The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment conducted a War Council and Dining-in, Nov. 14, 2016, in the training city of Razish at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA.
The event was executed to serve three purposes for the Blackhorse Regiment: develop a Regimental Vision Statement, identify key events for the next two years on the training calendar, and lastly build esprit de corps and assist leaders from the troops through regimental staff to become truly invested and committed to the operations of the Regiment.
A war council has long been utilized by military commanders as a method of deciding upon a course of action for the unit as well as conveying the Commanders Intent to subordinate leaders which allows them to seize the initiative and control the tempo of the battlefield. For this reason COL Clark selected November 2016, the beginning of a two month break from battle, to bring in his subordinate commands and allow their units to learn of the guidance and the way forward for the Regiment.
As the 11th ACR officers and senior non-commissioned officers arrived at the governor's compound within Razish, the momentous task of deciding the direction of the regiment fell squarely upon their shoulders. The duty of continuing the historic legacy of the Blackhorse Regiment is not one to take lightly.
The vision statement, was the first order of business for the leaders of the regiment. The Regimental Commander provided initial guidance to the troop and company leaders partnered with senior staff members and then directed them to develop the direction in which to take the Regiment, with the end state being to continue to make the Army better, one brigade combat team at a time.
A combined effort is the key in developing a vision that the entire Regiment will be adhering to. As the group arrived at the final version, together, they delivered the proposed vision statement to the Regimental Commander.
The 67th Colonel of the Regiment, Col. Joseph D. Clark, along with his senior enlisted advisor, Command Sgt. Maj. Michael J. Stunkard, gave their stamp of approval and all of the leaders signed the document, making it official.
The Blackhorse vision statement reads: "We are the best Regiment! Together, we shoulder the challenge of making our Army better by developing masters in our craft, and Troopers of character."
The roadmap to success for the 11th ACR includes the additional task of shaping a training calendar that lays out key events for the next two fiscal years. With a highly limited rotational calendar that does not provide many opportunities, the task of meeting training milestones is a challenge.
The Blackhorse Regiment is responsible for a multitude of tasks that include maintaining and further developing Soldier's tactical and technical abilities, but also supporting Fort Irwin garrison requirements. Some items of support includes extensive community relations projects, new and experimental equipment initiatives, and overall unit readiness, such as maintaining a deployable force.
Despite the tasks and requirements, leaders are prepared to execute training that ensures the Regiment is prepared for its two-fold mission, the training of Army BCT's, as well as answering our nation's call to deploy in support of worldwide contingency operations.
Leaders of the 11th ACR have created a plan to achieve the commander's intent. The next step is the implementation of that plan. Through rotations, key METL training events, leader development and building combat power, the path to delivering results will be plowed through and positive results will be delivered by the Blackhorse.
To close the War Council, regimental leadership convened a Dining In to remember the units past, rejoice in the present and mentally prepare for the future. Leadership had the opportunity celebrate the great work they had accomplished earlier in the day and weld together a team amongst warriors.
From their efforts the 11th ACR will continue as the premier cavalry brigade in the Army. The Blackhorse Regiment stands ready to demonstrate that, Pile On!