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Blackhorse E-News – July, 2012

Trooper Down: Neil Keltner Memorial, Arlington, VA

Arrangements have been made for the burial of Neil’s ashes at Arlington National Cemetery on August 7, 2012 at 1 p.m. We are sorry for the lateness of this information and any inconvenience it may have caused, but details from Arlington were slow coming. Please send out this information to other family members as I do not have all email addresses.

A block of 20 rooms is being held for the Keltner Memorial at the Marriott Courtyard at Rosslyn, Arlington VA, for August 4-August 7, 2012. If you would like to stay here with us, you will need to reserve your room no later than July 12, 2012, using the name "Keltner Memorial." The telephone number is listed below. This is on a first come, first served basis and after July 12 all the rooms will be released. Rate will be honored as long as you mention the memorial name and they have the space available. You can extend your dates as well.

We will have a room to gather as a group at the Marriott after the service. Light refreshments will be available.

Marriott Courtyard Arlington Rosslyn

1533 Clarendon Boulevard

Arlington, VA 22209-2701

(703) 528-2222

o The hotel rate is $179 per night (+ 10.25%) local and state taxes.

o Cutoff date is July 12, 2012

o Identify reservation as part of the Keltner Memorial. Request either a double/double or King room. Suites are available, check rates..

o Transportation to cemetery is available by taxi. Shuttle buses are available but not committed to cemetery travel. You will need to look into other options on your own.

Williamsburg Reunion successful!!!

220 Blackhorse veterans and their family members enjoyed a delightful weather weekend and reunion in Williamsburg from 7-10 June. A small contingent of active duty troops from Fort Irwin (Regimental Commander, COL Tony Aguto, the Regimental Command Sergeant Major, CSM Steve Travers, 2LT Ryan Fisher, and SGT Rolando Rodriquez) joined in to enjoy the celebration. There was a successful golf tournament, a small motorcycle rally, a building dedication to GEN Donn Starry at Fort Eustis, a Stable Your Mount evening, a well-attended membership meeting, a moving memorial service, a book signing by Phil Keith (Blackhorse Riders), and a hugely successful Saturday evening banquet. Bob Hurt, our Scholarship Director announced 20 new Scholarship winners*. GEN Bob Cone, the current TRADOC commander, made inspiring remarks in addition to repeatedly confirming the importance of the Regiment in his growth in the Army and in life. There were lots of new and renewed friendships. Our raffles and silent auction brought in several thousand dollars to our scholarship and operating funds. Glenn Snodgrass was elected the new President and Clint Ancker the new Director of Communications. The other directors were reelected for another year (Crystal Kruger, Gene Johnson, DH Wicks, Jim Tankovich, Glenn Allardyce, Bob Hurt, and Charley Watkins).

Our Scholarship Awardees



Date of service

Amber Allen

Wayne Hamburger


Katherine Ayer

Bradley Ayers

2/11 Jan 87 – May 88

Cekeithia Barnes

Charles Barnes

Dec 67 – Dec 68, Purple Heart

Danielle Bowen

Robert B. Bowen


Kathryn Claybaugh

Timothy D. Vincent

1/11 Oct 10 – present

Caylee Cochran

Paul E. Cochran

2/11 69-70

Kellyn Craig

Michael Craig

70-71, Purple Heart

Amber Crouch

Ernie Ford

3/11 86-90

Sydney Dillard

Michael A. Dillard

Jan 97 – June 99,

Coeta Grove

Michael C. Grove


Jessica Hatcher

Robert Hatcher


Marion House

Harry L. House

221 Armor 96-01

Matteo Merodio

Matteo N. Merodio

1/11 90-94

Andrew Mayo

Joseph Mayo


Rachel Musteen

Jason Musteen

ADA Battery 98-01

Briana Pereira

Jose Pereira

92-93, 06-07

Natalie Quiniola

Sergio Quiniola

1/11 91-93

Michie Sasai

David H. Sasai

2/11 Jan 69-Sep 69 Purple Heart

Kathleen Thomas

Larry D. Thomas

HHT Regt 67-68

Chantel Valdivieso

Beau Richards

2/11 69-70

2013 – Blackhorse Reunion – Louisville, KY.

Next year’s reunion will be held May 30 – June 2 at the Hyatt Regency in Louisville, KY. The tentative schedule of events and flyer and registration form will be on our two websites ( and by the end of July. Make your plans early. One highlight of the reunion will be a trip to the Patton Museum outside Fort Knox to visit our Blackhorse Monument, perhaps for the last time before it is moved to its new home at Fort Benning, GA (at the site of a new Armor/Cavalry Museum).

The New Training and Doctrine Command HQ Building at Fort Eustis named for GEN Donn A. Starry.

The following are remarks by Col (retired) Mike Starry, General Starry’s son

Building Dedication 8 June 2012

Greetings and recognition of visitors – GEN Cone Secretary White, Councilwoman Scott, Gen Richardson, GEN Foss, GEN Wallace, members of the Blackhorse, ladies and gentleman.

The Starry family says thank you

Several years ago Dad found an author that he liked, one that had a message….he frequently quoted him in speeches and writing. It is the distinguished Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe who explained human society’s need for what he called drummers, warriors and storytellers – Drummers to stir up the will of the people and line them up behind causes, Warriors to fight for the causes, and Storytellers to "make us what we are …to write the history."

As a soldier, a young officer and later as a mature military and civilian professional, in his life Dad played each of these roles. Notwithstanding his reputation as a soldier and warrior, perhaps his most valuable contribution to his Army was in his role as Drummer… First as the CG at the Armor Center at Ft Knox Ky, where he took part in the beginning of the doctrinal renaissance with a concept entitled Modern Armor Battle, then as CG V Corps he studied the Active Defense doctrine and further developed that doctrine in a concept he called ‘the Corps Battle’. Later as the CG Training and Doctrine Command he matured those concepts even further and they became Air Land Battle. He shared a vision of future operational capabilities with a group of senior Army leaders at the time and he (and they) spent their careers after returning from Vietnam developing and implementing that shared vision… a drum call whose reality helped win the Cold War, and lives on in the Army today. That vision says that people, soldiers and leaders in well trained units win battles. He was a Drummer stirring up officers, NCOs, soldiers, Army civilians, Industry, The Congress …he got the word out, developed the story, built the necessary consensus, and moved people to action…all of that so essential to the Army’s recovery after Vietnam and in subsequent victories thereafter.

And he was a Warrior…Leading, teaching, mentoring and contributing to the excellence of armor platoons, companies, battalions, and then combined arms brigades, divisions and corps. He served with the Blackhorse during the Vietnam war where he applied study, experience, knowledge and leadership and achieved exceptional results in numerous engagements and battles. And, as he prepared the V Corps for war with the Soviets on the central European Plain he displayed all the great qualities of the warrior in values like courage, commitment, competence, candor. He remarked on one occasion that perhaps his favorite assignment (in his words "’the assignment where I had the most fun")…other than the Regiment of course… was as V Corps Commander…as a Warrior. He spent the 16 months he was there on the Border, in the GDP studying the Active Defense and applying it to the Mission, Enemy, Time etc. I heard him comment on more than one occasion that he knew they were making progress when he had a Brigade commander tell him after one of the famous V Corps Terrain walks: "Sir, I think we can win this fight." He knew then that they owned the solution and had confidence in the outcome…they had bought in to the vision for the Army.

He left his legacy to us in his role as Storyteller. He left us many gifts. He published numerous articles in professional books and journals and he had an equally rich oral tradition making videotapes and giving countless speeches on a wide variety of professional topics. Articles and presentations like "Sergeants Business," "Extending the Battlefield," "Tanks Forever" and "To Change an Army" are familiar to many even today. He also contributed to many books. He edited and authored books, like Mounted Combat in Vietnam and From Camp Colt to Desert Storm. And as senior mentor and storyteller he continued his service with the Regiment as the Honorary Colonel of the Blackhorse for many years. He recall him saying in one of his last speeches that: The recent history of our Army is a record of the successful search for the best doctrine, equipment design, force structure, organization, and training for soldiers, leaders and units. Nothing in the standoff with the Soviet Union or in the performance of US Forces in the First Gulf War, and nothing in our experiences over the last 10 plus years goes against that truth. However, that search is not over, it must continue."

With this dedication of Starry Hall the Army recognizes a great Drummer, Warrior and Storyteller. The Starry Family is grateful today (wife Karen, myself, brother Paul and sisters Melissa and Melanie) to the Army, to TRADOC, and to all those who made this possible and to all those present today. For this distinct honor, we say Thank you.

Regimental Change of Command

On the 26th of June, COL John "Lanier" Ward became the 65th Colonel of the Regiment, taking the colors from COL Anthony Aguto in a ceremony at Fort Irwin. CSM Steven Travers had become the 20th Regimental Command Sergeant Major in April.

COL John "Lanier" Ward iwas commissioned as an Armor/Cavalry officer from the United States Military Academy in 1988. He served as a tank, scout, and support platoon leader; a tank and headquarters company commander; and in operations, plans, and training billets at the brigade, regiment, division and 3d Army levels. He commanded 2/16th Cavalry Squadron and was a Director in the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

Col. Ward served as a tank company command in 1-63 Armor during OPERATION ABLE SENTRY In Macedonia. In three deployments to Iraq, he served as 4-37Armor’s scout platoon leader in DESERT STORM; the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment’s RS3 in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF1) where he was wounded in Baghdad and spent a year recovering at the Brooke Army Medical Center; and as 1st Armored Division’s ACofS, G3 during OIF 10-11 and OPERATION NEW DAWN.

COL Ward received a Master of Arts in Administration degree from Central Michigan University in 2000, was awarded a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the Air War College in 2012, and was a Senior Military Fellow at the National Defense University;

His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal (two oak leaf clusters), the Purple Heart, the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (three oak leaf clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (with "Valor" device and two oak leaf clusters), and the Joint Commendation Medal; the Combat Action Badge and the Air Assault Badge.

COL Ward is married to Heather, a native of Smithville, Missouri. They are the very proud parents of a twelve year old daughter, Allie.

Command Sergeant Major Stephen J. Travers entered the US Army on 25 February 1986 as an Infantryman. He completed Infantry One Station Unit Training (OSUT) at Fort Benning, Georgia in May of the same year.

TRAVERSCSM Travers’ previous assignments include: A Company, 2nd of the 187th Infantry (later reflagged as 5th of the 87th), Fort Clayton, Panama; C Company, and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st of the 22nd Infantry, Fort Drum, NY; Syracuse Recruiting Battalion, with duty in Rome, NY; C Company, 1st of the 87th Infantry, Fort Drum, NY; Office of the Inspector General, Fort Drum, NY; C Company and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st of the 87th Infantry, Fort Drum, NY; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd of the 22nd Infantry, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 10th Mountain Division (LI), Fort Drum, NY; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd of the 22nd Infantry, Fort Drum, NY; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI);10th Brigade Support Battalion, Fort Drum, NY; 1st of the 87th Infantry, Fort Drum, NY; and most recently as the Task Force CSM trainer on the Tarantula Team, Operations Group, NTC, Fort Irwin, CA.

Throughout CSM Travers’ 26 year career he served in numerous challenging and rewarding positions, including: Machine Gunner, Team Leader, Squad Leader, Recruiter, Platoon Sergeant, Assistant Inspector General, First Sergeant, Operations Sergeant Major, and Command Sergeant Major.

CSM Travers’ has completed all levels of the Army’s Noncommissioned Officer Education System, and is a graduate of Class 56 of the Sergeant Major Course.

His awards and decorations include: Bronze Star Medal (2OLC), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (2 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (6 OLC), Good Conduct Medal (8th award), National Defense Service Medal (1 bss), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1 bss), Afghanistan Campaign Medal (3cs), Iraqi Campaign Medal (1cs), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal (1 bss), United Nations Medal (Somalia), NATO Medal (1 bss), Joint Meritorious Unit Award (1olc), Meritorious Unit Citation (3olc), Combat Infantryman Badge (2nd award), Expert Infantryman Badge, Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Gold Recruiter Badge (3 s/s), German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge, numerous service ribbons and is a proud member of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club.

Command Sergeant Major Travers holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Liberal Studies from Excelsior College, and is married to the former Kathi Gannone of Monterey, CA. Between them have eight children: Kelli, Ashley, Heather, Stephen Jr., Codi, John, Kayla, and Victoria.

The Regiment Needs Assistance

RCSM Photos needed

I am the current public affairs NCOIC for the 11th ACR. I was looking for Photos of our 5th RCSM, CSM Hiram Harrison, and our 9th RCSM, Robert Williams, for a project. Any assistance would be appreciated. I can be reached at this email. Thank you.

Sgt. Anthony J. Lecours

11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

Public Affairs NCOIC


Regiment needs horse adopters

I’m CPT Lewis Vine, the Commander of the 11 ACR’s Horse Detachment, and we’re looking at potentially adopting out several of our horses. In accordance with Detachment SOP, our horses that are adopted out are first made available to the Soldiers of the Detachment, then to Blackhorse Association members. Members who might be interested in adopting a horse please contact me at the phone numbers below.

Lewis D. Vine
11 ACR Horse Detachment
BB: (760) 267-5488
C: (619) 392-9068

The 22nd Annual

Northern California Blackhorse Potluck/BBQ

Saturday, AUGUST 11, 2012

1100 – ???

Slidehill Park

2850 Temple Dr., Davis, CA. 95618

Everyone is welcome to join us for a casual picnic in the park. Bring something to BBQ, something to share (salad, dessert, or munchies) and your beverage of choice.


I-80 to Davis. Take the Mace Blvd exit. Go North, around bend (Mace becomes Covell Blvd) Turn Left on Monarch Ln. Take 1st right onto Temple. Park is one block ahead on left.


I-5 to Woodland, exit at Road 102 to Davis. Proceed South to Davis, approx. 8 miles. Turn left at the 1st major intersection – Covell Blvd. Go about 1 mile to Monarch Blvd, turn right, go 1 block. Turn right on Temple. Park is 1 block ahead on left.

Watch for balloons and signs

RSVP: Ron Krueger: 530-758-0351 opens in a new windowronkrue@nullhotmail.comcreate new email

Tribute to Francis X. Gowrie

By Dennis M. Small

Frank Gowrie, a combat Vietnam Veteran, lost his battle with Cancer on April 28th Frank2012. Frank was a Volunteer Driver at the VA driving the shuttle bus and was also a patient battling the demons of PTSD.

I’ve known Frank Gowrie for over 40 years. I first met him when I was assigned to work undercover in the Narcotic Bureau with the Nassau County PD in 1971. I walked into the office on my first day and spotted Frank sitting next to a desk. I thought he was a prisoner with his red hair hanging down to his shoulders and looking kind of scruffy. When Frank spotted me he jumped up and introduced himself as a cop and said, "welcome to Narcotics" and shook my hand. We would become friends from that day on. Later, I would find out that we were both Vietnam Veterans and served ""in country during the same time period.

During the four years I was in Narcotics we would work together on many cases. One case included a temporary assignment to the Homicide Squad helping to track down a killer hiding in Harlem. After days of walking the streets of Harlem tracking this suspect, we finally developed information the killer was located in an apartment on 105th Street. The Homicide detectives, along with a swat team, hit the apartment and a blazing gun battle ensued. The suspect was captured and slightly wounded and the wife of the suspect was killed in the gun battle. One police officer was also shot.

Frank joined the Army in 1966 and went on to serve three tours of duty in Vietnam. He served with the 919th ENG Co, and the" 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment" but better known as the "Blackhorse Regiment." and would serve as a LRRP and Tunnel Rat. He also served with the 5th Special Forces. I asked Frank’s brother Mark, why Frank joined the Army. Mark said, "one day our dad told Frank the house needed to be painted. So Frank went to the Army recruiter and joined the Army. After Frank completed his first tour in Vietnam he called our dad from Saigon and asked if the house still needed to be painted. Dad said yes, so Frank re-upped for a second tour in Vietnam." Frank went on to complete his second tour and then decided to stay on for a third tour. Frank would serve three back-to-back tours in Vietnam advancing from Private First Class to Sergeant First class.

Frank became active in the "Blackhorse Regiment" Association. The "Blackhorse" Regiment was organized on March 11, 1901 at Fort Myer, Virginia. The regiment also served in the Philippine American War, World War II, Operation Desert Storm and Iraq War. Frank was also a member of the Executive Council of the "Blackhorse Association." The following is an excerpt from the "Blackhorse Regiment" book in which much is written about Frank. In His own words Frank talks about a firefight in which he and his platoon were engaged.

"We immediately came under fire. The only place to go was in a slit trench full of shit. We dove in and were in shit up to our necks. The bad guys threw a grenade and Connor looked up: he caught three in the chest. We were trapped. We radioed for help and in came the Cavalry. We fought all day and around 4pm we finally over ran their position. We filled our pockets with grenades; I had so many my pants were falling down. We cleared a few (bunkers) when Kaz, (Kaszarian) threw one in the bunker, there was someone still alive and he threw it back. Kaz tried to throw it back but didn’t have time, he picked up the grenade and it went off. I was standing about five feet to his left. He knew he didn’t have time. He looked at me and cupped the grenade. It went off. It blew his right arm off from around the elbow, and he was torn up from head to toe. I crawled over to him; he had taken out his morphine and given himself a shot. Ed was dusted off and I became the Platoon SGT. My platoon consisted of 18 men. I was going to lose more. I went to bed that night a scared 20 year old with a lot of weight on my shoulders."

During his three tours in Vietnam Frank participated in numerous operations in the Districts of Long Binh, Bien Hoa, and Xuan Loc all 25 to 30 miles from Saigon.

During his Police career,In addition to working in the Narcotic Bureau, Frank also worked in patrol in the 6th and 1st Precincts. Upon being promoted to Sergeant he was assigned to the 5th Precinct and worked as a patrol supervisor.

During Frank ‘s three tours in Vietnam he earned the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB), three Purple Hearts, three Bronze Stars, a Silver Star, Vietnamese Medal of Gallantry, and several other American and Vietnamese Medals. He also earned numerous medals and awards during his career with the Nassau County Police. All the years I have known Frank he always gave 100% in everything he did. He was a good soldier, a good cop and a good friend. He served his country and served his community with pride and distinction. He was a "stand up" guy. If I called Frank at three o’clock in the morning and asked for his help…he wouldn’t say "what for?" He would simply say "where are you, I’m on the way". Rest in peace my friend.

Frank leaves behind his wife Karen, son Frank and daughter Sarah.


Photo above is Frank’s LRRP (Long Range Reconicence Patrol) Team. Frank is in the second row, second from left with the sunglasses. God bless America and keep her safe from harm.

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