There was no Cavalry per se in George S. Patton’s day – Which is a shame, as Patton was a fine equestrian and accomplished polo player, and hey, the Armor still does what the Cav does, right? Only with big guns.
My own pride in being branched Infantry (which tells you everything you need to know…Only a select few madmen of Scots / Irish ancestry spend their lives setting all of the ducks in a row so that the army will have to branch them Infantry, thus guaranteeing 20+ years of pure misery).
But back to the Cavalry, which was in my day (and remains today, at least for now) organized into Regiments of Armored Cavalry. My assignment as a Captain with two and a half years in grade and all of my mandatory training completed was to be a staff assignment (as opposed to a troop assignment, where one commands men and makes decisions all day). – A junior staff assignment (Deputy S-3, in this case). I had known this was coming, and dreaded it…I joined the army to soldier, not to administer policies, procedures, and standards, but like any other career, there’s an assigned path up the ladder, and this was part of it.
What I couldn’t figure out was why DCSPERS (the army’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel) had cut orders assigning me to the Blackhorse Cav rather than one of the light or mech Infantry Divisions…That was what I did, by the love of all that’s holy, and did well.
Meh. My griping about the assignment and the shenanigans I pulled in Fulda (I more or less did what I wanted to, taking the consequences as earned), probably contributed to my retirement as a Major just as much as president Clinton’s decision that the army had too many Majors on the payroll.
Still, though, looking back (and having had the privilege to have served in some critical posts as a junior officer that not everyone gets), I think those two years with 2/11 ACR were the happiest of my career. And thus my Christmas card to you all this year:
Along with a bonus: