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Fort Irwin

E – News – March 2021

Trooper Down
Interment Ceremony for MG Robert Sunell

The funeral service for Major General Robert J. Sunell, USA Retired, will be held at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel, 204 Lee Avenue, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia, on Monday, March 29, 2021 at 1 p.m.

Interment at Arlington National Cemetery will immediately follow the service.

General Sunell, who was the 48th Colonel of the Blackhorse, passed away on August 8, 2020. He was born on June 5, 1929 in Astoria, Oregon, the son of Ernest and Grace Sunell. He enlisted in the National Guard in 1948 upon graduation from Astoria High School and attended the University of Oregon. He married JoAnn Toika in 1951, and they had three children.

For General Sunell’s full obituary, which was published in our September 2020 E-News, please visit our website at this link:

A Troop Change of Command
News from the Regimental PAO

Assassin Troop conducted a well-executed change of command ceremony on February 23, 2021 at Fritz Field, which was named for medal of honor recipient CPT Harold Fritz of Assassin Troop during the Vietnam War. We had the privilege to present flowers to the families of both the outgoing commander, CPT Scott Hendrick, and the incoming commander, CPT Matt Green, as part of the ceremony. Congratulations to Assassin Troop! We stayed after the ceremony to take photos with CPT Hendrick’s family, as he’s volunteered many days at Horse Detachment helping with miscellaneous tasks around the stables and arena.

A Troop Change of Command

The Blackhorse in Vietnam – Article in French Magazine Information Provided by Don Snedeker

Back in October 2020, Luic Becker, a French author, reached out to the BHA and the 11th ACVVC for assistance in publishing an article about the 11th Cav in Vietnam.

To help those of us who do not read French, the article provides a chronological account of our Regiment in Vietnam and Cambodia from 1966 – 1972. It is quite complimentary, stating that American use of armor and the ground-air team was both innovative and effective.

The magazine, Batailles & Blindes (Battles and Armor), has been published for the past 20 years, five times a year. The front cover of this particular issue commemorates the 100th anniversary of armored warfare and is also the magazine’s 100th issue.

The article is uploaded on the Blackhorse Association’s website at:

Recent Photos of OP Alpha (Point Alpha)

Sent by Johannes Schneider, M.A.

Wissenschaftlicher Volontär Point Alpha Stiftung Schlossplatz 4 36419 Geisa

OP Alpha (Point Alpha)

OP Alpha (Point Alpha)

OP Alpha (Point Alpha)

Blackhorse Scholarship Reminder 2021-2022 School Year

The deadline to submit scholarship applications for the 2021-2022 school year is fast approaching: April 1, 2021.

The Blackhorse Association’s vision includes support to the active Troopers in the Regiment, and in 2021, we will once again have a limited opportunity for spouses of 11th ACR active duty soldiers to apply for either a full-time or part-time scholarship. The scholarship is intended to support the spouses as they continue their education while their Troopers train America’s Army at the National Training Center.

Please visit the BHA website for details and the application form:

Last year’s scholarship recipients must reapply to be eligible for a 2021-2022 scholarship (a complete application must be submitted as if it’s the first year).

The completed application must be postmarked not later than April 1, 2021 and mailed to:

Murphy Gagne The Blackhorse Association 5521 Keltonburg Rd. Smithville, TN 37166

If you have any questions, please contact Murph at 615-597-9603 or cbear7806@nullgmail.comcreate new email.

Scholarship Donations

Our Association is totally dependent on contributions from our members, and we are in need of donations to replenish our scholarship fund. The Blackhorse Association, Inc. is classified as an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code, and all of your donations are tax deductible.

We ask you to continue, or start, your support of the top college-attending children of our troopers.

On average, we have awarded 18 scholarships a year; in 2020, we exceeded that with 20 selections. We have also recently elevated the Patton Scholarship as the award for our top applicant, and it is funded to recognize its namesake and the quality of our number one student.

If you would like to make a donation to the scholarship fund or the operating fund, please go to

If you want to send a check to the Association, please send it directly to:

Treasurer The Blackhorse Association Daniel M. Caughey, CPA PO Box 1712 Mill Valley, CA 94942

Update from Aaron Nelson Blackhorse Association Liaison to the Regiment

After a few months of absence, I was finally able to make a trip to Fort Irwin and was fortunate to attend the 120th anniversary celebration of the Regiment. The event wasn’t open to the public, but the Regiment live-streamed it to their Facebook page, and it is saved there as well. It is always great to see the Regiment and be reminded of its valiant history from 1901 to the present! Here are some photos from my visit.

Fort Irwin

Fort Irwin

I delivered a few items that have been donated from several sources over the last few months to be displayed at the Regiment. These items will be maintained and showcased by the Regiment.

  • Shown here are General Sunell’s scrapbook from his time as the 48th Regimental Commander, 1978-1979, and a collection of photos and recollections of Colonel Ballantyne’s time as the 46th Regimental Commander, 1974-1976. Fort Irwin
  • This is an Air Troop Guidon given to COL James Bradin in Vietnam after his tenure in command of Air Troop in 1969.
  • I presented several NCO- and Trooper-of-the-month pins to award those achievements in upcoming ceremonies. These pins were donated by the Blackhorse Association.

I also met with Colonel Hook, the RCO, to discuss some exciting future initiatives that will, no doubt, increase the comradery and bond among the members of the Blackhorse Regiment, members of the Blackhorse Association, and veterans of the Regiment.

Stay tuned for upcoming announcements of these events and activities!

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