1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment

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1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment
Active 1972 – Present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Army
Type cavalry
Role public duties
Size 40
Part of 1st Cavalry Division
Garrison/HQ Fort Hood
Mascot(s) Sergeant Buddy (dog) [1]
Captain Jeremy Woodard

The 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment is a United States Army equestrian military unit. Posted at Fort Hood, Texas, it was activated in 1972 and is a subordinate unit of the 1st Cavalry Division.


In 1943, at the height of World War II, the 1st Cavalry Division disposed of its remaining horses. The Horse Cavalry Detachment was activated 29 years later, in 1972.[2] It is one of seven horse-mounted units remaining in the U.S. Army.[2][3]

In 2014 the first woman to lead the detachment, Captain Elizabeth Rascon, assumed command.[4][5]

Soldiers of the Horse Cavalry Detachment pictured in 2010.


The detachment has primarily public duties functions. It participates in change of command and medal ceremonies, the U.S. presidential inauguration, and represents the 1st Cavalry Division in parades, riding demonstrations, and civic events.[6] In addition to official state and military ceremonies, it has participated in the Rose Parade, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeos, and U.S. Army recruiting events.[7][8] Finally, a weekly mounted drill demonstrating equestrian vaulting and cavalry tactics, such as sabre charges, is held for the public by the detachment every Thursday morning at Fort Hood.[1]

The Horse Cavalry Detachment's mounted drills are drawn from the U.S. Army's 1883 Manual of Cavalry Tactics.[3]

A Horse Cavalry Detachment trooper demonstrates equestrian vaulting in 2013.


Armaments and vehicles[edit]

The 40-soldier unit is equipped with 40 dark brown horses with minimal white markings which are outfitted with Model 1885 McClellan riding saddles that are hand-made by cavalry troopers in an on-site leather shop maintained at the unit's stables. Each of the unit's mounts are trained for approximately one year before being put into action. It, additionally, deploys 8 mules, a mascot dog (Sergeant Buddy), a Model 1878 supply wagon, and a M1841 light mountain howitzer. Individual soldiers are equipped with the Peacemaker revolver, Springfield model 1873 carbine rifle, and Model 1860 light cavalry saber.[1][2][9]


The Horse Cavalry Detachment is designated by the U.S. Army as a "special ceremonial unit" which allows it to wear specialized, unit-specific uniforms not part of standard Army issue.[2][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Jackson, David. "Everything is Roses for the Horse Cavalry Detachment". army.mil. U.S. Army. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "History of the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Detachment". 1cda.org. 1st Cavalry Division Association. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b Jarymowycz, Roman (2008). Cavalry from Hoof to Track. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 213. ISBN 0275987264.
  4. ^ "Fort Hood: Horse Cavalry Detachment Gets First Female Commander". KWTX-TV. 13 June 2014. Archived from the original on 2016-05-12. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  5. ^ Kelsey, Nancy (2015). Bell County. Arcadia. ISBN 1439653852.
  6. ^ Whitelaw, Ian (2007). The Horse: A Miscellany of Equine Knowledge. Macmillan. p. 73. ISBN 031237108X.
  7. ^ Turner, Angel (25 February 2015). "1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment". Killeen Daily Herald. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Who's in the Rose Parade: Keep track of all the floats, bands and horses (and see who won trophies)". Los Angeles Times. 1 January 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  9. ^ a b Deeringer, Martha (May 2013). "Unbridled Nostalgia at Fort Hood". Texas Co-op Power magazine. Retrieved 26 April 2016.