the brigade helped provide the people of Iraq and Afghanistan with an opportunity for a different future. A better future.”

    Though we may case our colors, we do not erase all that these brigade Soldiers and leaders have accomplished in the past or will accomplish in the future,” Benson added.

    The inactivation ceremony had a bittersweet effect on the unit’s only sergeant first class to help stand the brigade up.

    From serving as a platoon sergeant in the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, to serving as the first sergeant for Troop B, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Sgt. Fernando Fernandez, former first sergeant for the brigade headquarters company has a long history with the unit.

    Fernandez recalled the small office with only a desk and one computer and a sign on the door that read “4-1 Cav” was all that represented the brigade when he first arrived. 

    “We started from scratch,” said Fernandez, an Alamo, Texas, native. “We had to borrow equipment to qualify our Soldiers, and within a year we deployed.”

    A unit named from a contest where the name was drawn from a hat will now be remembered for the hard work and accomplishments put forth by the thousands of Soldiers who had the privilege of calling themselves the “Long Knife” Brigade.

    “It’s always a little sad to see a unit inactivate and case their unit colors,” said Benson, “but it’s for a good reason, and the Army becomes stronger because of it.”

     

Headlines

  • The command team of Col. William Benson and Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Menton case the colors of the 4th Brigade Combat Team “Long Knife,” 1st Cavalry Division, as the unit inactivates Oct. 17 at Cooper Field on Fort Hood, Texas. The brigade is one of 12 active brigade combat teams that will inactivate as part of the Army’s force restructuring announced in June.   

    The command team of Col. William Benson and Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Menton case the colors of the 4th Brigade Combat Team “Long Knife,” 1st Cavalry Division, as the unit inactivates Oct. 17 at Cooper Field on Fort Hood, Texas. The brigade is one of 12 active brigade combat teams that will inactivate as part of the Army’s force restructuring announced in June.  The unit stood up in 2005 and deployed four times in support of the Global War on Terror: three to Iraq and most recently to Afghanistan; returning summer 2013.  “The good thing about the Army is that the Army is about people,” Benson said. “The experiences that these leaders and Soldiers have, they take with them to their next unit, and that’s what makes the Army stronger. It’s always sad to see a unit inactivate and case their unit colors, but it’s for a good reason and the Army becomes stronger because of it.” (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy D. Crisp, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs (released).

     

    ‘Long Knife’ Brigade cases colors, inactivates during ceremony

    story by Sgt. Angel Turner

    1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs                                    

    FORT HOOD, Texas One day short of its eight-year anniversary, the 4th Brigade “Long Knife” Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, cased its colors during an inactivation ceremony Oct. 17 at Cooper Field here.

    “This ceremony is symbolic and yet is a real initiation in the first step, which is to enhance the capability of our units here at Fort Hood,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, the commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division.

    “Long Knife Soldiers, past and present, thank you for all you have done,” said Ierardi, a native of Philadelphia, Penn.  “Your legacy and greatness will forever live in the rolls of Army history.”

    The brigade, activated in 2005 at Fort Bliss, Texas, inactivates as part of an Army force restructure set in play in June.  Twelve brigade combat teams will inactivate as bring the total number of BCTs from 45 to 33.

    “The Army has been through organizational changes before,” said Col. William Benson, outgoing commander of 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. “Divisions and brigades have come and gone in an almost cyclical way according to the needs of the American people and government.”

     “Long Knife” Soldiers have deployed four times, with three tours to Iraq and one tour to Afghanistan, where they advised and assisted their counterparts to enhance their security forces.

    Along with the brigade, the 27th Brigade Support Battalion; 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment; and the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion also cased their colors.

    The remaining three battalions were reassigned within the 1st Cavalry Division.

    The 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment now falls under 1st Brigade Combat Team; 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment is now assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team; and the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment is now a part of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

    “The need for the brigade is no longer so this should not be a cause for disappointment.” Benson said.  “The brigade accomplished its assigned mission. The efforts of the brigade helped provide the people of Iraq and Afghanistan with an opportunity for a different future. A better future.”

    Though we may case our colors, we do not erase all that these brigade Soldiers and leaders have accomplished in the past or will accomplish in the future,” Benson added.

    The inactivation ceremony had a bittersweet effect on the unit’s only sergeant first class to help stand the brigade up.

    From serving as a platoon sergeant in the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, to serving as the first sergeant for Troop B, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Sgt. Fernando Fernandez, former first sergeant for the brigade headquarters company has a long history with the unit.

    Fernandez recalled the small office with only a desk and one computer and a sign on the door that read “4-1 Cav” was all that represented the brigade when he first arrived. 

    “We started from scratch,” said Fernandez, an Alamo, Texas, native. “We had to borrow equipment to qualify our Soldiers, and within a year we deployed.”

    A unit named from a contest where the name was drawn from a hat will now be remembered for the hard work and accomplishments put forth by the thousands of Soldiers who had the privilege of calling themselves the “Long Knife” Brigade.

    “It’s always a little sad to see a unit inactivate and case their unit colors,” said Benson, “but it’s for a good reason, and the Army becomes stronger because of it.”

     

  • FORT HOOD, Texas -- The 1st Cavalry Division will host an Inactivation Ceremony for the 4th Brigade Combat Team Oct. 17 at 9 a.m. at the division headquarters' Cooper Field.

    Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, will preside over the ceremony to formally inactivate the 4th "Longknife" Brigade.

    Anyone interested in covering the event, please click here.

  • Click image for full resolution photo

    Cpl. Douglas Long, a Soldier with Forward Support Company F, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, trains on roads Aug. 16 throughout Fort Hood, Texas, to prepare for the Furnace Creek ultra-cycling event. The Forward Support Company F, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd BCT Soldier is attempting to earn the Death Valley cup by completing the Furnace Creek 508-mile ultracycling event. Long, a radio and communication security repairer and Oahu, Hawaii, native, has already run in the 135-mile Badwater ultramarathon as a prerequisite to attain the Death Valley Cup. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)


    By Sgt. Kim Browne

    HQ, 1st Cav. Div. PAO

     

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Training: a word that is a part of every Soldier’s vocabulary.

    Soldiers train for physical readiness, peacekeeping missions, war and for whatever the president may call upon them. However some Soldiers train to go above and beyond.

    Cpl. Douglas Long, a radio and communication security repairer with Forward Support Company F, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Grey Wolf,” 1st Cavalry Division, is one of those Soldiers.

    Recently, Long trained for and completed “Badwater,” an ultramarathon covering 135 miles in Death Valley, Calif.

    Being accepted to compete in the Badwater race was a difficult task on its own. Runners have to submit a written application and must have completed three previous 100 mile ultramarathons within three years.

    “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Long said. “Receiving the congratulations email was like winning the lottery. It was better than winning the lottery.”

    An ultramarathon is any marathon that covers more than the typical 26.2 miles --  it’s typically more than 50 miles.

    The 2013 Badwater race was held July 15 to 17 and only allowed for 100 participants. Long finished 10th with a time of 29 hours, 34 minutes and 44 seconds.

    The race was 135 miles of nonstop running from Death Valley to Mount Whitney, Calif., where Long endured temperatures of up to 130 degrees.

    But his road to Badwater and Death Valley, Calif., began before he enlisted in the Army in 2003.

    While attending high school in Cheyenne, Wyo., he ran with the cross-country team, where his coach was Dr. Brent Weigner.

    Weigner is the world record holder for running an ultramarathon on each of the continents within 267 days in 1999.

    “(Weigner) was my inspiration for running,” Long said of his then-coach.

    After Long enlisted in the Army he was stationed in his home state of Hawaii at Wheeler Army Airfield. This is also where he trained for and completed his first ultramarathon; the HURT 100 - the Hawaiian Ultra Running Team 100 mile run around the big island of Hawaii.

    “I just really wanted to test myself,” he said about wanting to run an ultramarathon. “It just really called to me, there’s just something about it.”

    While stationed in Hawaii he joined with the HURT, and ran the HURT 100 twice. The second followed a one year tour to Iraq.

    Long said some of the Soldiers were ready to redeploy and hang out, but he was just ready to run.

    While deployed to Iraq, Long’s desire to run stayed with him and he ran a biathlon at Camp Speicher, Iraq.

    Long said running marathons and ultramarathons has helped him to be a better Soldier and a better person.

    “Ultrarunners are know for being meticulous planners,” he said. “ How well you plan the gear you take, the water you take, makes other things in life easier.”

    Upon redeployment, and after he ran his second HURT 100, Long was reassigned from Hawaii and moved back to the continental United States where he was station at Fort Hood, Texas in 2011.

    Once he settled in with the Grey Wolf Brigade, 1st Cav., Long competed in the Hard Rock 100 in Southwest Colorado, which is another 100 mile ultramarathon that has a total elevation change of 67,984 feet or just less than 13 miles. That range of elevation decreases the amount of oxygen getting to the muscles and the low atmospheric pressure makes the blood less oxygen rich, in-turn fatigues the runner and slows performance.

    He said running the ultramarathons takes more out of a runner than a regular marathon.

    “It takes a long time for your hormones to get back up,” he said. “It’s very taxing on your endocrine system. You’re euphoric for about a week then all of a sudden you crash and some runners get very depressed at this point.”

    He said that along with the fatigue, there is a zombie effect during the run.

    “Trees will melt on you -- you’ll see people running next to you who aren’t there,” he said. “You carry on conversations with people who aren’t there.”

    But now that Long has completed the Badwater Race, he has set his sights on ultra-cycling and attaining the Death Valley Cup.

    The Death Valley Cup recognizes athletes who complete two specific types of ultras; the 135-mile Badwater ultramarathon and an ultra-cycling race known as Furnace Creek.

    Only 20 people in the world have earned the cup, according to the 508 club website.

    Long needs to finish the Furnace Creek 508 bicycle race to achieve the Cup. The ride crosses 10 mountain passes and stretches through the Mojave Desert. Throughout the ride, there is a total elevation gain of 35,000 feet or approximately 6.6 miles.

    To qualify for Furnace Creek, Long completed two other ultracycling events.

    Supporting him through all his endeavors are his wife, Katelyn, and two children.

    “It’s a sacrifice on his part and our part,” Katelyn said. “I am very supportive, but he gets too stressed out toward the end of his training so I make sure to tell him when he’s doing too much.”

    “Yes, I can get out of control sometimes,” Douglas said.

    Douglas also talked about his fellow Soldiers and running.

    “I’ll never turn anyone down,” he said. “I want people to be as passionate about running as I am.”

    Douglas’ leadership was highly supportive of him throughout all his training and racing as well.

    “It was a big deal for us; myself and the commander,” said 1st Sgt. Milton Moody, former first sergeant for Long, currently first sergeant for FSC E, 3-8 Cav. “He influenced a lot of us and we kind of put him on display to show that if you put the time and the effort into something you enjoy doing you’re going to be successful at it.”

    Moody said, that Long is very instrumental to everyone in the unit, not just some.

    Long said he there are multiple benefits people can get from running and that he encourages everyone to run in some way because it helps to gain maturity.

    “You gain maturity because at the end of the day, you and only you are to blame for your success or failure,” he said.

    Long will continue to train and attempt the Furnace Creek in October 2013 and push for his chance at the Death Valley Cup.

     

    Click image for full resolution photo

    Cpl. Douglas Long, a Trooper with Forward Support Company F, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, cycles down Battalion Avenue Aug. 16 on Fort Hood, Texas, to train for an upcoming ultracycling event known as Furnace Creek. Furnace Creek is a 508-mile ultra-cycling event he must complete to earn the Death Valley Cup, which is only earned after completing Badwater (135-mile ultramarathon) and Furnace Creek. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

     

     

    Click image for full resolution photo

    Cpl. Douglas Long, a Trooper with Forward Support Company F, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, runs on trails Aug. 19 throughout Fort Hood, Texas, to keep himself trained and prepared for his next ultramarathon. Long, a radio and communication security repairer and Oahu, Hawaii native, is currently training on a bicycle, so he may compete at Furnace Creek, a 508-mile ultracycling event. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bryce S. Dubee, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

  • FORT HOOD, Texas -- The 1st Cavalry Division is slated to host two Redeployment Ceremonies this weekend for the 4th Brigade Combat Team at Cooper Field here.

    The first ceremony is tentatively scheduled for 7:45 p.m., 6 Jul. This flight is slated to include the command team of 1-9 Cav and an uncasing ceremony of the battalion's colors will be part of the festivities. Interested media must register for this flight here.

    The second ceremony is tentatively set for 7:15 p.m., 7 July and will include an uncasing ceremony for the 4th BSTB. Media interested in covering this ceremony must register here.

    Please note that ceremony times are subject to change.

     

  • FORT HOOD, Texas -- The 1st Cavalry Division is slated to host a Redeployment Ceremony June 20 at 5:30 p.m. for the 4th Brigade Combat Team's Advon flight at Cooper Field here.

    Please note that ceremony times are subject to change.

    Anyone interested in covering the event, must register here.

  • FORT HOOD, Texas – The 1st Cavalry Division announced today a battalion task force from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team will deploy to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula this summer as part of the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping force.

    The 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, will observe and report violations of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty during its nine-month deployment. The 400-plus Soldier U.S. battalion will be based on the southern end of the Sinai Peninsula, near Sharm-el-Sheikh. The U.S. Soldiers will man observation posts and check points along the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula between Eilat, Israel and Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt.

    The 3rd Brigade Combat Team's 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry most recently assisted with the drawdown of U.S. Forces in Iraq and the training of Iraqi security forces. The unit returned to Fort Hood from Iraq in the fall of 2011.  The squadron recently completed a rotation at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., and has spent six months training to accomplish this peacekeeping mission.

    The MFO is a result of the 1979 Camp David Peace Accords, which were signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Israeli President Menachem Begin, and U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The MFO is currently comprised of 13 nations. U.S. forces have participated in the MFO mission since its inception in 1982.

    For more information concerning Multinational Force and Observers-Sinai, visit their webpage at http://www.MFO.org. For more information on 6-9 Cavalry, contact 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office at (254) 288-9598.

     

    --30--

  • FORT HOOD, Texas -- The 1st Cavalry Division is slated to host a Redeployment Ceremony June 20 at 1:45 a.m. for the 4th "Long Knife" Brigade Combat Team's Torch-1 flight at Cooper Field here.

    Please note that ceremony time is subject to change.

    Anyone interested in covering the event, please click here.

  • FORT HOOD, Texas -- The 1st Cavalry Division is slated to celebrate the Army's 238th birthday with a cavalry-style cake cutting June 14 at 3:45 p.m. at the division headquarters.

    Following the cake cutting is a ceremony to promote Col. Joseph M. Martin, deputy commanding general for maneuvers, 1st Cavalry Division, to brigadier general at 4:30 p.m., Cooper Field.

    Anyone interested in covering the events, please click here.

  • FORT HOOD, Texas -- The 1st Cavalry Division is hosting veteran Cav Troopers and their families from across the country June 7 for the annual 1st Cavalry Division Reunion here.

    Events are scheduled to take place at the division’s museum, Horse Cavalry Detachment and the division headquarters at Cooper Field.

    The museum will offer special displays and living history presentations to include actors in period costume. Media wishing to cover the events at the museum should register here

    The Horse Cavalry Detachment will be open throughout the day for tours and a demonstration at 3 p.m. Media wishing to cover events at the detachment should register here.

    The day’s activities will finish with a “Spirit of the Cav” presentation at the division headquarters’ Cooper Field beginning at 6 p.m. Media wishing to cover the evening ceremony should register here.

    For more information please contact the 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office at 254-287-9400.

  • Click image for full resolution photo

    Lt. Gen. Frederick Hodges (right), commanding general for NATO's Allied Land Command, chats with Lt. Col. Kirk Luedeke (left), public affairs officer for the 1st Cavalry Division, after a meeting with a few leaders of the division April 6 at the Cav's Headquarters at Fort Hood, Texas. (Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cavalry Division PAO)

     By Sgt. Kim Browne
    1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

    FORT HOOD, Texas - NATO is an active and leading advocate for peace and security on the international stage. Through its many operations, the Alliance has proved both its willingness to act as a positive force for change today and its capacity to  anticipate the security challenges of  the future.

    Lt. Gen. Frederick B. Hodges, commanding general for NATO’s Allied Land Command in Izmir, Turkey, presented an orientation and briefing April 6 here to officers and leaders of the 1st Cavalry Division about the activation of LANDCOM and NATO’s Command Structure transformations.

    As part of NATO’s vision to reflect the realities of economic austerity and next year’s transition in the Afghan theater, the NCS streamlined its organization from 11 to six headquarters.  LANDCOM was activated on Nov. 30, 2012, replacing the two land component commands in Heidelberg, Germany and Madrid, Spain, and retains sole responsibility for the standardization and interoperability of all land forces from the 28 member nations that comprise the most successful alliance in history.

    “My headquarters exists primarily to ensure that we retain the effectiveness and interoperability of all NATO land forces,” Hodges said. “NATO has become more active in preventing conflict rather than waiting to be attacked.”

    Before his arrival to Fort Hood, Hodges visited the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to talk to the students and see what capabilities the U.S. Army has for training and doctrine.

    Hodges discussed many of the changes the Alliance is making, such as the U.S. Army collaborating with LANDCOM and regionally aligning NATO land forces around the globe.

    “The 1st Cavalry Division could potentially have a role in the Regionally Aligned Force, so I wanted to come talk to the commander, talk to the leaders and see how they were training and preparing,” Hodges said.

    RAF is a concept to develop innovative new approaches for helping entire units to work with and among partner nation security forces.

    “The Alliance realized that it had to transform for life after (International Security Assistance Force), post-2014, so it could meet the security requirements of its member nations, but at an affordable, sustainable level,” Hodges said   

    Since NATO’s creation just after WWII, the first several decades of NATO’s existence saw a focus on training and preparation for potential conflict with the Soviet Union, but with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact nations, its focus changed to territorial integrity       

    Following the end of the Cold War, the Bosnian support and stability mission in the 1990’s, known as Operation Joint Endeavor, was the first time NATO had assisted a country that was not a NATO member.  

    The 9/11 attacks on the U.S. in 2001, was the first time in the Alliance’s history that Article 5 of the NATO treaty (“An attack on one is an attack on all”) has ever been invoked. Since then, NATO has had forces deployed to Afghanistan to lead ISAF, while conducting anti-piracy, air policing and other contingency operations around the globe.

    “NATO exists to ensure the security of all of its member nations,” he added. “We must never lose our capability of reacting quickly because we enjoy a long and successful history of training, exercising and deploying together.”

    “Unless we are responding to a direct attack on our soil, the U.S. Army cannot conduct large-scale, sustained operations alone in multiple theaters, nor should we,” he concluded.

     

     

    Click image for high resolution photo

    Lt. Gen. Frederick Hodges (right), commanding general for NATO's Allied Land Command, and Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi (left), commanding general for the 1st Cavalry Division, pause for a photo after Hodges met with Ierardi and other Cav Troopers April 6 at the division's headquarters at Fort Hood, Texas. (Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cavalry Division PAO)

     

     

     

  • Click image for full resolution photo
    Police officers and firemen help control a hay bale fire March 22, on U.S. 75 North near Van Alstyne, Texas. Spc. Wayne Byers noticed the hay on fire in the back of a pickup truck and helped remove the hay before it burned up the vehicle and its occupants. (Photo by Spc. Wayne Byers, 1st Cav. Div.)

     

    By Sgt. Kim Browne
    1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

    VAN ALSTYNE, Texas – While driving north on U.S. 75 through Dallas, the last thing  a person may expect to see is fire coming from the back of a pickup truck -- but for a 1st Cavalry Division Trooper, it was a reality and a cause for selfless action.

    Dallas native Spc. Wayne Byers, a Soldier with the 1st Cav. Headquarters, pulled over behind the pickup and began throwing burning bales of hay out of the back March 22 near Van Alstyne, Texas.

    “I was headed to get my Mom so we could attend my daughter’s piano recital,” Byers said.

    Byers had been following the pickup truck for a mile or more as smoke billowed from the bed. The truck started to pull over and the hay bales caught fire.

    He acted by grabbing his thermal undershirt, remembering its flame retardant capabilities, to attempt to smother the fire, but to no avail. He then began pulling the hay bales from the truck and telling the driver to get out and get her children out. Byers then rushed to the passenger side of the vehicle to pull one of the two children out.

    After assisting with the children he returned to the pickup and pulled it forward and away from the burning hay. Byers and the others, who were assisting, also pulled the smoldering bed liner from the pickup as to keep the truck from burning up.

    “He helped out a vehicle from burning,” said Officer Jonathan Hunter, a police officer with the Van Alstyne, Texas Police Department. “He assisted with removal of the hay bales and further damage to the truck and I would personally like to thank him.”

    Once the police and fire department showed up, Byers felt that he had accomplished his mission.

    “I just felt that I had to get the kids away and get the fire out,” Byers explained. “I felt like I did what I should have done or what anyone should have done and I would do it again.”

    Master Sgt. Dara Wydler, commandant for the 1st Cavalry Division, stated Byers embodies the seven Army Core Values such as personal courage; especially knowing that he could get hurt or burned himself.

    “It’s a great thing to have Soldiers like that,” Wydler said. “It makes other Soldiers rethink and relook at themselves and maybe question what they would or would not do.”

    For Byers the incident ended just as quick as it had began and for Soldiers like Byers it shows the epitome of the Army Values with emphasis on selfless service and personal courage.

     

    Photograph of Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Kapaun as a 1st. Lt.

    Spc. Wayne Byers, a Soldier with the 1st Cavalry Division’s Commandant Section, pauses for a photo March 26 at the 1st Cav. Headquarters at Fort Hood, Texas after discussing the actions he took to help save a family and their vehicle from burning up. Byers noticed hay on fire in the back of a pickup truck and helped remove the hay before it burned up the vehicle and its occupants. (Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cavalry Division PAO)

     

     

     

  • FORT HOOD, Texas -- The 1st Cavalry Division is slated to host a Patch Ceremony, April 5 at 10 a.m. at the division headquarter's Cooper Field.

    The Cav will be saying farewell to Brig. Gen. Laura Richardson, deputy commanding general for support, and welcoming Col. Joseph Martin, commander of the Operation Test Command, as Richardson's replacement.

    Anyone interested in covering the event, please click here.

  • Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, receives the division’s colors from Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell, commanding general of Fort Hood and III Corps, during the First Team’s change of command ceremony June 14, on Cooper Field.

    Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Kapaun (right), former chaplain with Headquarters Company, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, helps another Soldier carry an exhausted Troop off the battlefield early in the Korean War.

    By Sgt. Kim Browne
    1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

    FORT HOOD, Texas - A former Soldier with the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor at the White House, April 11.

    Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Joseph Kapaun served with Headquarters Company, 8th Cav. in the Korean War where he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross Aug. 18, 1951. The award of the Medal of Honor to Chaplain Kapaun is an upgrade of the DSC.

    Father Kapaun, also a World War II veteran, sacrificed his own safety while the regiment was attacked by hostile forces and he moved among the wounded to provide medical aid and comfort.

    At dusk Nov. 2, 1950, the Troops who were able to fight were ordered to attempt to break through the surrounding enemy. Fr. Kapaun however, remained behind to administer medical treatment and render religious rites wherever needed.

    Upon capture, Kapaun and other POWs were forced to walk more than 85 miles to the city of Pyoktong, North Korea. While forcibly walking this march through snow and ice, Kapaun assisted the wounded and encouraged other Soldiers to do the same.

    While he was held captive, he snuck around to more than 200 men that were also captive to say prayers and give support. He also secretly moved able-bodied men out to the countryside at night, while avoiding guards, to get food and firewood to help keep the prisoners alive. At this point the other POWs had dubbed him the “good thief.”

    Kapaun was a Prisoner of War from Nov. 2, 1950 until he died from a blood clot May 23, 1951.

    “Father Emil Kapaun is an American hero who embodies the Medal of Honor’s ideals as our nation’s highest award for military service,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, here. “He distinguished himself with valor before his capture and continued to care for his fellow Soldiers at a great risk to himself while interned in a Prisoner of War Camp. Although Father Kapaun did not survive to be liberated along with hundreds of the prisoners he ministered to and assisted, his faith, honor and selfless devotion to duty reflects the finest tradition of the U.S. Army, the 1st Cavalry Division and the Army Chaplain Corps."

     

    Photograph of Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Kapaun as a 1st. Lt.

    Photograph of Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Kapaun as a 1st. Lt.

     

     

     

  • FORT HOOD, Texas -- The 1st Cavalry Division will host a Distinguished Service and Welcome Ceremony, 10 a.m., Feb. 7, at the division headquarter's Cooper Field.

    The Cav will be recognizing retiring troopers and honoring the distinguished service of individuals throughout the division.

    Media representatives interested in covering the event, please click here.

  • Brig. Gen. Laura Richardson, deputy commanding general of support for the 1st Cavalry Division, claps to the playing of  "Garry Owen" during a Patch Ceremony, July 5 on Cooper Field.

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Brig. Gen. Laura Richardson, deputy commanding general of support for the 1st Cavalry Division, claps to the playing of  "Garry Owen" during a Patch Ceremony, July 5 on Cooper Field. This Patch Ceremony farewelled Command Sgt. Maj. Isaia Vimoto, former division command sergeant major, and recognized the division's changing of deputy commanding general of support from Brig. Gen James Richardson to Brig. Gen. Laura Richardson. With taking this position, Laura is making a first in the history of the Army by being the first female deputy commanding general of a maneuver division. She is also taking her husband’s position who is moving on to be the deputy commanding general of III Corps. (Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

     
    By Sgt. Kim Browne
    1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

    FORT HOOD, Texas –  A rich history is one of many things that make the 1st Cavalry Division what it is today. Their flare of traditional ceremonies when honoring the Cav’s Soldiers is another.

    America’s First Team farewelled Command Sgt. Maj. Isaia Vimoto, former division command sergeant major, Brig. Gen. James Richardson, former deputy commanding general of support, 1st Cav. Div., and hailed Brig. Gen. Laura Richardson, deputy commanding general of support for the division, during a Patch Ceremony, July 5, on Cooper Field.

    Vimoto was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal for his accomplishments during his time with the Cav.

    “To our First Team Troopers and leaders; I had a blast serving you,” Vimoto said. “It has been a blessing serving as your division command sergeant major and I can honestly tell you that I had learned so much by watching you in action both in combat and here at home station.”

    Also during the ceremony Brig. Gen. James Richardson stepped down as the division’s deputy commanding general of support and handed the reins over to his wife Brig. Gen. Laura Richardson.

    “While I leave the First Team with a heavy heart, I take comfort in the notion that I am not leaving them entirely behind,” James said. “Going to III Corps will allow me to continue sharing in the unique community that is Fort Hood.”

    Laura is coming to the Cav from the United States Army Operational Test Command on West Fort Hood, where she was the commanding general.

    “I am truly honored and humbled to join this legendary division, the 1st Cavalry Division, who has served this nation since 1921, building a cavalry heritage rich in pride and tradition.” she said.

    Brig. Gen. Laura J. Richardson grew up in Colorado and was commissioned a second lieutenant aviation officer upon graduation from Metropolitan State College in Denver.

    Laura’s first assignment after flight School was in Korea with the 17th Aviation Brigade where she served as a platoon leader, company executive officer, brigade staff officer and company commander.

    She next served at Fort Hood, Texas on the III Corps staff and in the 6th Cavalry Brigade as a company commander and brigade adjutant.

    Upon leaving Texas she was assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas serving at the Battle Command Training Program as an observer trainer, followed by attendance to the United States Army Command and General Staff College.

    She was next assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky to serve in the 9th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, an assault helicopter battalion, as the operations officer and executive officer. Then she was selected to serve as the military aide to Vice President Al Gore in Washington D.C.

    Laura then returned to Fort Campbell, KY and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) where she served as the division deputy of operations and following as commander of the 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, an assault helicopter battalion, and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    Following her battalion command, she was assigned to the Pentagon on the Army Staff in the operations section and served as deputy director and then director, Army's Transformation Office.

    After her Pentagon tour, she attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., and was the garrison commander of Fort Myer, Va. and Fort McNair, Washington D.C. After command she served as the Army's Liaison Officer to the United States Senate.   

    Laura’s military education includes the Aviation Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Army Rotary Wing Course, UH-60 Blackhawk Course, Air Assault School, Airborne School, United States Army Command and General Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

    Her awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal (seven), and the Joint Service Commendation Medal.

    Brig. Gen. Laura Richardson is also making history for America’s First Team and the United States Army; she is the first female deputy commanding general of a maneuver division.

    “[Laura] brings with her incredible talent and inspiration,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the Cav. “She has masterfully commanded at every level from platoon to brigade and excelled at diverse assignments of strategic influence.”

    Brig. Gen. James Richardson remains on Fort Hood and is now the deputy commanding general of III Corps.

    Command Sgt. Maj. Vimoto has moved on to Fort Bragg, N.C. where he will be the command sergeant major of the XVIII Airborne Corps.

     

     

    Command Sgt. Maj. Isaia Vimoto, former command sergeant major of the 1st Cavalry Division, receives the Legion of Merit Medal from Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the Cav., during a patch ceremony to recognize Vimoto and the changing of the division's deputy commanding general of support, July 5 on Cooper Field.

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Command Sgt. Maj. Isaia Vimoto, former command sergeant major of the 1st Cavalry Division, receives the Legion of Merit Medal from Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the Cav., during a patch ceremony to recognize Vimoto and the changing of the division's deputy commanding general of support, July 5 on Cooper Field. Vimoto is moving on to Fort Bragg, N.C. to be the command sergeant major of the XVIII Airborne Corps. (Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

     

    Brig. Gen. James Richardson, former deputy commanding general of support for the 1st Cavalry Division (Now the III Corps deputy commanding general); Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division; Brig. Gen. Laura Richardson, deputy commanding general of support for the 1st Cavalry Division, take their places on the review stand during a Patch Ceremony, July 5 on Cooper Field.

    FORT HOOD, Texas - (From left to right) Brig. Gen. James Richardson, former deputy commanding general of support for the 1st Cavalry Division (Now the III Corps deputy commanding general); Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division; Brig. Gen. Laura Richardson, deputy commanding general of support for the 1st Cavalry Division, take their places on the review stand during a Patch Ceremony, July 5 on Cooper Field. The ceremony was held to farewell Command Sgt. Maj. Isaia Vimoto and Brig. Gen. James Richardson. It also hailed Brig. Gen. Laura Richardson as she replaced her husband as the DCG-S of the division. (Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

  • Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, receives the division’s colors from Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell, commanding general of Fort Hood and III Corps, during the First Team’s change of command ceremony June 14, on Cooper Field.

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, receives the division’s colors from Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell, commanding general of Fort Hood and III Corps, during the First Team’s change of command ceremony June 14, on Cooper Field. (Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

     

    By Sgt. Kim Browne
    1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

    FORT HOOD, Texas – This time last year the 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters celebrated the Army’s birthday with a cake cutting and donning of the biggest patch in the Army to their right shoulders while deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan. This year while the Army celebrated it’s 237th birthday the division experienced the passing of it’s colors from one major general to another.

    Maj. Gen. (promotable) Dan Allyn, former commanding general of the division, passed on the reins of America’s First Team to Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the 1st Cav., June 14 on Cooper Field.

    “It is indeed an honor and privilege to serve again with the tremendous Soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Division,” Ierardi said. “We will remain focused on our mission, on care for our Soldiers and their families, and on the team of teams that is the 1st Cavalry Division.”

    Ierardi comes to the First Team from the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff as the director of force management.

    He graduated from Washington and Lee University with a degree in Business Administration and holds a Master of Arts degree in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University. He is also a graduate of U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Naval War College.

    His prior assignments include serving as the director of Joint and Futures with the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff and as the deputy commander for Programs of the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.

    He commanded Joint Task Force North at Fort Bliss, Texas. He also served as director of capabilities developments at the U.S. Army Capabilities Integration Center, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Virginia.

    Ierardi was the chief of staff of the 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Red Cloud, Republic of Korea. While in Korea he commanded the 1st “Iron” Brigade, 2ID.

    The commanding general is no stranger to Fort Hood. He served as the operations officer of the division and had also commanded the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment “Gary Owen.”

    Earlier in his career, he was a cavalry troop commander in the 2nd Squadron, 1nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Bamberg, Germany and participated in Operation Desert Storm.

    Maj. Gen. Ierardi has trained and served as a Latin American Foreign Area Officer. He was first a student attending the Mexican Army’s Command and General Staff College (Escuela Superior de Guerra) in Mexico City. Later he became the Aide-de-Camp to the commander of the U.S. Southern Command.

    His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal.

    Ierardi is married to Mrs. Angela Ierardi and they have two sons.

    “[Ierardi] comes to us with a wealth of experience earned during tough and diverse assignments,” said Lt. Gen. Don Campbell, commanding general of III Corps and Fort Hood. “I am truly excited and honored to have Tony and Angela join the III Corps and 1st Cavalry Division Teams and I look forward to serving with both of them.”

    Allyn carries on with his family to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to take command of the XVIII Corps.

    “This is a tough day for Team Allyn, but as with every day serving America’s finest,  it’s one filled with inspiration,” Allyn said. “I am blessed to hand over the reins to an outstanding commander, a man of great intellect, vision, and proven leadership: Maj. Gen. Tony Ierardi.”

     

    Col. Douglas Gabram, chief of staff for the 1st Cavalry Division, presents the colors, officers, noncommissioned officers, and Soldiers to the command during the division’s change of command ceremony June 14, on Cooper Field.

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Col. Douglas Gabram, chief of staff for the 1st Cavalry Division, presents the colors, officers, noncommissioned officers, and Soldiers to the command during the division’s change of command ceremony June 14, on Cooper Field. (Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

     

    Command Sgt. Maj. Isaia Vimoto, command sergeant major of the 1st Cavalry Division, prepares to pass off the division’s colors during the Cav’s change of command ceremony June 14, on Cooper Field.

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Command Sgt. Maj. Isaia Vimoto, command sergeant major of the 1st Cavalry Division, prepares to pass off the division’s colors during the Cav’s change of command ceremony June 14, on Cooper Field. (Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

     

    Maj. Gen. Dan Allyn, former commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, gives his closing remarks after relinquishing command of the division during the Cav’s change of command ceremony.

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Maj. Gen. Dan Allyn, former commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, gives his closing remarks after relinquishing command of the division during the Cav’s change of command ceremony. (Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

     

    Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, gives a speech during the division’s change of command ceremony after taking command as the new commanding general of America’s First Team June 14, on Cooper Field.

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, gives a speech during the division’s change of command ceremony after taking command as the new commanding general of America’s First Team June 14, on Cooper Field. (Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

  • The command team of the 1st Cavalry Division unveil the Operation Enduring Freedom monuments during the divisions Memorial Re-dedication Ceremony May 30 on Cooper Field.

     
    By Sgt. Kim Browne
    HQ, 1st Cav. Div. PAO
     

    FORT HOOD, Texas – As the face of war continues to change, the promise of remembering our fallen is something the 1st Cavalry Division has held on to and continues to show with each passing deployment.

    America’s First Team honored their fallen from Iraq and Afghanistan during a Memorial Rededication Ceremony, May 30 on Cooper Field.

    The ink-black granite memorial bears witness to all that lost their lives while deployed with the division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn in Iraq, and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

    “It’s a beautiful monument and it’s nice to see that you’re honoring the soldiers,” said Mary Pasker, Gold Star mother of Sgt. 1st Class Terryl Pasker.

    Terryl, who served with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa National Guard, was killed-in-action July 9, 2011 in eastern Afghanistan.

    “By commissioning this monument, we have charged these stones to keep vigil over the memory of our fallen,” said Maj. Gen. Dan Allyn, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division. “And in turn they charge us never to waiver in our commitment to honoring the legacy of their precious charges.”

    Names of the 17 U.S. soldiers from Operation New Dawn were engraved into the original, horseshoe-shaped monument, along with an additional campaign stone that details the mission that closed the war in Iraq.

    OND began, Sept. 1, 2010, and marked the end of military action in Iraq. A little over two years later on Dec. 15, 2011, OND concluded more than eight years of combat. On Dec. 18, 2011, soldiers of the First Team’s own 3rd Brigade Combat Team were the last to leave Iraqi territory and cross into Kuwait.

    Just to the east, three new memorial walls now stand to remember those lost during the division’s latest deployment to eastern Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom.

    OEF and the global War on Terror were sights unseen and a historical first for the Cav. The division headquarters took over authority May 19, 2011 from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) of Combined Jointed Task Force-1, Regional Command-East, headquartered in Bagram, Afghanistan.

    “Captured on these stones are the names of soldiers from ten brigades and eight divisions within our Army,” Allyn said. “The sacrifice of sailors and airmen from the U.S. Navy and Air Force is also recorded, as well as the names of Service Members from three allied countries who served with the First Team and CJTF-1 in Afghanistan.”

    The new OEF walls contain the names of 104 U.S. Service Members and civilians; 39 coalition partners, to include Poland, France and Jordan; and two military working dogs.

    These additions carry on a legacy to remember the fallen. This legacy now physically connects the heroes of today’s wars with their brethren from nearly half a century ago.

    “The granite is from the same quarry in India that was used for the Vietnam Memorial,” said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Webster, president of the 1st Cavalry Division Association. “This is the best division memorial that I have yet to see.”

    The division’s memorial was first dedicated April 4, 2006 and is rededicated following every deployment of the division’s, to honor those who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice.

    “The nation that forgets it’s defenders will itself be forgotten.” -Calvin Collidge.

    Mary Pasker, a Gold Star family member, traces the name of her son, Sgt. 1st Class Terryl L. Pasker, who was killed in action July 9, 2011 in eastern Afghanistan, after the 1st Cavalry Divisions Memorial Re-dedication Ceremony, May 30, on Cooper Field.

     

    Family and friends of fallen service members pay their respects May 30, at the 1st Cavalry Divisions Memorial Re-dedication Ceremony on Cooper Field.

     

    A Gold Star family member of Pfc. Jalfred D. Vaquerano, who was killed in action Dec. 13, 2011 in eastern Afghanistan, traces his name from the newly unveiled Operation Enduring Freedom monument after the 1st Cavalry Divisions Memorial Re-dedication Ceremony May 30 on Cooper Field.

    A rifleman stands ready before the 1st Cavalry Divisions Memorial Re-dedication Ceremony May 30 on Cooper Field

  • FORT HOOD, Texas --  The 1st Cavalry Division will remember its fallen heroes by rededicating its 1st Cavalry Division Memeorial at 10:00 a.m. on May 30 at Cooper Field here.

    The ceremony will unveil additions to its Operation Iraqi Freedom Memorial, as well as its new Operation Enduring Freedom Memorial.  162 names of fallen heroes have been added to the memorial: 17 from OIF and Operation New Dawn, and 145 from OEF.

    This event is open to the public and all are welcome to come show their support and honor these brave Cavalry Troopers.

    Media representatives interested in covering the event, please click here.

  • Command Sgt. Maj. Isaia Vimoto, the command sergeant major of the 1st Cavalry Division, adds the Operation Enduring Freedom campaign ribbon to the division’s colors April 20 on Cooper Field. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav Div Public Affairs.)

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Command Sgt. Maj. Isaia Vimoto, the command sergeant major of the 1st Cavalry Division, adds the Operation Enduring Freedom campaign ribbon to the division’s colors April 20 on Cooper Field. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav Div Public Affairs.)

     
    By Sgt. Kim Browne
    HQ, 1st Cav. Div. PAO
     

    FORT HOOD, Texas –The 1st Cavalry Division’s Cooper Field has seen many ceremonies over the years. From changes of command to retirements but this ceremony marks an historical event for the division.

    Troopers from the Cav headquarters returned from their first deployment in Afghanistan after a year, April 20, to Cooper Field.

    Uncasing the division’s colors was their first order of duty, to show the First Team’s Headquarters was back home but the order to “charge” was shortly thereafter.

    For the commander to yell “charge” signified to the families and the returning Soldiers to reunite again after their year apart.

    “It’s great to be reunited with the family,” said Lt. Col. Chad Carroll, the public affairs officer for the division. “It was a good deployment, made a lot of great progress out there but it’s always great to be home.”

    While deployed, the division was in charge of Regional Command-East, also known as Combined Joint Task Force-1. RC-East covers 14 Afghan provinces, roughly the size of the state of Ohio, with 450 miles of border with Pakistan.

    They also oversaw the actions and campaigns of 31,000 Coalition Forces Soldiers from 13 nations.

    RC-East had many successes over the year while under CJTF-1.

    Operations such as Hammer Down and Hammer Down II disrupted insurgent operations and also continued the expansion of Afghan National Security Forces capabilities.

    Operation Knife Edge also occurred under the watch of the division.

    Knife Edge consisted of Afghan Security Forces and their NATO allies pushing against and reducing the Al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network along the troubled Pakistani border.

    CJTF-1’s primary mission in Afghanistan was to provide security, governance and development for the people of RC-East.

    14 Provincial Reconstruction Teams also fell within RC-East. The PRT objectives are to extend the authority of the Afghan central government, and to facilitate reconstruction.

    Transitioning securities from Coalition Forces to Afghan Forces was also a work-in-progress for RC-East.

    Within the year they transitioned the entire provinces of Bamyan and Panjshir, Parwan Province transitioned except for two districts. Several major districts and cities transitioned to Afghan forces including; Mehter Lam, the capital city of Laghman Province - Jalalabad, the capital city of Nangahar Province - and Surobi District, Kabul Province.

    “The Afghan Security Forces are much more capable now then they were a year ago,” said Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, the commanding general of the 1st Cav. “They get stronger every single day and are very confident of their capabilities. And they are capable of defeating the insurgents and enemies of Afghanistan.”

    The command also had individual Soldier accomplishments as well as hardships.

    Nine Soldiers were awarded Silver Star Medals and 43 Bronze Star Medals with Valor devices while under CJTF-1. However, there were more than 1,200 Purple Heart Medals earned.

    "We've completed our mission in Afghanistan and we're ready to start the next leg of the journey," Allyn said.

    Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, the commanding general for the 1st Cavalry Division, uncases the division’s colors on Cooper Field after returning home to Fort Hood April 20, from a year deployment to Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne)

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, the commanding general for the 1st Cavalry Division, uncases the division’s colors on Cooper Field after returning home to Fort Hood April 20, from a year deployment to Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne)

     

    The children of Command Sgt. Maj. Isaia Vimoto, the command sergeant major of the 1st Cav. Div., run out to embrace him after receiving the command to “charge” from the III Corps commander, April 20, on Cooper Field.

    FORT HOOD, Texas - The children of Command Sgt. Maj. Isaia Vimoto, the command sergeant major of the 1st Cav. Div., run out to embrace him after receiving the command to “charge” from the III Corps commander, April 20, on Cooper Field. Vimoto and the rest of the division headquarters had just returned from a year deployment to Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne)

     

    Col. Daniel Hurlbut, the operations officer-in-charge for the 1st Cavalry Division, holds his son after a redeployment ceremony April 20 on Cooper Field. The division headquarters had just returned from a year deployment in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Col. Daniel Hurlbut, the operations officer-in-charge for the 1st Cavalry Division, holds his son after a redeployment ceremony April 20 on Cooper Field. The division headquarters had just returned from a year deployment in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

     

    Brig. Gen. Gary Volesky, the maneuvers general for the 1st Cavalry Division, hugs his wife and son, April 20, after a redeployment ceremony on Cooper Field. The division headquarters had just returned from a year deployment in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Brig. Gen. Gary Volesky, the maneuvers general for the 1st Cavalry Division, hugs his wife and son, April 20, after a redeployment ceremony on Cooper Field. The division headquarters had just returned from a year deployment in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

  • Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division wait in formation to receive the “Charge” command from the commander, April 6, at Cooper’s Field, before rushing to see their friends and family.

    FORT HOOD, Texas – Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division wait in formation to receive the “Charge” command from the commander, April 6, at Cooper’s Field, before rushing to see their friends and family. The Soldiers have just returned from a year deployment to Afghanistan in support of OEF XII. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

    By Sgt. Kim Browne
    1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

     

    FORT HOOD, Texas –1st Cavalry Division friends and family members lifted welcome home signs, American flags and division logos into the air as two white buses pulled up in front of Cooper’s Field.

    An advanced party of Soldiers from America’s First Team arrived home after a year deployment in Afghanistan, April 6, on Cooper’s Field.

    “It’s time,” said Nicole Vess, wife of Sgt. 1st Class Donald Vess, Headquarters 1st Cav. “We are very excited.”

    Also attending the ceremony was the United Services Organizations.

    “We are providing coffee, sodas, snack and a smile to the spouses and friends of the returning Soldiers,” said Marietta Groh and Kristi Brecheisen, USO volunteers. “We are really excited to see the Soldiers come home and we are loving the energy from the families.”

    After ‘Living the Legend’ successfully for a year, then passing on the legacy to the 1st Infantry Division, the division’s Soldiers begin to come home.

    Their mission of supporting Operation Enduring Freedom XII was the first time the division had deployed to Afghanistan.

    While deployed the First Team was in charge of Regional Command-East and the 31,000 Coalition Forces Soldiers within it.

    With the assistance of these Soldiers, the division was able to provide security, governance and development to the people of 14 Afghan provinces in RC-East.

    This initial group of First Team Soldiers returning home marks a major milestone in 1st Cav. history; by supporting OEF XII in Afghanistan for their first time and being the first armored unit to do so.

    1st Sgt. James Funk, 1st Sgt. of Operations Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Cav. Div., embraces his daughter, April 6, at Cooper’s Field, after returning from a year deployment to Afghanistan in support of OEF XII.
    FORT HOOD, Texas – 1st Sgt. James Funk, 1st Sgt. of Operations Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Cav. Div., embraces his daughter, April 6, at Cooper’s Field, after returning from a year deployment to Afghanistan in support of OEF XII. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

     

    Capt. Merlin Dupont, Administrative officer-in-charge, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Cav. Div., kisses his daughter, April 6, at Cooper’s Field, after returning from a year deployment to Afghanistan in support of OEF XII.

    FORT HOOD, Texas – Capt. Merlin Dupont, Administrative officer-in-charge, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Cav. Div., kisses his daughter, April 6, at Cooper’s Field, after returning from a year deployment to Afghanistan in support of OEF XII. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)