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    She took the reins, cemented spot in First Team legacy

    She took the reins, cemented spot in First Team legacy

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Kelsey Miller | Capt. Elizabeth Rascon, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Kelsey Miller 

    Headquarters, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs

    The 1st Cavalry Division is a prideful organization, which has achieved many ‘firsts’ throughout its storied past. ‘Firsts’ such as the first in Manila, the first in Tokyo, the first in Pyongyang, the first to field modern equipment, and many more.

    Maj. Elizabeth R. Jimenez, at the time Capt. Rascon, a Mesquite, Texas native, holds her own ‘first’ within the 1st Cav. Div., as she was the first woman to command the division’s Horse Cavalry Detachment when she assumed command in June of 2013. She is a 1st Cav. Div. legend in her own right.

    “I grew up riding horses,” said Jimenez. “I was in 4-H and competed in Quarter Horse shows. I really enjoyed it, and then at West Point, I rode on the equestrian team for four years. Horseback riding was something I found a lot of comfort in.”

    In 2010, she commissioned as a transportation officer and was assigned to the 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Cav. Div.

    While deployed, she saw email traffic which stated the Horse Cavalry Detachment needed a new commander. At that time the commander’s position had only been filled by men.

    Jimenez applied and interviewed for the position.

    “Once we redeployed I went out to the barn and did the agility test,” she said.

    Agility tests are required to make sure the candidate has the muscular endurance needed to perform. There is also a check ride to demonstrate proficiency on the horse.

    Jimenez, of course, passed all of the required testing and was ultimately offered the position, cementing her place in the 1st Cav. Div.’s history.

    “When given this opportunity I understood there may be some friction with the fact that I was a woman,” she said. “I respected those opinions, but I didn’t’ want to focus on that. I just wanted to prove that I knew my craft and I knew that those opinions were not going to hold me back. I was equal to my peers and I would strive to be better.”

    Opposing opinions wouldn’t slow her down. Three months after taking command, a Soldier assigned to the detachment told her about the National Cavalry Competition, held in Reno, Oklahoma.

    She took three Soldiers and went to scope it out, not knowing at the time that this would lead to another personal ‘first’.

    “Once I got there and realized that Fort Riley was there, Fort Carson was there and Fort Irwin was there, I thought it was not at all what was advertised on their website. It was a huge event,” she said.

    The next year the whole detachment was taken to the competition, competed for the unit award, and won for the first time.

    “Competition is what breeds excellence, so if Soldiers are competing, they’re going to improve their craft. Ceremonies on Cooper Field are great and they’re fun, but there’s so much more that those Soldiers and horses can do.”

    Reminiscing about the past she said, the Horse Cav. Det. is special because you can actually experience history instead of just reading about it.

    During that 10-15 second timespan in a Cavalry Charge across the field you can almost feel history come back alive. It fills you with excitement, and honor, and pride, she said.

    “I have very fond memories, and I will say that we have to be ready to climb to that next obstacle and overcome,” she said. “When you can affect change, do it in the best way possible because you may not get that opportunity again.”

    Jimenez did just that, and will forever be a part of the 1st Cav. Div. legacy.



    Date Taken: 08.17.2021
    Date Posted: 08.20.2021 18:20
    Story ID: 403238
    Location: FORT HOOD , TX, US 

    Web Views: 79
    Downloads: 0