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Blackhorse E-Newsletter March 2009

President’s E-Sitrep- March ’09

I’m sure many of you are tired of my somewhat lengthy epistles each month so this E-Sitrep will be short and to the point-Cavalry style.

1. Scholarship Program- Parents with eligible children need to help their children review the scholarship offerings of the Association and get their application postmarked by 1 April. The criteria and printable PDF application form may be found on our website at Additionally, our Blackhorse Newsletter that should be at your mailbox this week contains an application form.

2. By the end of March, 16,565 raffle type packets will be mailed to our members. It will contain five $20 cut out donation tickets with a return envelope for member donations. We ask that you return your donation at a level that best fits your financial situation. If you are positioned to donate more than the $100 for the five tickets please do so. We will draw tickets at the Fulda Reunion and provide the five winners their choice of a custom Cavalry Hat, Saber or Spurs.

3. Fulda Reunion is a GO. Get details on the website or visit the Reunion Committee website at Note that is .com. Hope to see you in Fulda. The Lord Mayor and our contact there, Renate Steiber, are planning several days of interesting activities. It will great to see old friends.

4. Blackhorse memorabilia is available on our website at the "Blackhorse Gear" link or by going directly to the store website at FLA is continually increasing inventory and adding some quality gear.

5. Blackhorse Newsletter- Winter 2009 has been mailed. If you do
not receive your copy in the next 12 days, contact Gene Johnson,
Editor and Dir. of Memberships at



John Sherman Crow
Pres. 2008-2009

PS: As I write we are having technical problems with colors and some text "bleeding" on the website. We are aware of the problem and are working it. Thanks for your patience. jsc


For all you How Bat guys, notice the M-109 silhouette has been added to the website heading—Now, let us see some How Bat input to the web and newsletter. Please send your submissions to Alex Silverman at opens in a new windowalexsilverman2005@nullyahoo.comcreate new email . Allons!

GEN (R) Starry Receives West Point’s 2009 Distinguished Graduate Award

Dear Alumni and Friends of West Point,

On 16 February, the Board of Directors voted to approve these members of the West Point Association of Graduates as recipients of the 2009 Distinguished Graduate Award:

· LTG, USAF (R) James Donald Hughes ’46 – General Hughes served for 35 years in the Air Force after graduating from West Point. During a career spent mostly in tactical fighter aviation he accumulated 6300 flying hours, including three combat tours in Korea and Vietnam. His last assignment on active duty was as Commander in Chief of the Pacific Air Forces. In retirement he continued to contribute to the Armed Forces as one of the principal founders of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor located in New Windsor, New York. The Class of 1946 was "immeasurably proud" to nominate their classmate – a leader of national stature.

· GEN, USA (R) Donn Albert Starry ’48 – General Starry contributed 40 superb years of active military service to the Nation, beginning as a private and rising to the four-star general in charge of TRADOC and later, the Readiness Command. After his retirement, he continued to serve the Army and the Nation as a defense industry leader, military mentor, and prolific author and speaker on leadership, doctrine, and technology. The Class of 1948 feels that General Starry represents "everything we want and expect a West Pointer to be."

· LTG, USA (R) Robert Franklin Foley ’63 – General Foley served as an Infantry officer for 37 years. As a young company commander in Vietnam he was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry in combat, and his subsequent service included two tours at West Point serving as a Tactical Officer and, later, as the Commandant of Cadets. After retiring, he accepted the Presidency of Marion Military Institute and five years later was asked to lead Army Emergency Relief. The Class of 1963 submitted General Foley’s nomination for his nearly fifty years of selfless service to the Academy, soldiers, and the Nation.

· GEN, USA (R) Eric Ken Shinseki ’65 – General Shinseki called his 38 years of active military service a "proud privilege." His early assignments as an officer included two tours of duty in Vietnam, both of them cut short by wounds. He concluded his long and excellent service to the Army as its 34th Chief of Staff. In retirement he has provided leadership in many areas of public interest and is the incumbent of the Class of 1951 Chair of Leadership at West Point. His recent selection as the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs shows that not only his classmates see Shinseki as "a leader steeped in the principles of Duty, Honor, Country."

· GEN, USA (R) Thomas Allen Schwartz ’67 – General Schwartz provided the Nation 35 years of exemplary military service, from a first combat assignment as a lieutenant in Vietnam to four-star command of TRADOC and later, United Nations Forces, Combined Forces, and United States Forces, Korea. Since retiring in 2002, he has worked in the business community while maintaining close and meaningful ties with the military and its families. The Class of 1967 nominated General Schwartz based on his lifetime of dedication to the ideals of West Point – Duty, Honor, Country.

· GEN, USA (R) John Philip Abizaid ’73 – General Abizaid has been named one of his generation’s greatest military commanders. He served with distinction as an Infantry officer for 34 years, capping off his active-duty career as the Commanding General of CENTCOM, with oversight on the entire Middle East. He retired in 2007, and currently serves as the distinguished chair of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. General Abizaid’s classmates consider him "a truly distinguished American and son of West Point."

The slate was presented to the Board by a Nominating Committee (chaired by Dick Graf ’71) which met on 10 February 2009. The awards will be presented on 19 May 2009 at West Point.

Colonel, USA (Retired)
President and CEO

Blackhorse Barn! Show your Blackhorse Pride!
Blackhorse Pride shown by Bill Hutton’s Barn ~ Thanks for sharing Bill!


The Houston/Southeast Texas Chapter of The Blackhorse Association

DATE: 20 April 2009

DAY: Monday night

TIME: 6:30 PM – Go thru the Bar-B-Q line, then upstairs to eat

7:00 PM – Meeting Starts

LOCATION: Goode Co Texas Bar-B-Q

8911 Katy Freeway

(713) 464-1901

Trooper Requests:

My father George C. Reyes and Mr. Chris Redman are looking for former/present Black Horse brothers in the Louisville/Fort Knox Kentucky area who would like to join the Gold Vault Chapter of the Black Horse. Mr. Chris Redman is the president and he would be happy if you could help the out with this. You can send me an e-mail with information and I will be glad to let either of them know. Thank You for your time. Kerry-Ann Wheatley opens in a new new email

Eddie Wilson opens in a new windowcb1118@nullsbcglobal.netcreate new email is looking for ’67-69 Second Squadron contacts

Aloha from Kandahar!

From LTC Brent Barnes (former 11th ACR RSS Commander)

Attached is a photo of the Troops (all out of Hawaii) who were in the
immediate HQs area when the packages from Post #291 arrived.

In a letter to Steve Sprigg’s (AL Post #291)…
As a gentlemen and Cavalrymen, your timing remains impeccable.
Earlier in the day we got IDF (enemy mortars) — no injuries to my team, and
in the afternoon we got your Care Packages.

The goofy looking guy holding the BLACKHORSE patch is me (there is another
BLACKHORSE Cavalrymen in this photo too). Of note, please pass to our
BLACKHORSE Brothers a hey @ the HOE-DOWN. Unfortunately I won’t be able to
make it this year. Also give a shout-out to our Marine Brothers who you all
support at the Post. I have two on my team. The Marine in this picture is
on my PSD (my security team outside the wire); they are both studs.

I just simply cannot express the smile that you all put on my Soldiers &
Marines faces – – it was a thing of beauty. Again THANX, it really means a
lot that you all care so much to send these fine Troopers a little




Blackhorse Troopers!
You can now purchase your Blackhorse Memoriabilia through the Blackhorse Gear Link on our website opens in a new or you can go directly to opens in a new
Happy Shopping!

Remember When…

What is the designation of this tank? Where is it located? Which unit does it belong to and what year is this?

Do you remember when?

We would love to hear your guesses and any nostalgic comments you have about this specific photo.

We will try publish most of the replies that we receive in the next E-Newsletter.

Last month’s Remember When: The 3/11th ACR Plaque/Memorial Stone that was left by the Squadron upon its departure from Bad Hersfeld in 1994. Just to the right of the memorial stone and plaque is the tree that was planted by 3/11 SCO Roger Jones in 1994 to commemorate the years that the squadron spent in BH defending the Frontiers of Freedom.

I was only with the Blackhorse at Ft. Meade and then for an entire year in Vietnam after deploying with the advanced party in August of 1966. But I did drive by a similar plaque to this one outside the entrance to Downs Barracks in Fulda in 1992, I think, and that was about the time that the Blackhorse was inactivated before being reactivated at Ft. Irwin as the OPFOR. The plaque obviously references the 11th and the 14th ACR’s, so it may have been when the 11th was "asked to go home" from Germany and the 14th took over the Fulda Gap, probably around 1965.
Gil Ferrey
HHT, Regt. HHT 1st Squadon and Air Cav Troop.

Thank you all for sharing your memories!
February 7, 2009

America’s Last Draftee: ‘I’m A Relic’

By Mark Thompson, Washington

America’s generals love to brag about their all-volunteer Army. That’s
because they tend to overlook Jeffrey Mellinger. He donned his Army
uniform for the first time on April 18, 1972, about the time the Nixon
Administration was seeking "peace with honor" in Vietnam and The
Godfather was opening on the silver screen. Nearly 37 years later, he’s
still wearing Army green. Mellinger is, by all accounts, the last
active-duty draftee serving in the U.S. Army.

"I’m a relic," Mellinger concedes with a self-deprecating laugh. But the
last of the nearly 2 million men ordered to serve in the Vietnam-era
military before conscription ended in 1973 still impresses 19-year-old
soldiers. "Most of them are surprised I’m still breathing, because in
their minds I’m older than dirt," the fit 55-year-old says. "But they’re
even more surprised when they find out this dinosaur can still move
around pretty darn quick."

Mellinger was working as a 19-year-old drywall hanger in Eugene, Oregon,
when he came home to find a draft notice waiting for him. "I went down
to the draft board and asked them if this was really serious," he
recalls, "or if it was like an invitation." But it was an order, the
first of many Mellinger would obey. He started his military career as a
clerk in what was then called West Germany, and was looking forward
hanging up his uniform after two years of service. "I was dead-set on
getting out," he says. "We had a lot of racial problems, drug problems,
leadership problems." But his company commander talked him into
re-enlisting. The lure: the chance to join the Rangers, the elite
warrior corps that Mellinger came to love (his 3,700 parachute jumps add
up to more than 33 hours in freefall). Re-enlisting "was the best
decision of my career," Mellinger says.

The Army sent him all over the world, including tours in Japan and Iraq.
General David Petraeus, who served as Mellinger’s boss during the
draftee’s final three months in Iraq in 2007, calls him "a national
asset" who kept the top generals’ aware of the peaks and valleys in
battlefield morale. "We lost count of how many times his personal convoy
was hit," Petraeus says. "Yet he never stopped driving the roads,
walking patrols, and going on missions with our troopers." (Mellinger’s
33-month Iraq tour was punctuated by 27 roadside bombings, including two
that destroyed his vehicle, although he managed to escape injury.)
Mellinger now serves as the Command Sergeant Major, the senior enlisted
man in the Virginia headquarters of the Army Materiel Command, trying to
shrink what he calls the "flash-to-bang time" between recognizing what
soldiers need and getting it to them.

The son of a Marine, Mellinger had been turned down by both the Marines
and the Army when he sought to enlist. "I was not a perfect child," he
says. He finds it strange that the compulsory military that launched his
career no longer exists, but says the Army is better for it. "You get
people who want to do this work," he says of today’s nearly-all
volunteer force. "If you had a draft at any other business in the world,
you’d get people who maybe weren’t suited to be accountants or drivers
or mathematicians."

He doesn’t have much patience for those, like Rep. Charles Rangel,
D-N.Y., who want to bring back the draft to ensure that war’s burdens
are equally shared. "We’re doing just fine, thank you, with the
all-volunteer force," Mellinger says. "Until the time comes that we’re
in danger of losing our capabilities to do our missions, then we ought
to stick with what we have – there is no need for the draft."

Like many veterans of the Vietnam-era Army, he bridles at suggestions
that the draftee force was riddled with misfits and druggies. "We didn’t
run off to Canada," he says, taking a swipe at those who avoided the
draft by heading north. "While it makes great rhetoric to stand up and
say ‘We don’t want a draft Army because the draft Army was bad,’ the
facts don’t support it," Mellinger says. "Just because they didn’t run
down and sign up doesn’t make them less deserving of respect for their
contributions." There’s a sensitivity evident in being viewed as less of
a soldier for having been drafted. "I’m proud to be a soldier, and I’m
proud to be a draftee," he says. "I took the same oath that every other
enlistee who came in the Army – there wasn’t a different one for

His proudest moments are watching those he trained climb the military
hierarchy themselves. "I can think of several soldiers who went on to
become command sergeants major who were privates when I was either their
squad leader or their drill sergeant," Mellinger says. But such memories
also trigger his lone regret. "I wish I were as smart as I thought I was
when I was moving into those duty positions."

Mellinger has told his wife, Kim, that this is his final Army posting,
meaning he’s likely to retire sometime next year. The couple has no
children, although Mellinger has three grown kids from a prior marriage.
The last draftee then plans to move to Alaska, where he spent much of
his career, and spend his days reading history and running with his two
Dobermans. "When I tell my wife it’s my last assignment, she just rolls
her eyes," he concedes. "This is my sixth ‘last assignment’."

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