Riding High: The birthday of the 1st Cavalry Division

Riding High: The birthday of the 1st Cavalry Division
Veterans from the 1st Cavalry Division march by the reviewing stand during a pass in review, at an award ceremony held on Cooper Field to celebrate the 102nd birthday week of the "First Team", Sep 15, 2023. Photo credit DVIDS

Troopers, families, and veterans celebrated the 102nd birthday of the 1st Cavalry Division with a week of competitions, camaraderie, and heritage observations. From across the "First Teams" seven brigades, Troopers enjoyed a week off of work to compete and build a sense of fellowship within their organizations.

The week began with a moment of silence as the Division assembled on Cooper Field to pay respects to those affected by the September 11th attacks in 2001. "First Team" commanding general, Maj. Gen. Kevin D. Admiral spoke to his organization about the importance of remembrance and the opportunity to build a solid relationship with the Troopers to their left and right.

"To all of you standing in formation today, those who can't be here, and those still deployed," said Admiral. "Thank you for your continuous sacrifice and service. You are part of a legacy we must strive to uphold."

Following the speech, CAV Week was kicked off with a competition between battalion command teams, as leaders faced off in various physical activities to determine the week's first victory. Troopers cheered their leaders on as they tackled a gauntlet of exercises, with the team of the 1-82 Field Artillery Regiment bringing home the first win of the week.

Troopers competed against each other in events such as football, soccer, dodgeball, and triathlon. Only one Battalion could bring home the Commander's Cup; every event counted towards the final score. 1st Lt. Dan Horoho, an officer in the 3rd Engineer Battalion who took the victory in the Division 5k run and brought his unit crucial points, shared what CAV Week means to him.

"We get to pause to celebrate our storied history," said Horoho. "Every unit gets to display their pride in their respective organizations."

It wasn't just traditional sports played during the week, as Troopers took to the range and faced off in a demonstration of firearm proficiency. This competition was won by marksmen from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, "Brave Rifles".

"As an infantryman and as a Trooper, marksmanship is paramount to our profession; it's how we protect teammates and defeat our enemies," said 1st Lt. Robert Traitz, a leader from the Regiments Steel Squadron. "I'm thrilled Fort Cavazos is bringing practical shooting sports to our Troopers and hope the program continues to expand."

On September 15th, the 102nd birthday of the Division, the "First Team" formed up on Cooper Field to run as a single formation. Accompanied by the sound of artillery, Troopers took to Legends Way road for the Division Run. Following this, a cake-cutting ceremony was hosted in front of the Division, with each Brigade cutting their own cake with their cavalry sabers.

An award ceremony was held to close the week and acknowledge the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment "Thunderhorse." The Troopers within that formation scored enough points throughout CAV Week to earn their unit the Commander's Cup.

The final day of CAV Week involved a Division-wide family day, a rock concert held by the 1st Cavalry Division Band, and a movie on the lawn, all held on Cooper Field.

The 1st Cavalry Division celebrates its history every year, remembering the days when it was a mounted formation, the years when it was an air assault Division, and its current day-era structure as a combined arms division

Featured Image Photo Credit: DVIDS