New commander takes HCD reins
June 2, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas - On his horse, with saber in hand, Capt. David Jackson took command of the 1st Cavalry Division's Horse Cavalry Detachment from Capt. Jay Bunte, May 27, at their horse stables on Fort Hood, Texas.
Less than 30 minutes later, during his initiation by the HCD troopers, he was drenched in a cesspool of horse manure. He gave his first interview with local media, with not only pieces of horse dung on his face, but the biggest smile someone could have.
Jackson, of Jacksonville, Texas, came to the HCD from Company B, 27th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div., where he served as the maintenance control officer.
"You bring with you a tremendous reputation, and I know you are ready to fill the big boots of Horse Cavalry Detachment commander," said Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, 1st Cav. Div.'s commanding general.
Allyn attributed the "First Team's" support from local communities to the HCD, and its quality troopers.
"Troopers, you represent a one-of-a-kind unit, and you do it extremely well ... continue to maintain the heritage and history of this great Cavalry tradition with honor and distinction."
During Bunte's speech, he told Jackson that he was the "luckiest" captain in the U.S. Army. "The reins are yours now," he said to Jackson. "I am confident division picked the right man for the job."
Jackson, who said he very fortunate to command such a unique detachment, said he looks forward to working with the local communities.
"It's been said that quality is like buying hay; if you want nice, clean, fresh hay, you must pay fair price ... however, if you can be satisfied with hay that has already been through the horse, that comes a little cheaper," Jackson told those in attendance. "In saying that, the Horse Cavalry Detachment is a high quality unit and the price of excellence does not come cheaply, and the high standards of this prestigious unit will be upheld."
Jackson, like Bunte before him, has no riding experience. What he will face is a six-month training period by Larry Borth, the civilian trainer and stable master from Gatesville, Texas, and a Sgt. 1st Class Donnie Davis, of Columbus, Miss., the senior Army rider.
"He's gonna fall off a lot throughout the training," Borth predicted from his past experiences with former commanders.
After two years as the HCD commander, Bunte, will move on to the Captain's Career Course at Fort Sill, Okla.
During Bunte's tenure as commander, the HCD demonstration team traveled to countless destinations through the country, performing for crowds and helping with U.S. Army Recruiting efforts.