1st Cavalry Division
Dennis Webster, Executive Director
May 23, 2008
There is quite a bit of information for this update. I will keep this as short as possible.
61st Reunion Information
· Reunion registrations are up and the Hyatt Regency is full on several nights of the reunion. You can still call the Hyatt Regency for reservations at (800) 233-1234 but if they are full you need to call our alternate hotel. We have coordinated with the Crowne Plaza, located across the river from the Hyatt, to provide rooms for us at a rate of $109 per night and they have provided free parking. The Crowne Plaza’s local reservation number is (904) 398-8800 Extension 4027 (Mon-Fri 0830-1700) and their toll-free reservation number is (800) 227-6963 (24-hrs). Make sure that you identify yourself as being with the 1st Cavalry Division Association.
· There is a water taxi service that provides transportation across the river at a cheaper rate than a regular cab and keeps you from paying parking at the Hyatt if you are staying at the Crowne Plaza. The S.S. Marine Taxi service provides transportation across the St. Johns River and cruises on the river that depart from the Jacksonville Landing. One way fares for adults are $3, children (4-12) and seniors (over 60) are $2. Hours of operation are Sunday - Thursday 1100 - 2100 hours and Friday and Saturday 1100 - 2300 hours. Taxi stops are located at the Jacksonville Landing, Friendship Fountain/River City Brewing Co., Crowne Plaza/Ruth's Chris Steak House, The Wyndham/The Chart House, the Hyatt/Liberty Street/Berkman Plaza, and the Municipal Marina/Sports Complex/Arena.
· We have a total of 641 registered for the reunion with 364 of them being members of the Association (the final numbers will be higher). The 7th Cavalry has the largest turnout for any unit with 207 Troopers and their guests at the banquet and 170 scheduled to attend their unit lunch on Friday, 20 July. The majority of the Troopers attending are Vietnam Veterans with over 300 Troopers and their guests to be at the Vietnam War luncheon on Saturday, 21 July.
· If you are flying in please contact A-Team Taxi for transportation from the airport to the Hyatt Regency. You must call to make reservations for your arrival and departure. Individuals will pay $25 and those in groups of two or more will pay $12 per person for a one-way fare. Contact them via telephone at (904) 443-7100, fax at (904) 443-7705 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to schedule pickup at the airport and your departure from the Hyatt. You will need to provide your name, the number of people, airline and flight information including your arrival and departure. They will contact you and confirm receipt of your request. You may pay using cash or credit card. They do not accept debit cards or checks.
· Complete details on the reunion are available at http://www.1cda.org/61st_Reunion.htm.
The 1st Cavalry Division Iraqi Freedom Memorial was rededicated on 16 May. LTG Fil was able to return and join us to speak and MG Bolger also provided remarks. I had a small part to play in an excellent ceremony conducted with typical CAV style. The Division had bleachers for 2,500 built and the crowd filled them and spilled out around the area. I haven’t gotten any official numbers but it appeared to be in excess of 4,000 there. Over 700 Gold Star family members were in attendance. Your Association hosted them at a breakfast reception in a large fest tent adjacent to the site prior to the 1000 hours ceremony. The Division Band, the Shoemaker High School Chorus, the Division Honor Guard, Colors of the units of the Division and the two narrators who read the names of the 493 Troopers that were added to the Memorial were all outstanding. Photos of the ceremony are available on the Division’s web page at http://www.hood.army.mil/1stcavdiv/.
To demonstrate how moving this ceremony was I pass on a letter that we received on 19 May from a newly assigned Trooper. The letter from SPC Joel DuBois, 1st Cavalry Division Band, follows:
“After being a part of today’s memorial dedication service I am proudly signing up for a lifetime membership in the 1st Cavalry Division Association. I am new to the Cav and to the Army, but what I saw done for the fallen Soldiers and their families was something that I will be forever proud of. Today’s ceremony was confirmation that joining the Army during this time of war was the right thing to do. Being part of the Cav family makes it a richer and more meaningful decision for me. Thank you for your part in the memorial for these fallen heroes. God willing, my name will never be on a memorial like that one. But if it has to be, I know that I am in good hands and that the “band of brothers” that I am now a part of will preserve my memory for my family and future Cav soldiers. First Team!”
If the Officers and noncommissioned officers that worked on the ceremony were wondering what folks thought and how it impacted people in attendance, they do not have to wonder any more. SPC DuBois understands the Cav family and will always be a part of the First Team. Thanks Trooper!
On Monday, 26 May our nation will observe Memorial Day and I hope that each of you will go to a Memorial Day ceremony or observance and honor those that have died for their country. I plan on attending the ceremony that will be conducted at the State Veterans Cemetery near Killeen.
The new Division Command Sergeant Major has been named and will report to the Division in early June. CSM Rory Malloy will join us from his previous assignment as the CSM of the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. He and I have been in communication and he is looking forward to joining the First Team. He will be coming to the reunion and will join us for the Banquet on Saturday evening. The Division will hold a ceremony to welcome him after his arrival.
The 4th BCT (1-9 CAV, 2-7 CAV, 2-12 CAV, 27 BSB, 5-82 FA, 4 BSTB) is getting close to their deployment. The 4th BCT was recently reflagged and was formerly part of the 4th Infantry Division. They are all CAV now and have completed their training. As soon as we have good APO addresses we need to start sending items of support to these units.
The Department of Defense recently announced that the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (6-9 CAV, 3-8 CAV, 1-12 CAV, 215 BSB, 2-82 FA and 3 BSTB) will deploy to Iraq in the late fall. No specific dates will be released. These units will be back from Iraq 12 months when they return for another combat tour.
We have a little over a month left on the window of opportunity for our active duty Troopers and their family members to submit applications for the scholarships offered by the Foundation of the 1st Cavalry Division Association. Applications are available on-line at http://www.1cda.org/active_duty_scholarship.htm and are also available in the Crossed Sabers Souvenir Shop located in the 1st Cavalry Division Museum.
I hope to see you in Jacksonville!
Executive Director, 1st Cavalry Division Association
Phone (254) 547-6537 - Fax (254) 547-8853
Web Page: http://www.1cda.org/