Horse mounted cavalry in the modern army - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-13-2019, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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Horse mounted cavalry in the modern army

On another thread, @ACinATX asked if there were still active horse mounted units in the US Army. The answer is yes. I served with the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Platoon from '79 to '82. The unit has since been redesignated the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Detachment. This is the only active duty horse mounted cavalry unit still active. There is, or was, a cavalry troop at Fort Carson, Colorado. But that one was a volunteer activity for soldiers on their off duty time. Fort Sill, Oklahoma still maintains a horse drawn caisson unit that demonstrates how field artillery was put into action before it became mechanized. I'm not sure if that one operates as an a give assignment as the 1st Cavalry one does, or on a volunteer basis.


But here is the link to the current horse detatchment at Fort Hood, TX.
https://www.govserv.org/US/Fort-Hood...ment-%28HCD%29


And some photos of how we looked back in the early '80s.
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File Type: jpg First Cav.jpg (25.4 KB, 3 views)
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-13-2019, 10:14 AM
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Thank you for posting that!
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-13-2019, 10:15 AM
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They still recruit too. They dont want those with experience though. The preference is for them to start you so you are a clean slate for them to work with.
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-13-2019, 10:17 AM
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At least that is what it seems like now when my child started inquiring for a paper he wrote in a careers class.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-13-2019, 12:31 PM
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I think @AndyTheCornbread was in the cavalry, or worked in horse related military.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-13-2019, 12:38 PM
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I was in the Marine Corps infantry but I went to a special course to learn how to pack animals with military gear to get heavy guns etc. back into the mountains of Afghanistan. I actually rode horses a lot during my Marine Corps service. Never thought knowing how to ride a horse would come in handy in the infantry but it sure did.

https://www.29palms.marines.mil/mcmw...acking-Course/

If you google: marine corps animal packing course

You can find a bunch of pretty neat articles and videos about it.

Anything worth doing, is worth doing well.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-13-2019, 12:48 PM
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@AndyTheCornbread that's super cool! I had no idea horses (or was it mules?) had been used by the US military recently. I guess it makes sense; I would imagine that the roads aren't too great in that part of the world. Did they have a pre-existing unit that knew how to do that, or did they have to improvise something once they realized they couldn't use vehicles? Were they animals owned by the military, or were they rented from locals? If locals, was it primarily the locals doing the work and you were just overseeing, or were soldiers also doing a lot of the work? Was the process more efficient than you thought it would be, or was it the case that the animals couldn't carry very much? They were being used as pack animals, carrying the loads on their back, rather than pulling, right? Or is modern weaponry lighter than in the past because now composites and alloys are being used? Obviously horses use to be used for this all the time, but is it the case that modern waepon is so heavy that a horse could only carry one gun? Or is that even possible, since you'd have to load them equally on each side? When you use animals like that, do you have to get extra animals to carry feed, or could they graze along the way?

I love horses and I love military history. I honestly had no idea they were still being used today, outside of show purposes. Do you have any pictures?

Sorry for all of the questions, I just had no idea that was still a thing.

@Cordillera Cowboy I'm not too far from Fort Hood. Maybe I will stop and check out that out some day. That thing they do at 10:00 -- is the public allowed?

Last edited by ACinATX; 07-13-2019 at 12:53 PM.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-13-2019, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyTheCornbread View Post
I was in the Marine Corps infantry but I went to a special course to learn how to pack animals with military gear to get heavy guns etc. back into the mountains of Afghanistan. I actually rode horses a lot during my Marine Corps service. Never thought knowing how to ride a horse would come in handy in the infantry but it sure did.

https://www.29palms.marines.mil/mcmw...acking-Course/

If you google: marine corps animal packing course

You can find a bunch of pretty neat articles and videos about it.

The fellow who taught me farriery was an advisor in the early days of our involvement in Vietnam. One of his jobs was teaching animal pack transportation.


A friend of mine, about 20 years younger than me, and just recently retired, was a 19D, cavalry scout. While deployed to Afghanistan, he was tasked with getting a view of the surrounding area. He and some local guys rode horses up a mountain with terrain to rough for wheeled or tracked vehicles
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-13-2019, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post

@Cordillera Cowboy I'm not too far from Fort Hood. Maybe I will stop and check out that out some day. That thing they do at 10:00 -- is the public allowed?
According to the website, yes.
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-13-2019, 01:37 PM
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Cool! Maybe next time we drive up to Dallas we'll make the detour.
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