FORT HOOD, TX — The 1st Cavalry Division is the largest division of its kind in the U.S. Army and its home is right here at Fort Hood under the command of Major General John Richardson.
”I have command authority of 1st Cavalry Division, which is made up of 6 Brigades and about 19,000 soldiers," said Richardson. "Really what it comes down to is, I have a debt of service to 19,000 sons and daughters of America that I proudly take on every day."
Since its formation in 1921, the 1st Cavalry Division has fought in every major conflict as one of the strongest and most diverse mounted divisions in the Army.
”In the Cavalry, we’re made up of lots of different branches. A lot of different military occupation specialties but, we’re all Cavalrymen first and then whatever we bring to the combined arms team,” said MG Richardson.
For centuries cavalrymen rode into battle on horseback and so did the 1st Cavalry division until WWII.
”In 1942, after about 3,000 years on the battlefield, the horse was replaced by mechanization.” said MG Richardson.
The horses were replaced by what he says are some of the fiercest fighting machines the world has ever seen.
"So now we have the Bradley’s, we have the strikers, we have tanks, and then helicopters," said Richardson. "Those really are the elements that replaced the horse on the battlefield.”
As the battlefield changes so too must America’s First Team, adding new units to the 1st Cavalry Division like the 656 Air Defense Artillery Battalion.
”Air defense was something we did not need during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because the enemy didn’t have an air threat,” said MG Richardson.
Proving that the 1st Cavalry Division is prepared for the next enemy no matter the destination.