Cavalry Pride, An Article by Dave Gettman
Thought your spirits could all use a little bolstering, so I decided to revive this article I wrote for the Association
web site awhile back, for those of you who haven't read it:
Call it what you will - comradery, esprit de corps. Around
here we call it 'Cav Pride'. To anyone that has ever served in a Cavalry unit, or has even been attached to a Cavalry unit,
it's just something you have to live with. The way your neck hairs bristle when someone says "horse shit" like it's a bad
thing. The way your chest swells when the flag goes by. The way your heart aches when another veteran from any number of wars
fails to make muster. It is both undeniable and unavoidable, yet also unexplainable. A mysterious 'disease' that sweeps through
the ranks of the troops, claiming victims in rapid succession, and leaving none unscathed. You may not like the guy standing
next to you - hell, you might hate his guts - but you'll put your life on the line for him without a moments hesitation, because
you know he'll do the same for you.
I'll let some former troopers try to explain the 'feeling':
"Here is my personal observation.
I have a son in the Army stationed at Ft. Hood.
With an infantry unit .
The point I wish to make is as follows.
I have met many members of different units in the Army with many postings in different units.
One thing that I have noticed is that when a soldier is stationed with a Cav unit something changes.
The soldiers mind-set changes drastically.
Lets tell it like it is.
A Cav unit is different.
Cav troopers are 'Shock Troops'.
Move Fast; Hit Hard; and Move on.
This makes a Cav trooper a different kind of person.
It also makes a soldier think different.
Tactics of Infantry and Armor are very different.
Once a soldier is in a Cav unit it seems to 'stick'.
And nothing makes sense after that.
Where is the Locate; Hit; HIT HARD; and withdraw to plan the next Hit?
Nothing seems to make sense after that.
It is a very effective tactic.
We Hit them; Hit Hard; and left them wondering 'What the hell happened'.
This appears to instill a Pride that other units lack.
I have asked and discussed with others this 'Feeling' instills.
It just doesn't exist.
It seems that once in the Cav always in the Cav.
We are different.
There is the Army and then there is The Cav.
Here is what brought this whole subject up.
Yesterday a person came up to me [and] asked...
How's the Boy scouts?
Now just a little background..
I wear a jacket now and then with our Unit crest and an Army Retired button on the collar.
I asked "what the Hell ya talking about?"
He said "I see the BS symbol on yer collar."Now knowing what he meant, I was offended but understanding of his comment.
But offended just the same.
I replied "F*** You."
Perhaps the wrong response (it was the 'Spur' of the moment).
This was a knee jerk response.
Anyhow he was taken aback.
He was not offended, but more curious I would react the way I did.