1st Cavalry  Division Association Update
Dennis Webster, Executive Director
March 28, 2008

 

Troopers,

We have some important news to pass on to you concerning several changes in the command group of the 1st Cavalry Division and some information on our Association activities.  This may be a little longer than normal.

MG Daniel P. Bolger, who currently commands the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, Louisiana, has been selected to command the 1st Cavalry Division.  He will take command around 29 April.  MG Bolger has no prior service with the First Team but comes with an excellent record of service and some great assignments with other units within the Army.  He commanded an Infantry battalion in the 101st Airborne and a Brigade in the 2nd Infantry Division.  He has also served in some key staff positions as the G-3 of the 101st Airborne Division and the Chief of Staff of the 2nd Infantry Division.  He has previously served tours in Iraq first as the Deputy Commanding General of the Multinational Corps in 2006 and then as the Commander of the Coalition Military Transition Team in 2005-2006.  We will do our best to welcome him to the First Team when he arrives and get him briefed about the 1st Cavalry Division Association.

BG Vince Brooks, who has been serving as the interim commander of the 1st Cavalry Division will be leaving to become the Special Assistant to the III Corps Commander at Fort Hood.  We wish him and Carol all the best of luck as he leaves the First Team physically.  We all know that you never truly leave the Cav because it stays in your heart.  BG Brooks served in Iraq with the Division as the Deputy Commanding General for Support and will be missed greatly.  Once Cav, always Cav!

CSM Philip Johndrow, the Division Command Sergeant Major, has been selected to be the Command Sergeant Major of the Combined Arms Center (CAC) and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and will also be leaving the First Team in the middle of April.   The CG at CAC could not have picked a better CSM for this position.  CSM Johndrow has served three tours in Iraq as a CSM at battalion, brigade and division level.  This experience coupled with the other experience gained over his career will be of great value in his position at the CAC CSM.  In case you donít know what CAC is and does the following statement is from their web page.  ďThe command at Fort Leavenworth has often been described as one of the Armyís key ďengines of change.Ē As such, it directs the revision of Army doctrine to reflect the environment in which our forces are operating; oversees officer instruction at Leavenworth and nine combat arms branch schools across the country, as well as throughout the noncommissioned officer education system; supports the conduct of large training exercises at the National and the Joint Readiness Training Centers and in the Battle Command Training Program; collects and disseminates lessons from the training at those centers and from ongoing contingency operations around the world; and oversees the integration of the new force designs and new battle command systems adopted as part of the ongoing transformation of our Armyís structures and command and control systems.Ē

BG Frederick Rudesheim will be coming to serve as one of two Deputy Commanding Generals in April.  BG Rudesheim has been serving as the Rear Detachment Commander for III Corps and Fort Hood and was often the welcoming officer at the many return flights from Iraq for the First Team, where he set records for the shortest speech by a General Officer.   I know how much the Troopers and their families appreciated his brevity at those ceremonies!  BG Rudesheim previously commanded the 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry at Fort Hood from 1997-1998 and has also commanded a brigade in the 4th Infantry Division during its deployment in Iraq.  The other DCG for the First Team has not been named at this time.

The Division Chief of Staff, COL Jack Ballantyne has retired from the Army and has chosen to stay in the Killeen area and his replacement is not due to arrive until the middle of April.  In the meantime, COL Bill Rabena will be filling that position.  The Chief of Staff has one of the toughest and most important jobs in the division and COL Ballantyne was a great Chief of Staff. 

Wednesday 26 March was a day full of events.  Here are the three (3) highlights of a very busy Cav day.

1. Command of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (COL David Sutherland to COL Gary J. Volesky) and all of its battalions: 6-9 CAV (LTC Keith Gogas to LTC Guy Parameter, 1-12 CAV (LTC Morris Goins to LTC Michael J. Fadden), 3-8 CAV (LTC Kevin Dunlop to LTC Garnet Darby), 2-82 FA (LTC John Kolessar to LTC Benjamin Matthews), 3 STB (LTC Michael Rose to LTC Quinton Arnold), and 215 BSB (LTC Ronald Kirklin to LTC Loren Schriner) all changed in a single ceremony on Cooper Field at Fort Hood.  The ceremony was done with usual Cav flair but the speech by COL Sutherland was one of the best Iíve heard given.    

2. The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade held a ceremony presenting the Silver Star (posthumously) to the families of two pilots for valor shortly after the 3 BCT change of command and reception.  The families asked to have the medal ceremony conducted after the unitís return from Iraq because the unit was their family and they wanted the unit to be a part.  CPT Mark T. Resh and CW3 Cornell C. Chao who were assigned to the 4th Battalion, 227th Aviation Battalion were killed on 28 January, 2007, north of An Najaf, Iraq, when their AH-64D Longbow Apache was hit by enemy fire and crashed.  They and other crews from the 4th Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, were called to the city of An Najaf to assist coalition troops who came in contact with enemy forces.  The aircraft were attacked with heavy machine gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades. CPT Resh and CW3 Chao put their helicopter in the line of fire so another crew under attack could maneuver out of danger.  A complete story of the ceremony is available from the Killeen Daily Herald http://www.kdhnews.com/news/story.aspx?s=24156 and I expect an article to be available on the 1st Cavalry Division web page http://www.hood.army.mil/1stcavdiv/ soon.
 

3. On the evening of 26 March the Division held a ball celebrating their return from Iraq and had Joe Galloway in as the speaker for the event.  I was unable to attend but I know that everyone had a great time.  While a Wednesday evening may seem like a strange night to hold a ball, there is a valid reason.  There have been numerous unit balls and farewells for departing commanders and almost any night of the week there is an event planned.  The return of the division from Iraq and the impending changes of command have compressed the calendar and everyone is trying to fit their event into a small time frame.  Events like this are great for the units and especially for the Troopers and families that attend.

The 3rd BCT change of command started the clock on series of changes of command that will see every commander in the division change from the Division CG to each Brigade and Battalion Commander with the exception of those in the 4th BCT that was recently activated.  There are numerous other changes in key staff positions and there is a large turnover of senior enlisted Troopers due to reassignments and retirements.  Also on the schedule of events is the inactivation of the 15th Personnel Battalion on 15 April.

The Association received twenty $50 commissary gift certificates from the Sheridanís Cavalry Chapter in Illinois.  We will deliver these to the Division for use by the families that are in the most need.  The Chapter provided these to assist First Team families that are experiencing difficulties and to express their appreciation for the Troopers of the Division and their service in Iraq.  They included a letter with each gift certificate to the families expressing their thoughts.  The former Troopers of the First Team really do care about the active duty Troopers and their families and many of our chapters have been providing similar support for the deployed Troopers and the families that remain at home.  Information about the Sheridanís Cavalry Chapter and our other chapters is available at http://www.1cda.org/chapters.htm.

The Dallas Chapter of the Finance Forum is conducting its Annual Golf Tournament that supports the Foundation of the 1st Cavalry Division on 17 April.  As you know, the Foundation provides scholarships to the children of Troopers that are killed serving with the First Team in war and also provides scholarships to our active duty Troopers and their families.  This is the third year that the Finance Forum has done this tournament and I am looking forward to the trip to Dallas.  For additional information on the Foundation visit http://www.1cda.org/Foundation_Overview.htm.  You can learn more about who makes up the Finance Forum by visiting their web page at http://www.thefinanceforum.com/index.htm.

SABER was sent to the printer at the end of last week and will be mailed out in the next couple of days.  I have included a historical story on the planning for the Admiralties Campaign in this issue and I hope that you enjoy it.  It is always a good thing to review the history of the First Team and a look at the first combat of the 1st Cavalry Division is a good place to start.  Also, please check out the rest of SABER.  Information on SABER and some selected stories are on our web page at http://www.1cda.org/saber.htm.

Reunion registrations are starting to come in better but we still need all of you that plan on attending to register with us.  We received a list of those that have reserved rooms from the hotel and many of you that have reserved rooms have not registered with us yet.  We are getting close to filling our block of rooms on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and have gone over our blocked rooms on Wednesday so we expect a fairly large crowd to attend.  Registering for the events with the Association really gives me the opportunity to coordinate a much better reunion.  I need to know how many people are coming and what events they wish to attend to plan and coordinate properly.  If you plan on going on any of the tours at reunion, the deadline for registering with the tour company is fast approaching (10 April).  If there arenít enough people signed up for a tour by 10 April the tour will be cancelled by the tour company.  Please donít wait to come to reunion to try and go on one of the tours or you may be disappointed.  Information, forms for registration and tours are available at http://www.1cda.org/61st_Reunion.htm

Iíll provide more information on the changes of command for the other BCTs, the Division and some additional senior enlisted changes in subsequent updates. 

First Team!

Dennis

Executive Director, 1st Cavalry Division Association

Phone (254) 547-6537  Fax (254) 547-8853

E-mail: firstcav@1cda.org

Web Page: http://www.1cda.org/

 

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