Horses are no longer a part of the US Army. The last Mounted Troopers of the USA’s Cavalry Division was dismissed in 1943. They traded off the horses after dismissing the cavalry. The present Army does not require mounted troops anymore. But that does not deny the illustrious history created by horses of the 1st Cavalry Division in the long journey of the US Army. It is important to know and remember the history and feats of this cavalry division which was once the best in the world.
The 1st Cavalry Division, also known as the First Team is one of the most celebrated combat forces of the US Army. Based at Fort Hood, Texas, this combat division has served in most of the great wars fought. Formed in 1921, this 1st Cavalry Division gave unrelenting service in the Second World War, the Korean War, Iraq War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, etc. In 1943, the Army no longer felt the need for horses and disposed of them. It got activated again in 1972, and according to its present state, it is now subordinate to the III Corps. Perhaps, it is the only unit that has once served as a horseback cavalry, then as an infantry division, and also an air assault and armored division over the years.
The Horse Cavalry Detachment Is An Important Part Of The 1st Cavalry Division
The Horse Cavalry Detachment is a part of the 1st Cavalry Division, formed by MG James C. Smith. This is one of the seven active cavalry units of the US army and has earned prestige over the years of service. No doubt that it is a heritage unit of the United States Cavalry. The garrison and stables are still located near the entrance at Fort Hood. The entire cavalry detachment stands organized and dressed in the 1870s style. The horse soldier troops wear cavalry uniforms dating back to that area, complete with boots, belts, saddles, and firearms like the 1875 Model 45-70 Springfield and the 1875 Colt Single Action. You can also find the 1860 Light Cavalry Saber, majorly used in the Civil War in America. Special attention given to the details helps to illustrate the history of the troops.
Details Of The Cavalry Detachment And Its Maintenance
Horses are chosen carefully for the Cavalry Detachment’s mounted drills. They strictly follow the 1883 Manual of Cavalry Tactics to maintain well standards of the hoses and remain faithful to history. The chosen horses need to fulfill all the physical standards set in the century-old manual. The 40 soldier unit has 40 dark brown horses. The horses should be dark and 15 hands in height. The troopers train the houses for about a year before putting them into the Detachment. This is important to maintain standards and quality. The platoon also consists of a restored Studebaker escort wagon dating back to the 19th century.
The Troopers mostly perform garrison duties apart from public shows. They also participate in parades, medal ceremonies, demonstrations, and the Presidential inauguration. A weekly drill for the public held every Thursday has the troopers demonstrating important cavalry tactics to the audience. The Troopers take care of the horses and maintain the functioning of the Detachment. They feed the horses, care for them, attend to their hooves, and manage all the equipment needed for the Detachment. Troopers need to make saddles and horseshoes that require frequent replacement every few weeks. It is essential to select and fit the horseshoes to protect the hooves aptly.
To conclude, the Cavalry Detachment and their horses who have served throughout its existence are an indispensable part of the history of the United States Army.