FORT IRWIN, Calif -- Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment's Horse Detachment earned the General Pulaski Award while competing in the National Cavalry Competition in Fort Robinson, Nebr. Sept. 23 - 27.

The General Pulaski Award is given to the best active-duty military unit that participates in the competition.

Sgt. 1st Class Jeffery Ray, Sgt. Samuel J. Dillender, Spc. Brian T. Hall, and Spc. Jared D. Davis, were the competitors chosen to represent the 11th ACR in Fort Robinson. This year's competition was the first for the Soldiers. At the start of the five-day event, the team did not know what to expect. It didn't take long for the Troopers to find their rhythm.

"After the first event we all calmed down," said Sgt. Dillender, a squad leader with the Detachment. "After the nerves settled, we just had fun with it, and learned whatever we could from the other teams participating."

Spc. Davis said not only was the event a competition, but also a learning experience that allowed like-minded Cavalry professionals to exchange tips of the trade.

"We took away a lot of information from different teams that will better the Detachment in upholding the Cavalry tradition," said Spc. Davis, who came to the Detachment after being an Intelligence Analyst with the 511th Military Intelligence Company.

Sgt. 1st Class Ray, the Detachment first sergeant, and Spc. Hall, a squad leader with the Detachment, alongside civilian contractors from the Fort Huachuca team, placed first in the Major Howze event.

The Major Howze is a night land navigation course that ends with a revolver attack on stationary targets. The event is based on an assault the 11th ACR conducted during the 1916 Punitive Expedition of Mexico.

Now that the competition is over the Soldiers of the 11th ACR's Horse Detachment are ready to begin training for next year's competition.

Capt. Christopher J. Eby, the Detachment Commander, said not only will they be focusing on training the Soldiers that participated this year, but also increasing the number of troops in next year's competition.

"With more troops we will be able to compete in more events," said Capt. Eby. "We will also be able to compete in the Major Howze event with our own team."

Now that the team knows what is expected of them, they will be able to train specifically for the competition's array of challenges.

"We have a lot of construction to do," said Sgt. Dillender. "We will be building different jumps, and new poles for saber drills that we saw at the competition."

Having prepared for this year's National Cavalry Competition without having been a part of one, the Troopers feel they did well in showing the Cavalry community what the Blackhorse Regiment has to offer.

"We represented the unit well this year, even though it was our first time out," said Sgt. 1st Class Ray, the Detachment 1st Sgt. "We are ready to start training for next year's competition, and hopefully we will have some of the same Soldiers here to participate."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16