Blackhorse E-Newsletter May 2009

President’s E-News Message:
Not too late to join us at the Fulda Reunion. Email Glenn Snodgrass for details at or visit our website at at the Programs/Reunion Link. Added info may be found at the Reunion Committee’s website at Hope to see you in Fulda 23 through 28 June.

Over 15,000 of our members recently received their donation tickets for our annual mail in donation program. Please respond with a donation at a level that best fits your budget. If you have misplaced your return envelope, mail your donation to our Dir. of Fundraising at: Blackhorse Assoc.

c/o Don Wicks
1807 Hunt Avenue
Richland, WA 99354-2645

Check out the Blackhorse Gear link on our website and get your Blackhorse memorabilia. FLA has an outstanding array of merchandise and they continue to add attractive inventory. You may also shop the store at

Allons! and Blackhorse Forever!
John Sherman Crow
Pres. 2008-2009

Attention – There is a new Membership Form on our website to include more information about Gold Star Members. Please visit our website to view the new Membership Form

Blackhorse Update – 2 FEB 2009
The Operational Tempo (OPTEMPO) here at Ft Irwin has maintained its high rate since our last update and our Regiment has continued to excel in either preparing for deployment or in training others for war. We recently celebrated our 108 years of proud, honorable, and faithful service to our Nation as the Blackhorse Regiment continues to train Soldiers, develop leaders, and stands ready to defend liberty and defeat the enemies of freedom just as we have done throughout the history of this great Regiment. Here at Fort Irwin we are on the cutting edge of training our Army’s Brigades for combat. Before they face the enemy and learn to operate in a foreign culture to help provide governance, stability, and reconstruction for our allies, they must face the Blackhorse insurgents and care for the population living in our remote and very realistic training area. We support 10 month-long rotations a year at the National Training Center (NTC) preparing Brigades for immediate deployment to Southwest Asia, and stand ready to deploy in support of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism and other contingency operations ourselves. Our Troopers know both sides of the ongoing conflict – most have served overseas – while all replicate the conditions and enemy we face, and train and stand ready to deploy again.
One clear example of the readiness and value of the Regiment is the service of the 58th Combat Engineer Company (Red Devils) who just returned from service in Northern Iraq where they were executing critical route clearance missions. The 17th CSM, CSM Fred Morris and I visited the 58th in Iraq over Thanksgiving and found an outstanding unit with proud Troopers and leaders helping make a significant difference in Iraq. The 58th returned to us in February for some well earned leave and time with their families before cycling back into rotational operations and applying many lessons learned.
After completing mostly Iraq-based rotations since July 2008, our focus has began shifting somewhat to supporting Afghanistan rotations with the completion of the 4th (Airborne) Brigade, 25th Infantry Division’s rotation in November 2008, and the upcoming support for 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division rotation in February 2009. 1st Squadron has been replicating the Afghan Army and town populations, while 2nd Squadron replicates the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and other insurgents. The Regimental Support Squadron is also contributing to the town population and insurgents, while providing logistical support for the entire Regiment in the field. This will be a great rotation as we prepare the 5/2 ID Soldiers with a tough, realistic, and challenging experience prior to assuming their duties in Afghanistan.
After the November rotation, we were fortunate to have three weeks to focus on our own warfighter training. In December,our Infantry Troopers had the opportunity to train for and earn their Expert Infantry Badge (EIB) after some thorough training and testing sponsored by 2/11. Meanwhile, our tankers trained up on their skills and fired tank gunnery crew qualification sponsored by 1/11. It was good to hear the sound of freedom as the call of the Abrams’ main guns thundered across post. As we concluded our weeks of training, the Regiment also took some time to enjoy a fantastic Winter Formal in Primm, Nevada and get some final words of wisdom from CSM Fred Morris as he prepares to retire in March 2009 after over 27 years of service. Despite an unusual winter snowfall in the High Mojave Desert that stayed on the ground for about a week, we all made it safely to the ball and back, and had a great time. Our two National Guard battalions – 1st Squadron, 221st Cavalry (Wildhorse) from Las Vegas, Nevada; and 1st Battalion, 144th Field Artillery (Mustangs) from Burbank, California are both still preparing to deploy. 1-221 CAV will execute a security mission in Afghanistan, and 1-144 FA will deploy on a peacekeeping mission to Kosovo later this year.
After activating on 16 October 2008, our 51st Translator Interpreter Company (the only one in the Army) is fully up and running in support of rotations and their own warfigther training. Six Troopers recently deployed to provide critical interpreter support to deployed units, and we expect more missions to continually come their way. The unit is up to over 70 Troopers who are native speakers of critical languages (Arabic, Pashtu, Dari, etc.) and have joined the US Army to support ongoing operations in key regions of the world.
We continue to update the training in "the box" here at NTC by replicating the Contemporary Operating Environment (COE). With the help of Hollywood set designers and special effects experts, it is truly amazing how realistic the training can be. Throw in several hundred Iraqi- or Afghan- Americans speaking in the native languages and playing key roles in the scenario and it is easy to forget that you are not already deployed. We stress the leaders, systems, and Soldiers of rotational units each month through the realism and
the expertise of our K Troop professional insurgents who fight US forces 10 times a year and help them get better for what they are about to face in theater. Fortunately, Blackhorse Troopers also help the rotational units out by replicating the Iraqi- or Afghan- security forces that are becoming increasingly more professional each month, leading to a winning coalition in our ongoing fight against terrorism. We invite you to visit us here at the NTC as a Tour program has been developed which gives visitors an opportunity to see this realistic training and to visit our Museum. Please contact us if you are interested in that or if you just want to meet some of our current Troopers!
Thanks for all you’ve done, and all you continue to do in support of the legendary Blackhorse Regiment – we ride on the legacy of excellence established by the Leaders and Troopers who have served before us and are very proud of representing you.

Allons! 63

Trooper Requests:

We have a Trooper searching for any/all photos from the K TRP 3/11 ACR 1984-1986 era. If you have photos you can share or copy please contact Bobby Mason at

Notes From Baghdad, MG Guy Swan III

Welcome to this fifth installment of "Notes from Baghdad." The big news for many of us in Iraq is the recent arrival of our new US Ambassador Christopher Hill. Ambassador Hill arrived on April 24, 2009 has been rapidly getting up to speed on the complexities of the environment in Iraq. He and General Ray Odierno have already set a solid tone of continued civil-military, interagency cooperation for the US mission in Iraq. This comes at a time when the "whole of government" approach to achieving success in Iraq is truly manifesting itself.
Detainee Affairs – Under the terms of US-Iraq Security Agreement (SA), on January 1, 2009 the US officially turned over all detainees to Government of Iraq (GoI) control. However, because Iraqi prisons or other detention facilities are overcrowded or because arrest warrants are still pending, the GOI asked us to continue to hold detainees on their behalf until each detainee’s status could be determined. As of today US forces are temporarily holding 11,900 detainees in Iraq. An agreed-upon bilateral process is in place to review each case summary in order to determine if there is enough evidence to charge the detainee with a crime under Iraqi law. Once that is determined and space is available at a suitable Iraqi detention facility, detainees are remanded to the custody of the Ministry of Justice. If the GoI is unable to gather enough evidence for a formal arrest, there is a formal release program that returns detainees to their home areas of the country for reintegration into Iraqi society. Make no mistake some those being held are dangerous terrorists who have killed Iraqi citizens and our Soldiers. Therefore, our goals in this process are three-fold: a safe and orderly transfer or release of detainees in accordance with the SA, limit the threat to Iraqi society and US forces by "high threat" detainees, and prosecute dangerous radicals and those who pose enduring security threats to Iraq – all within the rule of law.
Security Framework Agreement – While the security force-centric Security Agreement gets much attention, the companion US-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) is perhaps the more important and more lasting. The SA has an agreed to end point of December 31, 2011 when all US forces must leave Iraq. The SFA, on the other hand, is an enduring expression of a long-term relationship between two sovereign nations. The SFA defines and guides the way Iraq and the US will interact in areas as diverse as technology exchange, economic and energy development, cultural, education and scientific exchange, and law enforcement and judicial cooperation. The implementation of the SFA is led by the US Embassy team with those of us assigned to MNF-I providing our support. This arrangement is a reflection of the maturing relationship between our nation and Iraq.
United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) – Among the many international organizations assisting the GOI is UNAMI. Established in August 2003, by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1500, UNAMI has a wide-ranging portfolio. Led by Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) Steffan DiMistura, UNAMI has played an instrumental role in advising and assisting the GOI in developing its election processes, providing assistance with internally displaced persons, coordinating the many UN humanitarian agencies in Iraq, and providing recommendations on how to resolve disputed internal boundaries between the portion of Iraq administered by the Kurdish Regional Government and the portion administered by the GOI. The working relationship among UNAMI, the US Embassy, and MNF-I has been a good one with each entity providing mutual support.
As you have noticed in the press in the past few weeks there have been sporadic high profile attacks in some of the urban areas of Iraq. While we take these incidents very seriously and work closely with the Iraqi Security Forces to track down, kill, or capture the perpetrators, the overall security level in Iraq remains at historic lows. Al Qaeda in Iraq and other extremist groups are capable of mounting only limited attacks, in an attempt to spark sectarian conflict. But the large majority of Iraqis of all stripes, as well as the GoI itself, have come to understand that these attacks are perpetrated by terrorist and not by opposing sectarian, ethnic, or political groups. That is why we have seen little backlash from these attacks. They are, however, constant reminders that the mission in Iraq continues and we have more work to do to achieve the kind of sustainable security MNF-I is seeking and the Iraqi people deserve.
I appreciate the many comments I have received from these reports and your responses are more than welcome ( or And as always, the support that you provide to the mission here in Iraq is most appreciated.

News From the Regiment:
51st TICO bids farewell to first commander

Story and photos by
Sgt. Giancarlo Casem
11th ACR Public Affairs

FORT IRWIN, Calif.-The Army’s first tactical interpreter company said goodbye to it’s first ever commander and welcomed their second during a change of command ceremony at Jack Rabbit Park, April 7.
In a brief ceremony, the outgoing commander of the company, Capt. Luis Diaz, relinquished his command to 1st Lt. David Strahl.
Capt. Diaz thanked his wife and praised his Soldiers for their hard work and dedication.
"It sure was a pleasure and an honor to be the first commander of the only translator company in the U.S. Army he said.
As Lt. Col. Andrew C. Cooper, Regimental Support Squadron commander, said, that the 51st is a truly unique unit.
"They are the first, the only, and a concept that did not come with an instruction manual," LTC Cooper said. "These leaders and troopers are going through a time intensive and painstaking process of building an airplane while in flight. We have come a tremendous way."
This "airplane in flight" took off last year as the Army saw fit to build a unit for the sole purpose of translation and interpretation of languages that are being used in deployed theaters around the world. The Soldiers of the 51st TICO, nicknamed the "Jackals," grew from 41 Soldiers to 109. They currently have 15 of their Soldiers forward deployed with five different units.
The benefits of a unit like the 51st TICO are that it provides units in theater to be able to utilize native-language translators to help bridge language and cultural gaps.
The incoming commander, 1LT Strahl, said he was looking forward to continuing his predecessors work and aims to move the unit forward.

Horse Detachment keeps horse-mounted Soldier tradition alive
Story and photos by
Sgt. Giancarlo Casem
11th ACR Public Affairs

Nearly 100 years after the last cavalry charge on North American soil, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment’s Horse Detachment keeps the mounted Soldiers’ tradition alive at Fort Irwin, Calif.
Amid the rolling hills of the high Mojave Desert, the legend of the Cavalryman still lives. It is here that he still grooms and takes care of his steed. He wakes up in the morning to clean his horse’s stable and feeds it. At midday, he practices riding skills with his horse. At sundown, before he turns in for the day, he takes care of his horse, getting it ready for the next day.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think of this," said Capt. Scott Cummings, the Horse Detachment commander. "A year and a half year ago, when I came here, I’d seen the Horse Detachment, but I never even thought about it, but now, I think this is absolutely the best job in the Army."
The 11th ACR conducts a unique mission, it serves as the oppositional force, or OPFOR, and as civilians on the battlefield for rotational units, RTUs, training at the National Training Center. The Blackhorse Regiment trains one brigade-size element at time in the harsh climate of the Mojave Desert. The Horse Detachment assists the Regiment and the NTC by providing livestock to its training environments, Capt. Cummings said, adding a heightened level of realism.
"That’s the unglamorous part of the job," said the Afton, Wyoming, native. During rotations, the Horse Detachment brings its collection of livestock out to the "box." The box is where RTUs live and train for 14 days. While in the box, RTUs conduct training missions specific to the area of operation in which they will deploy.
Another mission that the Detachment provides is to serve as a veritable link to the Regiment’s past. The Detachment may be called upon to perform as a mounted color guard in ceremonies, or even participate in unit runs while mounted on their horses.
"We have a different mission; we’re still here to support and help. We still have to maintain our Soldier skills, but the bulk of our training is out on horses doing the fun stuff," Capt. Cummings said. "We go to a lot of events. We are out and in the public eye; we keep the tradition of the Cavalry alive. We perform in ceremonies and parades."
The Horse Detachment performs in Rodeos and other public events in conjunction with Army recruiters. The meet and interact with civilians which are often shocked to find out that they are Soldiers.
"A lot of people will say, ‘You’re in the Army?’" he said. "It’s wonderful, and it’s been great, that’s what I tell everybody. I have the best job in the Army. For the Soldiers who grew up around horses, it is a bonus for them. Who would have thought the Army would pay me ride horses, wear jeans, go on trips, do rodeos and brag about the Army?"
This level of public exposure also means that the Horse Detachment must remain, at all times professional, exude the Army Values, and look their best. It helps that when they perform at public events, they get to wear classic 1901 tan Cavalry uniforms.
"We have the old Cavalry uniforms that we wear during our shows, and we also have the rifles and black powder pistols, that they used," said Staff Sgt. James Davis, the Horse Detachment Stable Forman. "The tricks that we do, like cutting a watermelon and shooting on horseback, were actually training drills that they used to do."
To be a member of the Detachment, Soldiers are hand-selected or may volunteer. However, they must undergo an extensive process to be finally admitted to the unit.
"It is a prestige thing. We’re supposed to have the cream of the crop up here," Capt. Cummings said. "We’re out there representing the Regiment, we’re representing the Army, and we represent the Horse Detachment. So, we need to be able to act decent."
He also said that if Soldiers are recognized as good Soldiers, then their chain of command may recommend them to be sent to the unit.
"If they see that you’re a good Soldier, they’ll work with you to get you up here," he said. "It is a great opportunity and they’ll let you go."
After a Soldier is identified, he attends a one on one interview with the Regimental Support Squadron command sergeant major. The RSS serves as the Detachment’s parent squadron. The Soldier must also be interviewed by the Detachment commander, first sergeant and stable foreman. He then must go through a 30-day trial period with the Detachment. Experience with horses is not a requirement to be a member of the unit, but it does help, Capt. Cummings said.
"It does help out, but it’s not a requirement. Even myself, my friends had farms and ranches, so I worked around horses. I knew about them, but I didn’t know much about the medical terminology or the anatomy of a horse so I didn’t know much," Capt. Cummings said. "We do have Soldiers up here that do have experience. If you know how to ride, that is great, we are still going to put you through the 30-day trial, and we are still going to teach you. In fact, some of our best riders have never ridden a horse before, because they don’t know any other way, they pick up really quick."
He added, "The biggest thing we’re looking for is ‘are you going to be honest and work hard?’ If you want to work up here and say, ‘I don’t know anything about horses, but I want to learn and I’ll work hard,’ then we’ll work with you."
Importantly, being member of the Horse Detachment also improves Soldiers all around, Staff Sgt. Davis said. With a strong emphasis on tradition, Soldiers become more engrossed into the Cavalry lifestyle. As part of their training regimen, Soldiers learn about the history of the Cavalry. They learn the significance of the Cavalry sabers and their classic uniforms. During public events, they become representatives for the Army. The Soldiers learn that what they do and say may represent the Army as a whole.
"It benefits the Soldiers a lot, it totally changes them," he said. "They become leaders, they learn different skills and leadership and responsibility. You have to have people that are fully capable to represent the Army and the Regiment.
The Horse Detachment’s Horses, like its Soldiers, come from a multitude of backgrounds. Of the detachment’s 14 horses, racehorse owners donated most.
"Most of them come from the track, they were donated," Capt. Cummings said. "Some of them were rescued, which means they were in a bad situation; they got beat or malnourished. We’re working with RSS to actually develop a program where we can purchase horses so we can get the horses that we need to accomplish our mission here and to better serve in the rotations."
He explained that since most of their horses are bred for racing, it posed limitations to what they can do.
"We have a lot of thoroughbred horses and they are pretty high maintenance, pretty high spirited and kind of fragile," Capt. Cummings said. "We do take them out there [to the box] and they do fine, but we can’t do as much. We’re trying to get more of the ranch-type horses that will meet the needs of both of the missions that we have."
Even though the Cavalryman has evolved to what he is today, riding in on an M1A1 Abrams battle tank, or firing from above in an AH64 Apache attack helicopter. The image of the horse-mounted Soldier is still relevant today.
"As go to different parts of the world and different terrain, we’re finding out that sometimes you still need the horses," Capt. Cummings said. "Not only do we need to remember traditions. Not only does it look cool or neat to see Soldiers charge and cut melons. We have units now that are deploying and actually have to deal with horses. They have to learn to ride it, to pack it, to take care of it. They have to learn how insurgents use them, where they can be hiding or smuggling weapons. Sometimes the horse is best suited for certain terrains, history repeats itself, its good to always remember history and it is also applicable for us to use."
For an experienced horse-rider like Staff Sgt. Davis, he takes pride in his effort to keep the Cavalry tradition alive.
"I grew up around horses my whole life. My experiences have been around racehorses. I have worked on farms. Its great, people don’t expect me being in the Army and to be working with horses," Staff Sgt. Davis said. "With the Cavalry tradition, it is important to pass on the heritage of the past to Soldiers now. It is rewarding to get Soldiers who have never ridden horses before and in 6 months have those riding horses."
Staff Sgt Davis, who is an infantryman by trade, said that his time in the Regiment has changed him. As prepares to leave the Detachment, he said that when he gets to his next unit, he would have great things to say about his time with the Blackhorse.
"I’m an infantryman, I was never into the Cav thing, when I was deployed, I would see these Cav guys with their Stetsons and spurs and I didn’t understand it," he said. "Now, I understand. I am proud to wear the hat and spurs. When I get to my next unit, I am going to tell the stories of what I did while I was in the Cavalry. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life."

HHD Palehorse changes reigns

Story and photos by
Sgt. Giancarlo Casem
11th ACR Public Affairs

FORT IRWIN, Calif.-The Palehorse Headquarters Detachment underwent a change of reigns during a change of command ceremony at Jack Rabbit Park, March 12.
The change of command between outgoing commander, Capt. Wes Graham and incoming commander, Capt. Thomas Emery, took place in front of the 11th Armored Cavalry’s commander, Col. Paul J. Laughlin, and Command Sgt. Maj. Fred H. Morris, friends, Family and the Soldiers of Palehorse.
The ceremony started with the unit’s colors being passed from 1st Sgt. Bryan Bates to Capt. Graham, then to Lt. Col. Jonathan Negin, the 11th ACR Deputy Commander, who then passed it to Capt. Emery. The passing of the colors symbolizes the transfer of command between the two captains.
After the ceremony, Lt. Col. Negin gave a brief speech thanking Capt. Graham for his hard work.
"It’s been a great ride for Wes and the entire Palehorse Team," Lt. Col. Negin said. "They have done a great job in the past seven rotations as they always do without much fanfare or issues."
Lt. Col. Negin continued on to commend the team’s hard work and said the praised the massive support provided by the Palehorse Team.
"Thanks to the whole team for your professionalism, patience and dedication to train rotational units for combat," Lt. Col. Negin said. "I’m amazed at all you did each rotation."
Capt. Graham then addressed the guests in attendance and his former troops.
"There is no doubt in my mind that our unit not only saved lives out in the box, since we acted as calm and collected safety officers, but the training that we OC’d saved lives of American Soldiers down range," Capt. Graham said. The outgoing commander took command of Palehorse last summer and is now heading back to his native North Carolina.
As parting words, he commended the troops in the formation.
"It is quite obvious to me that there are many future commanders, warrant officers, first sergeants and command sergeant majors standing in this formation," Capt. Graham said.
The incoming commander, Capt. Emery, shared a few brief words, he then took his place at the front of his new unit as those in attendance sang "Allons" the Regimental song and the Army song.
"I’m honored to have the privilege to do this," Capt. Emery said. "Let’s get this ride started."

Eaglehorse Squadron honors a few of its troops during awards presentation

Story and photos by
Sgt. Giancarlo Casem
11th ACR Public Affairs

FORT IRWIN, Calif.-A group of Soldiers from the 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment received various awards during an award presentation ceremony at the Freedom Physical Fitness Center, April 20.
The awards given ranged from Certificates of Achievements to "Eaglehorse Brats" certificates for Soldiers of the unit who had new babies born recently.
"I just want to say that I appreciate what you do for the Army," said Lt. Col. Michael Hester, the 2nd Sqdn., 11th ACR, commander. "You all are doing a great job."
As Lt. Col. Hester and Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Peare, 2nd Sqdn., 11th ACR, command sergeant major, moved down the ranks, they congratulated and thanked each individual Soldier.
Lt. Col. Hester cited the Soldier’s high level of professionalism and intensity during the past rotation. He said he received feedback from the rotational unit’s commanders praising the Eaglehorse’s hard work. A few of the Soldiers received awards for their high marks during the unit’s recent training ranges. Lt. Col. Hester reminded his Soldiers the importance of their mission and the importance of keeping their Soldier skills fresh and sharp.
He also reminded his troops to stay vigilant as the weather warms up. He told them to stay alert and drink water. Lt. Col. Hester emphasized the importance of recognizing Soldiers and their hard work and that they should be motivated by their peers who received the awards.
"If you are an NCO or a new Soldier, you should aspire to be down on this floor," he said.

Fort Irwin observes National Days of Remembrance

Story and photos by
Sgt. Giancarlo Casem
11th ACR Public Affairs

"If I had not been born a Jew, I might have become a Nazi. I was born in Germany."
Those words came from Rolf Gompertz, the guest speaker at Fort Irwin’s Holocaust Days of Remembrance to commemoration at Reggies,’ April 22.
It was a time in history that most would wish never happened, the Jewish Holocaust. Gompertz’s Family bore witness to Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass Nov. 9, 1938. Gompertz read from his memoirs the experiences during his childhood in Nazi Germany. Gompertz’s speech echoed the sentiments of this year’s theme, "Never Again: What You Do Matters."
He started his story in the town of Krefeld, Germany, in 1933, when Adolf Hitler comes to power, Gompertz, at this time, was only five years old. He witnesses the book burnings that take place during that time. Gompertz explained the systemic prejudiced treatment harbored by the Nazi regime. In the months before Kristallnacht, anti-Jewish sentiment and views were fueled by members of the Nazi party. They helped propagate the Jewish-scapegoat ideology.
"They ban and burn books. Any book, by a Jew or about a Jew. Books by anyone and about anything considered incompatible with Nazi beliefs," he said. "Orders are given, laws are passed to boycott Jewish stores, businesses and services. To forbid Jews from becoming doctors or lawyers. To terminate Jews from teaching positions in public schools and universities, to dismiss Jews from civil service jobs, to stop socializing with Jews, to forbid intermarriage between Jews and Christians."
On the night of Kristallnacht, Gompertz recalled being woken up by a loud pounding on his Familie’s door.
"Open up, open up, or we’ll break it down," Gompertz said as he recalled a shouting voice. As his mother opens the door, half a dozen Nazi’s storm through the door knocking her against the hall, he said. The Nazi’s, with rifles, rush up the stairs and try to catch his Family.
"We run around through the rooms, one after the other. As we come to the study, my father rushes to his desk, with the head Nazi close behind," Gompertz said. "My father opens a drawer, pulls out the Iron Cross, his medal from World War I, holds it up and shouts, ‘Is this the thanks I get for having served the fatherland?’"
After staring at each other in silence for what seemed like an eternity, Gompertz said, the head Nazi signals at his men and leave their house.
Kristallnacht served as a "dress rehearsal" for the following Holocaust. In, 1939, a few months after that night where Nazi’s assaulted and murdered Jews and vandalized Jewish buildings, Gompertz’s Family fled to the U.S. They had escaped the Holocaust, however, other members of his Family were not so lucky. Gompertz said that half of his Family did not survive the Holocaust.
"Most German’s participated actively or passively, but there were those who didn’t," he said. "There were those who resisted, there were those who helped, in ways small and large, individualy and collectively, at the risk of their lives; and at the cost of their lives."
Gompertz said that he, and many other Jews, found it hard to return to Germany, years after those events. As an author and speaker, he has used his writing and speeches to do his part to help ensure another Holocaust will never happen again.
In 1987, Gompertz returned to Krefeld and lived with a German Family. Before Kristallnacht, there were roughly 16,000 Jews in the town, by the end of the Holocaust, half were murdered, while some fled.
"In a city that was once a place of evil for us," he said, "I find good decent human beings again."
In the years after, Gompertz had tried to put himself in a German’s shoes during that time, to try and rationalize those events and how they could have happened.
"Then comes the question that has never occurred to me and has always blown my mind, ‘If I had not been born a German Jew, how would I have acted under the Nazis?’
"Would I have been a conformist? Or would I have shown courage? Or would I just gone along but offered resistance? Would I have participated in the Hitler youth, or Auschwitz? I’ve come to a terrifying and humbling conclusion; I do not know how I would have acted. We never really know how we will act in a time of crisis until we are tested."

Outgoing Horse Detachment commander passes on leadership role

Story and photos by
Sgt. Giancarlo Casem
11th ACR Public Affairs

The 11th Armored Cavalry Regimental Support Squadron’s Horse Detachment saw a change of command during a ceremony at the Horse Stables, April 24.
The change of command between outgoing commander Capt. Scott Cummings and incoming commander, 1st Lt. Christopher Eby took place in front of the Soldiers and horses of the detachment.
Capt. Cummings, an Afton, Wyo., native, took command of the Horse Detachment in May 2008. He admitted that he did not even know the 11th ACR had a Horse Detachment until he came to the unit. He went on to also thank the 11th ACR and RSS leadership for allowing him to command, he said.
"I want to personally thank the Squadron and the Regimental leadership for your support," Capt. Cummings said.
He also talked about some memorable highlights during his stint as the Horse Detachment Commander. Capt. Cummings reminisced about going to rodeos and performing Cavalry shows. He said he felt proud to represent the 11th ACR doing those shows, and more so, the Army.
"Where else can you go where you can wear a different uniform, work with horses and talk about the Army," he said of his experiences working with Army Recruiters during public events.
The incoming commander, 1st Lt. Eby, is a native of Sussex, N.J. He was commissioned as a Military Intelligence Officer in 2006. His first assignment with the Blackhorse Regiment was in the intelligence section of 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. He then moved to the RSS’ 511th Military Intelligence Company, where he eventually moved up to the position of company executive officer.
As parting words, Capt. Cummings gave the new commander a few words of wisdom.
"Chris you’ll get the distinct pleasure of figuring out what is needed out here," Capt. Cummings said. "Always remember to take care of your Soldiers, like me; some of them will have more knowledge about horses."
At the end of the ceremony, 1st Lt. Eby marched in front of the detachment, and stood in formation for the first time with, as Capt. Cummings calls the Detachment, "The true jewel of the 11th ACR and Fort Irwin."

2009 Blackhorse Reunion Update:

We are about 2 months away from the reunion in Fulda, 24-28 June.. Currently we have 139 registered and 91 committed. Please send in registration forms as soon as possible for those still on the committed list. If you do not plan on attending please let me know and I will remove you from the list.
Here is the current proposed activities (please note dress code for Friday and Saturday events).

Please contact Renate Stieber for hotel reservations. Her email is

General Schedule of Activities
Wednesday, 24 June
0900: Registration daily (Wed-Fri) until 1700 at Hotel Maritim am Schlossgarten, Fulda
1300: Fulda – Candle Factory Tour or;
Tour of Parkanlage Schloss Fasanerie at Bronzell
Walking/Shopping Tour of Fulda led by German-American Women’s Club
1600: Bad Kissingen – Historical walking tour of central Bad Kissingen.
1900: Fulda – Aviation and 1st Squadron Dinners at restaurants TBD
Bad Kissingen – 2nd Squadron dinner at TBD.
Bad Hersfeld – 3rd Squadron Icebreaker Social at ‘Sports Kafe’
Thursday, 25 June
0830: Bad Kissingen – 2nd Squadron Border Tour (returns 1800)
1000: Fulda – 1st & Aviation Squadrons Mini-Volksmarch to Haimbach, or;
Walking/Shopping Tour of Fulda led by German-American Women’s Club
Waechtersbach Pottery Factory Tour
EDAG Concept Car Factory
Bad Hersfeld – 3rd Squadron Brunch at McPheeter’s Barracks, welcome by Mayor, dedication of Squadron Monument
1900: Fulda – Fulda Squadrons’Dinner at Felsenkeller (Casual Attire)
Bad Hersfeld – 3rd Squadron Dinner (location TBD)
Bad Kissingen – 2nd Squadron Dinner (location TBD)
Friday, 26 June
0930: Bad Kissingen – Reception at Daley Barracks hosted by Lord Mayor
1000: Fulda – Border Tour led by Roger Cirillo, or;
Bus Tour to Kreuzberg
Walking Tour of Fulda led by German – American Women’s Club
1100: Bad Hersfeld – Kutschenfahrt (wagon ride) thru countryside
1800: Fulda – Welcome Reception at Stadtschloss hosted by Lord Mayor of Fulda
(Coat & Tie – all Squadrons invited)
1900: Fulda – Evening ‘Fest’ Event at Fulda City Hall Courtyard (all Squadrons invited)

Saturday, 27 June
0800: Fulda – Blackhorse Association Business Meeting at Maritim Hotel (Room TBA)
0930: Fulda – Buses depart from Maritim Hotel for OP Alpha (Bad Kissingen and Bad Hersfeld attendees not already in Fulda travel independently to OP Alpha)
1100: OP Alpha – memorial ceremony followed by museum visit and lunch
1400: Buses return to Fulda
1500: Fulda – Band Concert downtown Fulda by 1st Armored Division Band
1800: Fulda (Orangerie) – Cocktails followed by Reunion Banquet (Coat & Tie)
Sunday, 28 June
0830: Fulda – Remembrance Service (Catholic) at Fulda Dom (Cathedral)
1000: Fulda – Remembrance Service (Protestant) at Christuskirche
1100: Fulda, Bad Hersfeld, Bad Kissingen – Farewell

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