News: 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment photo release 2
Story by Sgt. Ken Scar
KILLEEN, Texas - The 39 Soldiers, 31 horses, five mules and two dogs that make up the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment are a truly unique unit in the Army.
The HCD is primarily a ceremonial and recruitment unit dedicated to preserving the 1st Cavalry Division's proud equestrian heritage. Soldiers chosen to be in the unit spend their days much like the cavalry Soldiers of old would: training and taking care of their horses and mules and everything that goes along with that. Their headquarters compound is located right next to Fort Hood's Bernie Beck Main Gate.
Members of the HCD make their own saddles and boots in their leather shop, and do their own farrier work in their blacksmith shop. They train with firearms and sabers that are exact replicas of the weapons cavalry scouts would use in the 1800's, and wear traditional 1st Cavalry Division uniforms during their performances.
The unit's headquarters next to the Fort Hood main gate is open 24 hours a day, and they give weekly performances demonstrating traditional mounted drills and ceremonies, including marksmanship and saber skills.
The demonstrations showcase horseback techniques used by mounted military troops in the 1800's, including drills taken directly from the 1874 Cavalry Drill and Tactics Manual.
Anyone can attend the demonstrations, and take a tour of the stables and other facilities.