Story by U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jennifer Bocanegra, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office
Fort Hood (Now designated Fort Cavazos), TX- As the U.S. Army modernizes and reorganizes to meet tomorrow’s challenges including sustained large-scale combat operations (LSCO), 1st Cavalry Division leaders and staff participated in a two day on-site this week to understand the division’s role, as the Army’s first penetration division within the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) construct which includes simultaneous air, land, maritime, space and cyberspace operations.
The on-site opened with remarks from U.S. Army Europe and Africa commander, Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, and the III Armored Corps command team, Lt. Gen. Robert P. White and Command Sgt. Maj. Cliff Burgoyne. Through video conferences, these commanders shared insights on current threats and potential future employment of 1CD (America’s First Team) during large scale operations. They also advised the group to change their mindset from brigade-level counterinsurgency operations to a division-centric, high intensity multi-domain fight.
Following these senior leader discussions, 1st Cavalry Division commanding general, Maj. Gen. John Richardson, discussed his own warfighting philosophy based on the Cavalry mindset.
“As a Cavalryman, my warfighting philosophy is predicated on seizing the initiative, attacking and pursuing the enemy relentlessly until it is destroyed,” Richardson said. “Cavalry is a mindset. When I think about this division IN LSCO, I think historically about the role of cavalry on Napoleonic battlefields including the mindset and culture inside Napoleon’s army that allowed for taking prudent risk and seizing opportunities, exploiting weaknesses and executing combined arms engagements. When we look at this division’s role in MDO, this is the type of culture we must foster through our command climate and the mindset we need to adopt.”
During an afternoon session, Army Col. (Retired), John Antal spoke with participants through a video conference about changes in modern warfare including the proliferation of unmanned weapons on today’s battlefield. Antal, who currently serves as a historian and leadership coach, used a case study he compiled on the recent Second Nagonmo-Karabakh War to highlight lessons military leaders should consider in preparation for future conflicts including; understanding the enemy, building the capability to fight in multiple domains and employing decisive methods of engagement.
Antal concluded his presentation with a call to action, “I share this information with you to raise awareness of the changing methods of warfare and impel you to study and act.”
During the second day of the on-site, leaders representing various war-fighting functions including aviation, fires, engineering and intelligence provided presentations on their capabilities and potential challenges with supporting sustained LSCO.
Currently, the First Team is upgrading with the most modern ground combat equipment while leaders at all echelons continue to focus on building a fit, disciplined, well-trained cohesive team that is ready to fight and win. Over the next several years the 1st CAV Division will undergo a force redesign to man, train and equip as the first U.S. Army penetration division. To prepare for this transition, the division headquarters and subordinate units will execute a series of command post and warfighting exercises at various echelons to sharpen the unit’s warfighting capability to maintain a competitive advantage over our adversaries.
Since its inception in 1921, 1CD has repeatedly modernized its equipment, reorganized its formation and led innovative changes to doctrine to respond courageously, audaciously and victoriously during conflicts around the world including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, the First Team continues to proudly serve point for the Nation while honoring its lineage and history.”