JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. --The Military Horseman Identification Badge, the Army's newest badge since 2014's Instructor Badge, was awarded for the first time to ten members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, Caisson Platoon, on Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall, Va., Sept 29, 2017, at Conmy Hall.
Approved by the Acting Secretary of the Army in July 2017, the Military Horseman Identification Badge recognizes Soldiers who complete the nine-week Basic Horsemanship course and who demonstrate the skills necessary to become a lead rider in the Caisson platoon.
"It's an honor and privilege to receive this badge," said Staff Sgt. Darren Snyder, a squad leader with the Caisson platoon. "To be a part of the first group of soldiers awarded this badge, is a really big deal," he said.
The Horseman Badge is the Army's newest badge since the authorization of the Army's Instructor Badge in 2014 and the Combat Action Badge in 2005.
Before a Soldier can wear the badge, they first must go through rigorous training.
Upon successful completion of the nine-week Basic Horsemanship Course, Caisson Soldiers must then complete 100 Armed Forces Full Honors Funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, serve honorably for a minimum of 9 months in the Caisson platoon and be recommended by the Commander of 1st Battalion, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment.
On top of these requirements, Caisson Soldiers must also maintain the standard ceremonial uniform of an Old Guard Soldier. Additionally, they learn how to use, clean and maintain ceremonial tack and a harness, which is unique to their overall mission.
Once assigned to the platoon, a Caisson Soldier's day starts at 4 a.m. and each day presents different challenges.
"There are long hours and sometimes you are put into positions were you may not know exactly what to do or how to accomplish the mission," said Snyder. "But that's the joy of working with such a great group of Soldiers, we all work together regardless of how tough times get around here."
"Some days our horses aren't in the mood to complete mission or willing to work with us, but get through it anyway," said Spc. Russell Schoenck, a lead rider with Caisson platoon.
Though this group of Caisson Soldiers are the first to wear the new badge, that doesn't keep them from remembering those who came before them.
"I'm proud of my time that I've served here as a Caisson Soldier, but I'm also proud of those who came before me and those Soldiers are part of the reason we're receiving these badges today," said Schoenck.