Story by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Carolyn Hart, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team
With the 1st Cavalry patch proudly displayed on their uniforms, the men on the West Point Army Football team stood at the entrance of the stadium ready to face their opponents. Like the Gladiators of the Roman Empire and the many men and women who have worn the patch before them in battle, the players were eager to take on the Air Force football team.
“Wearing the 1st Cav patch…First Team…one team,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Ken Killingsworth, corps cadets command sergeant major. “Really talks to the culture of cohesive teams at the United States Military Academy, the corps of cadets and the Army football team.”
Soldiers from 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division volunteered their time during the Army vs. Air Force Football game at Arlington, TX on Nov. 6.
“We’re able to interact with the civilian population and show them the equipment that we use,” said Sgt. Hayden Tice, cavalry scout with 6-9 Cav. “It’s a big deal for 1st Cav to be here and represent that patch and it’s a big deal to see our patch on those football player’s helmets. Makes you proud to be in 1st Cav.”
Soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team set up a static display and were also on hand to wave the flag before the start of the game, honoring the brave men and women who served before them, ahead of this year’s Veteran’s Day.
Unit pride is something that echoes throughout the formations within the division and no one more than the 1st Cavalry division commander embodies pride in the patch.
Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson, a West Point alumni, was in the stadium, and along with the division command sergeant major, Shade Munday, led the football team onto the field of friendly strife.
“I’m extremely proud as the commander of the 1st Cavalry division that our patch is being worn by the army team,” said Richardson. “And as an alumni of West Point I’m always fired up to watch the Army team take on an opponent, especially the Air Force which is one of our greatest rivals in the sport.”
The Army team wears a different division’s patch on their uniform each week, but it was a special tribute to the “First Team” who is celebrating a momentous occasion.
“This week this team is wearing the 1st Cav patch on their helmets and we are very proud of that because it is the 1st Cav centennial,” said Richardson. “Just like I told the team, we are the Cav, courageous, audacious and victorious. Just like the Army football team.”