FORT HOOD, Texas - Back in the time when mounted cavalry meant that a trooper was on horseback, the stable call was a bugle sound that alerted cavalrymen that it was time to care for their horses.

In today's cavalry, the stable call has a much different meaning, but the traditions of mustering Cav troopers are no different.

Hundreds of "First Team" troopers met at the 1st Cavalry Division Museum, May 21, to meet with fellow comrades and to honor cavalry traditions.

The "Stable Call", hosted by the Crossed Sabers Chapter of the 1st Cav. Div. Association, was a long time coming, said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Webster, who serves as the Association's executive director.

"We used to do stable calls regularly," said Webster, who served as the First Team command sergeant major from 1996-1998. "We've been trying to do one for a while, but with all the deployments, it's been tough."

Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, 1st Cav. Div.'s commanding general, spoke his troops about the importance of knowing cavalry traditions, honoring those cavalrymen who served before them, and to fallen of wars past.

As the 1st Cav. Div. Association's annual reunion is quickly approaching, he encouraged members to go to this year's reunion in Bloomington, Minn. to meet with the 1st Cav. Div. alumnus.

"If you go, wrap your arms around a vet," Allyn said. "Our legacy is important to us, and how you'll continue it for us."

For one of 1st Cav.'s newest Soldiers, Pfc. Marion Church, a missile system repairman with Company B, 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, coming out to his first division-sized gathering was a good "bonding" moment.

Church, who learnt about the 1st Cav. Div. Association through his company commander, wanted to come out and join.

"One day, I'll have a family, and I like the fact that they take care of their own," Church, of Benson, N.C., said.

Church was referring to the more than $1,000,000 the Association has paid out in scholarships to surviving family members since the Vietnam War.

Webster said, for him, the biggest benefit to joining the Association is something intangible for most young troopers.

"Maybe not now, but in 10 ... 20 ... 30 ... years from now, the Soldiers will want to know where their buddies are, especially the ones they served with in combat, and it's not hard for us to find them within the Association," Webster said. "You'll never have a relationship quite like the one you'll form in combat because of the shared experience; it bonds you together."

As retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry Eller, the Cross Sabers Chapter president, met with current Cav. Soldiers, he said he felt great knowing that today's "First Team" trooper are a good "crop" and is confident this batch will proudly carry on the traditions that his generation left behind.

"It's a breath of fresh air ... from the CG (commanding general) and the CSM (command sergeant major)," Eller said.

Currently, there are some 28,000 members of the 1st Cav. Div. Association worldwide. During the stable call, they added more than 350 more.

To find out more about the 1st Cavalry Division Association or how to become a member, go to