FORT HOOD, Texas - Some say that man's best friend is a trusted canine, but for 1st Cavalry Division troops it happens to have a noble steed.

Although most First Team troopers are back to business after their 15-month deployment to Iraq, one of the team's most valuable players, the mascot of the division was retired and replaced by an up-and-coming rising star who happens to go by the same name, "Trigger."

"It's time to put him out to pasture," said Spc. Sean Connell of Tampa, Fla. "There's always a time for a horse to retire.

"This is his time."

During Trigger's time in the epicenter of combat in the Middle East he boosted moral by modeling the pageantry of the cavalry for visitors to the Multi- National Division - Baghdad headquarters during the First Team's reign. The life-size mascot posed with everyone from famous generals to chart-topping music artists.

"You know you're an icon when people travel across a war zone to take pictures with you - and he is - an icon," said the young cavalry scout with Headquarters Company, Division Special Troops Battalion.

If the previous Trigger gave advice to the new Trigger, Connell jokingly said he'd whisper "stay still, they're combat vets, they're jumpy."

Along with a new saddle, bridle, and all the accessories a famous horse could ever need or want, the latest Trigger has a lot of new responsibilities and some big "horse" shoes to fill.

Connell said that being named Trigger should bring honor to the newly appointed cavalry icon.

The honor guard member added that if the elder of the two Triggers could give a retirement speech he'd chokingly, yet triumphantly end it with that famous line, "It's my team. It's our team. It's the First Team!"

The new fiberglass horse replica, born in North Carolina, is now standing tall in the north foyer of the division's headquarters, while the newly retired stallion is currently on his way back from Iraq.

According to the deputy commandant Staff Sgt. Robert Woods of Denver, Ohio, the older Trigger will be redeploying with the cavalry at least one more time continuing his career as an icon for cavalry men and women in a combat zone, while the new Trigger focuses on the home front.

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